Adam and the Genome– The Dialogue, Part Two

Q.  At one point you lay out 6-7 things you take the phrase 'the historical Adam' to mean, and the proceed to suggest that at least most of them were not in the mind of Paul or other early Jewish writers when they refer to Adam.  Why this kind of approach?  Are you simply trying to deconstruct some of the fundamentalist views of Adam and creation?A. Yes, Ben, I am trying to show that what many believe is so biblical about the historical Adam is not in fact biblical but a theological co … [Read more...]

Adam and the Genome— The Dialogue Part One

Q.  What promoted you to do this co-authored book?A. While I never made the sciences anything central to my own intellectual interests over the years science pops up as important to some biblical discussion I am engaged in, not least when I was teaching undergraduates at North Park. Many of them were science majors and many of them had some solid commitments to science and it made them wonder how solid their faith could be. Over the years I read various books, L. Duane Thurmond to Francis … [Read more...]

More on My Journey … [Read more...]

Adam and the Genome– Part Twenty Six

The Afterword does not need to be reviewed as it offers nothing to the argument, it simply cavalierly says ‘don’t worry, be happy’ it doesn’t matter if there was a historical Adam and a historical origin to human fallenness. Yes it does matter, it matters if the Biblical authors think and say it matters. It even mattered to Jesus who said that marriage is an idea that God came up with ‘from the beginning’ and involved the first couple, Adam and Eve (Mt. 19;Mk. 10). The Biblical religion is ir … [Read more...]

Adam and the Genome– Part Twenty Five

More helpful is Thesis 4 (p. 183) which involves the proposition that we do not have original sin understood as original guilt and damnation for the whole race on the basis of Adam’s sin in Paul. Perhaps that is deducing too much from Paul. But it is not a helpful either/or to say “the issue however is not whether the historical Adam is important to soteriology but what kind of Adam Paul has in mind in Romans 5.12-21. Does Paul reveal an Adam who is a real person, who is biologically connected … [Read more...]

Adam and the Genome– Part Twenty Four

In the last main chapter of the book (pp. 171ff), Scot addresses the issue of what Paul says about Adam and Eve. He is correct that Paul does not say in Rom. 5.12-21 that all have sinned ‘in Adam’. He says all are condemned because all have sinned like Adam. But one has to ask--- why would that be universally true if there was not a universal bent to sinning? And if there is such an inclination--- Where did it comes from, if God didn’t make us that way? One of things I think is least hel … [Read more...]

Adam and the Genome– Part Twenty Three

To begin where the last post ended--- In none of this literature is Adam ‘everyman’, any more than Eve is ‘every woman’ though there are some hints in the latter direction in Sirach.What is in any case assumed in all these intertestamental reflections is that Genesis is telling a historical story about real people who affected not only themselves but their descendants in various ways. They are not merely literary figures who set bad examples for those who read their stories. It is thus … [Read more...]

Adam and the Genome– Part Twenty Two

Chapter 7 which begins on p. 147 is a helpful review of the mentions of Adam (and sometimes Eve) in intertestamental Jewish literature. Scot is right that they are depicted in various ways, and the story is developed and analyzed in various ways. This is correct. The point I want to make is that in each case, so far as we can tell, the assumption that there was an historical Adam and Eve is the basis of the further development of the tradition depicting Adam at least as an archetype, a … [Read more...]

Adam and the Genome– Part Twenty One

The flood as depicted in Gen. 9-11 is not a problem if it is a description of a flooding of the then known ANE world, in other words a massive regional flood devastating that population. And in fact there are mud layers and other geological evidence in that region that something cataclysmic did happen thousands of years before Christ in that locale. The ANE writers are not making up a fairy tale in their various tales about a Noah figure, a boat, a survival of a massive flood. And there is … [Read more...]