The Challenge of Adam 2 (RJS)

We started a discussion Tuesday centered on David Livingstone’s book Adam’s Ancestors. This is a fascinating look at the history of the development of ideas about Adam and the context within which they arose. It is only indirectly a look at the theological implications of Adam as the first man and progenitor of the human race. We will return to Adam’s Ancestor’s next week – but today I would like to take a short detour and put up a video conversation with Peter Enns for consideration (see another discussion centered on the video at BioLogos).

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The most significant challenges in the consideration of Adam as progenitor of the human race are the connections that Paul draws between Jesus and Adam, the nature of the fall and the entry of evil and sin into human life. In this video Pete Enns emphasizes that “Paul’s a first century man and what he says about Jesus and Adam must be understood in that context.(1:55)” There is nothing in the nature of revelation to suggest that God gave Paul lessons in geology, geography, paleontology, or science (my way of putting it – not Pete’s words). On the other hand Jesus was revealed to Paul and known in the flesh to his contemporaries, James and Peter among others. Paul takes the importance of Adam from a grounding in the story of the Hebrew scriptures, he takes his understanding of Jesus from contact with eyewitness and his own encounter with the risen Lord. This leads to a question I think worth some conversation.

What is the theological truth underlying Paul’s use of Adam in Romans 5 – and how does this impact our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Or more succinctly …

What was revealed to Paul and taught by him to the church?

(A second related video excerpt is posted after the jump)

Another video excerpt from Enns was posted yesterday on Science and the Sacred:

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The doesn’t deal directly with Paul – or Adam, but introduces some interesting ideas as well.

If you wish to contact me directly you may do so at rjs4mail[at]att.net

  • Peter

    I really appreciate this discussion. As we struggle with these questions, the opportunities to love one another in spite of our different understandings is a wonderful way to show Christ’s love. In my Sunday School class we frequently run into questions related to the nature of the biblical revelation and certainly the class has a number of participants that believe that the nature of the way the Holy Spirit spoke to the authors/writers of Scripture is categorically different from the way that he speaks to me. I am not so sure. …

  • Henry Morris

    “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” (Mark 10:6)
    These words of the Lord Jesus Christ ought to settle once and for all, for those who take His words seriously, the controversial question of the age of the earth. The earth was created essentially at the same time, He said, as the creation of Adam and Eve. Christ was quoting from Genesis 1:27: “male and female created He them.” This greatest of God’s creative works was “from the beginning of the creation,” not 18 billion years after the beginning of the creation, as modern old-earth advocates allege.
    One can understand why atheists believe in evolution and an almost infinitely old universe, for they really have no other alternative. One who believes in a personal God, on the other hand, only dishonors God if he believes such humanistic speculations rather than God’s Word. God is omniscient and omnipotent, as well as loving and merciful, and He would never do anything like this. The great ages assumed by evolutionary geologists supposedly involved billions of years of suffering and dying by billions of animals before man ever evolved. Surely this would have been the most inefficient, wasteful, and cruel method that ever could have been devised for “creating” human beings. Since man’s creation was God’s main purpose, there is no conceivable reason why He would waste billions of years in such a meaningless charade as this before getting to the point.
    In fact, the only reason He took six days instead of an instant of time was to serve as a pattern for man’s work week (Exodus 20:8-11). In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ was not only a creationist, but was Himself the Creator of all things (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; etc.). Therefore, He is the best possible witness as to when He created man and woman, and He said it was “from the beginning of the creation!”

  • Scot McKnight

    This all raises a question for me that I’m frequently asked, almost always by first year students, and it goes like this, though I’m melding the questions of many into one big one:
    Does the fact that Jesus referred to Adam as the primal man (with Eve) and does the fact that Paul referred to Adam as the starting point for the entrance of sin into the world necessarily mean that either of them consciously was thinking of a historical person as we think of Adam?
    Or maybe this way: Can language about Adam by Jesus or by Paul be taken as “Adam, the one in our Bible and the one in the Story of our Faith” be mythico-poetical?
    Or sometimes this way: If I can refer to the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge as a human, if I can refer to Edmund or Peter or Lucy as real persons and if I can refer to Mr Parker in Flannery O’Connor — and see them as telling powerfully true things about real people, about real humans, then can the language of Genesis 1, Jesus and Paul work the same way?
    Can one posit the reality of humans rebelling against God’s will (Adam) without positing the literal historicity of Genesis 1-3?
    These are hard questions; they are not easy to resolve; there are lots of environments, from both sides, where these questions are not safe questions, but I hope we can work on them here.

  • Scot McKnight

    Henry,
    Thanks for your comment. I’m a little surprised by your rhetoric, I have to confess. You’re slinging accusatory words when you use “atheists” and “humanists” and insinuate that folks who don’t believe in your form of creationism are not true to God’s Word, for the issue in many ways has to do with “how to read God’s Word” — held as true by Peter Enns, by RJS (a reputable scientist at a major university, an evangelical, and one who wrote this post), by me, and by most of the readers of this blog.
    We are trying to have a civil conversation about exceedingly difficult issues, like how to read Genesis 1-3 in their historical context.
    I can’t see why we need to speculate about what God would do and what God would not do. How can we pretend to know such things. If God chose to create the world over 18 billion years (or whatever), then I would affirm immediately that God is good and that what God did was good — even if I can’t explain it all.

  • Jefferson A. Sweet

    It’s a question of Authority.
    Are we going to take GOD’s word (unchanging and without error eyewitness testimony) and believe (Heb 11:6) or are we going to accept man’s word which changes with every new discovery and impose our ideas upon scripture.
    If we do the latter, we become the authority and are deciding which parts of scripture (which cannot be broken) are true.
    It’s what Eve did in the garden, and we are still doing it today.
    I submit that it’s either all true or none of it is.

  • Scot McKnight

    Jefferson, that’s a better comment and I’m glad you have come back.
    Isn’t the issue “how” to read these texts? And, then, whatever it says, believing what it says? I’m not sure it is wise to assume our reading is the only reading, and that anyone who disagrees doesn’t believe the Bible. Do you know how Origen and Augustine — hardly moderns — read Genesis 1-3?

  • Angus Johnson

    Where Paul links death to Adam’s sin in Romans (5:12; 8:19-22), I see three choices:
    1. Reject evolution;
    2. believe that Paul was simply referring to spiritual death (and not physical death) as a consequence of Adam’s sin – which seems unlikely;
    3. accept that while Paul erroneously understood the Creation and Fall accounts in Genesis were historical rather than allegorical, the theological points he makes are still entirely valid.

  • Your Name

    @Scot “Isn’t the issue “how” to read these texts?” – “If the literal sense makes perfect sense, seek no other sense”
    That’s the way JESUS and the writers of the scriptures took it. (matt 19:4)
    Gen 1-11 is Historical.
    @Angus
    1. I do reject evolution, because I read scripture as GOD spoke, wrote, inspired or transmitted it to me.
    2. The death that Paul spoke of was real; Spiritual was immediate – separation from a HOLY GOD, Physical took longer as the curse took it’s toll on creation and their bodies.
    3. I don’t believe Paul was in error in his understanding, since GOD used him to write it to the church at Rome. It was Historical and the points are valid.

  • RJS

    Your Name (#8)
    The passage in Matthew 19 is about marriage and Jesus said “Have you not read” – referring to the scripture his audience knew to make a point about marriage. Whether the Genesis story is a “parable” like the parables Jesus told, a mythical telling of a reality, or newspaper reporting history, the use Jesus made of the text is true and makes a true point. The mere fact that Jesus used the text does not define how it is to be interpreted. The point that Jesus was making about marriage is what we really need to take to heart.
    I don’t think that Paul was in error in his understanding of the truth he was conveying. But the aspects of death in this passage have been the subject of much discussion for millenia in the church.

  • http://christinyall.wordpress.com Neil Carter

    Oy.
    Scot, you said it about there being few safe environments to discuss this matter. A little bit of respect for differing viewpoints among fellow believers would go a long way in this discussion.
    I personally would like to detach the legitimacy of the fall of mankind from the literal historicity of the Genesis creation story, because while I hold to the reliability of the scriptures, I cannot deny the mountains of honest science accumulated over the last couple of centuries. It’s not all being done by warped, depraved moral libertines.
    Having said that, there still remains an incongruity in Paul’s logic. Paul argued that “as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men” (Rom.5:18). Doesn’t his teaching about the work of Christ on our behalf lose its force once we invalidate the historicity of Adam?
    Can we reframe this discussion to attribute our fallenness to our ancestry in toto? Would that make sense?

  • http://www.virtuphill.blogspot.com phil_style

    Always, these discussions come back to Romans. And it always seems to be implied, if not stated directly, that paul’s whole case for redemption falls over without adam (the on for one theory of paul). But, I’m still trying to work out how much of this is rooted in justifcation theory reading’s of Paul. Does Doug Campbell’s work reformulate Romans significantly enough to do away with this? Or does Doug’s reading of Paul reinforce the need for a one christ to undo the one adam?

  • Jay

    To Henry, Jefferson and “Your Name,”
    The question is indeed what parts of scripture we choose to take “literally” and which parts we understand in the context of their historical setting. One immediate example that comes to mind is 1 Sam 2:8, which reads “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, And He set the world on them.”
    It seems plausible, based on “your” literalistic reading of the the creation story, that this passage could be used as proof to dismiss the idea that the earth is a sphere that revolves around the sun. A literal reading of this text would lead me to believe that the earth is 1) flat and 2)sitting on pillars. Since we have seen pictures of earth from space, however, we can be certain that the earth is not flat, and does not sit on pillars. The problem with our discussion here, I believe, is that we don’t have a picture of creation, so it is tough to conclude that something is just “metaphorical” in God’s word without a picture to prove that it must have meant something else entirely, as I assume you did when you came to this passage in 1 Samuel the first time, but which I don’t think the ancients had any problem with.
    JW

  • Rick

    Need some clarification-
    Is this a discussion (Adams and Romans) over the historicity of “The Fall”, or is this a discussion over the Augustinian view of “Original Sin”?
    Those are not necessarily the same issue.

  • AHH

    Scot #4,
    I think you have been “trolled” — or else somebody expressing the fundamentalist position in comment #2 chose a very apt pseudonym.
    “Henry Morris” was one of the founders of the modern “creation science” movement. He died in 2006:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_M._Morris

  • Brian

    When confronted with questions like Jefferson and Henry pose (about the literal nature of Gen) I like to ask a question back. My question is: Was the “Prodigal Son” a true story?
    I used to insist on a literal Genesis *primarily* due to Paul’s discussion of Adam in Romans. The more I read of the bible and learned about literature, ancient literature, the more I began to believe that Genesis is simply “true.” It doesn’t have to be literal/historical to be true. The prodigal son most likely isn’t a literal story…but it is MY story and I suspect it is the story of many reading this blog. It is the truest story I’ve ever heard…and I don’t think it’s literal.
    I hope this adds to the discussion, rather than detract from it. It’s another way to ask the questions that Scot asked in the third comment.

  • AHH

    As I suspected, comment #2 is cut-and-paste from a 1998 article by the late “creationist” Henry Morris:
    http://www.icr.org/article/21412/

  • RJS

    AHH,
    It is clear that the comment is not from the Henry Morris – as he died, as you point out, and I knew, in 2006. There remained the possibility that it was son or grandson. But you are probably right about the source.
    Nonetheless the sentiment is common and should be engaged.

  • BKC

    Henry Morris (#2),
    Your strict literal reading Genesis 1 and Jesus’ reference to creation in Mark 10:6 seems to have a built-in flaw. Jesus claims that “male and female” were created at “the beginning of the creation”. Day 6 is a far cry from “the beginning”. If you ultra-literalize what Jesus is saying in Mark 10:6, it’s not actually true! Male and female were NOT created at the Beginning of creation; they were created at the END of creation.
    The thing is, Jesus point was NOT teaching us anything about the age of the earth or how/when creation took place. He is teaching about marriage and pointing out that it came from God. Your super-literal interpretation actually undercuts the point of Jesus’ teaching.

  • pds

    The Design Spectrum
    Scot #3 and Neil #10,
    This is a safe place for theistic evolutionists. It is not a very “safe” place for many who are sympathetic to the ID position or who are otherwise skeptical of some evolutionary claims.

  • RJS

    pds,
    I am sorry you feel that way – what would you consider “safe”?

  • Jeremy

    Brian (15),
    “The prodigal son most likely isn’t a literal story…but it is MY story and I suspect it is the story of many reading this blog. It is the truest story I’ve ever heard…and I don’t think it’s literal.”
    I love this comment. I’ve always used that story to demonstrate layers of meaning not available in a purely literal reading, but it never occurred to me to think of it like this (which it absolutely should have). Thanks!
    RJS,
    I agree that it should be addressed. I think the problem is the spirit with which it may have been posted. Trolls don’t show up on forums to reason, and will often very intentionally misrepresent the group they’re pretending to be in order to wind up everyone else. They’re usually best ignored.

  • pds

    RJS #20,
    Stopping the double standard on uncivil comments would be a good start.

  • http://priestlygoth.blogspot.com Priestly Goth

    I have to say that I am having trouble relating to the issue here. I mean I understand the words and understand that for many Christians especially in the US these sorts of things are burning issues, but I don’t live in that world.
    In part I don’t live there because as someone who has some training in historiography I have difficulty with seeing Adam as a literal historic figure since human origins is itself by definition pre-historic. There is no way for Adam to be a literal historic figure from the perspective of History as a discipline. Also I don’t see how the Science of origin can speak to the “literal historic” existence of Adam either: since such a science is itself seeking to reconstruct a process, which it does not have immediate access. We have no means to actually judge the “literal Historicity” of Adam and Eve. Even if one were to take a young earth theory the literary evidence of Scripture does not take us back far enough for such an evaluation. Even if we take oral tradition/history seriously as being behind Genesis we still fail to speak of the literal historicity of Adam.
    Aside from my sense of history I hardly relate to the what Peter Ens describes as the Modern understanding of communication and truth, and relate much more to his characterization of the ancient mindset, though this is probably because I have imbibed a number of post-structuralists, but also because of my training in faith in the Lutheran Pietist tradition of the Covenant Church. For that wing of the Covenant, or as I have ended up interpreting it, these questions are at best interesting puzzles that may enhance the faith because they encourage the question and seeking of truth, but in the end it is the spiritual meaning of the text, that the text transforms us and forms us with the Mind of Christ that is key, the literal historical rarely if ever is trans-formative in and of itself. From this view these sorts of debates can simply leave us with the dead letter of the Law, leaving asside the Spirit.
    So in the end it seems to me that between the literal historic and the fictional there is a broad spectrum or continuum in which we are to live as people of faith, and the literal historical and the fictional are the least fruitful of the places to end up.

  • RJS

    Priestly Goth,
    With respect to your first two paragraphs – the “traditional” view is that God dictated the history in Gen 1-11, esp. the very early parts, directly to Moses. It is not history because it had witnesses – but it is history nonetheless. But even with this idea of dictation many of the early church fathers viewed the stories as allegory – God relating truth in a form other than news-reporting type history.
    Of course if Jesus can relate truth in the form of story – and did often – why cannot Genesis be truth in the form of story? These debates do leave us with the dead letter rather than the Spirit.
    This whole discussion has gone off on tangents though. I am interested in exploring the question I posed – what was revealed to Paul and preached by him to the church? This I think is the key question. I see no evidence that God gave Paul history lessons. I think he revealed himself and his plan to Paul and this is the lesson we should take from Paul’s teaching.

  • http://priestlygoth.blogspot.com Priestly Goth

    I too am more interested in the question what was revealed to Paul and preached by him to the church. And I agree with your brief answer. Though I think one must keep Adam as a figure of first humanity if we are taking Paul’s one sinned/one redeems/saves from sin.
    Which does bring us back to my point. True the traditional view is that God dictated the entire Pentateuch to Moses. Yet as you say the tradition did not then interpret that as that it needed to interpret it “literally” in our or their understanding of literal and tended toward the analogical. To say they understood it as History would require a more careful definition, and recognizing that the term “history” is not something that has a static meaning throughout time.
    I feel it is misleading for us to use the term history for the Pentateuch, and Genesis in particular. I also feel I can affirm that the Pentateuch was given to Moses and admit it has a literary history that predates Moses and proceeds into the history of the nation of Israel. Granted this is an adaptation of the traditional view, but given that the tradition was not fundamentalist insisting on literal interpretation.

  • Jeremiah Duomai

    I want to take Adam of Genesis 4 as an historical person. And so I would take Paul’s Adam as historical. I don’t see taking Adam as historical presents major scientific problem either.
    @ Henry Morris # 2,
    Most of us “believe” in the interpretations of our Christian theologians. After all the English version of the Word that we use have interpreted materials. I think to “believe” in similar manner when Scientist who are Christians interpret the world for us is quite logical and legitimate. In this side of the world I have never met any fundamentalist/evangelical/Catholic Christian who read both the Word and world, Physics and Geology etc, and say that the earth is just only some 6,000 years old.
    @ pds # 22,
    You have been using “double standard” again and again. That’s a strong word. I think you are being too harsh on RJS. I don’t think RJS is that bad :-).
    Jeremiah Duomai,
    Delhi

  • pds

    Jeremiah #26,
    You are kind of proving my point. What phrase do you suggest I use to replace “double standard”? I thought that was pretty descriptive.

  • pds

    Hmmmm. Censorship at Biologos?
    Bilbo at Telic Thoughts is wondering . . . Lots of comments seem to have gone down the memory hole . . .
    http://telicthoughts.com/censorship-at-biologos/

  • RJS

    pds,
    Given the fact that “Bilbo”‘s links are on the “Does Intelligent Design Really Explain a Complex and Puzzling World?” post on BioLogos (where discussion is actually still active), I rather doubt that directed censorship is at play in any fashion. I have no clue why the comments have been closed (and hidden) on those posts, but why don’t you think the best instead of the worst? Perhaps they were being spammed?

  • Jeremiah Duomai

    @ PDS, # 27,
    Since English is not my native language I would not even try suggesting
    a more appropriate term. I have seen RJS taking back her words whenever she felt her words were inappropriate. I take such gestures very positively. You know what I mean!
    If Genesis has sufficient flexibility to accommodate evolutionary biology why do you think there is a need to invest so much of money to oppose evolution? After all evolutionary biology is neither theistic nor atheistic. Whether it’s Young Earth Creationism or Intelligent Design movement it’s primarily American, and that too not all American are involved. Don’t you think the actual reason lies beyond Religion or Science? After all if the flaw lies with either Science or Christianity the rest of well educated people should also be able to notice it.

  • STJ

    “What is the theological truth underlying Paul’s use of Adam in Romans 5 – and how does this impact our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
    “Or more succinctly …
    “What was revealed to Paul and taught by him to the church?”
    There is life and victory over sin and death in Christ, and it’s radically different than all that came before, and it’s marvelously efficacious to overturn the predicament we found ourselves in as a result of all that came before. This passage is a statement about Christ. Paul may very well assume the historicity of Adam, but he doesn’t give a rip about it. What he cares about is 1) the reality of our predicament, and 2) Christ and how we can reign in him over the corruption in ourselves and in our society.

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    I normally regret speaking up in such threads, but I suppose I’ll try. When your father and aunt are geneticists, you’ve been around geneticists your whole life, and you’ve tried to understand the field (hardly limited to human genetics or this issue, but it’s a part of it) as well as non-geneticist can, you do tend to pick up a few things. Whether or not the creation story in Genesis 2-3 (as opposed to the one in Genesis 1:1 – 2:3) describes an actual man or woman or is a true mythic tale (a valid ancient category of truth), the weight of scientific evidence, including genetic evidence, does not support the idea that all living human beings descended from a single human couple. People can do what they wish with that information and evidence, but it is what it is.
    Personally, it has always seemed to me (especially once I learned about some of the Hebrew wordplay going on behind the scenes) that that particular account has a mythic quality that seems designed to talk about humanity as a whole. It’s not really clear that “Adam” is even used as a proper name until Chapter 4. Chapter 4 reads more like the ancient stories of founding tribal or clan heads. And as we read the story of the tribe of “Adam”, there do seem to be other tribes or clans in the background of the story. For instance, when Cain is banished from the tribe by God, he is worried about what those outside will do to him.
    Which brings us to Paul and Romans. As Peter Enns mentions, what an ancient meant by a “literal” reading was richer, more varied, and more complex than the way it often seems to be used by some groups today. Particularly, it did not mean strictly “factual” in what we would consider a strict scientific sense. Mostly, the “literal” meaning of something described what that the author meant to convey by saying or writing it.
    Yet, with all that said, I have to admit that I don’t really understand why Romans 5 is particularly controversial. After all, Paul (who was certainly very well educated by ancient measures) explicitly tells us in Romans 5 that he is engaged in a typological reading (definitely a valid ancient category of truth) of the Genesis account. Adam is a type of Christ in a negative sense. Adam is the unfaithful man, the man in bondage to death, the man who hides from God. Christ, on the other hand, is the faithful man, the eucharistic man, who, through that faithfulness breaks us free from our bondage to death and gives us life. It would have been reasonable for Paul to believe both that Adam was an actual human person and that Adam and Eve were the progenitors of the human race. I’m not sure we can say for sure what Paul did or did not believe from the texts that we have, but that’s a reasonable assumption. But that’s not the point of Romans 5, so I’m not sure how it matters.
    I guess, if Paul hadn’t explicitly told us he was engaged in a typological reading, there might be more room for equivocation over how to read the text. But since he told us it’s typological, that’s got to be the way we read it. (Well, it doesn’t have to be, I suppose. There are all sorts of non-literal — in the ancient sense — ways we could read it. But the only “literal” reading is the typological one.) I suppose we could then disagree over the nature of the typological reading. But then we would at least be discussing different varieties of apple rather than comparing apples and hamburger meat.

  • RJS

    STJ,
    I think you are right – this is the cornerstone of Paul’s argument. And I think this is what was revealed to him through eyewitness testimony, direct encounter, and the power of the Spirit. The precise identity of Adam is not a key element of the story, although the story of Adam is.

  • http://thinkingaloud99.blogspot.com/ STJ

    Neil Carter, comment no. 10, wrote: “Having said that, there still remains an incongruity in Paul’s logic. Paul argued that “as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men” (Rom.5:18). Doesn’t his teaching about the work of Christ on our behalf lose its force once we invalidate the historicity of Adam?”
    It’s interesting that Melchizedech is seen in Hebrews as a type of Christ, on the basis that nothing of his human ancestry appears in the biblical record. While some believe Melchizedech literally had no human ancestry (and thus was actually Christ), it could well be simply a documentary based typology. Point is, Christ is here, and he’s better by far than all that came before. Who really cares about Melchizedech, except insofar as he serves to illustrate Christ?
    In regard to Romans 5, what matters is the reality of the predicament we’re in and of the solution that is provided in Christ. The correspondences between Adam as we encounter him in Genesis and in the 1st C. reading of that text need not be historical (even if Paul may have assumed they were) in order to draw our attention to the glorious saving efficacy of Christ and his work.
    That’s my stab at it, anyway….

  • STJ

    RJS wrote:
    “And I think this is what was revealed to him through eyewitness testimony, direct encounter, and the power of the Spirit. The precise identity of Adam is not a key element of the story, although the story of Adam is.”
    I think you make a very needed point in giving priority and emphasis to the Christ event AS REVEALED by the means you mention. All the rest is window dressing, it is after-the-fact reflection in the context of a conversation taking place in a particular culture. Granted, it is the PROVIDENTIAL and ORDAINED conversation in the culture in which Christ was born. But it is secondary and explanatory and pointing to the road, it is not the road itself. I think my more recent exposure to Anabaptists like John Howard Yoder and Richard Hays has helped me grasp that more clearly than immersion in the redemptive historical approach that I got at Westminster West provided me, partly because the inerrantist concern to harmonize everything distracts from the central point and sends one on rabbit trails.

  • RJS

    STJ #35,
    I hadn’t considered Melchizedech interesting.
    Some of Henri Blocher’s thinking may be useful in regard to Paul’s reasoning in Romans 5.
    Blocher proposes that in Paul’s reasoning we stand guilty under the covenant – God’s covenant with Adam – broken by Adam. As members of the human race we stand guilty before God. Rather than realist (Augustinian) or representative imputation of guilt we have a judicial and covenantal imputation of guilt on all of mankind. We have a sinful nature through the deliberate rebellion of mankind but all sin is individual; death spread to all because all sinned and sin (Ro 5:12) not because Adam sinned. Blocher holds to an historical Adam – but this reasoning doesn’t require it. It does require a real human rebellion – and this is what I think Genesis 3 teaches.

  • RJS

    Ahh … the first line of #36 shouldn’t read “I hadn’t considered Melchizedech interesting.”
    Rather my intent was:
    “I hadn’t considered Melchizedech. Interesting.” … Meaning I think it is an interesting idea worth some consideration and discussion.

  • RJS

    Scott Morizot,
    Interesting reflection on Romans 5 as a typological text – certainly that is in there. I am going to have to think on this one a bit.

  • Angus Johnson

    I’m compelled to say a loud amen to several posts (including STJ #31,#34,#35 and Scott M #32). If we are free of an inerrantist reading of scripture, then the Adam and a “groaning creation” and Paul that we encounter in Romans aren’t the theological Gordian’s knot they otherwise seems. Christ’s victory over sin and death is no less potent if Paul believed that Adam was an historical individual, nor if he believe that the whole of creation was corrupted as a result of one sin. The inescapable reality is we are all guilty of sin against God and by God’s grace though Jesus alone we can be redeemed and reborn.

  • Angus Johnson

    Sorry, my post above isn’t nearly as clear as it had seemed when I wrote it. Note to self – reread my posts after a break and *before* uploading!

  • pds

    RJS,
    Was my reply to your questions in #29 intentionally deleted? Why?

  • RJS

    pds,
    The comment went beyond simply responding to mine. I don’t think that this blog is a place to complain about what other people do or do not do on other blogs, especially when the topic is unrelated to the theme of this post. (If your comment had dealt with Pete’s posts on Adam – that would have related to the theme of this post for example and I would have left it.)
    I also have a rule – think the best of other people’s motives and intent until proven otherwise (and even then try to give them the benefit of the doubt).
    I know you will say the rule hasn’t been followed perfectly and you are right – but I have deleted dozens of comments that have maligned the character of the ID supporters. The ones that have been left either escaped my notice, or were mostly positive contributions to the conversation with a lapse in the comment.

  • pds

    RJS,
    I disagree. It was in direct response to your questions. It did not go beyond.
    It makes sense for you to warn people to stay on topic or risk deletion. But it is kind of strange to respond to the topic I raised, ask 2 questions, and then not allow a direct response.

  • pds

    RJS,
    Please take a look at comment #52 by R Hampton in the last Adam thread. Responding to 49, 44, 39. (The numbers seem to be off from a few days ago.)
    Thanks.

  • http://www.bible-researcher.com/enns.html Dwayne H

    Is this the same Peter Enns who was recently booted out of Westminster Seminary?

  • http://www.TheFirstScandal.blogspot.com Robert Hagedorn

    Flogging my blog is oh so wrong.
    But what else can I do?
    I haven’t a whole lot of time left.
    So I do what I have to do.
    It’s all about Adam and Eve, you see.
    It’s not about lyrics that stink.
    So focus a little on substance.
    And forget about lyrics that stink.


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