RE: Kline article in PSCF (D. Kidner on Adam)

Terry M. Gray (
Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:56:18 -0400

>> If this second alternative implied any doubt of the unity of
>>mankind it would be of course quite untenable. God, as we have seen, has
>>made all nations 'from one' (Acts 17:26) . Genetically indeed, on this
>>view, these two groups would be of a single stock; but by itself that would
>>avail nothing, as Adam's fruitless search for a helpmeet makes abundantly
>>clear. Yet it is at least conceivable that after the special creation of
>>Eve, which established the first human pair as God's viceregents (Gn. 1:
>>27, 28) and clinched the fact that there is no natural bridge from animal
>>to man, God may have now conferred His image on Adam's collaterals, to
>>bring them into the same realm of being. Adam's 'federal' headship of
>>humanity extended, if that was the case, outwards to his contemporaries as
>>well as onwards to his offspring, and his disobedience disinherited both

>According to molecular data, this would have to have occurred somewhere
>between 800,000 - 100,000 B.P. because that is the range of when the last
>common human ancestor existed.


The genetic data has been taken as low as 80,000 years ago. (was your
800,000 a typo?). Thus, modern man at 100,000 years ago is a date that all
parties seem to agree upon.

But I don't understand your last point. Kidner is saying in this paragraph
that all human beings may NOT have descended from Adam, but that Adam as
the first human being in the image of God existed sometime after the most
recent common ancestor. This could have been fairly recently, say 30,000
years ago. Note that Kidner says that even if all mankind did not descend
biologically from Adam that Adam could still be the covenantal head of the
human race and that God bestowed image-bearing on Adam's "collaterals" so
they too become divine image bearers (this cuts through all the problems
with pre-Adamites and racism).

As I've told you before, I think that you put too much stock in
morphological and even behavioral evidences as to your definition of man.
As Kidner wrote:

> The answer may lie in our definition of man.

Kidner invites us to differentiate between *homo faber* and man in the
image of God (what John Stott called *homo divinitatis*).

Thus, we could have anatomically modern *homo sapiens*, behaviorially
modern *homo faber*, and true man *homo divinitatis*. According to
Kidner's proposal, all *homo sapiens* and *homo faber* since the time of
Adam are also *homo divinitatis*. *Homo sapiens* and *homo faber* that
died before the time of Adam were not *homo divinitatis*. I'm not sure the
fossil record or the anthropological record can help us here.

This leads to Kidner's last point in the section I posted (it probably
makes your concordist blood boil ;-) but I think that he is essentially

> Thirdly, however, the interests and methods of Scripture and
>science differ so widely that they are best studied, in any detail, apart.
>Their accounts of the world are as distinct (and each as legitimate) as an
>artist's portrait and an anatomist's diagram, of which no composite picture
>will be satisfactory, for their common ground is only in the total reality
>to which they both attend. It cannot be said too strongly that Scripture is
>the perfect vehicle for God's revelation, which is what concerns us here;
>and its bold selectiveness, like that of a great painting, is its power. To
>read it with one eye on any other account is to blur its image and miss its
>wisdom. To have God's own presentation of human beginning as they most
>deeply concern us, we need look no further than these chapters and their
>New Testament interpretation.


Terry M. Gray, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Calvin College 3201 Burton SE Grand Rapids, MI 40546
Office: (616) 957-7187 FAX: (616) 957-6501