Re: Dating Adam

Bill Hamilton (
Tue, 7 May 1996 10:12:14 -0400

Pat Pun wrote in response to Dick Fischer:

>I have serious doubts about your view of Adam not being the progenitor of
>the entire human race. I studied a little bit of OT Theology when I was
>getting my MA in Theology and I have as yet come across ANY OT
>theologians (liberal or conservative) who espoused your view. I also
>checked your view out with some of our theology professors here at
>Wheaton College and they agreed with me. The most serious challenge to
>your view is from Paul. He draws the analogy between Adam and Christ in
>Rm. 5:12-21 and in I Cor. 15 (esp. 21,22). He also points to the unity of
>all humans in Acts. 17:26.
>ALL HUMAN sins in Adam, and they can be saved through Christ, the second
>Adam. If only some of us are the descendants of Adam, who are we to
>decide which races or which nations? God wants all to be saved (I Tim.
>4:9, II Peter 3:9) through Christ alone (I Tim. 2:5, Acts 4:12) by grace
>through faith (Eph. 2:8). If some of us are not the descendants of Adam,
>how can we be saved through the second Adam, who came because of the sins
>of the first?

I don't have a degree in theology, so I want to approach this as carefully
and respectfully as I can. But it occurred to me that we are not
physically descended from Jesus Christ. There is a sense in which we are
his offspring (ala Isaiah 53:10) but we are his spiritual offspring, and
that relationship is sealed by our baptism into his death. That much I'm
sure is not controversial.

But is it possible that a similar form of "descent" holds for Adam. Adam
taught his children to fear the Lord, and at least in the case of Seth,
this teaching was effective. Seth and his descendents preached to their
contemporaries, some of whom became believers. Can we make a case for
saying that any believer, whether or not he is physically descended from
Adam, is _spiritually_ descended from Adam? If so it makes a nice symmetry
with our spiritual descent from Jesus Christ, the second Adam.

A second, less important question for Pat (and for any theology professors
he cares to consult): How do conservative theologians deal with the
preflood and postflood mentions of the Nephilim (Gen 6 and Numbers 13),
which could be taken to mean that the Nephilim survived the flood?

Best regards

Bill Hamilton | Chassis & Vehicle Systems
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