Re: Dating Adam

Bill Hamilton (
Tue, 7 May 1996 16:29:46 -0400

I wrote

>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.

While I explained how descent of believers might be spiritual rather than
physical, I neglected to explain how Adam's sin affects all men if all men
are not physically descended from him. One possible explanation is that
Adam served as a representative of all men. By sinning he confirmed the
sinful nature of all men and therefore sin was impuyted to all men. If the
sins of all men can be atoned for by the sacirfice of one man (albeit the
God-Man), then it seems reasonable that sin can be attributed to all men
because of the representative act of one man.

Bill Hamilton | Chassis & Vehicle Systems
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