Re: talking apes

Dick Fischer (
Thu, 09 May 1996 13:42:15 -0500

At 02:10 PM 5/6/96 EDT, Gene Godbold wrote:

>This introduces an idea with which I am not sure Mr. Fischer would agree.
>He seems to be making a distinction between humans of the Adamic line and
>others and he says that the Genesis flood was a judgement by God on the
>Adamic line (I hope he will correct me if I am misrepresenting his
>position.) But this raises a question in my mind that was pursued,
>briefly, earlier by Paul Arveson and Bill Hamilton if I remember arightly.
> And this question concerns the theological position of the non-Adamic,
>presumably human, races? Were they capable of sin? Presumably they were
>capable of language? Are there any left that haven't interbred with
>Adamic members?
>I would appreciate any help with these questions.

Dear Gene,

If Adam was a late entry into the human race, that is about 7,000
years ago as the Bible implies and ancient history substantiates,
then you raise an excellent question: How do we reckon with Original
Sin? How are we accountable?

If Adam entered a populated world, those residents were not accountable
at least until Adam disobeyed and ate of the forbidden fruit.
Isaac de la Peyrere writing in 1656 was the first, I believe, to
provide a theological framework. Calling on Romans 5:13a, "For until the
law sin was in the world," Peyrere reckoned this law was the moral law
given to Adam, and if there was sin in the world at that time then
there had to be humans to commit it. The rest of the sentence from Paul
establishes the unaccountability of those populations. "... but sin
is not imputed when there is no law" (Rom.5:13b). Sin was not charged
to those who preceded Adam in the chain of human life.

It was Adam, then, who made us all accountable, not because he was the
biological head of the human race, but because he was the federal head.
"In the image of God," Adam was God's representative to the world.
Being human, he failed. Christ was God incarnate and succeeded.


Dick Fischer
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