Re: In the Image

James Turner (
31 May 96 15:54:17 EDT

On May 31, 1996, Dave Koerner typed:

<<I found Dick's archived post on what it means to be "in the Image."

Do I hear right? --

Adam is not the progenitor of the human race, but is the first to be
"In His Image" by virtue of a covenant -- this covenant bears resemblance
to Abraham's and Christ's in some way (not at all clear). It entitles
Adam to "represent God" on the earth.

Is this really what everyone else means by "in the Image?" This sounds less
like a harmonization with science and more like a new "revelation" -- one
I'm not inclined to follow. In particular -- and this seems true for the
earlier Adam picture too -- there is such a selectivity about what to treat
as literal and what to interpret figuratively. Not a literal 6-day creation,
but a literal Adam and covenant, for example. I don't mean to offend,
but this seems very contrived. Why not just interpret all of early Genesis as
what it is -- an early Creation myth. The parable of Adam and Eve is likely
to have been created during countless re-tellings of stories, perhaps
originally about a real Adam character. That doesn't make it history, but
it makes it a psycho-spiritual tale about the development of moral conscience.
Surely this moral conscience has been 10's of thousands of years in the
making (at least) and didn't spring fully developed from one individual.

Isn't this the "simplest" hypothesis?>>

Ok, I need to chime in here. I have been passively observing the Fischer-Morton
debate and its various branching threads [BTW, while I hate to be redundant, but
"Great job guys"] so I think some of the key ideas have soaked in enough for me
to make a somewhat intelligent response to Dave's question. I say this with the
hope that if I flub it then Dick, Glenn, or anyone else will correct me.

First let me say that there is a big difference between being "simple" and being
"correct". The main problem, though, with Genesis being a myth, at least for
the Christian, is one of theology. There are many ways of addressing this, I
will choose three.

1. Jewish tradition (and hence Christianity) hold that the Torah (i.e. the first
5 books of the bible) was written by Moses as told to him by God. If the
Creation story is a myth, then either God did not tell it, or God was being
figurative at best, deceptive at worst. But, as has been pointed out here
before, at what point in the Torah, or the Bible for that matter, does
figurative become real? Is the resurrection figurative?

2. Jesus several times during his ministry relied on early Genesis to establish
his points. In particular, Jesus' discourse on marriage (Matthew 19:3-9) and
his reference to Noah and the flood (Matthew 24:37-39). Each of these appears
to be actual occurences to Jesus in the way he refered to them. If early Genesis
was a myth this would be at odds with Jesus receiving all his info from God
(John 5:30).

3. Paul makes much of the duality between Jesus and Adam. What is most striking
is the passages

Romans 5 (NJV)
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through
sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned
13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is
no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not
sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of
Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense
many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man,
Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the
judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift
which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more
those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign
in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

It seems that, at least here, Adam was an actual person to Paul. It also raises
the question that if Adam and Eve were a myth and the Fall some lengthy period
of moral enlightenment, why did God's solution need to be so harsh and
punctuated i.e. Jesus' death and resurrection?

Well I hope this gives some idea of why some of us (well at least me) see the
need for an actual Adam and Eve.

In Christ,
Jim Turner

P.S. BTW welcome to the list Dave Koerner :-).