Where's the humility?

Tue, 04 Jun 1996 17:09:50 EST

As a temporary participant in what I hope comes to reality: a discussion of the
environmental issues brought up by Dick Wright, I have been wading through the
"dating Adam" posts. After the most recent spate, I felt compelled to make an
observation: There seems to be an amazing amount of hubris in this discussion.
First, I think it is astounding that anyone would suggest that the Holy Spirit
has made this startling interpretation (of who Adam and Eve really were)
apparent to only a few folks through the millenia. So all those great saints
throughout church history were really mistaken! Wow, that's a pretty bold
assertion. Second, I thought evangelicals were marked by granting authority to
the Word over our faulty understanding of the World. If the Bible is so
esoteric that only a few "gifted" individuals can ferret out this totally
unapparent understanding, I might just as well give up on reading it. How
anyone can explain away Eve being "the mother of all the living" as saying that
all of Eve's relatives emanate from her really blows me away. The progeny
(relatives) obviously emanate from _any_ progenitor. It would be absurd for
the Scripture writer to state such an obvious fact. Why can't we let the plain
sense of Scripture keep us from such nonsense.

I have always told my kids and my students to beware of big books (and long
discussions) over "biblical" issues about which the Bible says very little.
Just try to write a big book about the Scriptural meaning of "meditation." The
fact that this discussion has gone so long and ranges so widely, it seems to me
anyway, is that it is so far afield from the obvious meaning of the Bible that
we are in the endless world of human speculation. Truth is singular; falsehood
is infinitely plural -- the arena of endless discussion. The shouting of
human speculation in sacred halls seems terribly proud and profane to me.

I trust this does not come across as harsh. But this has all been pretty
astounding to me -- given the evangelical basis of ASA. I am reminded of the
words of Blake:

This life's dim windows of the soul
Distort the heavens from pole to pole,
And make us to believe a lie
When we see with, not through the eye.

Seems like much of this is seen with human eyes and not through the eyes of the
divine Word by whom we were created and through whom we are sustained.

Dean Ohlman
Cornerstone College