John Misasi (jmisasi@engc.bu.edu)
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 21:09:01 -0500 (EST)

George Murphy Wrote:

> In fact, this is _the_ serious theological problem <insert from
>above- i.e. theological anthropology > which needsto be worked on in
>connection with evolution. Part of the reason the church hasn't done a
>lot on it, 137 years after Darwin & Wallace, isthat most theological
>discussion of evolution has involved peripheral issues.

I am not quite sure what you mean by preripheral issues, but i think the
church has been dealing with issues which will puxh them away from the
old cosmology.
I think the major reason is the same reason that Copernicous's
discoveries were not acceptted until much for 100+ years. That is a
resistance within society and church to change their cosmology,
especially when it appears to blatently contradict the average persons
reading of an english translation of Genesis 1 and 2. Things are
begining to move now for the simple reason that scientific evidence is
piling up so high against the "traditional" church cosmology that people
within the church realize the need to make a decision one way or another.

The issue of theological anthropology will not be hammered out until the
church decides on some sort of unified belief or statement about mans
origins, other than the YEC cosmology (what i refer to as the traditional

> Thanks for your recommendation of Sailhamer's book, but one can
>only read so much and, from your brief description, it sounds to me like
>a waste of time. As I noted in an earlier post, if the idea is that
>Adam & Eve have to do only with "Israel according to the flesh", then
>the whole story has nothing to do with us who are not Israelites in that
>sense. It is essential that the humanity Gen.1-3 speak of is humanity
>in toto, all of us - whether one understands those chapters of Genesis
>"figuratively" or "literally." ANY attempt to make these chapters an
>accurate historical account of ancestors of, or representatives of, a
>limited portion of humanity seems to me a matter of abandoning their
>basic theme as regerads humanity for the sake of scraps of "inerrancy"
>of dubious quality.

I am in agreement with what you are saying. Having read Sailhamers book,
I can tell you that he does not try to limit Genesis' role to any one
peoples. In fact he shows the opposite. If you take his reading as Adam
& Eve being the original people, all are decendent from them, Jew or
Gentile and this means God will give his land to whomever he pleases and
does throughout the OT. Sailhamers main idea is that our reading of
Genesis one has been wrong. The authors intention was not to discuss
creation (other than in Gen1:1... ie. God made the universe in the
beginning) and that we have focused incorrectly on the meaning of the
passages. Therefore, we can still draw meaningful conclusions about
mankind and learn from the passages just as before.

I would still say that you should read this book, it is 250 pages and i
read it in two weeks riding on my way to work everday. If Christians
except this interpretation of Genesis1-3, then there is no conflict with
a sun being made on the fourth day and light on day one, etc... also, it
allows us to move on to a real scientific discussion on how God created
man. If the Bible is clearly ambiguous then we must rely on what
evidence He has given us in the world around us. Then we can develop a
theological anthropology and be aware that this could easily be
supplanted two centuries later by other theories. Therefore, IMO if I
were you, this is a book I would make time for...


Email: jmisasi@engc.bu.edu
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