Re: classic arguments

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Mon, 08 Dec 1997 21:50:12 -0800

At 09:34 PM 12/8/97 -0500, George wrote:
>Arthur V. Chadwick wrote:
>> At 05:43 PM 12/8/97 -0500, George wrote:
>> > Of course Genesis was authoritative for Jesus, but again -
>> >establishing authority & truth do not settle questions of genre &
>> >interpretation. Jesus was also (because he was who he was) free to add
>> >to Genesis - note Mk.10:9, even though Genesis 2 had not previously been
>> >understood to oppose divorce.
>> That's an assumption I would like to see support for.
> No assumption - read the earlier verses. The law (Dt.24:1-4)
>allowed a man to divorce his wife (but not vice versa). If Gen.1 & 2
>had been generally understood to forbid divorce, the Pharisees would
>have said this in replying to Jesus' question in v.3.

I am going to have to challenge your understanding of the meaning of
assumption. You have indicated above that you know ("No assumption") what
the Pharisees would have said. I believe this generally defines the word
assumption (at least my wife would never let that one pass!).

> In Romans 5 Adam is simply the human as sinner.

I think it goes beyond this, but I'll not press my understanding on you.

It is Christ
>who is humanity as humanity is supposed to be. & in fact, if you try to
>take Adam as a model of genuine humanity you don't have much to go on,
>because interpret as literally as you will, the Bible tells us virtually
>nothing about Adam.

The Bible tells us some very important details about Adam that set the
stage for the whole drama of the Scriptures and for Christ's atonement in
particular. I don't think I follow your reasoning for minimizing Adam.
His perfect creation, his volitional fall, the necessary details are there
in Genesis. Paul refers repeatedly to Adam in Romans 5 as the basis for the
efficacy of the atonement, answering the eternal question as only Paul
could: "How can the death of One atone for all?" without a literal Adam,
that won't work. We don't know lots of the details of his life, of course,
but this is also true for Christ: one sentence covers 90% of His life.

> IMO it's not a matter of "rejecting an historical Adam". My
>point, as above, is that the first human or humans tell us essentially
>nothing about God's will for humanity. Christ does.

How about that they were to live in perfect happiness and obedience, and to
procreate. That is at least a start.

> Perhaps the reason for your puzzlement is that you haven't
>realized that some Christians like myself who accept human evolution
>have not done so _only_ because they feel forced to because of
>scientific evidence, but also because they feel that it provides a
>better theological understanding.

Of what?