Re: Drawing Lines

gordon brown (gbrown@euclid.Colorado.EDU)
Sat, 13 Jun 1998 13:21:56 -0600 (MDT)

On Fri, 12 Jun 1998, J. McKiness wrote:

> I also believe that Adam was the first man who could sin as he is the
> first who was given the choice to disobey God. So I have a problem with
> the idea that the human line was "morally deteriorated" prior to Adam.
> Pre-Adam humans could have been just as nasty as we are but not sin just
> as slugs are incapable of sin. Remember that the first charge given to humanity in the 1st chapter of
> Genesis was to be fruitfully and multiply, which was the same as the
> charge given to all other organisms.

I am somewhat bothered by the seemingly universal practice of referring to
God's pronouncement about being fruitful and multiplying and also having
dominion over the other creatures as a charge or a command. That is not
what the Bible calls it. The Bible said that it was a blessing. The first
statement that it calls a command is the one telling Adam not to eat of
the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I think that there is an important distinction between a blessing and a
command. It is God, not man, who is due the credit for the fulfillment of
the blessing that He pronounced. Fertility was a blessing that God
pronounced not only on Adam but also on the marine creatures and the birds
(Gen. 1:22). I don't believe that man (or any other creature) procreates
out of fear that he would otherwise be disobeying a commandment.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395