Re: Apologetics and Genesis

George Murphy (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 08:19:12 -0500

Dick Fischer wrote:

> the history of the region. The "image" of a god was a representation.
> The image of Baal represented Baal, but they knew, of course, that the
> image or idol was not the god itself. In that context - a context that
> only the writer knew for sure and I only guess at - Adam was God's
> representative on earth. He was the one, created in the image, to
> bring the heathen to the knowledge of God, into accountability, and
> into a relationship with the Almighty. And he failed.
> There was a time God
> "winked at" it says in Acts. In that context, I don't think that human
> precursors or even early humans were representatives of God. That.
> I believe, is the context of the expression. If you follow that expression
> through the Bible you will see that it falls on only four individuals: Adam,
> Noah, Abraham, and Christ. Each in his day was God's representative.
> We can only be in the image of God when we conform to the image of
> Christ. Which in turn means that the "image" does not automatically
> fall on biological man.

I think a view such as Dicks's has some plausibility & should not be rejected
_just_ because it involves pre-Adamites. While the concerns about racism raised by
Glenn et al are legitimate, one might respond by saying that an essential idea of racism
is the idea that our biological relationships must be fundamental to the way we view &
treat people. & that idea is overcome in Scripture, most notably in Paul's argument
that the "seed" of Abraham to whom the promise is given is not simply all biological
descendants of Abraham but Christ, & in Christ ALL who believe in him, of whatever
biological descent.
However -
1) While the idea of the priority of biological descent _is_ transcended in
Scripture as a whole, it isn't in Genesis. Having a son "by blood" to receive God's
promise is clearly an essential part of the stories of Abraham & Isaac. Today I would
encourage an infertile couple to give serious consideration to adoption rather than
making use of some expensive & perhaps ethically problematic reproductive technology.
It clear that in the view of the writers of Genesis that wouldn't have worked for
Abraham. (The attempt at surrogate motherhood with Hagar wasn't what God had in mind!)
2) Dick says that Adam's task was "to bring the heathen to the knowledge of
God, to accountability, and into a relationship with the Almighty." That is certainly
the task of Israel - e.g., Is.49:1-6. But where is there any suggestion of this in
Gen.1 & 2? The commissions given there, 1:26-30 & 2:15, certainly sound as if the
object is the non-human part of creation. I see no hint here that the knowledge of God
was to be preached to any already existing people.


George L. Murphy