Re: Dick Fischer deserves a hearing

From: george murphy (
Date: Sun Dec 30 2001 - 11:59:01 EST

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Dick Fischer deserves a hearing" wrote:

    > n a message dated 12/27/01 10:16:35 AM, writes:
    > <<
    > >>
    > ASAers,
    > Dick has offered two articles in the websites above that present the heart
    > of his position, i.e., that Adam was a real, historical figure and was
    > introduced into an already populated world.
    > Neither George Murphy nor Paul Seely, as far as I know, have dealt with his
    > research as such. Rather, in the recent exchange they marshaled theological
    > arguments why they think Dick is wrong.
    > George wrote: <<I think Dick's approach is a valiant attempt at a concordist
    > interpretation of early Genesis, but I also consider such
    > interpretations in general to be futile & unnecessary. Adam & Eve are
    > theological figures who represent the first human beings, as part of the
    > fact that in a broader sense they represent all humans. >>
    > This is a criticism of Dick's motivation and a theological statement that,
    > however, does not address Dick's evidence on which he bases his
    > interpretation.
    > Paul wrote: <<When the individual [Adam] appears in v. 3, he is so merged
    > with the universal Adam of Gen 1, that it is impossible to disentangle him
    > and make him less than the father of all mankind.>>
    > Again, more theological arguments.
    > All Dick is asking, as I understand him, is for his historical and
    > anthropological research to be addressed in its own right. I agree with him.
    > His two articles are available on the website given above. Why doesn't
    > someone evaluate them in terms of the data and conclusions he presents rather
    > than whether his research agrees with one's favored theological theories?

            To speak here of "one's favored theological theories" suggests that Paul
    and I are arguing for some idiosyncratic notion rather than the historic belief
    of the Christian church that Adam is representative of all humanity. This is the
    natural reading of St. Paul, and to challenge it raises serious questions about
    the claims which St. Paul makes in the passages in Rom. & I Cor. The naive idea
    that theological statements are somehow unreal and that in order to say something
    "really real" about Adam we have to identify him as a person with a certain
    height, weight, & social security number
    (000-00-0001?) is the source of a great deal of concordist activity which may be
    merely a waste of time but can cause definite harm.
              By all means let those with expertise in the appropriate areas of
    language, archaeology, history &c evaluate Dick's arguments. I suspect that they
    will be found seriously wanting. In the meantime I'm content with an evaluation
    in an area in which I can claim some expertise.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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