Dick Fischer wrote:
> George Murphy wrote:
>> Yes, Paul probably did think of Adam as an historical figure.
> I agree with Paul.
What I wrote was:
Yes, Paul probably did think of Adam as an historical figure. The
writer of Genesis 1
pictured a flat earth with a solid dome of sky & waters above the
heavens. & the point is ... ?
Dick seems to have totally missed the point here - either that
or his omission of my reference to Genesis shows that he saw it quite
clearly! It's clear that the writer of the Genesis account used the
concepts of an archaic cosmology in order to speak about God's creation
of the world. No sensible person today thinks that that oudated picture
of the world has to be accepted if one is going to believe the
theological claims of Genesis. I.e., those claims are cannot simply be
identified with the way in which the world is described there.
As Christians, we presumably believe that scripture is in some
sense inspired by the Holy Spirit. The example of Genesis 1 shows that
the Spirit seems to have been willing to condescend to the use of
less-than-perfect concepts - & in fact ones that from the standpoint of
today's science quite obsolete - in order to convey God's message to us.
If we are going to use what Paul says in Romans 5 and I
Corinthians 15 to develop a theological anthropology, we will have to at
least consider the possibility that the concept of an historical
individual Adam as the single male ancestor of all humans is also part
of a view of the world which we need no longer accept.
Note that I say "at least consider the possibility." Of course
we need to try to grasp Paul's theological argument before we can decide
what is essential to it and what is simply the language that he uses to
express it. But this can't be done if one doesn't even recognize the
difference in principle.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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