RE: Human origins and doctrine

From: Keith B Miller (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 09:21:25 EST

  • Next message: Moorad Alexanian: "Re: Virgin Birth"

    Adrian wrote:

    >You seem to want to make a sharp distinction between the physical and the
    >spiritual which I am uncomfortable with. You wish to allow for evolution to
    >be the explanation for the emergence of the physical form and to have a
    >entirely separate (spiritual?) process for the emergence of uniquely human
    >capactities. Perhaps I am reading you wrong here.

    It is helpful to approach such questions one step at a time. The original
    issue as I understood it, was whether or not an evolutionary understanding
    of the origin of the human physical form was in necessary conflict with a
    fully orthodox and evangelical theology. I argue that it is, and that it
    has been so understood by many prominant evangelical theologians since the
    time of Darwin. You seem to make no rebuttal against that. Therefore, the
    issue is NOT whether humans share a common ancestor with the great apes,
    and have a genealogical relationship to all of creation.

    Your questions deal rather with other related, but distinct issues. These
    include: 1) whether humans should be viewed dualistically or monistically,
    or in some other way, 2) the extent to which our moral capacities can be
    explained by (or related to) our evolutionary history, 3) what is the
    nature of the human soul and what is its origin, 4) whether scripture
    demands that Adam be an historical individual, 5) whether Adam need be the
    ancestor of all living humans (rahter than a representative head), and 6)
    whether an historical Adam is necessary to uphold the doctrine of original
    sin. These are all important questions.

    I am convinced that the evidence supports common ancestry for all living
    things including humans. I am open to the idea that or moral and spiritual
    capacities have some connection to our physical brain (and thus its
    evolution) but would deny a reductionist view (ala Donald MacKay's "nothing
    buttery"). I also strongly lean toward the view that Adam was a
    representative head (in a way parallel to Christ's headship of the church)
    and not the ancestor of all living humans.

    As I stated above, I believe that it is important to keep the issues
    clearly in focus and not confuse them. Thus, it is inappropriate to use an
    argument for the historicity of Adam as an argument against human


    Keith B. Miller
    Department of Geology
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Feb 26 2002 - 10:16:16 EST