As you know, folks like Dick Fischer and I believe that the Bible does not
refer to Adam as the first man in an absolute chronological sense. We see no
problem with understanding that we are not all Adam's descendants. Why?
Because we believe that we do not have to be physically descended from Adam
be condemned by God for his one act of disobedience. Just as we do not have
to be physically descended from Jesus Christ to be declared righteous by God
because of his one act of righteousness.
For as Romans 5:18 tells us, "Just as the result of one trespass was
condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was
justification that brings life for all men."
We believe that both Adam and Christ acted on behalf of the entire human
race. Adam acted unrighteously and by so doing brought God's condemnation
upon our race. Jesus acted righteously and by so doing brought God's
justification upon our race.
I don't see that such an understanding has to be looked upon as a major
departure from orthodoxy. For such an understanding says that we all stand
condemned because of Adam's sin, and that we have all "inherited" from Adam
the results of his sin. After all, the Bible does tell us that it is possible
to "inherit" things from someone we are not physically related to. For the
New Testament tells us many times that Christians will "inherit" both the
kingdom of God and eternal life Jesus Christ.
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