From: Adrian Teo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Dec 21 2002 - 01:34:02 EST
Our physical and genetic continuity with the rest of the
creation in no way excludes an historical Adam. However, since there
continuity of physical form from modern humans to our common ancestors
the other great apes, there are no physical criteria by which the
the "image of God" could be identified in the fossil record.
AT: This was implied in my post prior to the one you're
responding to. There were probably human-like creatures around, but
they were not humans. This is a theological and philosophical issue,
not a scientific one. I agree with much of what you wrote up top this
is our relationship to God more than anything else which distinguishes
From the dust of the Earth God had raised up a creature and
a spiritually conscious soul. By this act of grace God elevated
to a special position of conscious and willing fellowship
AT: Yes. We are dealing with theology here, and not science.
Paul's comparison of Christ (the second Adam) with the first Adam
is, I believe quite helpful in sorting through the issues. Sin and
spiritual death "entered the world" through Adam, but life and
righteousness through Jesus Christ. It seems that both Adam and Christ
being presented as respresentative heads of the human race.
We bear the
image of Christ in the same way that we formerly bore the
image of Adam.
We are dealing here, I believe, not with physical realities but with
spiritual realities. Adam thus need not be the physical
ancestor of all
humans, anymore than Jesus is the physical ancestor of all those who
believe in Him.
AT: At this point, we part ways. I do not wish to separate
the physical from the spiritual. To be human is not simply to be
spiritual, but to be both. The physical human body is as essential to
being human as the soul is. I 'm a Thomist in this regard.
Human beings are direct creations of God, since the soul
cannot have its origin in matter. Furthermore, the imago Dei and the
dignity of humans can only be adequately grounded on a direct
creative act, not as some epiphenomenon or emergent property of
With due respect, much of the following material you wrote
about the image seems to be speculative and novel. My sense of the
patristic literature is that most of the church fathers understood
Adam as the source (not mere representative) of original sin, and
therefore, necessarily the first human person, as did the traditional
teaching in the major branches of Christianity.
I also see a parallel here between the ancient conciliar
argument that what Christ did not assume, He could not redeem, and
the role of Adam in original sin. This argument was made to show that
Christ had to be fully human in order to redeem humanity. In other
words, there has to be a DIRECT connection between Christ, and all of
humanity, and that connection is to be a descendent of Adam (Luke 3).
In a parallel way, for the doctrine of original sin, there has to be
a direct connection between Adam and all sinners, and that connection
is also physical ancestry. To be human is to be a descendent of Adam.
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