"Federal" head of the human race

From: William Hamilton <whamilton51@comcast.net>
Date: Sun Feb 15 2004 - 21:33:48 EST

I believe this is George writing in response to Dick:

Quoting Dick:
      "If that affects our theology, then theology needs to make room
and recognize valid historical and scientific evidence."

  "This is most
certainly true" as Lutherans say. & this means that we need to be
willing to do some rethinking about the nature of of the inspiration &
truth of scripture, including the possibility that the texts that we
have in early Genesis are not to be read as historical narratives.
(N.B., I do not mean by this simply saying that Genesis is "wrong.")

        & it seems to me that you are avoiding the 2d problem I note,
that of large numbers of humans not descended from Adam. It's all very
well to speak of him as the "federal head of the human race"
but why does he have this status? Does God just argitrarily choose one
of the many members of Homo sap spread across the world and decree that
this one is the head or representative of all humanity? What is the
theological status of all the others & their descendants, who have
physical & mental endowments not qualitatively different from "Adam"?
Are they simply not "responsible"? (Which would mean, e.g., that
pre-Columbian Americans who murdered, were sexually promiscuous, lied &c
weren't sinning.) or they made responsible for "Adam's" sin just by
decree, even though they're not descended from him. That seems a bit

Some time ago Roy Clouser (I believe it was Roy) wrote a paper in PSCF
in which he postulated that Adam and Eve were commissioned as
missionaries to tell the rest of the human race about God. I believe
that because Adam had the role of telling the human race about God, he
in a sense became their spiritual father. The fly in this ointment
(one of them) is that Scripture says Adam called his wife Eve because
she was the mother of all living. While I can see calling Adam the
spiritual father of humans because the revelation of God came through
him, calling Eve the mother seems a bit of a stretch. Does Dick make a
similar claim? And how does he deal with the Scripture I just (loosely)

Bill Hamilton Rochester, MI 248 652 4148
Received on Sun Feb 15 21:30:17 2004

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