Re: The Fall

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Thu Sep 15 2005 - 16:28:57 EDT

This sort of explanation of Genesis is roughly 2000 years old. Variants can be found in Gnosticism, Origen, some versions of Christian Science &c. Though it's presented here as "realistic" it requires a great deal of arbitrary figurative interpretation. & the notion that our real selves are bodiless spirit or souls is quite unbiblical & flies in the face of - among other things - Christian faith in the resurrection of the body.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Bradford
  To: RFaussette@aol.com
  Cc: ASA Message Board
  Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 3:54 PM
  Subject: Re: The Fall

  amblema, Rich et al
  This is all very well if we may assume that everything to which Genesis Ch.1-3 refers is related to the world we now inhabit. And I fully understand why the scientific community will look first for a rational, scientific explanation. But how then do we reconcile six days of creation with the geological record; or the absence of detectable cherubim and a flaming sword guarding the entrance to Eden. Doesn't anyone find it even slightly embarassing that our rational understanding of the way our world works is unable to reconcile these fundamental aspects of scripture? Surely any realistic explanation ought to be able to encompass all the important difficulties in a single sweep. So here is a possibility, which I offer only as a new focal point for debate:
    a.. God creates the human spirit that dwells in a blissful, timeless realm quite separate from our present experience, subject to certain simple rules such as not to eat of the 'tree of knowledge' of good and evil..
    b.. In parallel, unbeknown to the first human souls, the physical world takes shape and, over billions of years, the earth and all its flesh of life come into being, culminating in a soulless homo erectus.
    c.. Original sin takes place in the Garden, resulting in man's expulsion. But the immortal spirit form of man is not suited to the physical world, so God places the essence of the man and woman into the pre-formed bodies of the naked apes.
  Straight away, we have explanations for a number of biblical passages that have previously been beyond our understanding. To begin with, there is Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. The coats of skin are none other than the hominid bodies. It follows immediately that a womans pain in childbirth shall be greatly multiplied, and that man is condemned to eat only through toil among thorns and thistles.

  Seen from our present-worldly perspective, maybe this did happen at or around 4004 BC as YECs would have us believe, also allowing for the physical world to have pre-existed for 13-odd billion years. Doesn't this hypothesis overcome the major difficulties, while introducing only relatively minor ones? But I reserve my position on whether descriptions in Genesis of the next few generations of man are real or parable.

  Regards
  David
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: RFaussette@aol.com
    To: amblema@bama.ua.edu ; asa@calvin.edu
    Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 6:15 PM
    Subject: Re: The Fall

    In a message dated 9/15/2005 12:54:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, amblema@bama.ua.edu writes:
      God created humans through an evolutionary process. At some point He
      endows a pair of hominids, who will be the ancestors of humans, with
      reason, self-awareness, etc. and gives them some directions. They
      disobey, and their descendants also inherit the consequences of their
      disobedience.

      God created humans through an evolutionary process. At some point He
      endows a pair of hominids, representatives out of an existing
      population, with reason, self-awareness, etc. and gives them some
      directions. They disobey, and all humans (including their
      contemporaries and the descendants thereof) have a correspondingly
      fallen nature.
    I agree with this analysis.
    See my paper: True Religion, Biblical Symbols from a Darwinian Perspective

    rich faussette
Received on Thu Sep 15 16:30:11 2005

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