Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 14:04:17 EDT

The passage in II Peter can't be taken as THE biblical doctrine of the end
of the world, quite apart from the point you raise. The idea that the
present world will be destroyed & replaced by a new creation is one end of
the NT spectrum. At one end there is the idea of a more or less continuous
transformation of the present world - Jesus' parable of the growing seed
(Mk.4:26-29) & Paul's related image to speak of the resurrection, and "the
glory and honor of the nations" being brought into the holy city at the
close of Revelation. At the other end of the spectrum there are the
pictures of discontinuity between the old & the new - "in the twinkling of
an eye," &c. & both ideas have to be taken seriously. There is what
Polkinghorne calls /creatio ex vetere/ that shows God';s ongoing valuation
of the present creation - and the realization that something genuinely new,
that doesn't come just from development of the old, is in store. & that's
just one of the tensions (realized & future eschatology is another) that we
have to deal with in talking about the future.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Tandy" <>
To: "'ASA list'" <>
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:22 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

I don't necessarily disagree with you George. I do (grudgingly) have to
acknowledge the geological evidence against a worldwide flood, without being
completely comfortable with its Biblical ramifications; and I understand
2Pet 3:7 in a more or less literal worldwide, apocalyptic sense (Rev 21:1;

But if we're going to argue that Peter's argument is "true" in the sense
that he believed the whole world to have been destroyed in the flood, but it
was not true in a literal sense, I think there is a good argument to be made
against the position you've stated.

[2 Pet 3:5] For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God
the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the
[2 Pet 3:6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water,
[2 Pet 3:7] But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word
are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and
perdition of ungodly men.

If Peter only *believed* the whole world was destroyed by water based on
tradition, but it was really only a local flood, then the same argument
could be made about his analogy. Maybe he only believed (based on Hebrew
tradition, but was incorrect) that the "heavens and the earth, which are
now" would be destroyed in a last days judgment on a literal, worldwide
scale. If the flood portion of the argument holds, how can the second part
of the passage be proven to be literal and global, as opposed to (for
instance) being taken simply as a prophecy of limited judgment against the
nation of Israel for their rejection of Christ? If an allegorical or
accommodated interpretation holds for one verse, why not the next one given
in the same context? (Or alternatively, why not a straightforward literal
meaning in 3:5-6?) I realize the value of contextual interpretation, of
recognizing accommodation, allegory, and other literary forms in scripture,
and I realize that in this case two adjacent verses could be interpreted
differently. But in a parallel passage like this, it seems a bit difficult
to justify.

Jon Tandy

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:43 AM
To:; ASA list
Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

Sorry but this seems like very strained exegesis. You want to take very
literally a statement in Matthew that can quite naturally be understood as
hyperbolic or figurative in order to avoid what in context seems like the
straightforward literal meaning of the text in II Peter.

I am not saying that what II Peter
says is accurate history but that the author clearly seems to have
understood the whole world to have been destroyed in the flood. The fact
that some texts are metaphorical, figurative, poetic &c &c doesn't mean that

they all are. & the fact that words in a particular text are used in their
straightforward literal sense doesn't mean that the text itself is an
account of something that really happened. [clip]


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Received on Thu Mar 29 13:09:14 2007

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