RE: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

From: Peter Loose <>
Date: Thu Aug 02 2007 - 04:39:17 EDT

I am intrigued - in regard to "mythical Adam, literal Christ" - if one
reasons that Adam is mythical and Christ is literal, then that is to me
awfully like "comparing Apples and Oranges'. They are a different kind of
stuff and so can't be compared.
I've collated below the NIV NT use of Adam. Does that read like a 'mythical'
person? See especially I Cor 15:45. My question "What do we know that Paul
didn't?" surely stands.
Luke 3:38 (NIV)
    the son of Enosh,
    the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
    the son of God.
Romans 5:14 (NIV)
    Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses,
even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was
a pattern of the one to come.
1 Cor. 15:22 (NIV)
    For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
1 Cor. 15:45 (NIV)
    So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last
Adam, a life-giving spirit.
1 Tim. 2:13-14 (NIV)
    For Adam was formed first, then Eve. [14] And Adam was not the one
deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
Jude 1:14 (NIV)
    Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord
is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones

From: []
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 1:08 AM
To: Iain Strachan
Cc: Peter Loose; Michael Roberts;
Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
Iain, this is what you said:

God designed the Ebola virus because a real man and a real woman ate a piece
of fruit that they weren't supposed to in 4004BC.

Really, Michael, you lack of knowledge is truly shocking!

I'm sorry if this offends, but IMHO that is "dismissive." It is exactly the
kind of scoffing rhetoric atheists and others hostile to Christianity use to
dismiss our faith. Nor is it consistent, respectfully, with the stance
you've taken many times on this list against mocking other believers who
think differently about these questions. I hope you know, BTW, that I say
this in an "iron sharpens iron" kind of way, because I respect you and think
you are right in essence about reading this story too narrowly.

For example, Peter says: Are you seriously suggesting that one can have a
mythical Adam and a literal Christ? The parallelism fails.
Yes, Peter, I personally would say we can have a non-literal Adam without
destroying Paul's point about Christ's role as redeemer. I could say, for
example, that "just as Frodo had to bear the burden of the ring until it was
destroyed, so Christ had to bear the weight of human sin and weakness until
he acheived victory on the cross." There is a very nice parellelism
there, which isn't destroyed at all by the fact that Frodo is entirely a
literary figure. Whether I intend by this statement to affirm the
historicity of Frodo is a different matter, as is how a particular view of
inspiration affects one's view of this kind of reference, and that is the
real rub with Paul's reference to Adam. But either way, the illustration
remains intact.
I would say that Adam does not have to be like either a well defined
historical figure or a "mythical" one. The choice doesn't have to be that
binary. Adam and the fall might be a mytho-poetic story that is inacessible
to scientific anthropology / history but that nevertheless possesses an
essential historicity. But I want to say that without sniffing at the story
God gave us in scripture. I want to say it without "sitting in the seat of
the scornful" (Ps. 1:1) but with reverence for the mutual and complementary
truth and beauty of God's word and His world.

On 8/1/07, Iain Strachan <> wrote:
> David,
> Where did I say I was dismissing it??
> What I dismiss is the notion that it is interpreted as a literal
historical event.
> As an example I've given several times before, but no-one has commented;
I'm about to click the "send" button to send this message off to everyone on
the list. But I'm NOT literally doing that - I'm literally clicking the
same button on the mouse that I'd click if I clicked the "discard" button.
> I am of the opinion that metaphor is MORE meaningful than history, not
less. Of COURSE the narrative is central to the Christian faith, which is
why it's so sad that people get "stuck" on the idea that it's a literal
event & then have to invent laughable pseudo-science (and I've had to endure
my atheist colleagues laughing at it) in order to justify it.
> Please retract your assertion that I "dismiss" a central narrative of the
Christian faith. I find your accusation to be extremely insulting, to be
> Just about to click the mythological "send" button...
> Iain
> On 8/1/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> > But Iain, though I agree with you on the need for a broader
hermeneutical perspective, and though I agree with you that it's too pat and
simple to attribute carnivorous animals and such to a recent historical
fall, I'm really struggling with the way in which, it seems to me, you're
dismissing a central narrative of the Christian faith. The picture
scripture gives us of human rebellion against God is, in fact, the picture
of a man and woman eating fruit God told them not to eat. And scripture
does, in fact, suggest that this somehow messes up everything. It seems to
me that we need to appropriate this picture and interpret it in the context
of what we know about the physical world, but not to dismiss it.
> >
> >
> >
> > On 8/1/07, Iain Strachan < > wrote:
> > > Peter
> > >
> > >
> > > On 7/28/07, Peter Loose < > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Iain and Friends:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > I find this stance in respect of 'bad things being literally due to
one historical woman and her husband eating a piece of fruit' to be very
> > >
> > >
> > > Sorry, but that is exactly what my YEC friends tell me. That the
fall is a literal historical event, tied precisely to Adam and Eve eating
the fruit, literally on a given day. As direct result of this God put the
curse on the whole of creation, and from thenceforth all the bad things
happened. "Carnivory" started up (I've even seen articles on this on the AiG
website), animals started eating each other.
> > >
> > > The logical extension to this is that to answer Michael's pointed
question as to why God "designed" the Ebola virus is that Adam's specific
act of disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit was the direct reason that
God made this happen.
> > >
> > > My creationist friends tell me that the whole Gospel falls apart if
you don't accept this.
> > >
> > > I agree - the whole stance is very sad indeed, and I feel honour bound
as a Christian to continue to point out its absurdity - an absurdity that
keeps people away from Christianity because most people think you must be a
nutter to believe such things.
> > >
> > > As I have said elsewhere, we must think about what the Fall narrative
_means_ rather than being stuck on whether it happened literally as
described. (Man+woman+fruit).
> > >
> > > Iain
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> --
> -----------
> After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.
> - Italian Proverb
> -----------

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Received on Thu Aug 2 04:42:49 2007

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