RE: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

From: Peter Loose <peterwloose@compuserve.com>
Date: Thu Aug 02 2007 - 10:27:53 EDT

Thank you David - yes, your point is well made and I concur wholly with your
general stance in respect of 'proof-texts'.
 
What I am looking for in this specific case is any hint in the NT that Adam
is seen as other than a literal historical figure. And if I allow the text
to lead, rather than the other way round, I would expect the text to be
clear in and of itself, as well as contextually, that there is a non-literal
or non-historical sense to be deduced. I don't see that at all - the trend
is the other way.
 
If I take Iain's points on their own merits where he seeks to give a literal
translation from the Greek of Paul in I Corinthians 15, then even if I grant
that his transliteration is entirely the way he interprets it, we are still
left with the same problem of failed parallelism.
 
Assume for the sake of discussion that 'Adam' is non literal: assume that
Adam is a generalisation for 'man' and still IMO the problem doesn't go
away. For what we now have is simply my original problem. Adam, the general
figurative 'man' is matched or paralleled with Christ. So while I don't feel
comfortable with private Greek translations (for that seems to imply that
the Translators are not competent scholars in their own discipline), even
the rendering that Iain is bringing forward leaves the problem precisely
where it always is for a non-literal, figurative Adam. It is "Mythical Adam,
literal Christ - doesn't add up". Or to put it another way, the phrase is a
mismatch and thus seems to be devoid of significant meaning.
 
Blessings
 
Peter
 
 
  _____

From: dopderbeck@gmail.com [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 3:00 PM
To: Peter Loose
Cc: Michael Roberts; Iain Strachan; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
 
Peter said: I'm hoping for something Biblical that illuminates my question!
 
Peter, I think one of the problems is that you are using, and asking for,
proof texts. Before using proof texts, there are a bundle of theological
and hermeneutical questions that have to be answered -- and there are no
proof texts by which those questions can be answered! You can't skip the
prolegomena and go right to the proof texts. Really, the use of proof texts
assumes a very particular prolegomena without argument.
 
I think your position is a coherent one based on the prolegomena you assume.
But I think it's very unfair to then suggest that no other position could be
"Biblical" without engaging the underlying assumptions.
 
For example, you aggregate quotes from Luke, Timothy, and Jude. It doesn't
seem that you've considered, though, the particular nature and purposes of
those very different parts of scripture and the particular nature and
purposes of the quotations you give within those different parts of
scripture. Jude, for example, is a fascinating study because the author
draws heavily on apocryphal works (particularly 1 Enoch) that include some
fanciful stories most Christians today don't accept as canonical. How is it
possible to string together a quote from a book like Jude with a quote in a
pastoral letter of encouragement (Timothy) and another quote from a highly
stylized geneology (Luke) -- all of which serve different purposes through
very different literary forms? It seems very possible that you're
systematizing something that isn't there based on an a priori decision about
what the phenomena of scripture must look like.
 
Again, not to suggest the "literal Adam" view is entirely wrong at the end
of the day -- I've said before that I still feel compelled to find some
essential historicity in Adam. But it just isn't so simple as stringing
together proof texts.
 
 

On 8/2/07, Peter Loose <peterwloose@compuserve.com> wrote:
>
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> Hello Michael:
>
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> I do understand what you're saying - but it reads to me like just another
opinion and isn't dealing with the focus I've sought to bring from a
consideration of the Biblical text. I've asked some specific questions about
the parallelism between Adam and the Lord Jesus Christ as exemplified by the
Apostle Paul's treatment of that. All that you say I am well aware of and
have heard often. As you'd expect, I find it evidentially unconvincing.
>
>
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> While I agree with much of your general thesis that the Bible is neither
literal nor figurative but a varying mixture of both, with respect Michael
that's not the matter in hand. The matter in hand is simply what Paul says
about Adam and Christ. What has to be shown for your thesis to have weight
is that on the specific question of Adam and Christ, a figurative
understanding is what the Apostle has in mind. This requires IMO an
evidential response not a blanket assertion to the contrary.
>
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> I'm hoping for something Biblical that illuminates my question!
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> Blessings
>
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> Peter
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> ________________________________

>
> From: michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk
[mailto:michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk ]
> Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 12:49 PM
> To: Peter Loose; 'Iain Strachan'
> Cc: dopderbeck@gmail.com; asa@calvin.edu <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
>
> Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
>
> Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
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> Peter
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> You so over-polarise figurative vs literal that you do not allow any other
position. Yours is a good debating tactic to the uninformed - either A or B
but you ignore the possibility that Genesis may not be a totally literal
narrative which means your simple either/or is invalid.
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> In fact the whole of the bible is neither literal nor figurative but a
varying mixture of both. even the Gospels are not literal accounts.
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> As literal historical is meaningless, so is a literal historical Fall.
That does not mean that there has not been a Fall and that we are not
fallen.
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> Further early Genesis does not state that animals did not die before
humans appear.Too much reading into the Bible of notions like an alleged
curse affecting all of creation with suffering sickness and death coming to
the animals is just not justified.
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> Lastly I believe in the fall but not the curse as the latter is not
scriptural.
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> Michael
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>
> ----- Original Message -----
>
>
> From: Peter Loose
>
>
> To: 'Iain Strachan'
>
>
> Cc: dopderbeck@gmail.com <mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com> ; 'Michael
Roberts' ; asa@calvin.edu
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> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 11:28 PM
>
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> Subject: RE: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
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> Actually Iain, I did not mean what you appear to think I mean. I apologise
for not being clear in the first place.
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> If you read again what I said, it was your "stance in respect of bad
things being literally due to." that is cause for sadness on my part. That's
why I went on and raised the perspective from Paul in I Corinthians - 'as in
Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive'.
>
> This is what I said Sat 28/07/2007 10:54
>
> A challenge to the figurative interpretation of the origin of 'bad things'
would be the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:22 (NIV) "For as in Adam all die, so
in Christ all will be made alive."
>
> Would those who adopt a figurative interpretation of Genesis 3 in respect
of the cause of bad things, please explain why Paul didn't take that same
view - apparently? Do they propose a mythical Adam and a literal Christ? Or
are they proposing that 'all will be made alive' is also figurative?
Figurative of what may I ask?
>
> You are free of course to reject your YEC friend's view of The Fall. But
in so doing you raise absolutely huge questions about the entire record of
redemption. Are you seriously suggesting that one can have a mythical Adam
and a literal Christ? The parallelism fails. I think this Genesis 3 'myth'
or 'figurative' interpretation needs some careful discussion and explaining.
Indeed, I find it impossible to understand the flow of reasoning in 1
Corinthians 15 in any other way than demands a literal historical Fall as
recorded in Genesis 3. A further sample of that account in 1 Cor. 15:21
(NIV) "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead
comes also through a man." is in harmony with 15:22.
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> Do we understand something in this matter that Paul didn't?
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> Blessings
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> Peter
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> ________________________________

>
> From: dopderbeck@gmail.com <mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com>
[mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:35 PM
> To: Iain Strachan
> Cc: Peter Loose; Michael Roberts; asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
>
>
>
> 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 <igd.strachan@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Peter
>
>
> On 7/28/07, Peter Loose < <mailto:peterwloose@compuserve.com>
peterwloose@compuserve.com > wrote:
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> Iain and Friends:
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> 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 sad.
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> 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
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Received on Thu Aug 2 10:56:53 2007

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