Fw: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Fri Aug 03 2007 - 11:29:28 EDT

I agree with you Peter that there is no hint in the NT that Adam was other than a flesh and blood human being. Neither do I find any evidence that the NT writers thought of him as any thing other than the father of their race. Agreed, mythical fathers don't have flesh and blood descendants. So assuming Adam was real (as I do) when did he live? Drive him back into antiquity so he can be the ultimate father of all mankind and none of the Neolithic surroundings in the Genesis text make any sense. Plus the Tigis-Euphrates valley where the writer places Adam wasn't settled prior to 7,000 years ago.

On the other hand, if we go with a modern Adam then some 90% of the world's existing population has no genetic connection to him. Some don't like that but that's where the evidence lies. There are Epic tales of such a person called Adapa or Adamu who was "created," was a baker by trade, did a bad thing, was called to account by father-god, offered the food and water of eternal life, and returned to the earth from which he came. I believe that was an embelished tale about the real live Adam of Genesis. One Assyrian king and one Canaanite governor bore the name Adamu - named after their famous forefather. Some of the graves in southern Mesopotmia were occupied by Akkadians named Adamu perpetuating his name to further generations.

Just as George Washington chopped down the cherry tree and threw a dollar across the Potomac. Who knows whether he did that or not? And just as we who live here are called "Washingtonians" I doubt many of us can put George on our family tree.

Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
www.genesisproclaimed.org

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Loose
To: dopderbeck@gmail.com
Cc: 'Michael Roberts' ; 'Iain Strachan' ; asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 10:27 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

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

 

 

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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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> ________________________________

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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
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> Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
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> 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 -----
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> From: Peter Loose
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> To: 'Iain Strachan'
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> Cc: 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'.
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> This is what I said Sat 28/07/2007 10:54
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> 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."
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> 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?
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> 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]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:35 PM
> To: Iain Strachan
> Cc: Peter Loose; Michael Roberts; asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?
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> 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.
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> On 8/1/07, Iain Strachan <igd.strachan@gmail.com> wrote:
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> Peter
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> On 7/28/07, Peter Loose < 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.
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> 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.
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> My creationist friends tell me that the whole Gospel falls apart if you don't accept this.
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> 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.
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> 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).
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> Iain
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Received on Fri Aug 3 11:29:55 2007

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