Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real person?)

From: Don Nield <>
Date: Mon Apr 14 2008 - 21:12:15 EDT

I sketch the view of Robin Collins as expressed (convincingly, in my
opinion) in a chapter in Keith B. Miller (ed.), /Perspectives on an
Evolving Creation,/ Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2003
Genesis 2-3 serves as a symbolic story that provides a sketch of what an
ideal relation with God would be like. Adam and Eve play two
representative roles. They represent us and they represent the first
hominids who had the capacity for free choice and self-consciousness.
With this capacity, they became aware of God’s requirements, but more
often than not rejected them. The “Fall” refers to the sinful acts of
these ancestors creating a form of spiritual and moral darkness along
with an accompanying bondage to sin. Original sin refers to: (1) the
sinful choices of these hominids, (2) the continuing sinful choices of
the succeeding generations including ourselves, and (3) the resulting
bondage to sin and spiritual darkness that is inherited from our
ancestors and generated by our own choices. This inheritance acts at its
own (“spiritual”) level and cannot be reduced to some sort of cultural
or genetic inheritance, though it is deeply intertwined with these other
On Collins’ view salvation consists of fully sharing the life of Christ.
Because of the incarnation, this life is both fully divine and fully
human; and because of the cross, it is fully in solidarity with the
depths of human brokenness, sin, alienation, mortality and the like.
Because of its fully human component, and because it is in full
solidarity with the depths of our life situation, we can participate in
it. As Paul indicates in Romans 6, by participating in this life we are
redeemed from sin and reconciled to God and freed from spiritual bondage
and darkness. Thus the effect of original sin is reversed. Collins
defends his incarnational theory of the atonement as being scripturally,
morally, and theologically sound. It also works in well with the kenosis
theme of Phillipians 2:5-11.

Gregory Arago wrote:
> Notice that few at ASA, especially those who don't accept 'Adam [as] a real person' are prepared (or willing) to speak about 'Who do Adam & Eve represent?' Perhaps people think there's not much 'science' in representation. It is much safer to speak about science, after all, as it gives a sense of legitimacy that theology doesn't seem to imply with its inevitable mythology.
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Received on Mon Apr 14 21:13:24 2008

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