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

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Wed Apr 16 2008 - 16:19:23 EDT

D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:
> I wonder if we have been trying to put too much of a historical and
> causal interpretation on original sin. I think the common Hebrew term
> translated "sin" means "error." /chat/, etc. The common Greek term is
> /hamartia/, missing the mark. In other words, we are dealing with moral
> imperfection, a necessary consequence of finitude. The Fall was the
> ancient explanation for this consequence of finitude in keeping with the
> broad tradition of a Golden Age.

Equating finitude and original sin seems to me to imply that humans will
always be sinful unless your eschatology includes making humans none finite.

George Murphy wrote:
> Yes, there are views on the "transmission" of Adam's sin that range from
> a hard Augustinian hereditary view & a soft Pelagian exemplary view.
> (In saying that I am not trying to characterize the views of Augustine
> or Pelagius precisely.) For myself, I think that some combination is
> appropriate, corresponding to the idea (P. Hefner) of the human as a
> "symbiosis" of biology & culture.
> But the question of transmission is really a 2d order one. It certainly
> makes a difference in the way we try to develop a coherent theological
> anthroplogy &, because of that, understanding of atonement. But it
> isn't central. What is central is the reality & seriousness of our "sin
> of origin" - i.e., the sinful state in which each one of us originates.
> & that doesn't require an understanding of how that sin of origin is
> related to original sin in the sense of the first human sin.

I would agree that the method of transmission is at best a 2nd order
concern and wonder if it is not 3rd or 4th order.

The reason I would argue for the effect of the fall being more than just
loss of potential is:

1.It seems to me that the curse in Genesis on man and woman has to have
some meaning even if early Genesis is treated as a parable.

2.With out some effect it makes the argument for a good God just that
much harder. I know George will tell me to look at the cross of Christ
but sometimes that answer seems less than satisfying. Maybe God enjoys

Dave W

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Received on Wed Apr 16 16:32:19 2008

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