RE: [asa] Humanity and the Fall: Questions and a Survey

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Thu Apr 24 2008 - 13:58:39 EDT

There is a rebellious nature that seems to be inherent in all men but if
"sin" is simply separation from God, then all men are separated unless
one has submitted his life to God through Christ. I see a parallel in
the progression of mankind through the ages with the progression a child
makes when it is born. In a child's infancy it takes a little aging
before it can willingly disobey its parents. A child gains
accountability as it grows older. Our judicial system recognizes that
fact and punishments for transgressions against society increase
gradually until adulthood when they kick in completely.
 
Were cave men accountable? I doubt it. I can see no place where
eternal punishment for "sin" would be appropriate until God felt that
mankind had reached the point of maturity where he can be reached, where
a relationship with the deity can be established, and where he can be
fully accountable and answerable for his actions. That, of course,
would be with Adam roughly 7,000 years ago and described in Genesis.
 
Acceptance of a completely evolutionary scenario for generic man has no
consequences for one who believes that it was Adam who had the initial
opportunity and messed it up for all of us. The professor at
Westminster needs to read my book.
 
Dick Fischer, author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham
 <http://www.historicalgenesis.com> www.historicalgenesis.com
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of David Opderbeck
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 12:34 PM
To: asa
Subject: [asa] Humanity and the Fall: Questions and a Survey
 
Here is an article by a prof at Westminster Seminary California that I
think lays out the theological dilemma of accepting human evolution:
http://www.wscal.edu/faculty/wscwritings/wasadamhistorical.php
 
The author is right, isn't he, that one must either reject human
evolution and accept a traditional understanding of the fall, or accept
human evolution and accept a neoorthodox understanding of the fall?
Much as I've tried to find middle ground, I don't see it.
 
Clark Pinnock makes an effort towards such a middle ground in a
fascinating book that presages what has become known as the
"postconservative" movement in evangelicalism. Pinnock tries to take
the best of neoorthdoxy without compromising classical orthodoxy. Here
is what he says about the fall:
 
... it is important to interpret the Fall into sin as an event not a
myth. I do not mean that is an event witnessed and described for us by
those who were there. I recognize in the literary depiction of it a
mythical dimension. Nevertheless, it is important to see tha the Fall
maks the point in history when humankind turned aside from God and God's
purposes. It is more than a quant story of Everyman. "It is teh name
for that point in world history when, with human freedom already
becoming a reality, man began to act in a way disruptive of the
historical process, working against God's purposes for him and for the
world and thus acting in a manner destructive of his own being and
welfare." The actual event may not have been something that happened to
a couple in a garden just as described -- it may have happened in
another way over a period of generations perhaps. But it is important
that the Fall into sin predates history as we know it and determines its
sinful character. History has been spoiled and turned around.
Salvation is not being delivered from history; it is being delivered in
and with it. In a strong statement, . . . 'to regard the fall as myth
rather than in some sense genuine history shatters both the consistency
and the meaning of the Christian faith." (Pinnock, Tracking the Maze,
at p. 195).
 
 Something about Pinnock's effort here is just not satisfying. So if
you accept human evolution, is your view of the fall historical or
neoorthodox? If it's historical, how does it square with your
acceptance of evolutionary science? If it's neoorthodox, how does it
square with scripture's emphasis on the effects of Adam's sin?

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Thu Apr 24 14:01:00 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Apr 24 2008 - 14:01:00 EDT