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

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Wed Apr 30 2008 - 00:57:51 EDT

Gregory,

I've stayed out of most of these discussions recently because I really
have nothing new to add. But, I have to say at this point that I don't
think it's fair at all to say that most TE/EC positions are against
such an idea.

This may be where George is and where Denis L. is, but many of us are
quite comfortable with the notion of "circumventing the evolutionary
process at a critical point". I find my view similar to that taken by
David Campbell in his post. At this point many will say that we're no
longer TE/EC but are embracing a form of special creationism. So be
it, if that's the case. Personally, I reject those semantics and
consider myself in the TE/EC camp on most of the scientific and
theological questions...but up the critical point of the origin of the
humanity in the image of God in covenant relationship with God. The
question of whether or not homo sapiens as a biological form existed
up to this point in time is largely irrelevant to the discussion.

This is a tact that many evangelicals friendly to biological
evolutionary ideas have taken since the days of Darwin. To be frank
about it, in my opinion, orthodoxy is on the line with respect to an
historical Adam and Eve and an historical Fall. However, ASA is
broader than my narrow conservative Reformed orthodoxy.

TG

On Apr 29, 2008, at 3:29 PM, Gregory Arago wrote:

> Is fair to say that most TE/EC positions are against the idea of, as
> George puts it, "circumventing the evolutionary process at a
> critical point"? In other words, everything is 'always already'
> contained withIN that evolutionary process itself, which is used by
> the SuperNature/Creator to continue (the) Creation in, through and
> beyond time.
>
> David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
> George said: What we know of the process of evolution in general, &
> what we can infer from the behavior of our nearest surviving primate
> relatives, indicates that the first humans would have been prone to
> sinful behavior - even thought they would not have been compelled to
> sin. Thus the claim that the first human(s) was/were "morally
> perfect" is problematic.
>
> I respond: But isn't there a difference between being prone to sin
> and sin being inevitable? For example, if Christ truly was tempted
> in every way as we are, in some sense he must in his humanity have
> been prone to sin -- otherwise the temptation is meaningless. Yet
> for the "new Adam" sin was not inevitable, since he did not sin.
> Maybe moral "perfection" means making right choices even in the face
> of very real temptations and limitations?
>
> George, you mention traditional RC theology. I remain confused
> about exactly what the Catholic church's official teaching is here.
> I know JPII acknowledge that evolution is more than a theory, and I
> know the RC Church generally permits a range of views on the
> interpretation of Genesis. But, my understanding is that human
> evolution remains officially or at least semi-officially verboten,
> because of a strongly Augustinian view of how original sin is
> transmited (monogenism).
>
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 2:58 PM, George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
> wrote:
> If it were just a matter of God selecting a particular couple &
> communicating with them then evolution wouldn't pose any great
> threat to the traditional "fall" scenario. But the problem goes
> deeper than that - in particular, to Strimple's claim that there was
> "a first man specially created by God, morally perfect in knowledge,
> righteousness and holiness." What we know of the process of
> evolution in general, & what we can infer from the behavior of our
> nearest surviving primate relatives, indicates that the first humans
> would have been prone to sinful behavior - even thought they would
> not have been compelled to sin. Thus the claim that the first
> human(s) was/were "morally perfect" is problematic. This can be
> avoided if one postulates that God did something outside the
> ordinary course of natural processes to add some spiritual & moral
> capabilities to some hominid in order to create humkanity in the
> theological sense. This in fact is what traditional RC theology
> postulates - that what humanity lost in "the fall" was not any
> natural capacity but this added supernatural aspect, the donum
> superadditum. That is why Rome can accept human evolution up to a
> point. But adopting this approach means circumventing the
> evolutionary [process at a critical point.
>
> Shalom
> George
> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>
> Be smarter than spam. See how smart SpamGuard is at giving junk
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________________
Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Wed Apr 30 00:59:24 2008

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