RE: [asa] biological evolution and a literal Adam- logically inconsistent?

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Mon Sep 01 2008 - 14:28:35 EDT

________________________________
From: David Opderbeck [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 5:21 AM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] biological evolution and a literal Adam- logically inconsistent?

Ah ok -- so your question is simply, is the "dust" a figure of speech or was there literal "dust"? If there was literal "dust," that is inconsistent with human evolution -- at this point, God would have intervened in the processes of nature and made Adam directly.

Personally, I'm not sure we can know whether the dust is literal or figurative. "Dust" is used figuratively in some other places in the OT (see 1 Kings 16:2, Ecl. 3:20; Zeph. 1:17). More often it's used in a way I would consider both literal and figurative. For example, Ps. 90:3 says "you turn men back to dust, saying, "'Return to dust, O sons of men," and verses 5 and 6 say "you sweep away men in the sleep of death; they are like new grass in the morning." It seems to me that the Psalmist here is using the phenomenological understanding of what happens to our bodies when we die -- dust -- in combination with other literary expressions. So, I wouldn't call the use of "dust" here part of an "ancience science" -- it's rather a way of describing an everyday observation in a literary fashion.

Let's say you take "dust" literally, BTW -- if "dust" is what happens to bodies when they die, then the "dust" from which God created Adam would have included decomposed bodies containing DNA.
. . . . . .
David said: "More often it's used in a way I would consider both literal and figurative. For example, Ps. 90:3 says "you turn men back to dust, saying, "'Return to dust, O sons of men,""

Why isn't that just literal? What's figurative about it?

...Bernie

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Received on Mon Sep 1 14:28:55 2008

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