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

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Tue Sep 02 2008 - 10:19:04 EDT

So in your educational / seminary travels, are evangelical / orthodox
protestant scholars starting to accept these various models as alternatives
that preserve essential orthodoxy?
I know John Stott put forward the "federal headship" model a while back,
following Derek Kidner.

On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 1:09 AM, Bethany Sollereder <>wrote:

> Hi David,
> For the fall, I think it would have happened over many generations, as
> humans became aware of who God was and what their responsibility to him was,
> and as the image of God was formed with them, gradually within the whole
> population. I don't like the idea of a punctiliar fall, partially because
> requiring it involves asking something of the text which I don't think it
> has: historical and scientific concordism.
> As for how other people think about it, some go to a "federal headship"
> model like Denis Alexander. He thinks that about 6-7000 years ago a couple
> in the middle east were made "Adam and Eve" through an intervention of God,
> and they subsequently fell and all humanity fell with them. I feel a little
> awkward about that because I think it is entirely unfair to the Aboriginals
> known to be in Australia at that time, or to the Chinese in Asia, because
> this would say that they were not human, or say that they suddenly began to
> sin due to the sin of the A&E in the middle east.
> Another approach is saying humanity evolved, then in the next breathe
> saying A&E were created from dust in a moment also, and then trying to pin
> the fall of the rest of humanity on their shoulders. This encounters the
> same problem as above.
> A final approach might be to say something along the lines of "there was no
> historical fall, the story simply teaches us that every person individually
> falls". Or something along the lines of society being fallen, and therefore
> perfect human beings born into imperfect societies are doomed to fall. I
> happen to not like this one because I don't think any child has a chance of
> growing up sinless - there is something inherently corrupt about humanity
> that is not simply a product of societal influence.
> Ooh, this is getting long. Sorry. #2...
> I don't think it matters which creation story they were reflecting on (1 or
> 2)... most likely they would have told you both in a row. As for the
> contradictions, in a pre-modern mind, the "contradictions" were not mutually
> exclusive, they simply told different things about who God was and how he
> related to the world. Also keep in mind, they were all "the man on the
> street" in a sense. With our specialization of knowledge, there is a lot
> that a person could know that no one else has a clue about. But in the
> context of tribal knowledge, and the myth of peoples, the job of those "in
> the know" was to repeat it time and time again to those "out of the loop"
> people... also keep in mind that I said "ancient Hebrew", and not "a Hebrew
> XXXX years ago" to avoid the issue of exactly when they would have known
> it. From its earliest time, until apparently Paul, they took A&E to be
> real, true, historical figures.
> Finally, the Faraday course was amazing. There are many lectures online at
> their website <>including several of the lectures from the course. Take some time and
> listen, they are well worth it.
> Bethany

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Tue Sep 2 10:19:51 2008

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