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

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Sep 02 2008 - 19:56:44 EDT

Bernie said: Hi David- read the last chapter of CS Lewis' "Mere
Christianity" and then tell me your thoughts. I'm assuming you have the
book- it is a classic book for most people in their personal libraries.

I respond: I think you're misunderstanding Lewis if you take him to mean
that Christ simply completes a trajectory humans were on from an
evolutionary perspective. I take Lewis to be echoing something like
Ireneaus' understanding of humanity -- that we were created to move towards
something, that we instead moved in the wrong direction, and that Christ
moves us back in the right direction. There is still a very pronounced
"fall" or move in the wrong direction here. This, I would agree, is very
promising for an interdisciplinary approach (theology and science) because
it locates the fall in an act of human will / mind / spirit that isn't
measurable by the natural sciences.

On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:16 PM, Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>wrote:

>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of David Opderbeck
> Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 2:01 PM
> To: Dehler, Bernie
> Cc: asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] (fall) biological evolution and a literal Adam-
> logically inconsistent?
>
> Bernie said: A "fall" implies
> > going from something better to something worse. I think it is the
> opposite-
> > we arose from the animal nature and after being born-again we can rise to
> a
> > higher place.
>
> I respond: Bernie, I think you need to be a bit careful here
> theologically. This sounds a bit Pelagian -- that there is some
> innate human capacity to improve. The overall arc of scripture, it
> seems to me, is that human beings cannot ultimately improve
> themselves, and that something has "gone wrong" in human history.
> Christ didn't die on the cross to offer the culmination of an
> evolutionary process -- he died to redeem us from slavery to sin,
> which is both a personal and a primordial slavery.
> . . . . . . .
> Hi David- read the last chapter of CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity" and then
> tell me your thoughts. I'm assuming you have the book- it is a classic book
> for most people in their personal libraries.
>
> The ability to improve is not innate- it comes from the power of God by
> receiving Christ- the latest evolutionary jump. In that regard, you could
> say "Christ died on the cross to offer the culmination of an
> evolutionary process" (changing your statement slightly).
>
> ...Bernie
>
>
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>

-- 
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 19:57:06 2008

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