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

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Fri Sep 05 2008 - 11:39:33 EDT

Hi Gordon, you wrote:

"The literal meaning of Eden is delight. Paradise, a Greek word of
Persian origin ..."

And can be traced to the Akkadian/Sumerian word "edin" meaning plain,
prairie or desert. On an archaeologist's map published in my book the
"Edin" was the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates.

Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of gordon brown
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 12:46 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] (fall) biological evolution and a literal Adam-
logically inconsistent?


I am not sure how to evaluate your statements about the Garden of Eden
being a
literal paradise but that that was impossible, without knowing what your

definition of paradise is. The literal meaning of Eden is delight.
Paradise, a
Greek word of Persian origin, occurs exactly three times in the New
Luke 23:43, II Corinthians 12:4, and Revelation 2:7.

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

On Thu, 4 Sep 2008, Bethany Sollereder wrote:

> Merv,
> I'd agree with you that we have a choice to make. And in light of the
> literature speaking of the 'paradise when the world began', I think
> Biblical author meant that it was a literal paradise, but I think we
> say that (in light of modern science) there was never a paradise and
> the story is not literal. In doing so, we give up our addiction to
> historical concordism. A difficult, but necessary, step.
> David, I think you can have perfect paradise, and still having 'work'.
> fact I don't think it could be paradise without man to have something
to do:
> we would be redundant without a task. But the task was not a painful
> not one that would strain man beyond the pleasantness of the paradise
> works in. C.S. Lewis gives a nice imagining of what this could look
like in
> *Perelandra*. Yes, man had a task. But it was paradise.
> Bethany
> On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 5:10 PM, David Opderbeck
>> Yes Merv, when I say "ontological reality," I don't necessarily mean
>> verifiable 'historical' moment."
>> BTW, I found an even better quote from Von Rad (p. 80):
>> "[chapter 2, verse 15] indicates man's purpose in being in the
garden: he
>> is to work it and preserve it from all damage, a destiny tha
>> decided with the commonly accepted fantastic ideas of 'Paradise.' . .
>> There is 'nothing here about abunded wonders of fertility and sensual
>> enjoyment', but work was man's sober destiny even in his original
>> That man was transferred to the garden to guard it indicates that he
>> called to a state of service and had to prove himself in a realm tha
>> not his own possessio. in the ensuing divine address the
>> of the garden as an Elysium for sensual enjoyment is completely
>> On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 7:48 PM, Merv <> wrote:
>>> David Opderbeck wrote:
>>> Merv said: That is the forced choice, is it not?
>>> I respond: I don't accept that. Binary thinking, in my view,
>>> betrays a lack of imagination. I think it's critical to Biblical
>>> that the Fall narrative refer to some sort of ontological reality,
>>> whatever literary form it might be cast. Christ came into the world

>>> because
>>> something *really is* wrong; "evil" is foreign to God's good
>>> and the new heavens and new earth will constitue a new ontology that
>>> equally real.
>>>> Not all binary thinking is deficient (though I note your word
>>> with approval). Logic and the way we frame situations imposes such
>>> necessary logic in many cases. E.g. my student turns in homework
>>> with
>>> all manner of valid or invalid excuses or extenuating circumstances.
>>> in
>>> the end, I either award him full credit or I do not. Law of
>>> middle.
>>> Yet granted, in this situation perhaps binary thinking is
>>> --I would certainly agree that the binary mode of argument often
used to
>>> frame a religion verses science arena is impoverished in many ways.
Yet we
>>> will continue to choose a new "frame" or arena where we too will
make a
>>> binary choice --and rightly so. Would I be correct to infer from
what you
>>> say above that you don't use the label "ontological reality" on
>>> that isn't a tack on a time line? To me this is another form of
>>> thought: that either something is ontologically "real" because it
is an
>>> event that we could (in principle, with a time machine) dial in the
>>> era and then watch it unfold like a play; or failing that test, it
>>> not. I think the E.C. side of what I framed has a wide array of
>>> possibilities to be explored that would acknowledge the reality of a
>>> no
>>> less real than someone biting a piece of fruit.
>>> --Merv
>> --
>> David W. Opderbeck
>> Associate Professor of Law
>> Seton Hall University Law School
>> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

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Received on Fri Sep 5 11:39:47 2008

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