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

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Fri Sep 05 2008 - 14:35:53 EDT

David- in your example, both the story and real life had two real people. In the case of Adam, some who accept evolution don't think Adam was a historical figure, which would mean the "fall of man" never happened, since there was no perfect man (from which to fall) to begin with.


From: [] On Behalf Of David Opderbeck
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 10:13 AM
To: Bethany Sollereder
Cc: gordon brown;
Subject: Re: [asa] (fall) biological evolution and a literal Adam- logically inconsistent?

I'm not sure what you're saying now: "there was a real human fall" and "[n]ot taking the fall literally." Maybe we are talking past each other a little.

When I hear "taking the fall literally," to me that means "there was a real human fall": the fall "happened" in a discrete period of time in human history, and is not merely an allegory of every person's struggle with guilt and sin. To me, "taking the fall literally" doesn't mean all of the trappings of Milton's Paradise Lost, or even necessarily a literal, physical "garden." The story we are given may not be "literal," but there is a real, discrete, historical event(s) underlying the story. It seems to me a heremenuetical question, but not a theological problem, to argue that the literary form of the story is not "literal" if there are underlying "real" events.

However, if there was a "real human fall," that means there was a "real human pre-fallen condition." The "garden," literary device though it may be, describes / represents a real state of shalom, and, I think, a real potential for the spread of shalom beyond the "garden" and throughout the creation over which "Adam" was given dominion. In my view, it's important to Biblical theology that the "garden" also reflect something real -- otherwise I wonder, "what's the point -- not just of this story but of the whole Story?"

Maybe this will illustrate where I'm coming from:

"The two lovers spread tables before them and feasted on the delights they had prepared. They lacked nothing and were filled with songs from morning until night. They saw visions of the days before them, of children as numerous as the sands, of adventures and sunsets and glories beyond imagining.

And the woman said to the man, 'eat and be satisfied with all of the fruits I have prepared for you, but vow that you will not eat the fruit of any other woman.' And the man made this vow.

But the man was tempted by the fruit of another. And the woman searched for him, and found him at another's table, and shut up the door to her house, and shut him out. The man wept bitterly, and hid his face from the woman, and fled to the ends of the earth.

Yet the woman loved the man. So she called out to him, 'return to me, O man, and I will forgive your transgression, and restore you to myself. We will put away our tears, and our children shall be as numerous as the sands, and we shall enjoy adventures and sunsets and glories beyond imagining.'"

Or, I could say, "two people got married. They enjoyed a peaceful relationship until the man had an affair. But they reconciled and enjoy a peaceful relationship once again." & Technology

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Received on Fri Sep 5 14:36:29 2008

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