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

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Sat Sep 06 2008 - 15:38:41 EDT

Hi Bethany, you wrote:
>>Isaac La Peyrere (in the second half 17th century) developed the idea
of Pre-Adamites in order to deal with the two different creation
accounts in Gen 1 & 2. His idea was that Ch. 1 dealt with humans in
general, and Ch. 2 dealt with the Jews. Thus, other problems like where
Cain's wife came from are solved, how come the Chinese seem to have such
a long unbroken history etc.<<
Speaking as one who has actually read his book (on film in the Library
of Congress), his main concern was not Genesis but Romans 5:12-14.
Isaac de la Peyrére argued eloquently in Men Before Adam that a literal
interpretation of Romans 5:12-14 indicated the world was populated
before Adam. The key was verse 13: "For until the law sin was in the
world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Peyrére reasoned
that the law was given to Adam shortly after his creation, and if there
was "sin in the world" at that time, there must have been people to do
 ... it must be held that sin was in the world before Adam and until
Adam: but that sin was not imputed before Adam; Therefore other
men were to be allowed before Adam who had indeed sinn'd, but
without imputation; because before the law sins wer [sic] not imputed.
Although men and sin were in the world before Adam, the manner of sin
was in the form of offenses against nature, violations of "natural law,"
and all died a natural death. It was not until God imposed moral law,
with Adam the first to be subject to it, that men were capable of "legal
sin," trespasses against God's law. Beginning with Adam's Fall, human
beings die both a natural death and a "legal" or spiritual death.
Ten years before Peyrére wrote Men Before Adam, the Westminster Divines
penned their Confession of Faith. They sought to avoid any implications
that all of humanity did not commence with Adam by putting the law on
Moses. But if Mosaic law, and not Adamic law, was intended by Romans
5:13, it could mean that sin was not charged before Moses! No, the
interpreters were not stepping into that trap. The Divines clearly
recognized that the moral law, the "covenant of works," was given to
Adam and said so:
The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of
innocence, and to all mankind in him ... was the moral law.
If moral law was given to Adam, and already "sin was in the world," then
wouldn't this involve people? The Westminster Divines were unwilling to
entertain that possibility. They believed humanity started with Adam,
and sin was passed to his posterity by "natural generation." The
harmonizing device employed (although not mentioned specifically in the
Westminster Confession) was to maintain that imputation of sin was
through the law of Moses, but that it somehow applied retroactively to
Adam and his descendants. This made no sense, of course, but they were
torn between the illogical and the unthinkable. So, according to the
Divines, the moral law was not "comprehended" until the Ten Commandments
were delivered by God to Moses.
Peyrére railed against the position taken by the Divines and their
insistence that "the law" was the law of Moses:
The Interpreters being between two such inconveniences, were
at a stand, nor did know which way to turn themselves; But
because it seemed less prejudicial to affirm, that sins were not
imputed before Moses, and until Moses, than to affirm that there
were any men before Adam. Therefore they preferred the first
inconvenience before the second.
In Peyrére's mind, since the law transgressed was the law given to Adam
of Genesis, the sin was perpetrated by those who co-existed and
pre-existed Adam. Sin was not imputed to those forerunners, however,
until Adam disobeyed God's law.
Before the Law of God, or till that Law of God was violated by
Adam, sin and death were in the world, yet had gained no power
over it : they had got no lawful possession, they had got no absolute
power. The reason is, because before that time there was no
Law given by God.
Clearly, sin was imputed from Adam to Moses. What brought the flood?
Was the flood not judgment for sin? Or for that matter, what about the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? And if the subject of Romans 5:13
was Adamic law, the sin that "was in the world" was committed by men
other than Adam.
Also, you wrote:
>>There are several problems: First, what happened to these
pre-Adamites? or did they simply 'become human' along the way?<<
They are us: Africans, Native Americans, Chinese, Australian Aborigines,
British Druids, etc. The entire world was populated in the tens of
millions, the great races had long separated by 7,000 years ago.
>>Second, this approach still ignores the purpose and genre of the
chapters as trying to explain God and origins.<<
That’s why I wrote a book. Check your library for a copy: Historical
Genesis from Adam to Abraham.
>>Third, it is anachronistic - still trying to shove modern science into
the text.<<
Genesis has less to do with modern science and more to do with the
history of the Israelites.
>>Fourth, you'd still need humanity to be fanning out of the middle-east
instead of Africa.<<
Again, you are trying to figure out a way Adam could be ancestral to all
humanity everywhere and that isn’t possible. Just look at what the
world situation would be like if Adam’s arrival had been delayed until
today and Christ wasn’t due until the year 4000 and we were sitting
around in the year 6000 discussing Adam. You would know full well that
Adam was the first of the covenant and not the head of our species.
Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

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Received on Sat Sep 6 15:39:45 2008

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