Re: [asa] (ancient theodicy, 'ancient theology') Deism, Apologetics, and Neglected Arguments

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Mon Aug 24 2009 - 19:49:49 EDT

Hi David,

You wrote;
>So I have to ask what the TE position is with respect
> to the fall? Is it denial of the fall?

Speaking only for myself (hence not offering “the” TE position), I believe the implication of evolution is that the fall narrative needs to be interpreted theologically rather than historically (as an aside, I find it curious when people say “I don’t think Adam was a historical person” but then proceed to interpret Genesis as though it were narrating historical events).

What this means is having an understanding that “myth” as a genre looks like, but has a quite different function, than does “history.” Basically, myth is primarily about explaining the present, not explaining the past.

In a sense I agree with Bernie that it’s “ancient theology” - although I’d personally want to nuance that claim a fair bit. For instance, I would want to emphasise that the narrative is not making a historical claim (Adam did X and caused Y) but a theological claim - amongst which: Although God alone is creator and sustainer of the entire universe, he cannot be “held to account” by humans on the basis of events we experience and observe.

What this means is that I take the reality of sin and suffering seriously, but I don’t look for some historical personage (Adam OR God) at whose feet I can lay the blame for it all. Along with the author of Genesis I affirm that (1) God created all things; (2) that sin and suffering are realities; and (3) humanity cannot “blame” God for the existence or effects of sin and suffering.

If you ask, “well, from where did sin and suffering arise?” my response is “Don’t know.”

Personally, I’m happy with that ambiguity as I don't think the appropriate response to sin and suffering is to locate a historical response or a philosophical explanation. The appropriate response is to trust in the essential goodness of the God who reveals himself in Christ. And that, I think, is about the rub of it.


David Clounch wrote:
> I once wrote a posting called "Was Adam Green" to point out that
> organisms ate other organisms for energy - humans did not derive their
> energy due to chloroplasts.
> So biology worked like normal before the fall.
> The fall doesn't have to do with physical death of organisms. It has to
> do with man's relationship with God. We don't know what kind of health
> care benefits Adam possessed. We do know he lost them due to his sin.
> So I think you are oversimplifying a complex doctrinal situation. And
> it isn't core in spite of the fact that bothy you and AIG may think it
> is core. So what? It is the core principles, such as the virgin
> birth, resurrection, etc., that are important.
> So, why wouldn't someone who thinks through this Adam problem keep
> their faith but move to a more leftist position? You have been
> insinuating they will shift all the way to atheism. I don't see that
> happening. It might have happened to you, and it allegedly happened to
> Shermer, but what was it you thought you were believing in in the
> first place?
> I don't think scientism and evolutionism are warranted just because AIG
> makes theological mistakes.
> However....Bernie does raise one good point...
> I said "We don't know what kind of health care benefits Adam possessed.
> We do know he lost them due to his sin." To which someone will say
> "but Adam didnt have health care benefits because nobody was there to
> provide them (ie, nobody was there to tinker)."
> This is another area of the theory of TE that needs explanation. Unless
> the TE position is that Adam would have been immortal in the
> evolutionary scheme of things. 9wow! the search is on for the gene of
> immortality!) So I have to ask what the TE position is with respect
> to the fall? Is it denial of the fall?
> Thanks,
> Dave

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Received on Mon Aug 24 19:50:56 2009

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