Sunday, June 23, 2013

Historic Adam

I have been listening to an internal (i.e. Christian) debate, which recently aired, among Dr Dennis Alexander, Fuz Rana, and Peter Enns on the radio show "Unbelievable," concerning the historicity of the Biblical Adam.

There have been some good points brought up like why do we have to protect the doctrine of Original Sin by insisting on a historical Adam. There may be other reasons to seek for a historic Adam, but systematic doctrine should not be one of them. The text should drive doctrine and not doctrine drive the text.

An argument for a historical Adam comes from Paul and Jesus. And before one outright dismisses Adam from being a real person, one would probably do well to consider their treatment of a historical Adam. If Paul and Jesus believed in a historical Adam, shouldn't we do well to believe the same? Luke vies for a historical Adam by taking Jesus' lineage all the way back to Adam. Mathew and Mark report that Jesus indirectly refers to Adam and Eve, when he is teaching on marriage. Paul compares Christ to the new Adam. What Adam failed to do, Christ did; extend life all the way into eternity.

But what about our deeper understanding of the natural world that was not known to the writer of Genesis or Paul? Obviously, there will be more to learn, but how do we deal with what we do know? What we seem to know from the natural world is that the evidence for a single couple being able to account for the entire genetic progenitors of today is slim to none.

Francis Collins, former head of the Human Genome project and a follower of Jesus, has proposed that the way we can account for the genetic diversity of humans may be through an Adamic population in the beginning of about 10,000 (if memory is correct). And at some point hominids were given the breath of life from God and became conscious of theirs and God's existence.

I don't think we have to solve all the details. But we can feel confident that mankind from beginning until today is still rebeling against God and in need of a second Adam.


Kc said...

Hallo mijn broer!

I suspect Gen. 6 provides a scriptural account for a potentially large increase in the size of the genetic pool. ;-)

(Our love to all!)

Pecheur said...

I think you are on to something. BTW love the Dutch!!!