The Historical Adam

The Christ the Center panel got together recently and discussed whether Adam was a real historical person and whether it matters for our understanding of Scripture and theology as a whole. This is a nearly no holds barred conversation with some interesting audio clips thrown in for fun. While the discussion was fun, the subject is serious business indeed.

Participants: , , , ,


Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Feeding on Christ » Blog Archive » Christ the Center Discusses the Historicity of Adam

9 years ago

[…] The panel of Christ the Center recently picked up the discussion, begun on Feeding on Christ, about the historicity of Adam. You can listen here. […]

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

I enjoy listening to the theological discussions on your show; I’ve found very few accessible discussions of high level theology, and I appreciate your depth of knowledge and study. However, I find it very painful when you slip into discussing evolution or Darwin… it’s embarrassing to hear intelligent, educated people make fools of themselves by making claims that are uninformed and unconsidered.

I was just amazed that you could follow a discussion of the importance of translating the word “adam” in its correct context with a mention of the sub-title of “The Origin of the Species”, “The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” without realizing that “race” in Darwin’s context meant the same thing as “breed” or “variety” – indeed, the Origin hardly mentions humans at all, let alone different ethnic groups. Nick, I respect your effort to CYA with your disclaimer of not having researched it yourself, but seriously, parroting this kind of tripe should be beneath you. Darwin was, as it turns out, an abolitionist, although he did regard non-whites as inferior (just like everyone else at the time, including Abraham Lincoln).

Perhaps your strange attacks on Darwin are motivated by a desire to deflect attention from the fact that slavery and racism have long been justified by reference to the sons of Noah? There’s a much more direct connection between your religion and racism than between Darwin and racism – perhaps you could address that in another show (and perhaps the historicity of the flood, as well!).

Nick, I had to chortle at your claim about there being no evolution of species or kind… it reminded me strongly of something I read recently, so I went and found the quote: “The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger. The only difference that can exist within the species must be in the various degrees of structural strength and active power, in the intelligence, efficiency, endurance, etc., with which the individual specimens are endowed.” That’s from Mein Kampf. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Hitler didn’t believe in macro-evolution, and believed in the special creation of man… just like you! Of course, that has nothing to do with whether you’re right or wrong, and I’m certainly not comparing you to Hitler. I just wanted to point out that Hitler preferred your theology to Darwin’s science, and therefore your attempts to associate Nazism and Darwin are absurd.

And with regards to the other “fruit of Darwinism” you referred to… what’s the deal? You mention eugenics, genocide, Planned Parenthood(!) and infanticide. Surely you know that the Spartans were committing infanticide with eugenic intent well over 2000 years ago, and that the Israelites perfected genocide long before that (remember the Amalekites?). The inclusion of planned parenthood is surreal – condoms have been around forever, and there’s a plausible argument to be made that Numbers 5 gives instructions on how to induce the miscarriage of an illegitimate child. All of these practices are old news to humanity, and most of them are detailed in your own holy book. It has nothing at all to do with Darwin. So what, exactly, are you smoking?

Finally, one question that was bugging me throughout the program: why do you refer to it as the “sin of Adam”? Isn’t it at least as much the sin of Eve? If not more so? Would it ruin the poetic symmetry of Adam Christ to refer to it as the sin of Eve? Or are you just sexist?

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

Steve,

We refer to the sin of Adam rather than to Eve because Adam was the federal head of humanity. Though technically Eve sinned first, humanity did not fall – they were not “called to the carpet” – until Adam sinned.

Could you possibly tone down the rhetoric? The mocking tone isn’t helpful. I realize you may feel the same way about our episode given your comments, but I’m tempted to delete the comment. I would, however, prefer to have an open discussion.

Thanks for the interaction.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Camden,

I’ll try to make my posts less mocking in the future, if you find it distracting.

I’ve been thinking about the “Adam’s sin” thing, and on re-reading the story I think I found a nice solution: as far as I can tell, at worst Eve could have been disobeying/disbelieving only Adam. In the story God himself never told her not to eat from the tree. Adam must have passed on the message to Eve, and she decided to trust the snake more than Adam… so she wasn’t directly disobeying God. Does that work?

As for “federal headship” and Paul’s argument in Romans 5, doesn’t that create some problems for “limited atonement”? If Adam’s sin is brings condemnation to everyone after him, doesn’t Christ’s sacrifice bring salvation to everyone after him? The language Paul uses seems very symmetric…

Steve

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

Adam was God’s viceregent (or vicegerent depending on your nationality). You’re correct that the command was given to Adam, but it was a law that was effective for all people. Again, we can appeal to Romans for an illustration. Romans 13 tells us that we are to obey those who hold authority over us. Disobeying an authority, provided they are not commanding us to disobey God, is akin to disobeying God himself. The Reformed have understood the 5th command (Honor your father and mother…) with this broader context.

If that is the case, then Eve did disobey God directly. However, she was not condemned until Adam sinned because Adam was the federal head. You’ll note in Genesis 2 that God did not come to the garden (I read that as coming in judgment) until Adam had eaten of the tree.

In terms of limited atonement, you have noticed an issue other have brought up. The short answer would be that the federal headship of Adam and Christ is effective for all those who are under their headship. For Adam, it is all those who descend from him by ordinary generation (so Christ is excluded). For Christ, it is all those who are united to him by faith. I don’t have the space for an extended exegetical treatment here, but I will forward you to John Murray’s The Imputation of Adam’s Sin for further study if you are interested.

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Steve,

It would also be nice to know something about you. Who you are, what you do, where you studied, etc.? If you are going to vehemently attack us (or me, it seems) then it would be nice to know who were are dealing with. Do you find this to be a fair request?

One more thing, I am presently smoking H. Upmann’s! What are you smoking?

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

I don’t find your request to be fair, because I find it to be akin to the question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” I’m not going to vehemently attack you, just your claims. I think the closest I came to attacking you was saying that you made a fool of yourself venturing into domains where you were not informed, but I’d like to point out that in that same sentence I described you as intelligent and educated. Outside of that, I believe I confined myself strictly to a critique of your ideas.

Anyway, caveats aside, I’m Steve Ruble, just like it says. I do lots of things, but professionally I’m a developer and system administrator. I studied at Bowling Green State, where I double majored in Philosophy and Computer Science.

I finally quit smoking almost two months ago, using Chantix. It’s awesome.

Steve

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Well, seems that I have been dishonest. I have yet another thing to say Steve. You ask about the sin of Adam and then insist that it is as much the sin of Eve, if not more so. How is THAT not sexist. In fact, if I was being sexist, it was toward men. I was putting all the blame on the man. The reason it was the sin of Adam, was because Eve was taken from Adam. Adam was the representative of all mankind. His actions had implications for all humanity. Men and women are on completely equal grounds here. So there is no misogyny here. We are all dead in sins because of the sin of the first Adam. We will have life through the merits of the second Adam. If you will repent and look to Jesus Christ, the second Adam, you will be saved. We need another representative. One who obeyed perfectly and took the punishment due to us for our first father’s sin and our own sins. Jesus Christ is a complete Savior and perfect representative. Whatever differences we may have my hearts desire is that you would know Him and His saving grace. I apologize for responding with less love and concern for the state of your soul.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Nick,

I wouldn’t say you were dishonest – just mistaken :-).

You wrote, “[I]f I was being sexist, it was toward men. I was putting all the blame on the man.” I think that you’ve accidentally re-emphasized the very sexism I was curious about. Look at it this way: when you say that you’re putting all the blame on the man, you’re saying that the woman’s decisions and actions fundamentally don’t count. It looks like the only things that really matter are the things that men do – or at least, that a man did. And that, my friend, is classic sexism.

I appreciate your sharing of the Gospel as a gesture of good will, but I am curious about one thing. You wrote , “We are all dead in sins because of the sin of the first Adam. We will have life through the merits of the second Adam.” Why did you leave “all” out of the second sentence? That would more accurately reflect Romans 5:18.

In any case, I’ve already repented and looked to Christ once, back when I was kid, so there’s no need to worry about me on that score.

Steve

Steve in Toronto

9 years ago

Hello Gentleman
Thank for your all your efforts and I am sure your heart is in the right place but I sometimes wonder if you understand the impact that your work has on those of us who have more “unsettled faiths.” The first real crises my faith faced was when I was 15 and my High School science class spent 3 weeks touring the American south west in the company of a Biologist, a Geologist and ironically a Roman Catholic Nun (the girls needed a chaperon and our public high school had no woman science teachers). I literally entered the Grand Canyon a 6 day creationist and left in believing in an old earth. My faith was saved by our churches dispensationalist assistant pastor (a Dallas Theological Seminary man) who spent a good deal of the rest of that summer persuading me that contrary to what the youth pastor had told me I could still have confidence in the word of God even if I did not read it the way it the way I had been taught in Sunday school. The following 40 years brought other crises. I was saved from a overdose of post modern philosophy in university by the neo-Calvinists of Toronto’s Institute for Christians Studies who like my old pastor did not so much persuade me that what I had learned out side the church was wrong but help me integrate these “worldly insights” into distinctly Christian World view. Later an odd combination of liberal Anglicans and conservative Lutherans helped me to experience Christ’s love and forgivness in the midst of a brutal divorce. When I first encountered Peter Enns work through my brother in law who was one of his students at Biblical Theologian Seminary I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. For years I had struggled with my simultaneous dependence on Paul’s insights in to the implications of Christ’s death and resurrection and an inescapable conviction that the best word to use to describe the genre of the first few chapters of genre was “Myth”. I don’t think I ever am as confident in my faith as the young man who walks into the Grand Canyon 30 years ago but I am still a Christen. The hour I spent with you gentleman yesterday reminded me of that basement Sunday school room so may years ago when my old youth pastor said if you don’t believe that God created the world in six literal days how can you believe that Christ rose from the dead? I felt sick and conflicted if I had to make such a choice I have no idea what I would do. I thank God that my own priest (A man who incidentally has a PHD in Biology from McGill) has convinced me that such a decision is unnecessary.
Peace
Steve in Toronto

Steve in Toronto

9 years ago

Sorry for all the typos my laptop was running out of juice

Jeff Waddington

9 years ago

Steve

The issue in contention in our discussion was not the 6/24 view of creation per se, but the historicity of Adam. The problem I have with those who try to have their cake and eat it too (holding to evolution and Christianity) is they often treat scientists as if they were exempt from the fall and from the interpretive process we all experience. I am sorry if we caused you turmoil, but the truth has a tendency to do that.

Jeff

Chris E

9 years ago

What a strange episode – you spent half of it seriously grappling with issues and the other half misrepresenting the views of your opponents. Seriously, accepting “Darwins philosophy” – whatever that means – is not necessarily a pre-condition for believing in an evolutionary origin for human-kind

Despite the disclaimers, I got the distinct feeling that you were (all) actually quite uncomfortable with allowing for even the possibility of evolution (presumably to do otherwise would lead to BB Warfield being ruled unorthodox :D).

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

Warfield is an interesting case. I am strongly convicted that certain things must be affirmed as a standard of orthodoxy. Among these would be creation ex nihilo and the historicity of Adam. Personally, I have issues with an evolutionary view of man. Whether or not Warfield’s view of the creation of Adam should be acceptable is another question. Ihave issues with it, but should it be part of an orthodoxy litmus test?

Steve in Toronto

9 years ago

It seem to me the issue is not are scientist immune from the effects of the fall (of Corse they are not) but is there some sort of unity to human knowledge possible. Is knowledge of the real world actually accessible to human reason? I know quite a few biologists who are also Christians and not one of them douts evolution. It is of Corse possible that God deliberate planted false evidence of common decent in order to create a “stumbling block to the wise” but frankly this theory seem implausible at best and pernicious at worst. Peter Enns college at Biologos Bruce Waltke recently posted a video arguing that Christens must except evolution in order to be relevant to our age http://biologos.org/resources/bruce-waltke-why-must-the-church-accept-evolution/ and I am inclined to agree with him. I know this is not exactly the same as saying there was no historical Adam but the issues are closely related. For 35 years I have been hearing thoughtful series orthodox Christians saying the Darwinian revolution is about to be overthrown and the evolution will be discredited. Instead I have watched the biology departments of christen colleges fill up with otherwise orthodox bible believing evolutionist (I am not talking about “normally” Christian schools like Baylor or Notre Dame I am talking about places like Wheaton and Calvin). It’s about time that the Theologians came to terms evolution Darwin isn’t going away.

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Steve and Chris,

Besides making unsubstantiated attacks on our statements, in light of your presuppositions, you have made numerous ad hominem attacks as well. Chris, you are seemingly mistaken with regard to B.B. Warfield. Warfield believed in a historical Adam who did not evolve. He held to an old earth theory and Day Age approach to Genesis 1, but we were not attacking Day Age, Framework Hypothesis, or Analogical views of creation. I am exegetically convinced of a literal 6-24 hour day creation, but that is somewhat beside the point. Camden holds to Framework. So perhaps you would be kind enough to get the facts before you go to insulting us. Maybe you could just hold your comments back, because they are less than constructive when they are full of Ad Hominem and Tu Quoque arguments. The point is, that neither of you are allowing your scientific presuppositions to be challenged biblically.

Steve, I would rather be likened to the Sunday school teacher in the basement, than the evolutionary biologists who hates the Savior. If I have to choose, the later makes me a whole lot sicker to my stomach than the former. That being said, as Jeff has pointed out, we are arguing for the historicity of Adam, not for 6 literal day creation. You are, ironically, doing the same thing to us that your Sunday school teacher did to you (i.e. Unless you agree with me…).

None of the men on this show attacked science at all. In fact, all of us have a deep appreciation for science. If you took the time to ask questions, instead of irrationally spouting off you would learn that. Furthermore, there are just as many Christian scientists who are coming to different conclusions than the “bible believing evolutionsist” filling “Christian” institutions. Does the fact that they are being hired by Calvin and Wheaton make them right? That is an appeal to human authority.

Steve, if you want to enter into a discussion about metaphysics or epistemology, I am sure that any of the panelists would be glad to do so. When you ask whether knowledge of the world is accessible to human reason, you need to distinguish between the metaphysical and epistemological knowledge. The one is accessible to all men, the other is completely affected by the noetic effects of sin. General revelation was never meant to tell us the origins of creation. Creation was a supernatural act–a supernatural revelation that can only be known through supernatural revelation. You may learn a lot about the world through scientific investigation, but you will never find out the origins of the world through empirical knowlegde. God never intended that. Read the last five chapters of Job.

I would ask one question of any other professing Christians who comment on this blog. You may not agree with us, but please do us a favor and do not simply dismiss what we are saying with scorn and such demeaning tones. I would not come on your website and do that. You are “Christians,” and a tree is known by its fruit.

Chris E

9 years ago

Besides making unsubstantiated attacks on our statements, in light of your presuppositions, you have made numerous ad hominem attacks as well. Chris, you are seemingly mistaken with regard to B.B. Warfield.

Please point to the unsubstantiated attacks. Incidentally, I wasn’t claiming that BB Warfield held to a non-historical Adam, but was referring to Jeff’s statement here, which featured a tone that was evident in the broadcast also:

The problem I have with those who try to have their cake and eat it too (holding to evolution and Christianity) is they often treat scientists as if they were exempt from the fall and from the interpretive process we all experience.

Jim Cassidy

9 years ago

Steve Ruble,

I wonder, do you regard non-whites as inferior? If not, why not? It seems a consistent Darwinian position would demand it. But if Darwin was wrong here, then how does that affect his interpretation of the scientific evidence with regard to evolution?

Quite frankly, I have yet to see the evidence for evolution. I keep challenging my Darwinian friends to show me. They still haven’t provided the evidence. All I get are Darwinian interpretations of certain observations. But there is a huge gap between the data and the interpretation. This is why Darwinianism is rightly categorized a philosophy as opposed to a pure science.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Hi Jim,

Thanks for using my last name… it’s confusing to have two Steves like this.

I do not regard non-whites as inferior to whites, either in terms of empirical characteristics or moral worth. There is no evidence that ancestral origin has any relation to general physical or mental ability, and even if there were it wouldn’t matter with regards to moral worth – is does not imply ought.

Why does it seem to you that a consistent Darwinian position would demand that I regard non-whites as inferior?

I suspect that Darwin’s interpretation of the scientific evidence with regard to evolution was shaded by the ambient racism of his society whenever he discussed human evolution, especially the future of humanity. It’s a shame, really… I’d love to read what he would have written if he had lived in a different culture.

Incidentally, people who accept the theory of evolution have the same feeling about the descriptor “Darwinist” as Reformed theologians have about the descriptor “Calvinist”. Basically, the feeling is that yes, that guy laid the groundwork and did a lot of the heavy lifting, but we’ve really come a long way since then, and we’re not bound to affirm every single thing he said. For example, most Reformed theologians would not affirm that Jews be “oppressed unendingly”, but they would say that the Institutes are pretty good.

Quite frankly, I have yet to see the evidence for you seriously considering the theory of evolution. What is the last book you read that was written by an evolutionary biologist who accepts the theory of evolution? How many classes in evolutionary biology have you taken? Would you have any respect for a person who rejected Christianity without having read any books written by Christians?

When you say that you challenge you Darwinian friends to show you the evidence for evolution, what form do you imagine that evidence might take? Consider that Google Scholar returns 1,330,000 hits for “evolution” under “Biology, Life Sciences, and Environmental Sciences”. Taken as a _very_ rough proxy, that would indicate that there is slightly more evidence than a person could easily show you. (BTW, there are only 479,000 hits for “Jesus Christ” under _all_ topics.)

Steve

Steve in Toronto

9 years ago

Hello Jeff, Nick and co.
You guys need to tone the rhetoric down a bit what unsubstantiated attacks have I made on you? In what way have I insulted you? I have a lot of respect for you guy’s your funny smart and extremely well educated but frankly a lot of the time you guys sound like a bunch of jerks. Your podcast shock me up pretty badly and I tried to respectfully make you aware that there are people out side your reformed bubble listening and you might want to consider how they hear what you’re saying . I am not a theologian, a philosopher or a scientist but I have friends in all three of these disciplines and a few who span all three and the answers to these questions are not nearly as black and white as you suggest. Both Calvin and Luther were “exegetically convinced” that the sun revolved around the earth. If we don’t open up our hermetic to the insights of science and other forms of “natural theology” we risk further marginalising our faith. What we have here is a very knotty conflict between systematic, natural and perhaps a few different strains of biblical theology just to make things interesting. The fact that you guys can not agree among your self’s exactly what is going on in these chapters of Genesis ought to tell you something! I am convinced that if the bible is the word of God it can be harmonised with science, history and any other kind of truth human and divine. What disturbed me was that it was too easy to hear what you were saying as a kind of ultimatum between reason and revelation. I am sure that you would agree that properly understood there is no conflict and it is our responsibility as intelligent thoughtful Christians to strive for unity between them. Until that blessed day when Christ reveals all these secrets to us lets try to be civil and respectful.
Peace
Steve in Toronto

Jeff Waddington

9 years ago

Steve

I know that there are many Christians who hold to some form or other of evolution. I believe they are in error. I am sorry if you think that makes me a neanderthal, but so be it. Of course, you are free to disagree with me as you wish. I expect you will allow me to disagree with you.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Hi Jeff, this is the other Steve. I just wanted to give Steve in Toronto some ammunition. Here’s a rather significant commentator on this subject, Thomas Aquinas: “The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”

This is, I’m afraid, the situation you are in. It’s people like Steve who are showing the way forward for Christianity. Your mention of neadrethals is sadly apropos… they were probably more intelligent than we homo sapiens (at least, they had bigger brains), but they are now extinct because of their inability to adapt to a changing environment. Sort of a real life parable.

Steve Ruble

Benj

9 years ago

Hi Gang,

I’m halfway through the podcast and have to head to church soon, but I wanted to throw this out there while I thought of it.

You say that OT characters mentioned in the NT could not be mythological, because that would make Paul, Jesus et al, wrong. I’m still on the fence about this, and I honestly want to hear your explanation for another instance in the NT of apparently incorrect or misperceived information about the OT.

Jude 14-15 appears to quote 1 Enoch 1:9. I am aware of all the difficulties surrounding these texts–which one is dependent on the other, are they both dependent on some other source, etc. But it seems that Jude is using an historical source, 1 Enoch or otherwise, that is highly unlikely to reflect something that Enoch actually prophesied. So, we have a few options.

1. Despite the lack of historical probability, Jude’s source does in fact reflect what Enoch historically said.
2. Jude, under the inspiration of the HS, knows what Enoch said.
3. Jude does not believe that Enoch actually said these words, but uses the quotation instructively anyway.
4. Jude believes these words are authentic, and though his historical perception is wrong, his use of the “quotation” is proper anyway.
5. Εκβαλλω Jude from the canon, like Luther said.

Option #4 makes the most sense to me. #1-2 seem incredible, and #3 results in some of the same problems for inerrancy as #4 does.

I realize that the inauthenticity of a minor quotation from an historical OT figure is not of the same import as the idea that Adam never existed. But couldn’t this calibrate our expectations for the ways that other NT passages use the OT?

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Benj,

I appreciate your comments. Why do you think that #1 and #2 seem incredible? Is it possible for the Holy Spirit to preserve oral tradition, or to immediately reveal things to one of his prophets. Is it possible that what ends up in 1 Enoch, at least with regard to the prophecy of judgment with the coming of the Lord, was actually said by Enoch and passed down by tradition, before it was put into an Apocryphal writing. With the Jewish mindset and preservation of tradition, why is this so incredible?

art

9 years ago

the reason that you’re argument doesn’t hold up, nick, is because it does not represent the evidence we have of 1 enoch. the author(s) of the book of the watchers (1 enoch 1-36) do not reflect any concern for conveying the history of enoch as perserved in the past, nor a concern for torah in general (there are actually theories of an ‘enochic judaism’ that was meant to replace the ‘mosaic torah’).

you are free to have your own viewpoint on the issue. but, at the end of the day, your viewpoint here is based solely on unsubstantiated and unverifiable beliefs, not evidence. it’s eisegesis.

Benj

9 years ago

I was beginning to write a reply to Nick, but Art beat me to it quite ably.

Nick, I don’t deny that options #1-2 could have happened. But it does seem like we’re imposing our views on the text at that point. Why not learn from what the authors of the NT seem to be doing with the sources they have? I know you would agree with that statement in principle, but we disagree on what the NT writers seem to be doing with the OT and 2TJ texts they have.

I think that’s where historical study has to come into play, to calibrate our expectations of the functions of these texts. I don’t know that we can make a hard distinction, for instance, between using an Ugaritic text to help us understand a Hebrew word in a psalm, using that Ugaritic text to understand a syntactical construction in that Hebrew poem, and using an Ugaritian conception of a deity to inform our understanding of the psalmist’s view of YHWH. To deny the necessity of historical study is actually to undermine the historicity of our faith.

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

No Art. Your reading of the book of Enoch is subjective at best. You can’t say, “the author(s) of the book of the watchers (1 enoch 1-36) do not reflect any concern for conveying the history of enoch as perserved in the past, nor a concern for torah in general,” immediately after telling me that my understanding of Jude’s use of Enoch is unsubstantiated. You gave absolutely no evidence for your understanding of the reference to the “seventh from Adam” in your comment. That is really quite ironic. You charge me with something that you exhibit in your charge. Wow. This really is pathetic, that all the men criticizing us are doing the same things they are criticizing. At the end of the day, we have a different methodology. It is wrong for you to say I am simply eisegeting the text. That actually doesn’t mean anything. You can say that to anyone who comes to a different conclusion on a text than the one you hold. Surely one of us is eisegeting, but the real issue is that we have a radically different hermeneutical approach to the text. Mine is intertextual with regard to the canon. Your’s, Enn’s and Longman’s is intertextual with regard to pagan literature and the Bible.

art

9 years ago

@nick: please point me to a scholar or evidence from the book of watchers that i am wrong. it’s not a subjective reading. who have you read on 1 enoch?
also, i did not reference the seventh from adam in my comment, so i don’t know what you’re getting at there.
as a side note, the amount of vitriol in your comment is not needed. calling another person pathetic? come on nick, you’re better than that.

Chris in San Antonio

9 years ago

It’s possible. Is it probable?

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Steve in Toronto,

Does Paul sound like a jerk in Romans 9 when he writes,” Who are you, O man, to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?” It seems like this is a lot harsher than we have ever been to anyone on this show. And yet, Paul was an inspired apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul also said, “If anyone preaches any other Jesus than the One we have preached…let him be cursed to the deepest part of hell.” The same Paul also told the false teachers in Galatia that he wished they would emasculate themselves. I, for one, am not interested in being harsher than, or kinder than, Paul.

BTW, Jesus called Herod a fox, the Pharisees hypocrites and an offspring of serpents, and the unbelieving Jews a “synagogue of Satan.” Was he being a jerk?

Ranger

9 years ago

I personally don’t know how to respond to this podcast. I’m a huge fan of the show, and have commented here in the past. Regardless of the content of the podcast, I was disappointed in the perceived attitude (I could be wrong) among some of the presenters and would call any fellow elder to repentance if we served together. I believe that the presenters came across as prideful at times, especially the latter half, and should be held accountable for such.

As to the content, I do not feel that the podcast was honest to what Hebraists, ANE historians, and even what the majority of evangelical Old Testament profs are saying in regards to the historicity of the OT passages. As Art has pointed out above the issues have little to do with unbelieving versus believing presuppositions. As a believer in the full inerrancy of Scripture, I must deal with the fact that this fully inerrant Scripture seems to have a more ancient Hebrew linguistic pattern in Judges 5. There’s plenty more and any believing OT prof can direct you in this regard. It’s not a matter of inerrantists and those with a low view of Scripture or believing versus unbelieving hermeneutics, but simply a matter of whether or not we take the text (as it is) seriously both in what it says and in how it is shaped.

Can biblical inerrancy hold that the Pentateuch has Mosaic origins, while also hold that it has undergone revision and updating to further display God’s progressive revelation throughout history? I believe it can and must, because studying the text from a believing perspective, and trying to be as honest as possible to God’s revelation and God Himself mandates that we realize that the Pentateuch is not monolithic and that much more than the death story came post-Moses, and much of what may be Mosaic in origin has been shaped to fit later issues in God’s redemptive history.

It would be beneficial if you interviewed a believing Old Testament specialist on these issues in the future since they would surely know how better to address the topics in discussion. It would benefit the listeners to hear Waltke, Daniel Timmer or another godly man who is intimately familiar with the Pentateuch in particular.

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Ranger,

I had Dan Timmer as a professor for my Th.M studies, so I am well aware of the arguments that evangelical ANE scholars present in this regard. I am not sure how to respond to your charges of pride, and of ignorance of the Pentateuch. All I can say is that I do have pride in my heart and pray that the Lord removes it on a daily basis. But, at the end of the day, your charges are built on the fact that you diagree with my conclusions that a denial of the historicity of Adam based on chalking Genesis up to mythography is dangerous. You can disagree with someone without charging them with being proud.

Steve in Toronto

9 years ago

Hello Jeff and Nick
Frankly sometime Paul does sound like a jerk. But God uses all sorts and I am sure that the people that Paul was responding to had it coming. But remember what you said back a few posts ago “You are “Christians,” and a tree is known by its fruit.” I am not writing these posts because I want to score points or make anybody look bad but because I think you need to know the effect your work is having on people like me. Ever since I was a small child I have had a deep conviction of the reality of Christ death and resurrection my faith is so deeply imbedded in my personality I can’t even imagine life without Christ, But I also found it impossible to read the opening chapters of Genesis without experiencing deep doubts about the nature of divine revelation and until I encountered the work of men like Peter Enns I frankly just avoided it. Now I a looking at these texts again and God are speaking to me through them for the first time in years. I just ordered Dr. Waltke commentary on Genesis and am actually looking forward to working my why through Genesis with his help. Listening to you guys however made me want to just give it all up and throw in my lot with the liberals. There is something very unattractive about how glibly you dismiss the life’s work of so many dedicated scientists (many of them Christians) When you spoke of the fruits of Darwinism I could not help but think of my wife’s experience growing up in Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe). Reformed Christians in North America should be grateful that the role that “Calvinist” theology played in the intellectual underpinnings of apartheid is not more widely known here (not to mention the failure of orthodox Presbyterians to effectively appose slavery in the United States). I don’t pretend to have the answers to these difficult questions but ignoring them or pretending that the only people asking them are “evolutionary biologists who hates the Saviour” isn’t making it any easier for Christians like me who are hanging on to our “small “o” orthodox Christian faith by the skin of our teeth.

Please try to take this in the sprit it’s meant in. I consider you guys my brothers in Christ and It very painful to be spoken to as if I am an infidel.

Peace
Steve in Toronto

Steve in Toronto

9 years ago

P.S. For what it’s worth Christ has never comes across as a jerk. When he lashes out at the Pharisees in Mathew 23 it’s because of the “heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders”. Be careful that you don’t also put too heavy a load on the christen men and woman who follow you.

Chris in San Antonio

9 years ago

In summary, we believe in the historicity of Adam because if we don’t the rest of the Bible unravels. Is that the best we can do?

I would have preferred a statement like, “We accept the historicity as a matter of faith.”

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

The particular case you take issue with is compelling to those who hold to an analogia fidei in conjunction with a reformed doctrine of Scripture. Those people were the intended audience. Perhaps we should have spelled this out more.

Chris in San Antonio

9 years ago

If the “take home” is the “law of faith” dictates we accept the historicity of Adam because its written in the OT then it can be a much shorter podcast… “We have faith that the historicity of Adam is firmly established by the OT and therefore is not contestable.”

Also, the point that historical events show up in the Bible therefore establish its historicity. I’ve read many a novel that are based on actual historical events…that doesn’t mean the characters are real or their thoughts and actions actually took place. This was another weak premise on which to base historicity.

Is this really the best case we have for the historicity of Adam?

Chris in San Antonio

9 years ago

I feel I must add…that I enjoy the podcast. I found you beginning with the 2/26 podcast and will probably start working backwards from there.

art

9 years ago

i have to agree with some of the general concerns of the content of this podcast.

overall, i didn’t feel as if those involved with the panel actually dealt with the real issues. furthermore, their representation of the “other side” was skewed at best.

for instance, jim cassidy made the point that many people make a distinction between genesis 1-11 and the rest of the book. that may be true in certain camps, but those viewpoints are extremely dated. divisions in the hebrew bible in general, and genesis in particular, are not made between gen 11 and the rest of the book, but on the language used in different portions of the hebrew bible. by ‘language’ i do not mean ‘genre,’ but the actual form of hebrew that is being used. an example would be the hebrew of the poem in judges 5. nearly all familiar with northwest semitic philology would date this hebrew as the earliest form of the language in the hebrew bible. they separate this poem as being early not because of some scientific theory or because of convictions of inerrancy or errancy, but because philologically, it makes the most sense. this could also be said of different strands of torah that have been woven together in its current form. it’s based on philology, historical evidence, and cognate literature. to say otherwise is to ignore the evidence as it is hidden behind the proverbial van tillian light saber.

another example is jeff waddington’s statement that some of those on the “other side” of the issue view history as an invention of the enlightenment. such a statement reveals either a misreading of the opposition or an unfamiliarity with the actual arguments. it is not that ‘history’ was invented in the enlightenment, it is more the case that many people’s idea of what history writing should look like is grounded in enlightenment ideals and then read back onto the hebrew bible. that is not to say that there isn’t real history behind the text of the hebrew bible, but it is saying that the historiography of the hebrew bible looks different than what many of us would think of when we think of historical writings. all history writing is shaped and perspectival. the hebrew bible is no different.

all that to say i didn’t find this podcast helpful in engaging the real issues. it was, instead, full of strawmen and polemics aimed at a viewpoint that does not actually exist. to be productive, it would be helpful to take a real look at the issues and the evidence instead of dealing with misconceptions or inventions of what the “other side” believes.

Jim Cassidy

9 years ago

Just a general comment. It strikes me as quite funny that when an orthodox theologian expounds his doctrine of Scripture there is never a quibble over what he meant. But when a questionable doctrine is set forth and it is criticized, suddenly the problem is with the critics for misunderstanding. I wonder, however, are we misunderstanding or are the theologians with questionable doctrine being unclear (at best)? In fact, I am becoming increasingly persuaded that the cry “you misunderstood!” is the clearest indicator that the we’re actually on to something.

art

9 years ago

@jim: i don’t think this statement is accurate. there is no doubt in my mind that a couple of my friends and i could sit around a microphone for an hour and find many things that are unclear about “orthodox” theology, especially when it comes to the doctrine of scripture.
furthermore, “you misunderstood” is not some sort of rally cry. it’s the truth. you can either take it as such and attempt to rightly understand the issues at hand, or you can continue to think that you already do understand them even when people are telling you that you don’t. that decision is yours. i would hope that you would take it seriously and really want to understand these issues, because they aren’t going away until they are dealt with. by misunderstanding them, you have yet to deal with them.

Marty

9 years ago

Dear Christ-the-Centre-Boys,

Thanks for your great ministry in these podcasts; I love them.

I myself passionately believe in an historical Adam, but I didn’t always. And I must say, your pod cast would certainly not have won me over to the historical Adam position because it didn’t really deal with the issues surrounding Gen. 1-11 in their complexity. (I don’t want to go into all the details why in such a forum as this, I don’t have the time).

Can I suggest that particularly on an issue such as this one, you refrain from discussing it amongst yourselves but do so with an expert in the field?

Keep up the great work.

Every blessing in Christ,

Marty.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Nick, it looks like one of your comments has disappeared, and my reply is now “awaiting moderation”. The missing comment was right before your comment which begins, “Steve, It would also be nice to know something about you.”

Any idea where it might have gone, and/or whether my response will ever be posted?

Thanks,
Steve

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

Steve,

After thinking about it for a day or two I decided to pull the comment down. I didn’t find that it contributed to our cause. Frankly, it was rashly written and probably should not have been posted in the first place. Since I decided to take it down, I’ve pulled your response to it as well. It wouldn’t do other readers much use to read a reply to something that doesn’t exist anymore. Perhaps Nick can respond to you directly.

Jim Cassidy

9 years ago

Hi Marty,

Thanks for your kind words and also your suggestion.

If you find the time, would be willing to share with us either what it was that did win you over to the historical Adam side and/or what you think would be helpful for winning someone over to that side today? Thanks!

Blessings,

Jim Cassidy

9 years ago

Art,

The distinction can’t be that dated, Enns makes it in his book (pp. 43 and 108). As for the rest of what you say, I am not sure how it applies to the question. Was Adam a historical figure or no? An entire theological system either stands or falls on the basis of the answer to that question.

It seems clear to me that Longman – at best – calls into question a historical Adam. Did I mishear him?

It also seems that Enns and co. have way to quickly jumped off the orthodox bandwagon because of ANE parallels to the Genesis accounts. Granted, in his book he does speak about differences. However, for him the similarities provide a “problem.” I’m not sure I see the problem. To be honest, I’m not sure I see any real similarities. I am not persuaded that Genesis and the ANE parallels “breath the same air.” I also know that Enns’ way of seeing things here is not new but quite old. And that there are alternatives to his perspective. Here I am thinking of Kline’s “Structure of Biblical Authority” and John Walton’s new volume “Ancient Near Eastern Thought.” Both of these volumes do an excellent job of giving a theological framework for dealing with parallels which preserve both inerrancy and a historical Adam.

Blessings,

Pat Roach

9 years ago

Guys,

Your theological discussion on this topic was interesting, though a bit tendentious. A good discussion of the interaction between General and Special Revelation would be a helpful supplement to this, e.g. why aren’t we still geo-centrists as a lead in question), but your breathless comments on Darwin and Darwinism are brutally ignorant and embarrassing. Darwin was no more racist for a man of his time than anyone else, and surely much less so than men like Dabney, Thornwell, et al.

It is public record that Darwin in fact did not endorse slavery, (see link below – there is a whole book about it). And to make the specious connections between Darwin and Nazism, etc. is overly simplistic and hurts your credibility, and basically soiled an otherwise engaging podcast. Surely, you have something more reasonable to say than “people took the idea of natural selection and applied it in horrible ways, therefore it is discredited.” Where does that leave covenant theology (which was used to substantiate chattel slavery in America)? You could have also pointed out how natural selection has been useful as an organizing principle for scientists in work of immunology, conservation, etc. Bad and selective reasoning, friends.

http://www.amazon.com/Darwins-Sacred-Cause-Slavery-Evolution/dp/0547055269

Best,
PGR

Chris in San Antonio

9 years ago

I’m pretty sure that the historical record shows that slavery predates Darwin.

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

To satisfy my own curiosity, could you tell me what you think of the Discovery Institute? Nick didn’t say much of anything different from John G. West. He recently spoke at a conference co-sponsored by the Discovery Institute and Westminster Theological Seminary.

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

FYI, Phil Ryken was the one who pointed out the inherent racism in Darwin’s theory. Here is what he wrote in a Reformation 21 blogpost:

In recognition of the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, the Kairos Journal recently reminded its readers of the subtitle to the evolutionist’s magnum opus, The Origin of the Species. What is the book’s subtitle? The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

This obviously opens the door for something that contemporary Darwinists try to deny, namely, that evolution as a worldview is an inherently racist theory that opens the moral door for eugenics, euthanasia, and other crimes against humanity.

Here is what Darwin writes in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex:

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

For those who think that this episode was not an educated or persuasive attempt to defend creationism biblically, I would invite you to record your own show and send it to us. I will gladly post your show on Feeding on Christ, whatever your view may be.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Nick, come on. Why did you post that quote from Darwin? Do you think that quote mining is a legitimate form of argument?

If you derived this quote from the primat source, shame on you for tryin to deceive thsoe reading this discussion. If you’re quoting this from a secondary source and merely echoing their argumnet, I’d strongly recommend no longer trusting that source, as it is clearly duplicitous.

For those unfamiliar with Darwin, the paragraph following Nick’s quote explains that attempting to breed humans would destroy the most noble part of our nature, and would constitute an “overwhelming present evil”. I can’t link to anything here because I’m typing on my phone, but if you want to read the context of that quote search Google Books for a few word from it, in quotes.

I’m not familiar with the Kairos Journal, but I’m not too concerned; if they are raising the issue of the “favored races” verbage they clearly aren’t interested in good faith discussion. The Origin hardly mentions humans or human ethnic groups, and in Darwin’s day “races” meant the same thing as “varieties”. Of course, Darwin was racist just like almost everyone else of his time, but that has nothing to do with the argument presented in OoS.

Finally, the theory of evolution is not inherently racist. Under the theory, every living thing is decended from a common ancestor, and everything that is not extinct is tautologically equally successful: they have all survived, therefore they are all members of the “fittest”, if you need a simplified explanation. Anyone who extracts a eugenic or racist ideology from the theory is doing it for their own reasons, just as people can do with any theory (ever hear of Christian Identity?).

So please, stick to good arguments, if you have them.

Thanks,
Steve

Pat Roach

9 years ago

If Darwin were the kind of racist you (and Phil) were saying he is, then what you would expect him to say after the portion of text you cited is something like, “and so we must weed out the frail, and let the weak die, etc.” BUT what is written immediately afterwards is quite the opposite:

“The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.”

So, here is the point, and I write as someone who has done campus ministry and church planting (still doing the latter), when you talk about beliefs and world-views that you are critiquing you should be sure that a person who holds those views would recognize himself in what you say, and not simply hear a caricature or inaccurate presentation of what they believe. I hate it when folks here in Portland do that with Christianity.

Blessings,
PGR

p.s. I don’t think much of the Discovery Institute. I do know that the chair of the AP department at WTS participated in the first BioLogos workshop, and signed their first statement.
http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Workshop_statement.pdf

Jim Cassidy

9 years ago

Pat,

That hardly says anything. Given that limited statement I can gladly sign on too. All it says is that there is no inherent contradiction between science and faith. I agree. But this issue is not one of science v faith. If you listened to our podcast in that way you need to go back and listen again. The issue is between good v bad science; and good v. bad biblical theology. To deny a historical Adam is bad biblical theology.

Blessings,

Pat Roach

9 years ago

Jim,

I don’t need to re-listen to the discussion. The podcast was actually NOT about good science vs. bad science, but about the historicity of Adam and the various theological problems of of not affirming it (e.g. different BT approaches in the interpreting and understanding Adam). That part was interesting, informed, and helpful. But it drifted into a tendentious screed about Darwin and Darwinism that was incongruous with most of the rest of the podcast – mainly because it was not well reasoned or informed. I responded to Camden’s inquiry about Discovery Institute and WTS co-hosting an event with them as a post-script, mainly because it was an appeal to authority on his part.

Grace,
PGR

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Pat,

What appeal to authority have you made, except to Darwin, in any of your criticisms. In fact, none of the men who have criticized us have even quoted one verse of Scripture, except for Steve Ruble. Though his arguments were exegetically weak, at least he attempted to criticize some of our statements biblically. Seems to me that you are your own authority on this matter. The issue of evolution and Darwinism has everything to do with the discussion of a historical Adam, since that is why men deny the historicity of Adam. In fact, it is the exclusive reason why men deny the historicity of Adam. If you read the Bible at face value, you would never ever come to deny an historic Adam–at least not on the sole authority of God’s word. That is the point.

Chris in San Antonio

9 years ago

What does it mean if you have faith in God but not in the historicity of Adam?

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

With regard to the statements about Darwin’s racism, please not page 167 an following in this version of the Descent of Man.

Jim Cassidy

9 years ago

Also with regards to Darwin’s racism, one ought not to confuse slavery with racism. One may think that slavery is perfectly allowable system and yet not be racist. For instance, we can imagine a person who thinks that it is a good idea to enslave certain people of one’s own race. In fact, that has happened in history. Likewise, one may think that slavery is a horrible idea and still be racist. This, I believe was the case with Darwin. So, even if he was anti-Slavery, that does not get him off the charge of being a racist. Nor does that get the whole idea of evolution by natural selection off the charge of being inherently racist. Furthermore, as was noted in the show, covenant theology properly conceived is inherently anti-racial (despite the racist tendencies of some of its proponents). Take away an historical Adam and the result must necessarily be a racist anthropology.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Jim, I’m perfectly willing to agree that Darwin was racist. In fact, I pointed it out myself in my very first post. I don’t think you and Nick need to make the point any further.

What I’m not willing to agree with is your claim that the theory of evolution by natural selection is inherently racist. How have you come to that conclusion?

Steve

Chris in San Antonio

9 years ago

“So, even if he was anti-Slavery, that does not get him off the charge of being a racist.”

The ancient Jews had laws that shunned others such as not allowing eating with non-Jews. Is that racist?
Like Darwin, Ancient Jews are in a social context where racists ideas were common to their cultures.

Should I take the answer to my question of 2:30P, April 1st…
“What does it mean if you have faith in God but not in the historicity of Adam?”

A:”Take away an historical Adam and the result must necessarily be a racist anthropology.”

I think my question is about faith and not about anthropology or evolution. Who knew the historicity of Adam would land us in a discussion of evolution, natural selection, racism, slavery, and Darwin.

Pat Roach

9 years ago

Nick,

You’re goofing, right? Why would I appeal to Scripture since that is not even my point. I’m afraid in your zeal to defend historic Adam, you’ve missed what I addressed in the first place. My comments had nothing to do with the truth of Darwinism, or exegetical issues of Genesis 1 or Romans 5. My ONLY POINT was that you (specifically) engaged in a reckless, fear-mongering caricature of Darwin by associating him with things he patently did not believe. You don’t really think that it is okay to be inaccurate and inattentive to facts in dealing with others you disagree with? It doesn’t advance your case. It makes true and good things you say more suspect, since truth is not valued but just simply winning the point. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not simply make a pietistic feint.

And your reference doesn’t to p. 167 doesn’t prove what you intend. Where is the racism? He uses the word “Aryan” but that word didn’t mean the same thing 150 years ago in England that it does here (i.e. it means Indo-European – which is what he was talking about in the context of the pages you noted). Did you read any of the other book I linked?

I’m not setting myself (or my pride, or name) as an authority. You? Frankly, you couldn’t conclude that from anything I have written either. Are you just not comfortable having people disagree with you? All I did was show you were you made a mistake on ONE aspect of the podcast (and was laudatory of most of the rest). Your response was to change the topic, and (try) to do a little Van Tilian Kung Fu. You don’t have to know everything or be right about everything for people to respect you, Nick.

Honestly, your next to last post bordered on bombastic (and again) was wrong.. The “exclusive” reason men deny the historic Adam is Darwinism? Even you know that is not true (e.g. Baron D’ Holbach died before Darwin was born and denied Adam – and much else). I think what is governing this whole conversation is that you are anxious to defend a view (historic Adam) and letting that obscure the way you are doing it.

Warmly,
PGR

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Pat,

Thank you for the brotherly admonishment.

Nick

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Pat,

Also note that the paragraph title on the page I mentioned was “On the races of man.” That, my friend, is racism. If you believe in more than one race, you are racist.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

By that standard, if you believe iin more than one sex, you are sexist. Are you serious?

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Steve,

You are blurring ontological and economic categories.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Nick, what does that mean?

I would argue that racism and sexism must include prescriptive or normative statements that rest on differences between groups; descriptive statements about differences are not racist/sexist/whatever, they’re just claims about the way the world _is_, not the way the world _ought to be_. Descriptive statements may be true or false, but the do not have any intrinsic moral import. Racist normative statemetns may use descriptive statements as a jumping off point, but that is an illegitimate move.

What definition are you working from?

Nicholas T. Batzig

9 years ago

Steve,

Men and women are ontologically equal. They are both Imago Dei. Even the Hebrew words for man and woman are related to show this equality. But men and women have different economic roles. In the realm of race, there is one race. Ontonlogically all men are equal. To say that there are races, is to make a distinction that is an denial of ontological equality. There is no economic distinction with regard to people groups. You can try and try, but you cannot do away the inevitable reality of Darwin’s system being inherently racist.

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Nick, you’re using “economic” with some private meaning I don’t share. I think “economic” means money. What are you talking about?

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

“Economy” comes from the greek works oikos (house) and nomos (law). Nick is using it in the sense “of or relating to a household or its management” (Webster’s Dictionary). It’s a distinction that arises from roles and responsibilities, not ontic categories. In other words, the distinctions are not of being, but of roles and relations.

For instance, the Father, Son and Spirit are each equally and fully God. However, for the sake of the church’s redemption they have taken on different roles. In an economic sense, the Son submits to the Father and the Spirit to both the Father and the Son.

David Graves

9 years ago

Steve,

What Nick is talking about is the concept of polygenesis. This was the idea, popularized by Darwinian Evolution, that the various races developed distinctly in different geographical locations, e.g. Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid, etc. [I forget the other races according to Darwinian thought]. This was the idea that they have no biological relationship. In fact the concept of races meant that there were more developed races and less developed races. This was used to justify the subjugation of the inferior races by the superior race.

Richard Evans in volume one of his three volume set on the history of the Third Reich speaks to the issues of how popular Darwinism influenced Anti-Semitism in the Second Reich (1870-1918). I would recommend that you read Wellhausen’s Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels. In it he goes on for pages with Anti-Semitic screeds drawn from Social Darwinian thought. In fact prior to the concept of polygenesis there is no such thing as Racism. There is Ethno-centrism or other forms of bias, but racism presupposes poly-genesis of the human race. That is the point that Nick was making. While evolutionary scientists have sought to eschew social Darwinism and eugenics since 1945, they are the children of Darwinian thought.

Grace and Peace,.
David

Steve Ruble

9 years ago

Camden and David, thanks for the clarifications.

David, I’m curious about where you got the claims you make in your post. You may want to re-evaluate your source, because it’s providing you with information that is quite disassociated from reality. The theory of polygenesis preceded Darwin, and he responded to it in _The Descent of Man_, thusly:

“The question whether mankind consists of one or several species has of late years been much agitated by anthropologists, who are divided into two schools of monogenists and polygenists. Those who do not admit the principle of evolution, must look at species either as separate creations or as in some manner distinct entities; and they must decide what forms to rank as species by the analogy of other organic beings which are commonly thus received. But it is a hopeless endeavour to decide this point on sound grounds, until some definition of the term “species” is generally accepted; and the definition must not include an element which cannot possibly be ascertained, such as an act of creation. We might as well attempt without any definition to decide whether a certain number of houses should be called a village, or town, or city. We have a practical illustration of the difficulty in the never-ending doubts whether many closely-allied mammals, birds, insects, and plants, which represent each other in North America and Europe, should be ranked species or geographical races; and so it is with the productions of many islands situated at some little distance from the nearest continent.

Those naturalists, on the other hand, who admit the principle of evolution, and this is now admitted by the greater number of rising men, will feel no doubt that all the races of man are descended from a single primitive stock; whether or not they think fit to designate them as distinct species, for the sake of expressing their amount of difference.”

This quote is from a long argument favoring the position that races should NOT be designated as distinct species. You can read that argument by searching Google Books for a phrase from the passage above. The argument includes the following paragraph:

“But the most weighty of all the arguments against treating the races of man as distinct species, is that they graduate into each other, independently in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having intercrossed. Man has been studied more carefully than any other organic being, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke.17 This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive character between them.”

So it appears that your claim that polygenesis was “popularized by Darwinian Evolution” is more or less exactly wrong. Many people before Darwin made the argument that there were multiple human species, and Darwin made the argument that there was only one.

I’m always surprised when people try to connect anti-Semitism to Darwin. Haven’t you heard of Martin Luther book _On the Jews and Their Lies_? Anti-Semitism is much older than the theory of evolution; the fact that some people tried to use the theory to defend their own bigotry has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the theory itself.

The concepts behind eugenics are also much older than the theory of evolution. People have probably always known that you can encourage or discourage traits in domestic animals by selectively breeding them; eugenics is just applying that concept to humans. The theory of evolution doesn’t come into it at all: obviously, if people are doing the selecting, it’s not _natural_ selection, it’s _artificial_ selection. I don’t see what Darwin has to do with it.

Steve

The Historical Adam « Faith by Hearing

9 years ago

[…] The Historical Adam >>> […]

James Spence

9 years ago

Interesting logical arguments, but they do nothing to persuade me to change what I believe about the definite historicity of Adam as well as the 6/24 hour day creation and young earth. No myths in the bible anywhere.

I believe that some things of God are just supernaturally known and cannot be understood through scientific evidence or logic. I could not be more confident in my beliefs. My faith never wavers. I feel bad for those whose does.
I guess The Holy Spirit just deals with all of us individuals differently, but that’s how He has taught me.
I am grateful for God’s supernatural revelation, but not proud.

Bruce Sanders

4 years ago

Well, here we are five years later. Geneticists have created new life forms from scratch. We know that hominids such as Neanderthals, Denisovans, Flores, each with distinct genomes, have mated with Homo sapiens in the distant past. In 2013, a man in North Carolina (originally from Cameroon) was found to have a y-chromosome unlike anyone else living. Then in 2015, a man in South Africa was found to have yet another unique y-chromosome. The genetic sequencing of Homo sapiens and bonobos primates show we share a gene unique in the animal kingdom …

These are but a few of the discoveries that indicate the idea of an historical original human pair Adam and Eve has become infinitesimally unlikely.

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