Adam and the Genome: Some Thoughts from Pete Enns

Haven’t read enough of your posts, only dropping in occasionally and am not read well enough to know Teilhard. Having looked up the noosphere I would agree that with the ability of humans to materialise “will” extracorporeally we entered a new phase in the evolution of the universe. I would however look at it more as the realisation of the beginning according to the postulate that “in the beginning was the word” and not that the word evolved.

I’m not saying the Crucifixion makes sense if there is no sin. I’m saying even in a hypothetical world without sin (which was a potential reality at the moment of creation), the Incarnation still makes sense. You are assuming that the only possible reason for the Incarnation is God’s redemptive work on the cross. I think the Incarnation is more multi-faceted than just a rescue mission. I prefer a theology where even though the remedy for sin is predestined from eternity past, sin is not. Because I’m a fan of free will and all. :slight_smile:

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And I’m saying that that’s beside the point. The Incarnation occurred so that the Crucifixion could happen; the disciples knew this, which is why they spoke of the Crucifixion having been predestined by God.

You sound like a Molinist (potential worlds and all). Have you done much listening to William Lane Craig?

Just curious, what passage do you think speaks of the crucifixion being predestined from eternity past?

I have never listened to William Lane Craig.

“And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, "‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:24-28‬ ‭

Notice, the disciples first quote Psalm 2:1-2 as being fulfilled by Pontius Pilate, Herod, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel who had set their hearts against Christ. Each of these parties had different motives in killing Christ: Pilate, to appease the Jews; Herod, because he was wicked; the people of Israel, because they were convinced he was a blasphemer; and the Gentiles (i.e. the Roman soldiers) because they were just following orders. But the disciples recognized that even with all these different motives, they were gathered together in this chain of events to do exact what God’s hand and plan had predestined (foreordained) to take place.

I think this text is rather clear. Further, Ephesians 1:11 tells us that God works all things after the counsel of his will; nothing happens apart from his decree.

At the annunciation in Luke 1, Jesus is called Jesus because he will save his people from his sins; that is the reason given for his incarnation.

Again I say, without sin, I don’t think the incarnation would have been necessary; but I also don’t think we need to bother ourselves with hypotheticals. God knew that sin would be here before he created, and it was his plan from eternity past to glorify himself through the salvation of sinners and the reconciling of his creation to himself. There is no need for reconciliation between two parties that do not need reconciliation.

I think predestine means ordain an outcome or event in advance of when it is actualized. Evidently you add some additional meaning to the word and insist that “in advance” means before time. I don’t argue that Christ’s sacrifice was predestined by God. I just don’t see how the Scripture you cited claims it was predestined before the foundation of the world.

That doesn’t mean it was the only reason, or the only thing the Incarnation was ordained by God to accomplish. I am focusing on the eschatological implications of the Incarnation, not just the atonement theology implications. The Incarnation was the initiation of the New Creation, because by it, human nature was newly created and God became part of his creation in a unique way. I think the culmination of merging of heaven and earth in the New Creation was always God’s plan for all of creation, independent of humans need for atonement and our special relationship with God. I think it was God’s plan from the foundation of the world that God would one day make his home among his people in his New Creation. (Rev 21)

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I agree, with a resounding YES! To me it is the only way to rationalize Christian theology with scientific interpretation of the natural world. You (and most scriptural scholars) find passages in the N.T. that support this position. Scriptural neophytes, like me, tend to look for congruence between new knowledge, as uncovered by science, and the theology as viewed by the early Christians.
@AdCaelumEo states: " Without the separation of sin, Christ’s sacrifice makes no sense. That’s why Pelagius was roundly condemned by Augustine and others."

And yet Pelagius’ position on Original Sin (babies do NOT enter this world as enemies of God) is eminently more reasonable than Augustine’s. Knowledge of the mechanisms of evolution provides us with a reasonable answer to this problem that 5th century theologians did not have. There is a powerful selfish component in the evolution that produced Homo sapiens. When the Homo sapiens brain was transformed into mind,these creatures were gifted with a moral sense, a conscience, and thus acquired the potential to become imago Dei. Following one’s instinctive selfishness is the easy path in life, and most of us would follow it. Christ came into this world to show us the way to the Father, for Jesus was as perfect an Image as could be contained in human form. Jesus was willing to sacrifice his life–not to appease an angry Father, but to encourage us to become the creatures that God had envisioned from the beginning.
Al Leo

Reasonable in your mind, maybe, but by no means in accordance with the Scriptures.

Yes, I feel fortunate to have a Worldview that is predicated on a loving God, a God who is pleased that I honor and use His gift of Mind and reason that He bestowed on me, a God whose love for humans like myself was demonstrated when He sent His Son to enter our lives and show us the way to Him, a God who has blessed my life with a loving companion who has borne me three kids who I KNOW did NOT enter this life under some sort of curse. If your reading of Scripture says my Worldview is in error, so be it. I will take my chances at defending it to Whom it matters. And at the age of 91, that shouldn’t be far in the future.
Al Leo

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Animals and Adam and Eve and all of Eden… that is still not heaven.

Beings of Flesh, human and non-human, were excluded from “Paradise” in Heaven from the very beginning, since the moment of creation.

Sin further divided us from Paradise, the Eden God had made on Earth.

All of mortal creation, even before Sin, was divided from God’s realm.

Marvin, I have a somewhat crazy notion that when God inspired the OT prophets and the four evangelists to put His message into writing, He had them, at times, use words that had a much deeper meaning or significance than could be grasped by either their audience or the writers themselves. I’ve speculated that the opening of John’s gospel might be such an instance of this. “In the beginning was the Word…” might attain an added significance which could only be appreciated by geneticists in the 20th century following the work of Watson & Crick; namely, “God began life on Earth with information carried by words, words composed of the letters A, G, C, & T.” When a life form advanced to the stage where brain was programmed into a Mind capable of inventing and using symbolic words to convey information in the form of language, then Humanity could be considered to have first appeared with Words. All of this was contained (but not fully appreciated) by the gospel of John who described Christ as the Word of God made manifest to us humans.

For me, this is a way of using Science as a further support to a Faith founded on Scripture. To others, it may seem nonsense.
Al Leo

I think it was more appreciated by John than by most of us, who when looking at a word only see one particular meaning and not its entire context. Who told the atoms to know their place and quants how to move in time and in space.

The materialisation of the logos is one thing, the ignorance of scientists who deny what is the basis and justification for what they are doing is a joke in itself, particularly if you coin the word “meme” as a word to replace “word” for the unit of non material inheritance but try to insist on a materialistic worldview.

I just say your stuff today and was intrigued that you have some of the same ideas that I have. For example that MANY humans were created in Genesis chapter one, while chapter two describes only two. I see one like “the rise and fall of the Roman Empire” and the other as “the Life of Julius Caesar”. Connected but not the same.

Also, and this would be necessarily related theologically, that inheritance from Adam is NOT where we get our sin nature. Its not the mechanism and the scripture does not say that is the mechanism. Adam’s role is not to be the progenitor of all mankind, but to produce Messiah and the conditions right for Him. Adam may have “fallen” but creation was already subjected to the futility.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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