Debate book on origins positions some might enjoy

I got this message from George Hill and thought some of you might be interested. If anyone checks it out, let us know what you think.

Hi. I am a retired research scientist, author & Baptist in the UK. You may know that Dr Denis Alexander has published in the UK’s “Science and Christian Belief” a review of James Stump’s book “Creation, Evolution and Intelligent Design”, in which he approved of James’s success in getting those with strongly different views on Origins to communicate with each other.

I wrote Denis commending both him and James, and described to him a partly humorous book I have published on Amazon Kindle. Denis suggested I should tell BioLogos about my book, hence this message to your Moderators.

My book is titled “Adam, Eden, Evolution and Three Men: Debate in a Boat”, by George B. Hill. In it, I place 13 students with a whole range of views on Origins in two boats on a slow river, and let them debate Creation and evolution fiercely in a wide-ranging Socratic manner. The debate is lightened by a series of comic interludes. (If you know JK Jerome’s classic comedy novel “Three Men in a Boat”, you will recognise both the flavour and the dog on board, which is called Montmorency!).

No-one wins my debate; but their views range from 6-day to theistic evolutionist to atheist, so that anyone can identify themselves with the debate - while (importantly) genuinely having to consider the arguments of their opponents. (None of the characters exactly presents my own personal view, which for the record is best described as theistic evolution with a unique Adam.)

Please understand that I neither wish nor plan to use BioLogos to sell my book - I published it reluctantly, I hardly publicise it, I rarely speak of it, and I do not plan to post anything about it on your forum. But Denis seems to think it might help someone. You can “Look Inside” the first part of my book in the Kindle bookstore for free. Below are links to (1) the book and (2) to my author’s website as an introduction to me - I have just one proper published book, a history of pharmaceutical research.
Thanks and God bless, George

If anyone wants to ask George Hill a question about it, you could try tagging him @GeorgeBHill

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Sounds great! I can’t find the link…can you repost it? Sorry. Thanks!

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Looks like this is it. Interesting variety of information and books listed:
https://sites.google.com/site/

Dr. Hill, I am curious as to what your “unique Adam” is about. What makes him more unique that the average Adam?

Hi - Thanks for your interest.

  1. I must point out firstly that I am not a Dr. I began my research career before PhDs were standard for research in the UK. Just call me George or George Hill.
  2. The proper link to my ‘My Writing’ page is https://sites.google.com/site/hillintheway - and the page within it about my origins debate book is https://sites.google.com/site/hillintheway/fact-and-faith-debated The latter page includes an Amazon Kindle link.
  3. Adam? - a great question! Although I would in return enquire what an ‘average Adam’ is! I hesitate to inflict my views on anyone (except when treading very lightly in my book). But since you ask, I would make three points.
    Firstly, I see Adam as an utterly real person - partly because God so clearly loves individuals and individual stories in Scripture, partly because Paul’s arguments in Romans require it, and most of all because Jesus and Paul obviously considered him one. Obviously in their view he was unique. (Of course, science can never identify him; even in Scripture, his name is a generic one.)
    Secondly, if Adam lived he is surely unique in a moral and legal sense? In history, we may assume that God’s creatures - over time - grew from a zero to 100% ability to recognize who God is, in a sentient sense. Would there not, at some point in history (merely as a mathematical necessity!) have existed just one first individual who had reached that 100% understanding (and thus 100% responsibility and 100% possession of the free will to ‘Fall’)? One might call him (or her!) the ‘First Recognizer’ of our Maker. Or a different picture might be of a whole population of under-18s in which just one person had so far arrived at the legal age of majority - a ‘First Fully Accountable’ human being? Either would be a unique figure morally & spiritually, however they came into existence.
    Thirdly, I wonder about a physical uniqueness (as well as a spiritual one) for that individual. (That does not mean that I assume either a non-scientific or a scientific origin for Adam.) We normally think of the analogy between Adam and Christ (the ‘last Adam’, as Paul calls Him) as being a spiritual one. But the Hebrew mind of the Old Testament did not, unlike the Greek one, tend to split us up into spirit, soul and body: when Genesis speaks of Adam it sees all of Adam, including the physical. This is why, in my book, one of the characters compares Adam’s creation (in principle only) with the Virgin Birth. Of course, neither of those two events changed the general history or laws of science (the Virgin Birth did not make or prove other virgin births to be possible). And as evolutionary theists we assume that ordinary scientific processes (including normal human births) would have been going on all around at both events, at all times. But dare we confine the first event within a scientific explanation when we would never dream of doing so for the second? If not, isn’t Adam at least potentially unique here too?
    But please feel free to criticise these ideas.
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Thank you! Similar ideas have been floated here, but that has some twists. The average Adam comment was just a tongue in cheek contrast to the unique Adam comment. Sarcasm is my love language.

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I was sure you were above average, in any case.

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Following on from my earlier (too long - sorry!) comments about Adam … a question. I am convinced that all valuable debates about origins should always point us towards Jesus when handled wisely. (All too often, they aren’t). And I have assumed that - of these - focusing on Adam is the best possible topic to highlight Him … by seeing Adam’s Fall, his fallen state, his need for forgiveness and thus my need for forgiveness through Christ. Paul certainly worked on that. But surely there are other aspects of the origins debate that folks feel may richly be used to illuminate Christ? Any suggestions?

It’s not in the exact “beginning,” but since Noah’s flood is seen as vital in YEC hypotheses, I’ve noticed how the flood is mentioned in 1 Peter 3:20-21 as water that symbolizes baptism – " It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…" Those verses can help us see the flood in a more spiritual and redemptive light, rather than overfocusing on the physical and attempting to use a “global flood” to explain away the fossil record.

I like that. Yes, the Flood gives the same message as the Bible as a whole: God’s good Creation; human sin spoils it; God’s judgement; God’s gracious rescue plan (thus pointing to Jesus); and the offer of an unparalleled new start. On the question of YEC views, incidentally, the finest talk that I ever heard on the spiritual symbolism of the six days of Creation (one thankfully not involving any extraordinary physical interpretation of them!) was given by a YEC supporter; it was wonderful to find so much deep common ground between us. He explored the deeper meaning of the Genesis account of each Creation day in turn, showing how they pictured the successive stages in God’s work in a Christian’s life. Starting, of course, with that initial Damascus-type light.

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