Spin-off thread where gbob explains his Gen 1-11 view for all the liberal accomodationists here

JPM, In my view it is more than merely evolution, which I think the Bible does address. It is the wholesale ditching of early Genesis as having to do with anything historical. What is outlined in Genesis 1, as normally read, can’t be true historically. One has a choice, re-interpret it to make it fit history or claim that it holds only philosophical/theological truth, but no real historical truth. IMO, that places early Genesis on the same level as the myths of the Greco-Roman world, which we believe to be untrue, but perhaps holds philosophical truths, in spite of the fact that millions once believed those myths to be actually true.

Holding that early Genesis contains only theological/philosophical truths does divorce the Bible from telling us what God actually did in creation. By proclaiming it historically false we ‘win’ the battle in the same way the French won WWII in 1941, by raising our hands in surrender to the atheist charge that the bible is false as grandpa’s teeth.

Was the bodily resurrection of Jesus a scientific/historical fact? If it is, then at least parts of the Bible address scientific/historical events, and your statement above is not quite correct. If it was merely a spiritual resurrection, then Jesus’ body is still in the grave, in contradiction to the early Church’s belief. In this case the resurrection wouldn’t be a scientific/historical fact and your statement above would apply even to the resurrection, but Christianity would take a big hit. It becomes a religion based upon faith alone sans observational evidence, not based upon the historical fact of a bodily resurrection.

edited to add another quote from Tipler:
"Provine remarks, ‘My observation is that the great majority of modern evolutionary biologists are atheists or something very close to that. Yet prominent atheistic or agnostic scientists publically deny that there is any conflict between science and religion. Rather than simple intellectual dishonesty, this position is pragmatic. In the United States, elected members of Congress al proclaim to be religious; many scientists believe that funding for science might suffer if the atheistic implications of modern science were widely understood.’ Provine’s opinion is confirmed by Steven Weinberg’s 1987 congressional testimony asking for money to build the SSC, a $10 billion device to be constructed in Texas. (Funding has since been cut off.) A congressman asked Weinberg if the SSC would enable us to find God, and Weinberg declined to answer. But eventually the atheistic implications of modern science will be understood by the general public, who will themselves become atheists. The majority of Western Europeans and a large minority of Americans have already become effective atheists: they rarely if ever go to any church, and a belief in God plays no role in their daily lives. The evidence is clear and unequivocal: if scientists have no need of the God hypothesis, neither will anyone else. Were theologians to succeed in their attempt to strictly separate science and religion, they would kill religion. Theology simply must become a branch of physics if it is to survive. That even theologians are slowly becoming effective atheists has been documented by the American philosopher Thomas Sheehan." ~ Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality, (New York: Doubleday, 1994), p. 9-10

by physics, I think Tipler means observational.

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lol, yeah Jay we will always disagree over that issue. The reason I would give is that Jesus came and had to suffer because of the Fall, which didn’t happen as described in the bible, according to you. I have used this quote before but it catches the logic so well: H. G. Wells wrote:

“If all the animals and man have been evolved in this ascendant manner, then there would have been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no Fall, the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement, upon which current teaching bases Christian emotion and morality, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells, The Outline of History, (Garden City: Doubleday, 1961), p. 776-777

It is the above why I emphasize in my evolutionary view of Christianity the special creation of Adam, in order to over come the logic Wells follows. Of course, no one likes what I did, but it does avoid the lack of first parents problem.

Again, if there was no fall, then there was no need for an atonement, no need for a resurrection, no need for Christ. I don’t like your ‘solution’ and you don’t like mine. lol

No, no. I say the Fall happened, just not as you interpret the Bible. Ha’adam – “the man” – is an archetype, which simultaneously represents the universal and the individual. Ha’adam’s journey to moral maturity and guilt is the same one that we all take. All children lack “the knowledge of good and evil.” How do they acquire it without eating a literal fruit? By experience. I’m simply saying that our individual footsteps to guilt before God retrace the footsteps that humanity collectively took. Paul describes the same dynamic in Romans 1:18-25. “Thinking themselves wise, they became fools.”

Well, ok, but I think I am interpreting it as Paul interpreted it:
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven

American Standard Version. (1995). (1 Co 15:47). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

American Standard Version. (1995). (1 Co 15:45). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

If Jesus was an individual man with the name Jesus, and not an archetype, it seems to strain the comparison when Adam IS an archetype, not an individual man.

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But if Jesus isn’t the second human being ever, then Adam doesn’t necessarily have to be the first human being ever either.

(I do believe Adam is a historical person, not just an archetype… one can be both individual and archetype)

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False equivalency. The text itself tells us ha’adam, the man, is an archetype. “Adam” isn’t a proper name in Genesis 2-3. It strains the text to say that “Adam” is an individual person in the narrative when he is called “the human” in the text. Is it faithful to the text to read a person’s name, Adam, when the grammar and sense of the passage indicate “the man” isn’t an individual person?

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In this case there are only 2 men who can legitimately be called the son of God–Adam and Jesus. I think that is what the first man and second man refer to here, implicitly

Luke 3:38 calls Adam the son of God.:
the son of Adam, the son of God.

American Standard Version. (1995). (Lk 3:38). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Here is the problem I have with saying Adam in Genesis 2 is merely an archetype. One doesn’t take a rib from an archetype and create a woman. As I recall from reading your stuff, you don’t believe Eve was created in that manner. And it was in part this that made me say you don’t believe the fall as written in the Scripture.

Further, given your view that morality gradually arose in the population, it is quite possible that one or the other sex became moral before the other. Or that one individual in one population might become moral while the other became moral in another place far away from the first. In which case, it might be impossible for Adam the archetype to 'know" his wife Eve, given that they might be in different generations or different populations or in different places.

How does that work (Adam being the first son of God) with your lacking a chromosome ape version of Adam? Forgive me, it’s been a while since I read your view on Adam’s creation, but wasn’t he born of two parents in your view?

Reading the verses in context and in order, the second man is referring to the last Adam mentioned in verse 45. That doesn’t seem like it’s talking about being the first and second sons of God (or first and second humans). It’s the first and second people he talked about a couple verses back. He could have said the former man was earthy and the latter man was spiritual. It would mean the same thing.

Note that the terminology used here for “deep sleep” is used to describe a vision in Genesis 15:12 and Job 4:13, not modern anesthesia.

Yes but stillborn. This is done to explain the pseudogenes we share with the great apes–pseudogenes are nonfunctioning genes that are broken as the same place in the great apes and us. It is hard to overcome this piece of data and say that God or evolution broke the same gene in the same place in 4 separate species and created Adam totally de novo. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/molgen/ This data written about by Edward Max leaves only two possible solutions: do away with Adam and Eve as primordial parents and accept a fully evolutionary, non-specially created Adam, as Jay Johnson does, or follow a scenario like mine and preserve a primordial pair of humans in the process.

Now to your question about Adam. Regardless of how Adam’s body was made, in my scenario God had to fix him up because he was not viable. And being the first human God gave him the image of God. In that sense, Adam is a ‘son of god’ in a way you and I are not and can’t be. Jesus being a member of the trinity but placed into a human body again carries the image of God and was again created specially by God (virgin birth). So there are parallels between the two Adams.

If we go with the fully evolutionary, non-specially created Adam route, we lose our claim that man is special and to have dominion. In such a scenario, a claim that man is special is like that analogy I made with Caspar the ghost on one’s shoulder. No one can see Caspar and Caspar makes no difference in anything observable… Given, in the fully evolutionary scenario, that nothing observationally special happened in the line leading from the apes to us, to suddenly claim that we are in the image of God, when God did nothing observationally, is like what I see as the biggest failure of liberal theology–God is a useless appendage to science and makes no observational difference to the science.

Reading the verses in context and in order, the second man is referring to the last Adam mentioned in verse 45. That doesn’t seem like it’s talking about being the first and second sons of God (or first and second humans). It’s the first and second people he talked about a couple verses back. He could have said the former man was earthy and the latter man was spiritual. It would mean the same thing.

I won’t take a hard and fast stand on this detail of theology. If you don’t like what I said about the first and second Adam, it is no problem to me.

I didn’t mention anything about the anaesthesia. I just noted that if Adam is an archetype and not necessarily one man, creating Eve via the rib routine doesn’t seem to work very well, and again, the archetype approach ignores what the Bible says. It just bothers me that we revere the Bible as telling us of God’s interaction with man and we ignore so much of it and make it be totally opposite what the Bible says. If we don’t want to believe what the Bible says, find, reject it! But don’t change it. Work within its boundaries just as we work within the boundaries of science. Yecs change science to try to match the Bible. Liberals change the Bible to match science. I think neither should be changed, but we can work within the boundaries and create scenarios that honor both sets of data.

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Nah. An archetype is a literary device. The meaning of ha’adam is derived from the way it’s used in the text. What makes “the human” an archetype is the fact that his experience is universal. The author represented the universal human experience of maturity and guilt through the story of “the human,” not an individual named Adam. Thus, the text itself points away from a historical person and toward a collective humanity.

Okay, why is it always “merely” or “just” an archetype? haha.

Minor point: the manner of Eve’s creation has no bearing on the Fall.

I think our difference is “as written in the Scripture.” You equate that with literal, historical narrative, but I don’t believe that Genesis 2-3 can be interpreted that way. I believe a historical Fall occurred, and the Scripture describes that Fall using symbolic elements in a figurative story. Is that not “as written”? I suspect you won’t agree to my terms!

The man and the woman together represent the entire population. The “moral breakthrough” that led to the Fall was intricately involved with language development. Both language and morality are products of culture, which requires a population. Thus, it’s impossible for one individual to become “moral” while the rest of the culture remains ignorant of such knowledge. One individual couldn’t invent sinfulness. It took everyone.

No we don’t. The claim that man is special doesn’t come from science; the claim is a strictly religious claim that comes from Scripture (Gen. 1:26-28).

Why was Eve created via the rib? Because “that’s the way it happened,” or because “the author wanted to make a larger point about the relationship of male/female”? I’ll take “the author wanted to make a point” for $1000.

Again, the archetype doesn’t ignore what the Bible says. It actually takes the textual “ha’adam” seriously, rather than changing the text to read the personal name “Adam” where it doesn’t appear.

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Because he is not merely a real individual. And again, without the rib surgery, you have ignored what the Bible says

A wider point? Gee, why wouldn’t the author directly say what that wider point is? A rib surgery is so weird a device to make a wider point. And this gets to what bothers me most about the liberal approach. if we don’t like something in the Bible then we change the meaning and little then actually means what the words normally mean.

A dog can be a cat, a surgery on a rib can be a wider point (unspecified of course).

The man and the woman together represent the entire population. The “moral breakthrough” that led to the Fall was intricately involved with language development. Both language and morality are products of culture, which requires a population. Thus, it’s impossible for one individual to become “moral” while the rest of the culture remains ignorant of such knowledge. One individual couldn’t invent sinfulness. It took everyone.

Language requires 2 people not more. Morality comes from God’s commandments, not a culture.

you wrote:

No we don’t. The claim that man is special doesn’t come from science; the claim is a strictly religious claim that comes from Scripture (Gen. 1:26-28).

It is our relationship with God that makes us special and that had to begin at a particular person It is hard to have a 50% relationship. Being specially created by God emphasizes our place. Without that Man isn’t anymore special than ants. Man is special because God created him. Without that, again, God and our special place in nature becomes nothing but a useless unobservable add on that makes no difference to the science. It is Caspar the ghost time again, God sit on the science without changing anything at all. He is merely a mental construct that makes no difference.

I think our difference is “as written in the Scripture.” You equate that with literal, historical narrative, but I don’t believe that Genesis 2-3 can be interpreted that way. I believe a historical Fall occurred, and the Scripture describes that Fall using symbolic elements in a figurative story. Is that not “as written”? I suspect you won’t agree to my terms!

If God is the creator of this universe, he should make a difference in the science/history. If he is totally invisible to observation, then he is like Plato’s demiurge, who doesn’t even know that we exist. He makes zero contribution to our place in nature, other than the claim that he did so without leaving any evidence whatsoever. I find this to be a useless way to have religion. It makes God impotent.

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This is a good illustration of the problem. You want the author to directly state his point in propositional form, but he doesn’t. Instead, he tells a story, much the same way Jesus told parables. Why the rib? The author doesn’t say, “God used the rib because …” Instead, we’re left to figure that part out for ourselves. Commentators from the beginning have sought a deeper meaning to the fact that Eve was taken from Adam’s side. This isn’t some modern, “liberal” invention.

I hate to break it to you, but no one you’re talking to is theologically liberal. Try a different label.

Remember what Jesus said to his disciples when he warned them about the yeast of the Pharisees and they took him literally? “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand?”

Language requires a lot more than 2 people. Human languages are socially shared symbolic systems that rely upon cooperation for their use. Did Adam and Eve invent language, or was it implanted in their heads by God? (Remember Wittgenstein’s “private language argument” here.)

The same can be said of morality. Human morality is a sense of right and wrong born out of culturally shared values. Were you born knowing the difference between right and wrong, or did you have to learn such behaviors from parents, peers, teachers, etc.? Did God implant a sense of right and wrong in Adam and Eve’s heads?

Why? That’s an arbitrary condition. Why can’t relationship begin with a family – the human family?

What makes us special is God’s declaration that we are special.

God is spirit. How do you propose to observe him? We can observe effects, but as you know, physical effects don’t necessarily carry the marks of a spiritual cause, and the unbeliever always will be free to propose an alternative explanation.

God is not impotent. He simply refuses to play by our rules.

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I think we ought to bring this back to the thread’s topic.

You wrote:

This is a good illustration of the problem. You want the author to directly state his point in propositional form, but he doesn’t. Instead, he tells a story, much the same way Jesus told parables. Why the rib? The author doesn’t say, “God used the rib because …” Instead, we’re left to figure that part out for ourselves. Commentators from the beginning have sought a deeper meaning to the fact that Eve was taken from Adam’s side. This isn’t some modern, “liberal” invention.

With Jesus’ parables, there is a clear point, with a rib we are left wondering. It is like that add where the daughter asks the father for investment advice and he says: “The wealthiest camel has the biggest hump.” We are left wondering if there is a meaning, and that brings me back to the topic of this thread. Such a view of the Bible lays open a question about whether or not there actually is a point to that story, and if no point to that story what of the rest of the Bible?

How do I expect to observe God? In two ways, what he does in the world—i.e. the bodily resurrection, and in his telling us the truth about nature when he inspires a creation account. If he doesn’t know what happened at creation or can’t tell it simply so we can understand it, then he might not be God—another reason to reject Christianity if we take your path. I have known people who left for these reasons. they, like me, couldn’t see why they should believe a book of historical falsehoods.

As to man’s special place in nature, you say we are special because God proclaimed us special. The problem with that is that God didn’t proclaim that in the Bible. The Bible says he created us in an act of special creation. When one decides to make it say something else other than what is written, one is writing his own Bible, which is often perceived as a better version of the Bible. But I don’t feel competent to re-write the Bible. Maybe you do. But again, when we do this, we provide a reason for people to believe the Bible is nonsense in need of re-writing.

[quote=“Relates, post:75, topic:42339”]

The problem is NOT the Bible. The problem is not that the Old Testament/Covenant has been outdated by the New Testament. The problem is YEC theology is faulty, because it believes the Bible and not Jesus is God’s Word, and follows the false dualism of atheism.[/quote]

As Dale said, I am not a YEC. I know God used evolution and I know the proper age of the earth, around 4.5 billion. But I also know logic and when God said " …" the things he said in Genesis 1, if they are false, then we have a lying God, or the story is a human fabrication. Because of that, I found a different way to concord Genesis 1-11 with modern science.

The Gospel says In the Beginning was the Word, Jesus Christ. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and not through faith in the Bible. God created the universe through the rational Word/Jesus Christ, so the is no actual contradiction through good Christian theology and good science, including evolution.

what you miss is that we have a God spoken creation account in Genesis 1. If it is nonsense, what does that say about God’s knowledge of how creation happened. And don’t bother to give me the old canard about the Hebrews needing a PH D in physics to understand creation. They no more needed it than people to day need it to understand the big bang.

YEC theology is not good Christian theology. Darwinian evolution is not good science, because it is based on Malthusian Survival of the fittest. We need to reconcile the two to make both whole, real, and good, which is why I wrote the book, Darwin’s MYTH, Malthus, Ecology, and the Meaning of Life.

I do believe YECs are correct about the need for historicity in Scripture. they are wrong about their science. Liberals are wrong about easily giving up on historicity in Scripture but they are correct in their science.

edited to add: You can find how I read Genesis 1 at https://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2019/06/days-of-proclamation-historical-reading.html

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I’m okay with an ANE/literary framework interpretation, but that that wasn’t even a thing until after the discovery of the Rosetta Stone – a sequential reading of Genesis 1 has always been there. I’m also okay with a day-age reading, as well as with your proclamation view. I think the unsurpassable and transcendent Artist can communicate more than one true and nonconflicting ideas in one account, especially as unique a piece of literature as scholars agree Genesis 1 is, and not unlike the classic optical illusion drawing of the two women, one young, one old. That is not to say that anyone is free to interpret things any way they so please – there are only two women in the drawing, and the facts clearly confirm it.

CC473925-7C9E-4DA8-9A8C-C210AD1BC20E

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I would use your wonderful picture to say that God should be able to tell the truth to the Neolithics AND to tell the truth to us, modern scientific types. That is a big reason I don’t want to give up on historicity

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I am quite appreciative of your thread title! It is so nice to be isolated like this. I might point out that you have isolated my response to Relates from his original post. Seems to me that he is now never going to see my response.

I would struggle to make Adam just simply an archetype because it goes on to list Cain, Abel, Seth, and all their kids that then also get tied into much longer genealogies. It would be confusing to me to say Adam was an archetype, but his son and grandkids through Seth was not.

But as stated before I also believe that God spoke to whoever wrote it thousands of years later and between the oral history they were taught and wisdom given they taught the story through their world views. That’s why I think it’s history, and mythology combined.

Yes it’s similar to the potential stories of other faiths. The difference is that I don’t place my faith in Zeus. I also don’t see the complexities of the Hebrew Bible with its patterns Played out in their texts.

So I do believe Adam is a man. I don’t believe it was necessarily his name or that Cain was his name and so on.

Cain means acquired as in they acquired a son and Abel means vapor , hevel, like something quickly gone related to how he was presumably killed young. Seth as substituted referring to replacing Abel.

I don’t think they had Hebrew names. Moses have them Hebrew names.

The same spirit that guided the Torah also guided the talk of the poetry and revelation.

“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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