Table of Major Christian Approaches to Adam & Eve


#1

I had trouble trying to compare the different approaches to Adam & Eve, suciently, so I did a table on my website - http://www.scienceandfaith.org/major-christian-views-of-adam-and-eve/ . This table shows the major views of Adam & Eve, including the YEC, OEC and 4 EC views. Each view covers their relation to science, to Paul’s statements on the Fall, advantages, critiques and other info on each view. (There are also links if you want more elaboration of a view.) What do you think of this? Are there any major views not covered? Are there any major things that seem incorrect or left out?

By the way, if anyone wants to submit a blog post, such as something you have written here, send a link to me or via the “Join Us” page and I will consider it. I desire those from YEC or OEC people as well, since I don’t really have any of those yet.


(Jo Helen Cox) #2

I like charts like this! Good job and keep it growing. Here are my initial thoughts as I scanned through.

Technical issues: (yes, a bit obsessive compulsive here)

  1. Why have the first column repeated? If you want a division space just use a narrow empty column.
  2. Make all the columns equally spaced.
  3. The first two columns are titled well enough but the last four need titles desperately. Numbers do not tell us what they call themselves or what the other groups call them.
  4. You have generalized the beliefs with the first two columns. There are multiples of each of these.

Content issues:

  1. In the row called “sin/sinning” (or next row) you do not mention the different beliefs about original sin theology and how that affects A&E’s children. Original sin theology is not universally accepted.
  2. “Physical death: always here.” is not easy to understand. Does it mean God created physical death from the beginning, nature always contained physical death, A&E were born mortal, or something else?
  3. In “Image of God” row, you do not mention those who believe God looks like a human man with a long white beard.
  4. In “Compatible with Paul” row, using the words “compatible” and “seems incompatible” are judgments by you. What do the believers you are referencing say? What do you mean by compatible? The traditional interpretation of Paul follows the traditional interpretation of Genesis. If the tradition is false concerning Genesis, does that change the interpretation of Paul? Does Paul actually state what tradition says he says? (my opinion is Paul did not state what tradition puts into his mouth/pen)
  5. In “Incidental issues,” “Advantages,” and “Opinion” rows, why are there blanks? Surely someone has issues and finds advantages?
  6. In “Incidental issues,” “Advantages,” and “Opinion” rows, are these your opinions and not the believers? This includes the the word “evangelical” that limits the beliefs presented. If you want to limit the columns, then put this word in the title. If you want this chart to be unbiased information, segregate your opinions.
  7. All three footnotes need to be a rows, not just comments.

#3

The nature of a Table is that it shows highlights. It would become too big if there was too much information. The page provides links to other pages that give much more information from the people who espouse those viewpoints. I spent a lot of time studying the numerous viewpoints, including from the Haarsma’s Origins book (see: http://biologos.org/resources/book/origins-book-club and http://origins.faithaliveresources.org/) and numerous other sources, including on BioLogos for each Evolutionary Creationism view.

Some of the formatting is determined by the nature of web pages and my website design platform. For example, columns are repeated because it has to be usable on smaller screens like cellphones. On a cellphone, a person needs to scroll rightward through screens to see everything. If there weren’t repeated title rows, they would lose track of what the row was about.

Regarding content:

  1. Sin/sinning shows where “sin” came from in each of those views.
  2. Yes, physical death came in those EC views from God’s design for nature. Image of God - funny!
  3. If I wrote “compatible,” there is nothing inherently incompatible with Paul’s statements. “Seems incompatible” indicates that on surface it seems incompatible, but noted where some consider it compatible for some reason.
  4. If there was something important to add to one of those rows I wrote it, including on minor (incidental) issues. By the way, the word is “Options” not “Opinion.” If there was a closely related variation, I wrote it there.
  5. See my first paragraph above.

By the way, if someone can make a case that for a major advantage to “Adam & Eve as a Group of Ancient Ancestors” (see: http://www.scienceandfaith.org/a-e-as-a-group-of-ancient-ancestors, taken from the Origins book), I could add that.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #4

Hi Doug,

Some random thoughts.

  1. Are those “theological issues” or “hermeneutical approaches”?
  2. For how ECers who read Adam as a non-literal human view the “image of God,” you had “Unclear, possibly progression as children progress.” There’s a lot more meat that could go in here, about being created as God’s images, as God’s representatives; in this view, our role as image-bearers does not refer to some particular quality of our humanness like language, reason or morality, but it flows from a relational context with God. I’m tired at the moment and not expressing myself clearly, but I’d encourage you to look into these interpretations as it would help you more accurately represent (some in) that camp.
  3. I really like “Not accepted by at least 98% of scientists.” Helps drive the point home.

Looks like you put quite a lot of time into this! I hope it helps people as they seek understanding of the relevant issues.

Peace.


#5

@AMWolfe
I should be clear that I intended for this material to be understandable to people with limited science or theological background, so I tried to avoid using terms that would scare people off. I realize that there is a lot more that could be said on a lot of things to do them justice, but the nature of a table is to try to keep things as succinct as possible. As it is, it is a pretty large table. Regarding #2, there are different arguments that have been used. I am open to a succinct wording that could be added (while not being over the head of or confuse, say a high school student).


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #6

My problem with “theological issues” is that it suggests that “issue” often suggests “problem,” and I’d hate for people to think that going the route of allegorical or figurative interpretations was in and of itself problematic. My humble suggestion, easier to understand than the last one, would be “theological approaches” or perhaps even better “how they read the text.”

If I find time I’ll try and offer you some verbiage for #2. (Others feel free to jump in…)


#7

Yeah, that makes sense to me. I certainly don’t want to add bias by implying that some approaches are a problem.


(Jay Johnson) #8

@DougK
Henri Blocher’s book on original sin would be a great resource for you.