Are Adam and Eve figurative people?

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Pax_Christi, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    Once the decision is made to call Genesis 1-11 "inspired myth" it is not long before the rest of Scripture collapses as well. The literal 24 hour creation days or the day age theory of Augustine are the only two options that would be logically deducible from the Scriptural account of creation.
     
  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    well, we agree on that.
     
  3. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I believe the secret is to know how to read your Bible given the different types of books and styles that it contains... I realise their are some Christian denominations that believe in the young earth creation stories, but that is exactly what they are creation stories, that give an insight into what those people believed.
     
  4. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    Genesis is the very word of God, it's not a simple "creation story" that gives us an insight into the primitive Hebrew weltanschauung that we should take with a grain of salt. That's typically what modernists, who have altogether lost the faith, say.
     
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  5. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

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    I respect your opinion, but obviously I disagree. Jesus indeed told parables, but in His mention of OT writings, he was fairly straight forward and dogmatic with "It is written", suggesting a more sure and stable foundation. From what I've seen from modern scholarship and textual critics, the debate over OT authorship has led some to discount the literal authority. I've yet to find a serious Jewish scholar who believes it to be allegory, but I'm sure there are those who hold the opinion.;)

    Jeff
     
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  6. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    Yah, don't you know that myths are still myths? The creation "stories" are not really the inspired revelation of God. Christianity is just one big myth. C.S. Lewis called the Bible a factual myth. But a myth is still a myth. See NKJ 1 Timothy 1:4.

    The word for "fables" here is "muthos", which is etymologically related to the English word, "myth". If the fall of Adam and Eve is just an inspired "story" or "myth" then it is nothing more than Hans Christian Anderson. Morality tales can be "inspiring" but are they divinely inspired?

    Jesus and Moses, however, regarded the creation account as historical. Paul indicated in Romans 5 that the fall of Adam was a real event, not a "myth".

    If the fall of Adam is a myth and Adam was not a real man, then all we have left is liberalism and cleverly invented etiological myths to justify a pretended universal morality that does not actually exist.

    Charlie

    Edited for excessive quoting.
    -admin
     
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  7. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    General revelation is insufficient to lead to a knowledge of God, the Gospel, and saving faith. See: Special Revelation as Rational, by Gordon H. Clark. See Romans 1:18-21.

    Edited for excessive quoting.
    -admin
     
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  8. Simon Magus

    Simon Magus Member

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    What I find most interesting about this topic are the brute implications for a literal and factual reading of Genesis. If creationism is true, then 99% of the world's biologists must be flatly wrong and modern science must be viewed entirely with suspicion. Acceptance of the theory of evolution would be something like a vast intellectual cancer metastasizing throughout the minds of humankind: a grand conspiracy of what could only be considered Luciferian proportions—the devil's brilliant endgame in an apocalyptic finish to history. Anything's possible, of course.
     
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  9. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    Why must Genesis, if true, be literal ? I believe Genesis is a true and actual creation account, but that not everything is grammatically literal anymore than that God has a red-hot nose when he gets angry, even though Deuteronomy says so. Or, that the holy Spirit 'few' over the waters (Genesis 1), when we all know that He does not have wings and did not literally fly over anything.
     
  10. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    Simon, I think you overestimate: 1) the number of committed evolutionists in the realm of biology and 2) evolutionism's importance to real science.

    Evolutionism is so vastly unchallenged today because it's a credible myth of origins that finally dispenses with God and that puts Christianity and the Bible in check.
     
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  11. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    The question is: where will you stop and draw the line? Allegory and literary style can't explain everything away.

    Either Adam and Eve really existed as an original couple of human beings, directly created by God in a state of innocence, who afterwards fell into sin, bringing death unto all of Creation and passing it on to all of their descendants as the grounds for their condemnation and depravity, or you can pretty much put the Bible aside as a mere historical book that contains ancient Jewish myths. Inspiring, perhaps, but no more accurate and trustworthy than Homer's Odyssey.
     
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  12. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    Yes Adam and Eve were certainly real people. And indeed the apostles etc. refer to them as such. But nowhere, to my knowledge, are the days taken to be literal days which was the concern Simon Magus posted about. We can accept Genesis to be real without every word being literal. There can be ages, and within that narrative a story of creation of Adam "out of the mud."
     
  13. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    The problem, as far as I can see it, was never about the duration of the days. The text itself allows for more than one interpretation in that regard: 24 hour days or simply ages. The duration of days has only come into equation because of the evolutionist paradigm that requires millions of years between each stage of biological evolution in order for it to work.

    In my opinion and just off the top of my head, the real questions that evolutionism raises when confronted with the biblical account of creation are not so much the duration of days themselves but some the following:

    1. Man was created directly by God from inorganic matter he didn't evolve from earlier hominids. Furthermore, the Bible teaches an original couple of humans, a notion that is contradicted by polygenism. Even the so-called mythrocondial Eve lived millions of years apart from "Adam."
    2. Man is the pinnacle of creation, made in God's image. He will not be able to "evolve" into another species in the future, otherwise the very Incarnation itself is meaningless.
    3. Death came into the world because of the Fall. Evolutionism dictates that death is a necessary mechanism of life that existed since the beginning; the Scriptures affirm the opposite.
    4. Every animal and plant was created according to its kind. Evolutionism contradicts this.

    I'm sure there's more but these are some of the main problems Christian evolutionists face.
     
  14. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    I see. General revelation in nature is the source of all truth while the Bible is merely a mythological story book. So why bother with Christianity if it is merely a psychological myth?

    Get rid of the pope and get in line with the real magisterium of modern science. Science is always right, right?

    But here's the problem. Science is never true. Science is always false. That's because science is always changing; it never arrives at the truth. Second of all, science cannot speak to metaphysical or philosophical issues since science is supposed to deal only with empirical observations. And the third point is that science is based on a logical fallacy. The road is wet because it is raining and because it is raining the road is wet. Finding a conclusion based on a presupposed premise is to find what you have already presupposed. A boy has a girl's mind trapped in a boys body because he thinks he's a girl in a boy's body. After all, the senses never lie and the mind is not affected by sin.

    If evolution is true, there is no such thing as special revelation and the universe is somehow a mindless machine that is miraculously capable of producing itself from nothing or giving itself its own eternal self-existence. So is the universe eternally existent? Does it start with a Big Bang and then collapse mindlessly into itself and then start all over again? Great mythological speculations there. But did anyone observe such a thing or did they simply imagine it?

    "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7 NKJ)

    Can general revelation tell you the doctrine of the Trinity or the Incarnation of Christ? I suppose science can tell you what is right and wrong or whether to drop the H-bomb on North Korea? Yes siree. Science is infallible, inerrant, and tells man all he needs to know. Rationalism and empiricism always lead to irrationalism, skepticism, and atheism.

    Special revelation from God is the first axiom of Christianity. Every system begins with unproven, self-evident axioms. Empirical science cannot prove its first axiom: the senses provide all the knowledge there is. I would love to see that concept empirically proven.

    Also, if evolution is the "first cause" of an endless chain of cause and effect, what caused the first cause? The cosmological argument and cause and effect were devastated by David Hume. Simply because you have observed the sun rising most of your life does not mean that the sun will rise tomorrow.

    The Bible is the Word of God. That is the axiom for Christianity. The Bible is the Word of God because it claims to be so: 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21. All arguments are circular, including evolution: Evolution is a fact because it is a fact.


    Sincerely,

    Charlie
     
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  15. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    Could God have created the universe so that it looked old already? Evolution is a non sequitur. It is based on the fallacy of "cause and effect", which cannot be universally proven any more than it can be proven that all crows are black and all swans are white. If there is even one white crow or one black swan then the syllogism is fallacious. An infinite regress of cause and effect is a philosophical presupposition, not something that can be empirically observed. If there is even one effect that has no cause the whole thing collapses of its own weight.
     
  16. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says that phenomenological language can be used to describe things from a pre-modern perspective without that being an "error". Does the sun literally rise? Or is that simply a way of describing what is observed?

    Is there literally a 1st heaven (sky), second heaven (stratosphere), and a 3rd heaven (the heavens)? The heaven described in Revelation is obviously not observable from a mortal perspective. But it would be more than symbolic or metaphorical since heaven in that sense exists in a spiritual realm.

    Where is Jesus seated? Next to a spirit in heaven?

    Charlie
     
  17. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    The anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms that help us to relate to God are not the same thing as the historical events recorded in Genesis 1-11.

    While the account does not fit modern scientific standards or modern historiography, the account is perfectly acceptable from a pre-modern phenomenological perspective. Basically, empirical science cannot say where the universe came from. Speculations and theories are just that.

    "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. (Job 38:4 NKJ)
     
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  18. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the LORD as some sort of trickster God. The universe is complete, not necessarily old. Also, I've never said evolution isn't real. However, Darwinism and all of its different iterations is clearly a bogus theory. Within species, evolution has abounded based on the environment they live in. This is true even for mankind with its different races throughout the world. This is wholly consistent with God's command to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth and create nations. Evolution between species is a specious and unfounded theory with no real evidence to back it up, more akin to godless mythology than hard science. Jmo. Even when scientists prop up some sort of "missing link" they have to admit their specimen isn't an "ancestor" but instead is a long dead close cousin that "implies" a shared common ancestry which has thus far eluded them. That's not evidence to anyone except for those who want to read their theory into the archeological evidence rather than extract a theory from actual analysis. That my friends is the making of a pseudo science no better than the crack pots on Ancient Aliens.
     
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  19. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    Reason, history and science can never prove anything. It is only a rational revelation from God that can be the source of true knowledge. Rationalism leads to skepticism. The senses or empiricism cannot reason since the mind conceives of concepts that are beyond sensory experience. Have you observed a line going on into infinity in two directions?

    Science is always false.

    Charlie
     
  20. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't see the bible as the King James Version of Elements of Biology. Personally, I follow John Stott's model of exegesis: “the purpose of the bible is not scientific. That is not to say that the teaching of Scripture and of science are in conflict with one another for, when we keep each to its proper sphere and discern what is affirming, they are not. Indeed, if the God of truth is the author of both, they could not be…What I am asserting rather is that, though the Bible may contain some science, the purpose of the bible is not scientific.” Understanding the Bible, p. 15.



    He goes on further to say that the purpose of the Bible is similarly not literature or even philosophy even though it contains fine examples of both. He finally states what the purpose of the bible is: “So the Bible is primarily a book neither of science, nor of literature, nor philosophy, but of salvation” Id. at p.17.



    And before anyone points out that Stott was an evolutionist, I recognize that. And, more’s the pity for it. But, in the words HighChurchMan, “How-and-ever”, he never once disavowed the historicity of Adam and Eve. Even Creationists recognize this. A creation magazine writer got to listen to Stott’s presentation on this issue and this is his recollection:



    “Stott firmly laid down his belief that any evangelical simply had to believe that Adam was a real historical figure, because the New Testament makes such a vivid comparison between Jesus and Adam, in Romans 5 and in 1 Corinthians 15. The presentation concluded with a question-and-answer session, so I had the privilege of asking him a question publicly. I had heard that he believed the theory of evolution, so I asked him how he reconciled this belief with his strongly stated conviction that Adam was a real historical figure. He answered with his now-famous homo divinus analogy, claiming that the “dust of the earth,” from which Adam was made, was the evolutionary process, guided by God, whereby man evolved from ape-like ancestors. It was his contention that Adam was basically the first evolved ape — or rather first evolved from the ape-like common ancestor. Into this ape-like Adam, God breathed his soul.” (comes from http://www.creationtoday.org/john-stott-exegesis-and-evolution/)



    The article of course explains the inconsistency here but at least gives him points for trying to stay true to the word of God insofar as he did. As for me, I don’t pretend to understand how one measures a day prior to the creation of a sun, but then I don’t see how an amoeba can over time sprout legs and become a human. Both are equally nonsensical to me. But I know the Word of God is true, that all creation proclaims not only his existence but also God's glory. Just as I believe in the historicity of the New Adam, I must recognize the literal existence of the Old one as well, because if one was only a myth or metaphor, then that means the other must be too.
     
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