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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    You can't claim to be Anglican if you reject the doctrine of Original Sin. It's clearly taught in the Bible and it is affirmed in Articles 9-18. I'm always amazed at folks who claim to be Anglican but outright reject the Anglican Formularies.

    Even though the Anglo-Catholics and high church folks revise and reinterpret the 39 Articles, they are at least going through the motions. And let's not forget that Original Sin and the Fall of Adam is accepted by all three major branches of Christianity: East, West, and Protestant--albeit with a slightly different emphasis in the East.

    All of us make mistakes in our thinking, our logic, and our facts. But you'll have to forgive me if I insist on calling you on it when you make egregious mistakes or obviously contradictory statements. I would expect you to do nothing less if you see me make a mistake as well. Iron sharpens iron.

    Article 9 clearly binds Anglicans to the doctrine of Original Sin. Article 10 clearly rejects free will. You'll also note that Article 9 nowhere mentions the term "allegory". If there is no infection of original sin, then it follows that you did mean that each person "becomes" a sinner when he or she commits the first actual sin. But that is not what Scripture teaches at all: (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 58:3; Psalm 51: 5; Job 15:14; Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:10-23)

    This is from the Short Catechism for Young Churchmen:

    Q. (13) What is original sin?​
    A. "Original sin is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man naturally descended from Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil."-(Art. IX; Psalm 51:5; Rom. 3:10-12; 8:7.)​

    Q. (14) Is Man able to turn to God of himself?​
    A. No. "The condition of man after the fall is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God."-(Art. X; John 6:44; 15:5; Eph. 2:1.)​

    Q. (15) What do we need in order to turn to God?​
    A. In order to turn to God, we need "the grace of God by Christ preventing us (i.e. going before us), that we may have a good will; and working with us, when we have that good will."-(Art. X; Jer. 31: 18, 19; 1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:13.)​

    Q. (16) What is the true doctrine of Justification?​
    A. That "we are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings."-(Art. XI; Rom. 3:24, 25; 5:1, 9, 19; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9.)​

    Charlie
     
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  2. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Active Member

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    It was influential, but it was never the official doctrine of the Church. No ecumenical council affirmed Arianism.
     
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  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    DK, you took the words right out of my typing fingers.

    Also, Charlie, you CAN be Anglican and not affirm some or all of the 39 Articles, at least you can in the US. The articles were never binding on the laity here.
     
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  4. Simon Magus

    Simon Magus Member

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    Thanks, Charlie. I'm sorry if it may not've been entirely clear: I'm not an Anglican, nor do I claim to be. I'm an apostate from the Roman Catholic communion and nothing else besides that, really; although I do find I'm able to continue affirming many of the core Christian doctrines. Perhaps your accusation of "neo-orthodoxy" (if by that you meant Eastern Orthodoxy), would be somewhat indicative of where I fall. But as I said earlier, I'm merely here to learn and I've been learning a lot. If Anglicanism insists upon Original Sin, absolutely and without compromise, then—well, such is life. Pax tecum.
     
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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  6. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    Ok, you got me there. But Arianism was the majority view for a time and was affirmed by a local synod:

    Although he was committed to maintaining what the church had defined at Nicaea, Constantine was also bent on pacifying the situation and eventually became more lenient toward those condemned and exiled at the council. First he allowed Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was a protégé of his sister, and Theognis to return once they had signed an ambiguous statement of faith. The two, and other friends of Arius, worked for Arius' rehabilitation. At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, the primary opponent of Arius; after this, Constantine had Athanasius banished, since he considered him an impediment to reconciliation. In the same year, the Synod of Jerusalem under Constantine's direction readmitted Arius to communion in AD 336. Arius, however, died on the way to this event in Constantinople. Some scholars suggest that Arius may have been poisoned by his opponents.​
     
  7. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    No, I didn't mean Eastern Orthodoxy when I referred to neo-orthodoxy. Neo-Orthodoxy is a liberal Protestant theology founded by Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Rudolf Bultmann and others. It was an attempt to mediate between modernism and more conservative theology but because it is basically irrational, neo-orthodoxy was a dismal failure. Ironically, the Roman Catholic Church has its own theological liberals who have bought into neo-orthodoxy to one degree or another. A good example of that would be Hans Kung. There are "progressives" in the Roman Catholic Church. Even if I were prone to the theology of glory I wouldn't join Rome because it struggles against modernism, postmodernism, progressivism, and theological liberalism like all the rest.
     
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  8. Simon Magus

    Simon Magus Member

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    Ah. I'm not familiar with any of those theologians, actually, except for Kierkegaard. But I see what Charlie meant now.
     
  9. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    Well, yes, you can be openly gay and be ordained as a deacon or priest. And you can even be consecrated as a bishop if you are openly homosexual. Heck, you can even be an atheist and be Anglican here:


    In fairness, Altizer, although raised as an Episcopalian, was declined for ordination in that denomination.

    Basically, there is no authority for doctrinal discipline in the Anglican church--unless you happen to actually believe the Bible. I would have a hard time being accepted for ordination in TEC in central Florida and I highly doubt that the ACNA would ordain me either:)

    But I'm sure they would be chomping at the bits to ordain a Pelagian or a gnostic. Get a sex change and you're a shoe in for TEC at least.

    On the other hand, there is a Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. I have my reservations, however, since there are Anglo-Catholics who "claim" to confess what the Anglican Formularies teach. That's a bit of a stretch, imo. See also: The Jerusalem Declaration and Goals of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.

    GAFCON: What is the Gospel?



    Charlie
     
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  10. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that is my experience at our parish. I am sad to have to say this, but the clergy are the worst of the lot when it comes to scriptural authority and purity of liturgy.

    But why is this the case across many parishes. Why do the clergy stray from the folks in the pews?

    ...Scottish Monk
     
  11. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    The short answer is that most seminaries these days--including those who "claim" to be conservative and Evangelical--are either openly liberal or neo-orthodox to one degree or another. Lay people are not exposed to higher criticism, liberal theology, and modern/postmodern theology for the most part.

    I grew up reading the Bible since age 8. (2 Timothy 3:15). I have always had a healthy skepticism for so-called experts who can explain away the obvious in God's Word. It really comes down to faith. Either you will believe the Bible is univocally God's Word or you will reject it. There are many wolves in pulpits across America. (Acts 20:27-29). And it's not just the Anglican or Episcopal churches which are affected by this. It's also a problem in Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations.

    My advice is to follow the plain teaching of Scripture. If you have a question about something the pastor says, then go to the Bible first. Conservative commentaries are sometimes helpful. Word studies and lexicons can be helpful, too.
     
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  12. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Active Member

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    Maybe it's a good reminder of the importance of those folks in the pews...in many ways, maintaining & delivering the Faith depends on laypeople as much as it depends on the clergy. And it is up to us to keep our Anglican customs and traditions alive if they are to last. We almost serve as a check on clergy errors when bishops won't do their jobs.
     
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  13. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Hi SM it is probably a good time to talk to the peoples warden/s of the parish council... I know here in Australia if the people don't like what the Priest is doing they can have them removed a new one appointed. We actually have a sub-committee that looks after the liturgical needs of our Parish as the Sacristan I get to sit in those meetings, it works for us.
     
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  14. historyb

    historyb Active Member

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    I know in my Church the 39 are considered a guide not hard and fast rules, then again I am not in the ECUSA. I do not think there is any one document that speaks for all Anglicans because not all Anglicans are the same.

    On the OP I believe Adam and Eve are real people
     
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  15. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Off topic stuff removed.
     
  16. Stephanos

    Stephanos New Member

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    Scripture can be also seen as tradition in that it was pasted down through the ages by a certain people group of a certain religion. The reason for the distiction comes more from a closed canon and majority rule than anything else.
     
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  17. Stephanos

    Stephanos New Member

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    Original sin is as much biological as Ancestral sin. But Ancestral sin does not inherent guilt as Original sin seems to imply. Even though normally they are two separate thing. Original sin and Original guilt. The latter being inherent. Where in Ancestral sin sinwe have an inclination towards sin but do not actaully have to sin. Which is probabaly where Wesley came to his particular view of prevenient grace, which the EO seems to share.
     
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  18. Stephanos

    Stephanos New Member

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    As to the OP. I tend to relegate the first couple of chapter, mainly up to Abraham as myth. Making Abraham the first real person. The idea that scripture falls apart because of that really never happened to me. A real Adam and a real Eve do not need to exist for me to believe in sin. I tend to view it as that with is left over from our brain development, if you want my scientific answer. My theological answer is that which holds us captive as well as the earth.
     
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  19. Ogygopsis

    Ogygopsis Active Member

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    Stephanos' replies brought this thread forward, such that this bit needed reply

    This is simply false. The Anglican Church is not a confessional church where it is required to that you sign on to specific doctrines. We may disagree on a host of issues, in our 'middle way' and it gives us strength to come together as the people of God.

    I agree with you Stephanos, and would further say that it is not so important- these literal aspects of the bible. It is the story of faith. It is obvious that sin and brokenness dominates. That we need to try to form ourselves to the will of God, and even though we fail. Hence Jesus. The evolutionary story of our ultimate origins points to a grander vision, of God making a far larger universe that the bible writers knew.
     
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  20. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    That is a completely inaccurate account of how the canon was formed and recognized.
     
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