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This lengthy article quoted a number of Christian academics whom I have quoted on this blog a number of times. These academics such men as Francis Collins (known for his work on the human genome project, founder of the very liberal BioLogos website, and now Director of the National Institutes of Health as appointed by President Obama), Karl Giberson (professor at Eastern Nazarene College), Darrell Falk (professor at Point Loma Nazarene University), Bruce Waltke (now at Knox Theological Seminary), Daniel Harlow (Calvin College), John Collins (Covenant Theological Seminary), and Peter Enns (BioLogos) among others.
In fact, if you search my blog for most the above names, you will find numerous entries illustrating that these Christian academics clearly compromise God’s Word with man’s fallible beliefs about evolution, millions of years, etc.
The article in Christianity Today quotes from these and other scholars in regard to whether Christians need to believe in a literal Adam and Eve. Although the article contains a few quotes that insist Christianity must believe in a literal Adam and Eve, it contains a majority of quotes against this position.
Consider the following quotes from the article:
In a recent pro-evolution book from InterVarsity Press, ‘The Language of Science and Faith,’ Collins and co-author Karl W. Giberson escalate matters, announcing that “unfortunately” the concepts of Adam and Eve as the literal first couple and the ancestors of all humans simply “do not fit the evidence.”
Collins’s 2006 bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief—which so vexed those secularist critics—reported scientific indications that anatomically modern emerged from primate ancestors perhaps 100,000 years ago—long before the apparent Genesis time frame—and originated with a population that numbered something like 10,000, not two individuals. Instead of the traditional belief in the specially created man and woman of Eden who were biologically different from all other creatures, Collins mused, might Genesis be presenting “a poetic and powerful allegory” about God endowing humanity with a spiritual and moral nature? “Both options are intellectually tenable,” he concluded.
A BioLogos paper by Venema and Falk declares it more flatly: The human population, they say, “was definitely never as small as two . . . Our species diverged as a population. The data are absolutely clear on that.”
BioLogos not only promotes the current scientific consensus on human origins, but ways in which Scripture can be rein- terpreted to accord with evolutionary theory.They also quote Peter Enns who was a speaker at a recent series of homeschool conventions.
To Enns, a literal Adam as a special creation without evolutionary forebears is “at odds with everything else we know about the past from the natural sciences and cultural remains.” As he reads the early chapters of Genesis, he says, “The Bible itself invites a symbolic reading by using cosmic battle imagery and by drawing parallels between Adam and Israel.”
The New Testament passages are different, he allows. Enns has little doubt that Paul indeed thought Adam was “a real person.” But Enns suggests that the apostle was reflecting beliefs about human origins that were common among the ancients. After scanning various interpretations of Genesis, Enns joins those who see the Genesis passages on Adam as “a story of Israelite origins,” not the origin of all humanity, in which case there is no essential conflict with evolutionary theory.
Waltke is open to the new thinking. In an interview, the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society affirmed the “inerrancy of the Bible, but not of interpretations.” He sees Adam and Eve as historical individuals. But if genetics produces the conclusion that “Scripture has a collectivity represented as an individual, that doesn’t bother me,” he said. “We have to go with the scientific evidence. I don’t think we can ignore it. I have full confidence in Scripture, but it does not represent what science represents.”The article quotes two Calvin College professors. These quotes really illustrate the ultimate end of rejecting a literal Adam and Eve.
For instance, Schneider, who sees conservative Protestantism as being on “the brink of crisis” on this topic, wrote that the evidence “seems to discredit” the Fall from original righteousness as a historical event. Vices we associate with consequences of the Fall and original sin, such as self-serving behavior, exist in lower primates and would have been passed on via evolution to humans. Thus Eden “cannot be a literal description of how things really were in the primal human past.”The article does quote Answers in Genesis.
Harlow proposed that understandings of the Fall may need to be “reformulated” and the church must be willing to “decouple original sin from the notion that all humans descended from a single pair.”
As writers with Answers in Genesis, in commenting on recent developments, insisted, “God created the mature, fully functioning creation in six literal days about 6,000 years ago.The writer then continues to state something that is very important for Christians to understand.
If substantiated, this would of course demolish Darwinism because such a brief chronology offers no time for evolutionary processes to occur.As we have been saying for some time, the secular world will not and cannot accept even the possibility of a young earth, because then they could not even postulate the idea of evolution. They require an incomprehensible amount of time to propose evolutionary beliefs. That is why the secular world use terms like “anti-science,” “anti-intellectual,” and “anti-academic” for those who reject billions of years and accept a young universe. And sadly, that is why so many Christian academics give in to the secular world—they want to be seen as academically respectable in the eyes of the world. (The research detailed in our book, Already Compromised, documents that the majority of Christian academics in Christian colleges believe in an old earth and universe.)
Note that if the billions of years is not true and the universe is only a few thousands of years old, then this debate about a literal Adam and Eve is over! It is so obvious from Scripture that God created a literal Adam and Eve—this is vital to the Christianity and an understanding of the Fall and why God’s Son became our Savior.
The Christianity Today article is promoting the idea that the battle over a literal Adam and Even may be the major theological battle in Christianity in the 21st century.
So, is the Adam and Eve question destined to become a groundbreaking science-and-Scripture dispute, a 21st-century equivalent of the once disturbing proof that the Earth orbits the sun? The potential is certainly there: the emerging science could be seen to challenge not only what Genesis records about the creation of humanity but the species’s unique status as bearing the “image of God,” Christian doctrine on original sin and the Fall, the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, and, perhaps most significantly, Paul’s teaching that links the historical Adam with redemption through Christ (Rom. 5:12–19 . . .The interesting point is that this quote actually does deal with the real issue, and sadly, atheists understand this better than the majority of Christian academics these days. And in this instance, as shocking as it may seem, I agree with the atheists, not the majority of Christian academics. The following is what the atheists say (now I don’t agree with the first paragraph of course, but I agree with the essence of their points as you read them):
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you don’t believe in the fable of Adam and Eve and the talking snake. You probably think it’s a story, created out of ignorance, to explain the origin of life. You probably don’t believe that Adam literally ate a fruit, resulting in God expelling him and Eve out of the idyllic Garden of Eden.What a sad day when the atheists understand Christianity better than so many Christians do. No wonder we are losing most of the next generation from the church (see the book Already Gone, which documents research as to why two thirds of young people are leaving the church). And no wonder we are losing the Christian base that so permeated our once Christianized Western world.
In other words, you know that’s a myth.
Right so far? So if Adam and Eve and the Talking Snake are myths, then Original Sin is also a myth, right? Well, think about it.
All we are asking is that you take what you know into serious consideration, even if it means taking a hard look at all you’ve been taught for your whole life. No Adam and Eve means no need for a savior. It also means that the Bible cannot be trusted as a source of unambiguous, literal truth. It is completely unreliable, because it all begins with a myth, and builds on that as a basis. No Fall of Man means no need for atonement and no need for a redeemer. You know it. (http://atheists.org/atheism/Christmas)
- Jesus’ major purpose was to save mankind from Original Sin.
- Original Sin makes believers unworthy of salvation, but you get it anyway, so you should be grateful for being saved (from that which does not exist)
- Without Original Sin, the marketing that all people are sinners and therefore need to accept Jesus falls moot.
I thought it would be good to end this blog post with a few verses of Scripture.
Adam, Seth, Enosh, (1 Chronicles 1:1)
If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, (Job 31:33)
the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38)
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Romans 5:14)
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:13)
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14)
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints. (Jude 1:14)Yes, Adam was a real man—the first man and a literal Adam. To say otherwise is to undermine Scripture and thus attack the Word, which is an attack of the person of Jesus Christ, Who is the Word.
These compromising Christian academics need to fall on their knees before a Holy God and repent of their attack on the Word.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.