In the Meantime…

I have been busy in preparations for the move, which is why I have not been posting very much of late. My apologies to my kind readers. I will pick up again in the future. In the meantime, read this excellent examination of the genetic evidence for the historical Adam and Eve as progenitors of the entire human race.

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62 Comments

  1. Reed Here said,

    September 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Excellent article Lane.

    I’m wondering what other’s think about the criticism offered by some (e.g., BioLogos) that such arguments as listed in this blog (e.g., YEC arguments) are not scientifically credible.

    Each time I hear such an critique, it at first seems very credible, e.g., it proves that the YEC scientific argument is simply bogus. Then, with a little more study, I find out that the criticism is rooted in unprovable anti-YEC presuppositions. Then I go back and look at the YEC argument again and it seems more reasonable.

    I’m sure some YEC arguments are wrong (weak?). Yet why are we seeing so many otherwise wise, godly men, believe their intellectual integrity demands them to buy into an inerrancy denying position? Is it nothing more than Rom 1:20ff.?

  2. Jed Paschall said,

    September 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Reed & Lane,

    Interesting discussion for sure. I will preface my statements by saying that I certainly am not anti YEC, and I also think that science as an institution hasnt always done a good job of fostering dissent that helps clarify the controversial positions like this one.

    I tend to agree that at some point we do get down to 2 homo sapiens as the progenitors of the human race, or modern humans if you arent of YEC persussion. But, by the time we get to Gen. 4 it isnt entirely clear that there wasnt an extant human population by the time of Cain and Abel. Now it isnt impossible that Adamand Eve had children not listed in Genesis geneaologies, butthe text makes no demands either way.

    Now I love Genesis discussions, and Idont take a hard position on the mechanics or science of Genesis because I dont think these are the contextual concerns of the text, and they dont really factor into the message of the book or the material origins of salvation history. I think they speak to a real history, but not according to the historiographical conventions of even the rest of biblical narrative.

    From the context of Genesis, if a theistic evolution position is the right one, then Adam and Eve may not have been the physical progenitors of the human race, but they would likely have been special creations, apart from the evolutionary process, and serving as Federal progenitors of the human condition before God. Meaning that had they succeded they could have expanded Eden. However whether or not it was them or another couple, the result would be the same. Warfield seems to take a similar position on the supernatural nature of Adam and Eve and the Eden narratives, while holding to a evolutionary model for the physical origin of life.

    Regardless of the position one takes in Genesis, the meaning of creation is more signifigant than its material processes. Both are important, but one loaded with latent theological signifigance, while the other simply describes the physical and biological processes of creation. So, I think its a bit of a misnomer to attribute the evolutionary views of some Reformed shcolars to thelingering results of sin a laRomans 1. I think Dr. Clarks RRC rightly describes trying to make views on Genesis origins as lithmus tests for orthodoxy an example of QIRC. All this to say I think there is room for healthy and collegial dissent on this matter, so long as doctrines of Federalism or original sin are reasonably held in tact.

  3. David Gray said,

    September 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Well whether you are YEC or not the Bible makes clear that there was a time where man was and woman was not. It also makes clear that death entered the world through sin. Neither of those can be squared with theistic evolution.

  4. jedpaschall said,

    September 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    David,

    So plants, animals, and the entire structure of the 2nd law of thermodynamics wasn’t in force before the fall? Sorry, there are plenty of good arguments that human immortality was only sustained sacramentally by the tree of life. Death came by loosing access to the manifest presence of God, and the tree therein. You dont even need to hold to TE to hold to this, see Walton (who held to a 24 hour creation at the time of writing) in his NIV Application commentary on Gen. 2.

  5. David Gray said,

    September 14, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Jed,

    Was there a time when man existed and woman did not?

  6. Jed Paschall said,

    September 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    David,

    Forgive the cryptic and brief question but it is all I have time for:

    Your question is as enigmatic as asking whether or not Adam had a belly button?

    The upshot of my question is that if the basic laws of physics were altered after the fall into present day state, we have no basis to make any definitive observation of the universe. If the laws that govern the natural order aren’t constant, we end up with no way to make scientific models of the universe. This is a difficulty with YEC as I see it.

  7. Reed Here said,

    September 15, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Jed: I don’t get why this is a difficulty for YEC. What do you mean?

    If the defect in the natural laws follow the pattern of the defect in the spiritual laws (e.g., CoW now functioning under the dominion of sin), then we should be able offer some approximate extrapolations. I.e., the Bible tells us that even with the defects of the Fall, there is still a correlation between natural pre- and post-Fall. Further, this correlation is sufficient to apply the scientific method with reasonable expectations of success.

    The opposite could be said for the uniformitarianism system. The key presupposition is exceptionally powerful (and no problem for the YEC) for application to things AS THEY NOW ARE.

    Yet when theorizing that natural laws have not changed into the distant past, the position comes up against an absolutely impossible burden of proof. As much as modern atheistic science (not saying your position, but using the clearest opposite) wants to tell us WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, all it really tells us is what may have happened if the unprovable hypothesis of uniformitarianism is true.

  8. David Gray said,

    September 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    >>Your question is as enigmatic as asking whether or not Adam had a belly button?

    Actually it is sufficiently simple that a young child should be able to understand it.

    >>The upshot of my question is that if the basic laws of physics were altered after the fall into present day state, we have no basis to make any definitive observation of the universe.

    I remember Philip Johnson shredding that one when I heard him speak at Cambridge. Presumably then you don’t believe any of the miracles in the gospels.

  9. Jed Paschall said,

    September 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    David Gray,

    I sm constantly reminded why dialogue with you is about as worthwhile as banging my head against a brick wall. How could I ever have passed my membership exams if I didnt believe in the gospel accounts or in miracles?!

    These kinds of responses are case in point of one of the grandest flaws that many YECers fall into. A fundamental lack of intellectual humility. If someone doesnt hold to a “literal” understanding of the primeval history, then obviously their faith or beleif system is defunct.

    THE FACT OF THE MATTER is that the moment we start drawing scientific conclusions from Genesis, YEC, TE, or OEC, we move out of the realm that the text is speaking to, Genesis was written in a prescientific culture that wasnt asking scientific questions, and if you believe in the importance of context and original audience, then you cant make the intended message of Genesis to answer questions that wont surface for at least 3500 years. Regardless of where you land on the issue you must concede that Genesis’ origin account is stylized, selective, contextual to the culture of the original audience. Science is none of these things, and it follows a very different method of inquiry and communication.

    I think each of the major views held by those inthe Reformed camp all have strengths and weaknesses, and I don’t think any camp has laid the issue to rest. That is where humility and room for disagreement should come in on this issue in particular. It is a disservice to your brothers who hold to a different interpretation on an issue that has been debated down through the history of the church to question their orthodoxy over a question that truly shows the limiations of the human intellect to understand the mysteries of Creation. If it was such an important issue dont you think God would have left usmore than two chapters that create as many questions between the two as they answer.

  10. Reed Here said,

    September 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Jed: if you’re o.k. debating me a tad on this, I’d like to challenge some of your presuppositions. I’m not interested in challenging your faith though.

  11. Jed Paschall said,

    September 15, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Reed,

    As a former card carying member of ICR I always enjoy a good discussion on the subject. So yeah, fire away.

  12. Reed Here said,

    September 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks Jed. I’d like to challenge the paragraph in which you bring up the pre-scientific, original audience notion in your comments to David.

    I think the assumptions are challengeable from a few angles. To take just one, who is the intended audience? Is it limited to just the original Mosaic audience? What about Jesus’s usage of Moses Genesis material? Was that generation the intended audience? How about our congregations in which we worship? Are they the intended audience?

    Hopefully my questioning surfaces the weakness of this line of argument. Pre-scientific or scientific or post-scientific (I hate the labels) are meaningless in terms of the intent of the passages. What God intends to communicate to all his people in all time does not change.

    I agree that we cannot make the passage answer questions which it does not address. The problem is that Gen 1-2 specifically address themselves to origin questions. Accordingly whatever scientific explanations we come up with MUST be consistent with what God intends to say in these passages.

    I.O.W., the debate must begin in exegetical considerations. General revelation opinions of fact MUST be submissive to Special revelation statements of fact, to the degree Special Revelation has spoken.

    All this to challenge the idea of pre-scientific vs. scientific. This actually has nothing to do with the debate. I.e., is it an invalid hermeneutical consideration, simply for the fact that the very nature of Scripture’s inerrancy demands that it be true. We may debate whether or not a given interpretation is accurate to the text, but we must not let general revelation considerations play a determinative role.

    I sense I am not as lucid as I can/should be here. Yet assuming we’re having the friendly conversation, I won’t worry about polishing. Instead I’ll risk being misunderstood and ask you to fire back. I’ll trust in your patience as I seek to focus and clarify. Thanks!

  13. David Gray said,

    September 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    >I sm constantly reminded why dialogue with you is about as worthwhile as banging my head against a brick wall.

    Mr. Pot meet Mr. Kettle.

    >These kinds of responses are case in point of one of the grandest flaws that many YECers fall into.

    I’m not necessarily a YEC and you still don’t understand what is being discussed.

  14. Jed Paschall said,

    September 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Dave,

    Thanks for the favor, I will gladly end even responding to your inane comments. You can go all day long about how I dont know what is even being discussed here, but all I have ever got from you is a fundamental lack of substance or meaningful argumentation. If you werent arguing for YEC or some similarly related position why even comment the way you have? Unreal.

  15. jedpaschall said,

    September 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Reed,

    I think you raise some interesting questions here, I foresee this discussion playing out over a few responses to I’ll hone in on one portion of your response for now:

    Hopefully my questioning surfaces the weakness of this line of argument. Pre-scientific or scientific or post-scientific (I hate the labels) are meaningless in terms of the intent of the passages. What God intends to communicate to all his people in all time does not change.

    I agree that we cannot make the passage answer questions which it does not address. The problem is that Gen 1-2 specifically address themselves to origin questions. Accordingly whatever scientific explanations we come up with MUST be consistent with what God intends to say in these passages.

    First, I’ll say I am in substantial agreement with you here, except over the issue of post/pre-scientific. They are factual labels that have historical meaning. The empirical method represented an entirely different way of arriving at an understanding of the world or its constituent parts. Prior to this, the world was seen in a unified continuum of natural and supernatural phenomenon as God’s (or the gods’) activity in the world touched everything.

    With Genesis 1 we aren’t dealing with synchronic truth, where God is inspiring his truth in a timeless fashion. Of course it is eternal, and true in all times, but Genesis had an original audience that God was communicating to (presumably through Moses, probably using older sources). If this was the case, if the communication of the text is to be meaningful, then it must be in forms that the audience understands. They probably weren’t asking questions that centered along the nature of the day’s of creation, otherwise they would have run into similar problems we do in transitioning from Gen 1 to 2.

    They would have understood exactly what was being spoken of in both chapters. Chapter 1 dealt with the forming and filling of the cosmic Temple, where man would serve a priestly and kingly role ruling the earth as God’s vice-regents. Chapter 2 deals more specifically with what that looks like on the ground as Adam and Eve are in the gardenesque sanctum sanctorum caring for the earthly creation in harmony with God.

    This is why I think the TE, YEC, OEC discussions obscure the theological thrust of the text. These are all “scientific” in their outlook, the text isn’t. Genesis speaks as much or more to the meaning or “why” of creation and man’s purpose in it, as it does to the “what” or mechanical working of the creation. If the new creation in the end of Revelation is speaking of a renewed temple as cosmos as the telos of creation, why would we be so shocked if this is present in seed form at the initial creation. To me creation is more centered on the “who” (as in who made it). “why”, and “what is my role in it”, than it is over the mode of the origin of its parts.

    I do see real value in the TE, YEC, OEC debates, but I think they need to be sequestered from the meaning of the text, since the text was answering questions that none of these paradigms are even asking. If the material/scientific origin type questions are the first ones we are trying to answer in Genesis, then we are asking the wrong question. This frees us to answer the TE, YEC, OEC questions within their own scientific domain, through scientific methods, with scientific answers. This is why while I no longer hold to YEC (I hover between OEC and TE depending on the day), I think it has much to add in the scientific debate over origins, simply because the general theory of evolution is granted exorbitant privilege in the academy today, and while science holds to it, it may not answer all questions as well as it claims. This is the value of intelligent design in that discussion, because it challenges the dirty little secrets of evolutionary science.

  16. jedpaschall said,

    September 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Here’s what John Walton has to say about the issue in his NIV Application Commentary on Genesis, its a longer excerpt:

    Does Genesis 1 tell us anything about structure? If the focus of Genesis 1 is functional [discussed earlier], is there anything that can be inferred from the text about structural origins, material creation, or formational history? There are only two possibilities regarding the incidental structural details in the text. On the one hand would be the idea that they reflect an “old-world science” the Israelites shared with their neighbors. This would have included a flat-disk shaped earth with mountains holding up the several levels of sky, each with solid elements such as floors and ceilings. The sun, moon, and stars moved across the sky in determined patterns, and there was water in the heaven’s chambers that came down as rain as well as waters surrounding and running under the earth that made up the cosmic seas. There was a second level of the earth that construed the netherworld [Sheol], the abode of the dead, through which the sun passed during the night.

    On the other hand, if the Israelites did not believe something like this, it would only be because God had revealed a different reality that transcended this old-world science. If God did not reveal realities such as the world being spherical, or the earth’s rotation and revolution around the sun, the Israelites would have no means to arrive at such conclusions.

    For some readers, the first option might seem theologically tracherous and would likely undermine the authority of the text, but let us examine the options and their implications carefully. With regard to the second option, the evidence is strikingly clear. There is not a single example of God revealing scientifically transcendent information to the Israelites. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary. Consider the following four examples:

    1. In Genesis 1:9 the “water” is gathered “to one place so that the “dry ground” appears. The ancient, classical, and medieval worlds all agree that there was only one major landmass on earth. The Israelites understood this as a description of the world as they knew it, not of a scientific description of Pangea that preceded the onset of continental drift.

    2. When the elders of Israel have their encounter with the God of Israel in Exodus 24, he is described as standing in heaven on a pavement of sapphire [lapus lazuli] (v. 10), exactly like that portrayed in Mesopotamian cosmology [of the gods vs. Israel's monotheistic God].

    3. The movements of the celestial bodies and the understanding of weather are all described in terms similar to that of the rest of the Ancient Near East. Windows of heaven are not replaced with high pressure systems and the movement of the jet-stream.

    4. When God wants to talk about the human intellect, he does not take the time to inform his inspired authors that the true organ of thought was the brain. There is no Hebrew word for brain, and neither the Israelites or any of the other ancient peoples knew what the brain was for. The Egyptian priests who mummified bodies carefully preserved all of the important internal organs in canopic jars, but they pulled out the brain with a hook through the nostrils and discarded it as trash. For the ancients, the representation of the heart as the seat of the intellect and emotions was not simply figurative speech as it is for us. They knew of no other reality.

    Does God relinquish authority or credibility when he speaks of the heart as the seat of the intellect? Of course not – he is simply communicating in terms that his audience understands, as any effective communicator does. He is not misleading them about physiology and is offering no revelation on the subject. In the creation narratives I contend likewise that he does not discuss the material structure [and composition of the cosmos], and therefore offers no revelation on the subject. One may as well try to reconstruct human anatomy, or our ideas about it, from a Picasso abstract painting.

    One could perhaps claim that the Israelites had only a primitive knowledge of science but that the ambiguity of the language left room for scientific sophistication (as is assumed by those who construct a new science based on the text). This does not help us. The authors were using words that their audience understood. The view that God inspired the use of words to be construed in a certain way does not save his reputation. If the Bible means anything to us, we must assume a level of integrity to the communication. It had authority for the original Israelites, so it could not mislead. (The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis John H. Walton pp. 87-89)

  17. Reed Here said,

    September 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Jed: I’m familiar with these arguments and Walton. My point at this level is not that the labels are not valid in terms of historical referents. Instead I am saying that they are meaningless to the interpreting of Gen 1-2.

    You want to maintain that since the original audience was pre-scientific that the text must be interpreted consistent with this. O.k., well another intended audience, today’s, is scientific. Applying your hermeneutical principle consistently requires us to also demand that the text be interpreted consistent with this modern context as well. I.O.W., you get no where saying that the original context trumps all other interpretations, unless you want to remove the whole text from applicability (and understandability I think) from other contexts than the original audience’s.

    I.e. the “we must read it pre-scientifically” argument is premised on a sword that cuts both ways. Either all intended audience’s have their contexts in play, or you must argue that God was only speaking applicably to the original audience.

    Either solution is consistent. Both result in solutions I hope no one wants to maintain.

  18. jedpaschall said,

    September 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Last lengthy excerpt I promise, but this one is shorter and it’s from Waltke:

    The creed that the Bible is scientifically accurate denies an orthodox doctrine of incarnation. The Bible did not drop down out of heaven with the worldview of the twenty-first century any more than it originally came to us wearing the heavenly garb of the King James Version. The Bible not only originates in the Ancient Near Eastern language but also in the garb of Ancient Near Eastern literature. In contrast to scientific literature, Ancient Near Eastern literature cosmologies describe the universe according to phenomenological language from a geocentric viewpoint, not with mathematical precision from a detached point of view from outside the cosmos…

    Sixth, whereas science endeavors to give a total and coherent explanation of phenomena, Genesis is not concerned to give a total explanation of origins. The biblical account does not explain the origin of the primordial matter that became differentiated into sky, land, and sea; nor does it explain how the earth and the sea “brought forth” the species that inhabit them. A scientific description of the process of creation may be able to fill in blanks that are of no interest to the theologian. In other words, the biblical account is answering the primary questions of thwo the agent is and why he created. By contrast, science is asking the secondary questions of how and when the cosmos originated. Science cannot answer the former set of questions, and Genesis…

    Eighth, and finally, the narrative does not fit the genre of scientific literature writing because its method of validation lies outside the realm of scientific investigation. The ultimate validation of Scripture comes from the witness of the Spirit who leads us into all truth. The conviction of the Holy Spirit generates faith in us. Our beliefs are not founded on scientific sorts of verification. (An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach Bruce K. Waltke with Charles Yu pp. 195-197)

    The reason why I quote Walton and Waltke at length is first, they are among the most qualified scholars in the field of Old Testament studies, conservative or otherwise. Second, they are on the leading edge of Genesis studies, and they have laid a groundwork that enables us to look at the text in light of its original (ANE) context, and understand with clarity and precision it’s theological message. While I don’t always agree with either scholar, I do think they have gone a long way to advance the discussion regarding what Genesis does and does not answer with regard to cosmic and human origins. In doing so they have opened new avenues for those of theologically conservative convictions to be conversant with the developments in science without having to give up fundamental convictions about God as creator, the historicity of Adam, or the doctrines of original sin, which are all essential doctrines to those in the Reformed camp. There are some like Enns who have gone too far in equating Scripture with ANE mythology, and have ended up surrendering vital doctrines and the historicity of scripture.

    Essentially, I could care less where one ends up with regard to their scientific convictions of cosmic origins, as long as they do a good job of taking the text of Genesis seriously and on its own terms.

  19. jedpaschall said,

    September 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Reed,

    Part of our ability to bridge contexts is to understand how our perspectives differ from that of the original audience. YEC models would have most certainly been foreign to the original audience of Genesis.

    If we are to take the meaning of scripture as stable, then it cannot mean something to us that it did not mean, or have the potential to mean as redemptive history unfolds. There is no further development of the days of Genesis, except to establish fundamental theological and legal structures in ancient Israel (e.g. Sabbath laws). Nowhere else in Scripture are the “scientific” concepts of Gen 1-2 developed any further. The language is almost exclusively phenomenological, and fitted into the worldview of the ANE or to a smaller extent Greeco-Roman ideas.

    Beale picks up directly off of Walton’s work in Genesis to develop his The Temple and The Church’s Mission. Walton is really on to something that had not been developed on any meaningful level, and that is the role of the cosmos as a temple, and the earth as the intended meeting place between God and man, where man serves God as priest/vice-regent in a similar way to the function to the Levites in the Israelite Temple. From a Biblical Theology POV, Walton’s work is rock-solid, developing a foundation for a more wholistic venue for theological reflection and unity Genesis-Revelation, than any of the scientific readings of Genesis.

    It simply doesn’t make sense that all of the genres of scripture fit nicely into the ancient modes of literature, except for Genesis 1-11 which is written (or can potentially be understood) as a sort of proto-science. I don’t think we can make a text mean something today that it didn’t mean in to the original audience simply because our worldviews are different. There has to be biblical, hermenutical, and theological justification for this sort of development.

  20. Reed Here said,

    September 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Jed: I’m not arguing to read Gen 1-11 as science or proto-science. All I am arguing against at this point is that your “its pre-scientific so therefore YEC scientific considerations are a non sequiter.”

    If you will agree that everyone’s scientific insights are verboten when it comes to interpreting Gen 1-11, then we can agree and move forward. I’m not trying to label you, but I’d really like to see you agree with this. If you do, then whether the original audience was pre-, post-, or even a-scientific matters not a whit.

  21. Reed Here said,

    September 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Also, taking Gen 1-11 on its own terms does NOT mean interpreting it in isolation from the rest of Scripture. The original audience is merely the starting point. Only recourse to the NT’s final word gives us the definitive parameters for interpreting this, or any passage in Scripture.

    In arguments against YEC, I tend to see folks argue for an isolated interpretation being the end all. This does not seem to me to be consistent with how Jesus himself teaches us to read the Bible.

  22. Jed Paschall said,

    September 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Reed,

    Labels are only unfair when they don’t fit, so I think you are imminently reasonable here. I qualify that by saying that there are certainly implications for Science in Gen. 1-11, and I don’t want to misunderstood in this matter. That is why there can be room for YEC and OEC formulations, they are dealing off of textual implications in a modern context where science is looked to to answer material questions of origin.

    But, the message and meaning of the text never changes without subsequent canonical warrant. So while Genesis 1-2 might reasonably imply YEC, or something else it isn’t teaching it. The accounts of material creation are provided to give the theological and ethical basis for man’s interactions with God and the world he created, with the understanding that the whole of the cosmos owes its existence to the one, personal, monotheistic God of Israel.

    At first blush, if we were to ask which view (YEC, OEC, TE) was biblical, YEC has a prima facie leg up. However, YEC, as anyone who is involved in that school of thought should concede, is a complex body of scientific knowledge. The problem is, when we dig into the contextual structure, history, and literature of Genesis 1-2 we can’t conclude that we have science on our hands, no such body of knowledge existed then. The message leads to something else, something more important than science, and something of a higher magnitude of truth than science is capable of speaking to. That is why I object to trying to locate a biblical view of creation with respect to science, and I have objected to all camps who have tried to make such claims. This is also why I don’t think that any of the current theistic schools of though with regards to origin should be a litmus test for doctrinal orthodoxy, as those need to be ironed out on biblical and theological grounds.

    Practically speaking, this is why I think that WTS was right to sever ties with Enns, as I think his positions on the historicity of Adam land him outside of Reformed orthodoxy, and why RTS was wrong to sever ties with Waltke (even if his statements could have been framed better), since his theology with respect to Genesis is orthodox. It is also why I am frustrated with the tendency in the Reformed camp to make one’s view on science a test of orthodoxy, when it should be centered on one’s view of Scripture. Science constantly changes, and there could come a day when science overturns the general theory of evolution in favor of some new construct; however Scripture doesn’t change. So in the words of Waltke “render to Einstein what is Einstein’s and to God what is God’s.”

    Anyway Reed, I appreciate the charitable discussion here, and appreciate your pressing on the issue, and not insinuating that I deny certain pillars of the biblical faith just because I don’t think the scientific implications of Genesis are crystal clear.

  23. Jed Paschall said,

    September 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    In arguments against YEC, I tend to see folks argue for an isolated interpretation being the end all. This does not seem to me to be consistent with how Jesus himself teaches us to read the Bible.

    The problem is Jesus teaches expands and reinterprets Scripture through theological reflection, not science. Scientific inquiry is just different than theological inquiry. If there were some bona fide scientific statements in scripture, or observations distilled through something akin to the empirical method of research, than it would add more weight in my mind to saying which school of scientific thought is ‘biblical’.

  24. Reed Here said,

    September 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Jed: I actually do not think the science angle is going to win the day in these matters. I’m comfortable with a YEC position, without committing myself to any particular scientific theories. Any given one may or may not be “good” science.

    I’m a YEC preeminently because of textual considerations. Plain and simple, Gen 1-11 is presented as history. This is true in its immediate context and its authoritative interpretation from the ministry of Jesus (i.e., the NT). Given my pre-committments to inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility, that trumps the discussion for me.

    And yeah, I’m familiar with the various debates about what “kind” of history we’re dealing with. As one with a bit of training in the field, I understand the nature of the effort, and find it decidedly unsatisfying.

    I remain convinced that, while not necessarily immediately in each case or particularly for each individual, such efforts are in part (a critical part) based on a pre-commitment that gives general revelation considerations priority/authority over special revelation considerations. I think the direction Waltke has gone in is an unfortunate but typical example of this.

    Anyway, thanks for the conversation.

  25. Jed Paschall said,

    September 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Reed,

    Pardon a little pressing from me to you on this point:

    I remain convinced that, while not necessarily immediately in each case or particularly for each individual, such efforts are in part (a critical part) based on a pre-commitment that gives general revelation considerations priority/authority over special revelation considerations. I think the direction Waltke has gone in is an unfortunate but typical example of this.

    On what basis? I have just given you some decent justifications as to why we shouldn’t determine what the message of Genesis is on the basis of science. Trust me, I know the justifications for the YEC position very well. It was only after 3 years of Hebrew, and 30 credit hours of Old Testament and ANE coursework that convinced me otherwise, so the training can cut both ways.

    I am slightly confused by your remarks about being comfortable with YEC, but not based on the science, but on Scripture. If any of the above views might be “good science”, what criteria are we using to ensure that they are “good theology” or even theological in any proper sense? I realize you want to press my presuppositions on this, and that can always be a healthy exercise, but I’d like to do the same with you. Is there a justification for not only your comfort level with YEC, but with the conviction that those who believe differently suffer from some sort of defect in their theological and/or spiritual conviction?

    If the textual grounds are so strong for YEC, then why is it waning amongst conservative OT scholarship? One, they could be caving, and this certainly might be the case for some. Or two, the textual warrant isn’t as strong as previously thought

    With all due respect, I think your views on Waltke are misinformed. Have you read anything regarding his hermenutic or understanding of Scripture? I know of no scholar in the field of OT studies who has written so prolifically, and remained so faithful. Since you are a pastor, and I realize that entails a huge time commitment, I’d simply encourage you to pick up Waltke’s OT Theology when you are working through the OT for your church. It’s an excellent resource, and you might end up changing your perspective.

    The last contention I’ll air is, with all of the cost entailed for those who hold to a TE model, but hold to historical Reformed doctrine, why would you assume that it is as a result of privileging general revelation over special? You are a reasonable, well thought out communicator Reed, and I hold you in high respect in the Reformed blogosphere, I just think in this respect your conviction is not founded on textual warrant. I think the flexibility with respect to an issue that presses against the limits of the human intellect. The fact is, all constructions of what happened at the beginning go much further than the biblical account, in ways that the original audience would never have understood. They are all forensic studies based on the evidence available to us today, and if it hasn’t been settled since the inception of the Church, why assume defects in anothers intellectual submission to God when they view something differently on an unclear portion of Scripture.

    Anyway Reed, thanks for the conversation, hope you enjoy your weekend.

  26. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Jed: correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re talking Bruce Waltke, former RTS, BioLogos, right? His is an example of what I’ve seen a number of times. It is not accurate to say that mere exegetical considerations, in isolation to the challenges of modern science dominated by increasingly antagonistic unbelieving science, led him to conclusions that resulted in RTS saying sorry, bye.

    I’m not arguing that he has somewhere on his desk a plaque that reads, “I must bow before science.” I am observing that he has reached some conclusions about Gen 1-11 (I’m generalizing) that are incorrect with what I believe the Bible teaches. I’m referring to conclusions not required by exegetical considerations. If I’m right in my assessment, then the only possibility is that his error flows from the same source they flow from for all of us, we eisegete.

    Why is modern “conservative” OT scholarship going in a direction that denies the possibility of a YEC position? I’ve not seen this to be the case, at least with reference to the basic schemes being offered. I think that a-textual considerations (from gen. rev.) end up getting attached to such interpretations, and we miss that this is an application, not the interpretation.

    E.g., take the cosmic temple concept. Nothing in this scheme mitigates against a YEC position. All it does is shift the focus of meaning of the text away from the uses YEC puts it to. It does not deny the possibility of a young earth creation. One must import other considerations, from outside the text, to reach such a conclusion. That is what I talk about GR overshadowing SR. Does that make sense?

    I’m o.k. with the possibility of a YEC simply because of what I believe the Bible demands of my understanding of Gen 1-11. It is history, and recent history in cosmological measurement. Even if we allow for copious amounts of skips in the genealogical records, we’re talking at most on the order of a couple hundred thousand years before God pulled some of that newly formed dirt and fashioned it into Adam.

    I.O.W., since I believe the Bible calls for young earth history (YEH), I am comfortable with a young earth creation scientific scheme (YEC). I will not import that into the text and demand that such gen. rev. considerations must be accepted as biblical truth. I am saddened that many on the other side don’t acknowledge this, but instead form organizations like BioLogos who seem intent on showing how the Bible can be the handmaiden to Science.

  27. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 9:45 am

    And thanks for the wishes. Ditto reverb.

  28. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Reed,

    Look, I am not here to coerce you into a view you think is un-biblical. And like I said, I really could care less if you are YEC or otherwise. I doubt this discussion will settle much of this issue, and thats okay. What my main contention has been from the beginning has been your tendency to think that those who don’t hold to YEC are somehow theological, or epistemological sell-outs. While I can grant that in some cases, some have sold out their views in order to gain acceptance, this is a unwarranted characterization for many who have not only held to, but also fought hard to defend orthodoxy. From what I understand, you are a WTS guy, they seem to have charted a course that enables diversity in the ranks of Reformed/Presbyterian orthodoxy:

    Westminster Theological Seminary and the Days of Creation

    Anyway, have a good one.

  29. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Jed: with this comment, “What my main contention has been from the beginning has been your tendency to think that those who don’t hold to YEC are somehow theological, or epistemological sell-outs,” I can see how your commenting in the last two posts has moved in a testy direction. To help alleviate that, please consider how I worded my request to you for some engagement. My intention there was to make exactly the opposite clear.

    It appears I didn’t. For that I am sorry.

    Having said that, I’d ask you to go back and read the last few responses from me. At least twice now I’ve denied your interpretation of something I wrote. Not trying to be argumentative, but I sincerely wonder if maybe the wrong assumption you have of my intentions (spelled out in the quote above) is leading you to hear things I have not said, nor do I mean.

    I do not think folks who do not hold to YEC are sell-outs, and frankly that is a bit offensive.:-) My push here with you has been for folks who do not hold to YEC and instead an OEC (old, old, old …) to stop insisting that those who do are WRONG ON EXEGETICAL GROUNDS. Only in a secondary manner have I pushed back in terms of GR vs. SR. Even there, saying I’m calling them sell-outs is a bit much.

    I think I’ve been fairly careful not to lump you in with those I perceive have done so.

  30. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Jed: why not just take up my contention regarding the cosmic-temple scheme. I maintain it could be true, and this still does not exegetically mitigate against a YEH.

  31. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Jed: if you want to shift grounds to GR considerations, I’d be curious as to your response to the blog post Lane references at the beginning here.

    The blog author could be wrong in terms of his explanation of the types of DNA (don’t think so). If he is right, then Francis Collins’ “fact” that we’ve descended from a multiple thousands tribe and not one pair is decidedly bad science.

    Why would we even allow such considerations to raise the question that God did not intend to tell us in Gen 1-2 that we are all descended from one original pair? Why would we worry that such science will hurt faith that only God himself gives, sustains, and nurtures?

    I am asking rather general questions relevant to the broader conversation, not specifically ours here. You may very well agree with me.

  32. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    And yes, I’m familiar with what my alma mater has said. Thanks!

  33. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Reed,

    Time constraints are all that kept me from further response, but i do appreciate your responses, and I’ll dive into fuller response later in the weekend, but in brief:

    Jed: why not just take up my contention regarding the cosmic-temple scheme. I maintain it could be true, and this still does not exegetically mitigate against a YEH.

    That is closer to my point, if the issue is a cosmic-temple, which I think it is, and we aren’t informed on how the difficulties of sequence work without using a ‘forming and filling’ motif, which messes with the chronology of the text, then why assume this is ‘history’ in the same way that a newspaper article is. I agree that it is referring to real historical events, but how is somewhat unclear.

    The point is, if the message of the text is theological and ethical (i.e cosmic-temple, sabbatarian time structure), presented in a stylized historical narrative that suits the purposes of the author, why would we conclude that the text is making any scientific assertions at all. The point I am trying to make is that if the text isn’t privileging one scientific view over another, why are we trying to impose a paradigm that isn’t in the purview of the text and call it ‘biblical’?

    In that sense, let the scientific claims that might be implications of the text be sorted out through scientific inquiry, and let theological claims for the meaning of the text be sorted out hermenutically. Allowing science to dictate the meaning of the text seems to me as inapropriate as allowing social sciences. economics, political science or psychoanalysis to say what the text means even though the text might have implications for all of these fields, it isn’t speaking directly to these disciplines.

    That is why I am so inclined to maintain divisions in these fields, unless through a broader sense of implication. Does that make sense?

    I’ll get to genetics stuff later

  34. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Reed,

    To the issue that you took as me offending you, honestly I was just trying to elicit a better response from your initial remark. That is all I was defending, and if my comments cause undue offense, then I sincerely apologize. But can you see why I would take issue with this:

    Yet why are we seeing so many otherwise wise, godly men, believe their intellectual integrity demands them to buy into an inerrancy denying position? Is it nothing more than Rom 1:20ff.?

    Then David Gray piles on with this, which didn’t help:

    I remember Philip Johnson shredding that one when I heard him speak at Cambridge. Presumably then you don’t believe any of the miracles in the gospels.

    Since I hold to a position that differs from YEC, I took this as you meaning that it was as a result of intellectual/spiritual rebellion (Rom. 1:20ff), and that the intellectual integrity of many scholars who do not hold to YEC is more important than upholding the doctrines of scripture (inerrancy). UnThis is the uphill battle anyone who doesn’t hold to YEC, but seeks to maintain an orthodox confessional position faces.

  35. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Jed: you’ll have to forgive my faulty memory and fill me in on the details to which you refer in your second paragraph. I do not remember any difficulties, but again it could be my memory.

    As to stylized history, let me ask this of you, how do we definitely determine the “style” of the historical writings? I’m not interested in ANE inferences, as that is all they are. Instead, how can we know on authority how the history of Gen 1-11 (esp. 1-2) is to be understood?

    Finally, at least here, do you find anything in the cosmic-temple scheme that mitigates against a YEH view? More broadly, do you find anything exegetically that mitigates against, say, an Ussher position?

  36. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Jed: I’m afraid I’ll have to echo David Grey’s query of you. If someone denies the historicity of a fiat created Adam and Eve, body and soul, he is denying orthodoxy.

    I read with more and more frequency men who are seeking to accommodate Gen 1-2 with the dictates of a science that says there cannot have been a fiat, body and soul, created Adam and Eve. Usually the conclusive reason for this “tweaking” of Scripture is because the “factual” findings of modern science just won’t allow this. Given the original purpose of this post, my comment seems relatively center stream, no?

  37. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Your last paragraph of your last comment is a bit confusing. Might you re-state it? Thanks.

  38. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Reed,

    This is where you have me wrong:

    Jed: I’m afraid I’ll have to echo David Grey’s query of you. If someone denies the historicity of a fiat created Adam and Eve, body and soul, he is denying orthodoxy.

    I deny no such thing Reed, and you have made no such query here, so I am not sure how you make the assumption that I deny the historicity of Adam. I even said this in an earlier comment, which is very much in line with Warfield on the matter:

    From the context of Genesis, if a theistic evolution position is the right one, then Adam and Eve may not have been the physical progenitors of the human race, but they would likely have been special creations, apart from the evolutionary process, and serving as Federal progenitors of the human condition before God. Meaning that had they succeded they could have expanded Eden. However whether or not it was them or another couple, the result would be the same. Warfield seems to take a similar position on the supernatural nature of Adam and Eve and the Eden narratives, while holding to a evolutionary model for the physical origin of life.

    Like Warfield, I hold to a miraculous creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden. Something that OEC, YEC, and TE proponents historically have shared to varying degrees. So does Waltke, so does Walton (Walton was my prof. I know). The only quasi-reformed guy who holds to TE that I know of that denies the historicity of Adam and Eve is Enns. So you really have your facts wrong, and this is exactly why I have been in your words “testy”.

    The uphill battle any TE and even some OEC proponents face is exactly what is playing out here. It is the false dichotomy placed between two very different ways of looking at reality. If you believe x, then you must believe y, with no fundamental argumentation of why this the case in between. We have a duty as Christians, and you as a minister, to the best of your ability to not only account for the truth of Scripture, but how it is true with respect to the world around us, it’s what DA Carson calls extra-textual referentiality. The fact is, while I am on the fence, there is a body of OT scholars who hold to in inerrancy and TE, and you can’t say they don’t based on the bare assertions you have offered. I have given quotes, cited sources, formed some brief outlines of my position, and what I end up with is comments like this with no follow through:

    Yet when theorizing that natural laws have not changed into the distant past, the position comes up against an absolutely impossible burden of proof. As much as modern atheistic science (not saying your position, but using the clearest opposite) wants to tell us WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, all it really tells us is what may have happened if the unprovable hypothesis of uniformitarianism is true.

    Says who? What are the viable alternatives to uniformitarianism. A catastrophic, universal flood roughly 5000 years ago? There are also issues with that position too. How can we claim to see stars and galaxies millions of light years away if they are a few thousands of years old? Created with the appearance of age? As a scientific claim there needs to be data and models that better explain the issues than prevailing astro-physical theory. These models do render many of our models of quantum physics obselete, so that also needs to stand up to scrutiny.

    In arguments against YEC, I tend to see folks argue for an isolated interpretation being the end all. This does not seem to me to be consistent with how Jesus himself teaches us to read the Bible.

    Why?

    As to stylized history, let me ask this of you, how do we definitely determine the “style” of the historical writings? I’m not interested in ANE inferences, as that is all they are. Instead, how can we know on authority how the history of Gen 1-11 (esp. 1-2) is to be understood?

    Would you apply similar standards to understanding the difference between a short story and an e-mail. Or a Victorian Poem and a Greek Tragedy. If we hold to a doctrine of divine inspiration, and inerrancy we believe it is true. That doesn’t tell us what it means or how to interpret the text. This is Hermenutics 101 Reed. We use contextual resources, because it helps us uncover authorial intent, which includes understanding the human author, and the closer we get to that the closer we get to the meaning of the text.

    When I say that I feel like you have offered some rebuttals and yeah-buts, and no argumentation to back it up it isn’t to one-up or be a jerk. But if you are going to call my system of belief into question, which aligning with David Gray tells me, then you have to do better. I want to know how, why, and if I am wrong I how and why I should change. You say you want to challenge my presuppositions, but you haven’t built much of a case, and you have questioned my convictions (unfairly I might add). It’s the courtesy of discourse to explain why you disagree with your opponents position and to back it up with some facts. I don’t feel you have done that, and I am kind of shocked having read and followed your stuff for quite some time, it’s generally very good, why so dogmatic on this point? Do you disagree with the WTS document?

    Of course, if you are busy, and don’t have the time, maybe you could have just asked for clarification on where I stand with respect to the historicity of the Eden account, or just conceded that there is room for disagreement on the issue without taking such a radicalized position on the matter in the first place.

    I think that’s about all I’ve got to add to the discussion. I could add more, and show you how you are wrong, chapter and verse about where the scholars I have cited stand with respect to Federalism and the historicity of Adam, but I don’t think it matters at this point.

  39. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Jed: please … slow down and read the many times I’ve differentiated what you may or may not believe from the “others” I’ve talked about (e.g., Waltke). I never assumed nor said you denied a literal Adam and Eve. I.e., I was expounding on my first comment that you referenced. I was explaining myself, not labeling you.

    Seriously I agree this is a touchy topic. I promise I’m not taking even veiled pot shots at you. Do not worry about reading between the lines ;-)

  40. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Walkte affirms a fiat body and soul creation of Adam and Eve?

    I’m sorry, what does TE stand for? (Obviously not Teaching Elder).

    Bare assertions? I thought we were a couple of friends discussing things rather well known from past discussions. If you’re wanting a discussion that requires rigorous scholarly boundaries, then I’m in the wrong conversation. Why do I get the feeling that a few more disagreements and you’re going to accuse me of violating the 9th commandment?

    As to your belittling my comment about uniformatarianism as being essentially worthless because I’ve not cited anyone, are you serious? That comment is not bare assertion. It is interaction with well known facts of the broader conversation. Challenge my opinion (as you do in the following paragraph), but please let up with the belittling comments. I’ve yet to attack you or anyone else in this conversation. Such behavior on your part is ridiculous.

  41. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I will also add to my statements on Adam and Eve – they might no have been the first humans, but the federally elect representatives, in a manner like Christ could represent us without being the first human. They had real offspring, as delineated at minimum in Gen. 5. If TE is true, and they weren’t the first, their line would likely be responsible for the majority of the ANE population after the flood.

    I thought the genetics article in the original post raised some good points, and it is issues like these that keep me from a wholesale endorsement of TE. And I’d like to see a response from Collins.

  42. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Yes Reed, he is different that Enns in that respect, and in many others. He holds to the Chicago Statement, which from I&I, Enns seems not to. There’s more than one opinion on the issue within the TE camp, all the way from Undefined Theists, to confessing Reformed, how they couch the issues of faith all differ.

  43. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    He= Waltke on TE, historicity of Adam, inerrancy.

  44. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    TE = Theistic Evolution, sorry should have continued to establish that acronym.

  45. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Jed: I think you’re just a bit too inclined to find offense in this discussion. Over the last few posts I have to repeatedly deny an inference that you thought was present in my comments. This last one (David Grey) was a bit much.

    Then you turn seem to attack me, berating me for my unsupported dogmatism. You offer compliments about my supposed otherwise good blogging as means of deriding me. All the while I don’t see much time spent dealing with the specific thing I’ve kept coming back to – is there anything in any of this that denies the possibility of a YEH?

    For whatever reasons the conversation now seems to be spinning off in tangents, tangents which seem more and more useful for personal polemics. I’m not saying this is your intention. I do think you believe you are defending a position I’ve not even really addressed.

    Given these things, I’m not interested in talking further with you at present on this topic. I could be wrong, but I fear the one or both of us will begin to really say things he regrets. I’ve edited this comment to add further explanation, as my first short explanation left too much impression of haughty umbrage against you. I am sincere in my concerns about how you’re handling things here. I do not want to exaggerate them in such a manner as to make you look bad. Thanks.

  46. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    For anyone interested in some of the thinking that went into the lamenting of my first comment on this thread, see Rick Phillips here.

  47. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Reed,

    Look my intention was never to blow this up, but when you throw your hat in with the disparaging remarks of David Gray, what do you expect. I probably shouldnt have spoken that way, it wasout of frustration. But, I am honestly confused here, you say its a conversation between friends, and not to read between the lines, but then attribute my position to something attributable to the fall, and in contradiction to inerrancy. I have been in fist fights with friends, and then grab a beer when we were done (a while ago), so I dont think this makes you a bad guy, but it does necessitate a scuffle to get to the bottom of the issue. so I dont take your position as coming from ill motives, but it is painting me into a corner that I don’t belong.

    So what would clear up the issue in a far more simple way is to let me know where you stand:

    1. Do you affirm the WTS statement?
    2. Do you think that those like Waltke, and Walton (and in the past Warfield and possibly even Machen) who hold to the historicity of Adam, inerrancy, but do not hold to YEC are guilty of anything more than a disagreement over a passage that has given interpreters fits down the ages.
    3. Given the fact that I hold to the historicity of Adam and his supernatural origins, and his place as humanitys first federal head, are you willing to reconsider your affirmation of David Gray’s remarks?

    If not, for the sake of keeping the peace, I am fine with tabling this conversation. I regret diving into the issue in the first place, probably shouldn’t have traveled that rocky road with my cart full of nitro glycerine. Like I said, I hold you in high regard, and disagreement here doesnt change that.

  48. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Regarding Waltke’s view of Adam and Eve’s creation, I’d appreciate anyone who might provide documentation that he does believe in a fiat, body and soul creation?

    All I’ve read leads me to believe Waltke holds to some variation of what I call the “uplift” theory. I.e., God took a hominid and made him a rational being. E.g., God took an ape somewhere and gave him (at least) a soul. In support of this, consider Waltke’s statement,

    “By “theistic evolution” I mean that the God of Israel, to bring glory to himself, (1) created all the things that are out of nothing and sustains them; (2) incredibly, against the laws of probability, finely tuned the essential properties of the universe to produce adam, who is capable of reflecting upon their origins; (3) within his providence allowed the process of natural selection and of cataclysmic interventions-such as the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs, enabling mammals to dominate the earth-to produce awe-inspiring creatures, especially adam; (4) by direct creation made adam a spiritual being, an image of divine beings, for fellowship with himself by faith; (Bruce Waltke, An Old Testament Theology, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007], 202-203], as quoted from Wes White’s blog).

    Note the italicized sections (added). By “their,” is Waltke arguing for Adams (multiple) rather than Adam (singular)? Maybe. If anyone knows how to get in touch with Waltke, let me know. I’ll verify my concern-question. If he does argue for multiple Adams, does he do so because of such considerations as F. Collins “fact” that mankind has multiple thousands of original genetic ancestors? I’d like to ask him what he thinks of the blog post Lane has referenced.

    As to the process of natural selection, this seems to preclude Waltke affirming a fiat body and soul creation of Adam and Eve. Without knowing for sure what he means by spiritual being in the next section, he does seem to be limiting Adam’s creation to God’s uplifting of a hominid(s).

    If so, argue against me if you will, but I do not believe this is orthodox. Sorry if that offends anyone. There it is.

  49. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Jed: I did not throw my hat in with David’s remarks. Did you miss my offer of an explanation why this is an inferential jump you are making. You asked about my original comment (post no. 1) which apparently you find egregiously offensive. I referenced David’s one question to you about Adam and Eve to locate the center of my concern with these others – NOT YOU!!! (Yes, I am shouting, as for some reason you won’t accept the explanation dude.)

  50. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Jed: how can I attribute your position to the “horrendous” things you say I have when: 1) I’ve never asked you your position, and 2) I’ve never commented on your position. Seriously, I am smacking my head against the wall here. I do not yet know what your position is. All you’ve offered (in the last few comments) are some small disconnected pieces – and I’ve not even taken those up in our conversation. You are way off base.

  51. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    You’ve asked:

    “1. Do you affirm the WTS statement?
    2. Do you think that those like Waltke, and Walton (and in the past Warfield and possibly even Machen) who hold to the historicity of Adam, inerrancy, but do not hold to YEC are guilty of anything more than a disagreement over a passage that has given interpreters fits down the ages.
    3. Given the fact that I hold to the historicity of Adam and his supernatural origins, and his place as humanitys first federal head, are you willing to reconsider your affirmation of David Gray’s remarks?”

    1. No comment, as I don’t have the time to explicate. Asking for a simple
    yes or no to a document of that length is unreasonable.
    2. Limit me to Walkte. If he affirms anything other than divine fiat body and soul creation, then I believe he is wrong according to Scripture. This is serious, regardless of how old or young the earth may be.
    3. Given the fact that I never affirmed what you think David meant, or even what David thinks he meant, and
    Given the fact that my reference to David was not to challenge you or a position you have taken, but instead was offered as explanation for my first comment (i.e.,the essentiality of divine fiat body-soul Adam and Eve),

    You’re asking me the proverbial, “when did I stop beating my wife.” Since I never have beat her, nor ganged up on you with David, your question is simply offensive and non-answerable.

  52. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Seriously Jed, I just can’t keep responding. I’m finding my soul angered more and more. That is my problem, not yours. Please let this lie, at least for now.

  53. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    The anteceednt to their is humanitys collective propensity to reflect on our origin. It has to do with man as a collective whole asking questions pertaining to the nature of his existence and the meaning of the world around him.

    Waltke writes in his Genesis commentary:

    We should assume Adam and Eve to be historical, since the narrator makes no distinction between the narratives of Adam and Eve and that of the Patriarchs. Adam is connected to Abraham by a royal geneaology that extends to David in the book of Ruth and to Jesus in the New Testament. The Chronicler (1 Chron. 1) and the NT (Matt 19:4-5; Luke 3:23-38; Rom. 512-19; 1 Tim 2:13-14) all assume the historicity of Adam and Eve

    If you read more of Waltke some of the questions you raise would be answered. White pulled that out of an excurcus in Waltkes OT theology, Waltke also goes a few pages thereafter into the importace of Adam as a Federal figure.

  54. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Sorry Reed it takes two to tango here, so trust me, if you had a netter grasp of Waltkes positionor mine before you disparaged it, I could have just let it at that. I am not here to pull one over on you. Waltke holds to the historicity of Adam, what else do you want me to say.

    You were wrong to assert what you did, and you still havent backed off of it. and you are lashing out at me for defending myself from a gross misrepresentation of my core beliefs about Scripture. Trust me I would rather not be having this conversation. But you wont simply admit that you are wrong in your assesment of my convictions on a bigmatter.

  55. todd said,

    September 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Jed,

    I’m wondering how you square the possibility of Adam not being the first created man with I Cor 15:45 “The first man Adam was made a living soul…” What does “first” mean there?

    Thanks

  56. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    The antecedent is adam: “adam, who is capable of reflecting upon their origins”

    The Waltke quote references “historicity.” Given the idea “stylized” history, one has the right to ask Waltke, what do you mean “historicity, i.e., what kind of history”? Given his comments about what he means by theistic evolution, I’m not inclined to simply assume historicity means divine fiat body-soul creation.

  57. Reed Here said,

    September 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Jed: you are wrong to assert I asserted something I never did. No tango, just sadness. You’ve still not told me your position. Why do you continue to ignore my pleas for a fair reading of my comments?

    What you call defense against me is actually attack of me in that I never attacked you in the first place. Stop it, please.

  58. Jed Paschall said,

    September 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Reed,

    where have I not made my position clear: The message of Genesis cannot be answered through any kind of science. whatever scientific implications arise from the text doesnt give science license to say what the text is saying. Therefore, so long as the vital doctrines of the Reformed faith are upheld, there must, must, must be liberty for men to hold differing views according to conscience. So, whether you meant it differently or not, your initial comment seems pretty clear that those who arent YEC are on shaky ground with respect to inerrancy, and on the basis of Rom 1:20, guilty of lingering intellectual rebellion. You seem to have no problem with maintaining it, even after I showed you that you were wrong on Waltke, and even though you dont display much by the way of familiarity with his work, you continue fight the issue, even though contextually you are making statements that dont represent waltkes own views in the excerpt you cite.

    Reed, you might ask why I am I making such an issue here,andthe reason why is that there are many, pastors and laity, who have not studied a wit of science but are essentially acting as a scientific magesterium on what can or cant be believed with regard to science. The church has a long history of not handling extrabiblical knowledge very well. Just ask Copernicus, Gallileo, and Newton. It is possible to hold two things as true, even if they constitute a paradox or we cant explain its truth exhaustively, Reformed folk champion this respect to vastly more important issues such as divine will and human responsibility, or the hypostatic union. So why the opposition with respect to faith and science? So long as we uphold our confession, so what if we dont have the answers of how it all fits, and so what if my brother holds different convictions about what Scripture hasnt made clear. Dr. Scott Clark was absolutely right, that the propensity among some in the reformed camp to make the nature of the creation days a lithmus test for orthodoxy are guilty of QIRC. I think it has done damage in the church and will continue to so long as such attitudes prevail. So, with all due respect, I cant sit silent on this one. I am not here to assasinate your character, but you cant budge when a real grevience is laid at your doorstep. Honestly, is YEC so manifestly clear to you that you feel vindivcated in making it a line in the sand that determines the quality of orthodoxy, all else being equal?

  59. todd said,

    September 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Jed,

    I’m going to try my question one more time in case you missed it. You wrote

    “I tend to agree that at some point we do get down to 2 homo sapiens as the progenitors of the human race, or modern humans if you arent of YEC persussion. But, by the time we get to Gen. 4 it isnt entirely clear that there wasnt an extant human population by the time of Cain and Abel. Now it isnt impossible that Adamand Eve had children not listed in Genesis geneaologies, butthe text makes no demands either way.”

    Unless I am misunderstanding you it sounds like you are suggesting the possibility that Adam and Eve were not neccesarily the first two homo sapiens. My question was how that possibility squares with I Cor 15:45 in your thinking. BTW, I am not a YEC either.

  60. Jed Paschall said,

    September 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Todd,

    Todd,

    Like I said earlier, Gen. 4:14-17 alludes to people that might kill Cain to avenge Abel’s death, and Cain also finds a wife. While it isn’t uncommon for biblical genaologies to skip children, only Adam, Eve, Abel, and Cain are listed at this point in Adam’s line, leaving open the possibility that there are people outside Adam’s family in existence during the time of the Cain and Abel narrative. There isn’t firm textual evidence to draw a conclusion either way.

    When we get to the NT, in your example in 1 cor. 15 we can take it plainly that the first Adam was the first human being, and the text doesn’t rule out that possibility. But we are looking into Pauline language of Federal representation or Adam-Christology, where he seems emphasizing the sequence of two archetypes that represent the two great divisions of humaninty. While we consider Christ to be the last, or second Adam, we don’t consider him to be the last physical human being. Likewise, I don’t see the text demanding that we view the “first Adam” to be the first human.

    In terms of theistic evolution, I have heard several reconstructions that attempt to harmonize with Scriptire. While I havent decided where I stand on the issue here are some of the scenarios that I have read in the past:

    1. While the rest of creation is the product of evolution, humans (homo sapiens) stand apart as a supernatural creation starting with a historical Adam.

    2. Since Gen. 1-11 come to us in the genre and format of ANE cosmogonical myth, we shouldn’t expect Adam to be a historical figure. Gen 1-2 speak more to the collective spiritual/ethical experience of humanity before God. Therefore we shouldn’t look to Scripture to say anything about our material origins.

    3. Adam and Eve were the first biological pair of homo sapiens, endowed with the capacities of a human soul by God.

    4. Adam and Eve weren’t the first humans, rather they were specially created by God as the Federal representatives of humanity, endowed with all of the same characteristics of their human predecessors. and like any other human would have before their time or after, they failed the Garden probation.

    Of these that I have heard, I find # 2 to be totally unacceptable. As for the others, who knows. We are bound to uphold our confessions regarding the nature of Scripture, but I dont think we are responsible to demonstrate how Scripture comprehensively squares with the science of the day. First, because science as a body of knowledge is constantly changing and revising itself, and second because God’s word doesnt change. If the prevailing scientific theories about cosmic and human origins are in the ballpark of being accurate, Christians would be wasting their time trying to disprove what is true. They may be better served demonstrating how nothing in the purview of science disproves the reasonableness, accuracy, orhistoricity of scripture, and the militant agendas of “attack-science” are as illegitemate expressions of science as the theistic and biblical assumptions that they seek to destroy.

    (my formatting might be off since I am respinding on an iPad, they arent too conducive to blogging)

  61. todd said,

    September 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    “While we consider Christ to be the last, or second Adam, we don’t consider him to be the last physical human being. Likewise, I don’t see the text demanding that we view the “first Adam” to be the first human”

    Jed, thanks for the response.

    I Cor 15:45 does not say “the first Adam,” as compared to the last Adam, but “the first man, Adam…” I can see no other way to take “first” here to mean anything but the first man chronologically.

  62. Jed Paschall said,

    September 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Todd,

    And you may very well be right, but I can’t say that it’s a slam-dunk since “first” is being compared to “last” in an eschatological manner, as opposed to a purely sequential one. The “last” can’t be chronologically referring to the last human being, it would be hard to absolutely say that the “first” is sequential. It all seems to be hinging on the first man qualifier that you state. I’d be interested to see where the commentators go with that.


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