Adam The Fall and Original Sin

This tag is associated with 4 posts

Sunday Quote!- Trading Off the Bible for Science?

afos-mrEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Trading Off the Bible for Science?

Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin was one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read recently. The range of essays offered was excellent. Even when I disagreed, I was challenged.

One area that was fairly interesting was the discussion Hans Madueme offered of an interplay between the Bible and science:

There is a trade-off between what is biblically plausible and what is scientifically plausible. To the degree that the doctrine of the fall reflects the biblical story, to the same degree is it inversely faithful to the evolutionary story. (238, cited below)

I think the language of “trade-off” here might be viewed as a rhetorical flourish. The next phrase is equally weighted to seemingly back-load a specific reading of the story of the fall into what is “plausible” over and against that which is “scientifically plausible.” Although I think there may be something of a trade-off in some sense, in order for this qupte to be true there would have to be an inherent inverse relationship between evolution and the Bible. This may, in fact, be the case, but there are a number of steps that need to be proven before one can get to that point.

More intriguing, perhaps, is the notion that we could recast this “trade-off” between exactly how much science we want to read into the Bible and how biblically plausible we are. I would argue that the more we insist that the Bible is explicitly revealing specifics of exact empirical science, the more we do damage to the text. This is a position that does not see science and the Bible as in complete opposition to each other, nor does it see the Bible as scientifically inaccurate or as “non overlapping magisteria.” Instead, where the Bible speaks to scientific issues–if anywhere–those are affirmed. Where it doesn’t, we should not insist that it does.

What do you think? Is there really a trade-off between science and the Bible? If so, in what way?

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)

Source

Hans Madueme, “The Most Vulnerable Part of the Whole Christian Account: Original Sin and Modern Science” in Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin edited Hans Madueme and Michael Reeves (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014).

SDG.

adam, fall, original sin 238

Sunday Quote!- The Reality of Adam and the Origins Debate

afos-mrEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

The Reality of Adam and the Origins Debate

Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin is a collection of essays which had a whole lot of food for thought in it on the topics in its title. Not too long ago, I shared a quote about the possibility of Adam being representative of the early humans. Here, we’ll look at a quote about the reality of Adam himself and the importance thereof:

The temptation in this debate [about the historicity of Adam] is to think that Adam is simply one piece in a puzzle in which the fall and evolution are separate pieces that we can rearrange and shuffle around the board. But… Adam and the fall do not float free in Scripture like rootless, atomistic, independent ideas. They are central nodes that hold together and are completely enmeshed in a much broader, organic, theological matrix. (ix, cited below)

What makes this quote so interesting is the way it speaks to the notion–a correct one, I think–that these doctrines are of such central concern. Whether or not these are “essential” doctrines to the Christian faith is hotly debated, but it seems clear that one’s view of original sin (and indeed whether it even exists) and Adam will inter-relate with all kinds of other doctrines, including soteriology, justification, sanctification, and beyond.

What do you think? What doctrines inter-relate most closely with these doctrines? Is it correct to think we can’t treat them in “atomized” form? Is it possible to speak of the notion of whether Adam and Eve were historical figures without also speaking of the implications it has for other doctrines?

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)

Source

Michael Reeves and Hans Madueme, “Adam Under Siege” in Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin edited Hans Madueme and Michael Reeves (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014).

SDG.

Adam, Fall, Original Sin ix

Sunday Quote!- Can Adam be (merely) a federal head?

afos-mrEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Can Adam be (merely) a federal head?

I recently finished reading the thought-provoking book, Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin. One area of interest was an essay examining differing views of Adam. Against the notion that Adam could be a mere federal head for humanity (among many other hominids and humans that existed at the time–a kind of theistic evolutionism), the author wrote:

Adam’s imputed sin has no ontological basis [on this view]. If only Africans and Asians, let us say, are true physical descendants of Adam, God will still impute Adam’s sin to Britons and Americans since Adam was also the federal head of all his contemporaries (among whom would have been their ancestors). This divine decree seems unfair and arbitrary since it is not grounded in an antecedent natural reality. (217, cited below)

I found this to be an argument that could trouble those who hold to Adam as mere federal head (rather than “natural head”–here being used to mean that Adam and Eve were the first of all humans and all are descended from them), but I think a few responses would be possible from the theistic evolutionist perspective. First, one could argue that there need be no grounding in a natural reality for Adam’s federal headship. After all, divine fiat should settle the question! Second, one might instead argue that God’s decree of Adam as federal headship itself just is the ontological basis. That is, there is an ontological basis for the condemnation: God’s decree. Third, one might argue that the federal headship of Adam went alongside the giving of the human soul to Adam and Eve and that the other humans were also given souls with Adam as their federal head. I think other possibilities are possible as well.

What do you think? Does this argument undermine the possibility of theistic evolutionism? Are the possible responses good rebuttals? Are there other possible responses?

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)

Source

Michael Reeves and Hans Madueme, “Threads in a Seamless Garment: Original Sin in Systematic Theology” in Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin edited Hans Madueme and Michael Reeves (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014).

SDG.

Sunday Quote!- An Eclectic Dialogue Between Christianity and Science

afos-mrEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

An Eclectic Dialogue Between Christianity and Science

I recently finished reading Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin, a series of essays from a variety of authors on these highly important subjects. There are a number of excellent articles in this work, and I highly recommend it. One great quote from the book was about Christianity and science and the way to integrate them:

[W]hy should we choose sides [between science and Christianity]? Theology should be eclectic in how it engages with science. Christians should engage scientific theories on a case-by-case basis. Different theories will invite different attitudes and responses (sometimes dialogue, sometimes conflict, sometimes independence, and so on)… This is partly because Scripture does not usually answer our scientific questions and partly because scientific claims are by nature revisable. (243-244, cited below)

I found this an enormously helpful quote and approach because I think too often Christians and non-Christians act as though “science” is this homogeneous whole, and that “Christianity” is itself a single entire unit. But realistically, this is not at all the case. Different theories and different theological points have their own spheres of influence and should be approached individually in order to see how they might overlap.

What are your thoughts? Is this a helpful way to view the religious and scientific dialogue?

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)

Source

Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin edited Hans Madueme and Michael Reeves (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014).

SDG.

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