Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Q. Is it possible to reject the historicity of Adam and Eve and remain orthodox?


Honest to God. I am NOT making this up. This one came to my attention in an email from a colleague who wrote asking, "Is this guy for real? Tell me this is like 'The Onion' or something!"

No. Sad but true. This is actually one of the the questions du jour on one of the “other side of the aisle” blogs today.

My “A.” to that “Q.” is a simple:
“If you have to ask …”

If you’ve got a little time and a strong stomach, you can read their answer here. But meanwhile, here's the better answer from my friend Bruce:
I don't know, I'm still a neophyte. I may always be. All I know is that the Genesis story is 100% truth, but also that it's neither a history textbook nor a treatise on biology. I can't even conceive of extending that truth into literalism. It would kill the truth completely, because then you get wrapped up in the "factual" problems (among others) of Cain and Abel's wives and while you're dealing with that, you've lost sight of the truth of the story. Nonetheless, I still think of myself as pretty orthodox.

They should have burned Calvin as a heretic, if they had the chance
I guess for me the bottom line is if the litmus test for orthodoxy has become "the historicity of Adam and Eve" I'm a pretty happy heretic!


Erp said...

I wonder if this has anything to do with the recent Biologos posts on Was Adam a real person (parts one and two). Biologos is a group trying to harmonize science and Christianity (and not by rejecting science).

Mary said...

Blahblahblahblahblah! Surely they have better things to do.Count me in as a heretic!

uffda51 said...

Boy, howdy!

Something about trees and a forest comes to mind but . . .

it's margaret said...

oh hahahahahhoohahahahahah!!!!!

and my wv is "rehee" --still laughing!

Guess I'm a heretic too!

LGMarshall said...

No, it's not possible to reject the historicity of Adam & Eve as an Orthodox Christian, otherwise you'd have to reject the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth as well.

Jesus lineage is clearly recorded through his earthly father, Joseph, and through his mother Mary as well.

Joseph's lineage [58 forefathers] goes all the way back to Adam & Eve, and Mary's lineage goes all the way back to David, son of Jesse.

It's good to know some supporting scripture of Jesus' lineage.
"I am the Root, and the Offspring of David..."rev.
"In that day the Root of Jesse will stand.."Isa.
"The Root of Jesse will spring up.." Romans
"The Root of David has triumphed.."Rev.

...starting with Adam & Eve, they beget Seth then there was: Enoch... Noah.. Nahor, Terah, ABRAHAM, Isaac, Jacob, Judah... Boaz, Obed Jesse, DAVID.. Asa... Jotham... Eliakim... Akim... Eleazar... Jacob, father of Joseph, JOSEPH... [Mary's Husband, earthly father of, JESUS.]

Our God was very deliberate when he gave us his only Son. And he didn't want anyone to be in doubt, so the lineage is perfect in its own imperfect way.... He wanted everything to check out so that Doubters would come to Belief, and Believers could be assured.... Will you choose Belief?


You're kidding, right?

So ... just out of curiosity because I've never actually gotten the chance to ask this question of a literalist ...

What do ya'll do with the fact that the INERRANT WORDS OF GOD in the 4 Gospels can't seem to agree on who the 12 Disciples were.

Just wondering. We can work on the Adam & Eve thing later.

uffda51 said...

Any claim to absolute certainty about the beginnings of human existence on planet earth in Africa, 150,000-170,000 years ago, before written language existed, would be “out of left field.” Every culture that has ever existed on earth has a creation myth.

Speaking of “out of left field,” there are several theories as to where the phrase originated, even though the phrase is only four words long, in English, and is less than a century old. Each school of thought claims to be correct..

Bateau Master said...

Your original post and your response to LGMarshall are very dismissive and not in the spirit of the Baptismal commitment.

You've proclaimed your comfort in wearing the mantel of heretic, but the individuals discussing the topic on Stand Firm may not be so reticent to self-label themselves. Their sincere posts and LGMarshall's explanation do not diminish their dignity, but your effort here to do so diminishes yours.

D. Hamilton


Thanks for taking time to comment.

I stand by 'em. The orginal post and the comment.

Our baptismal covenant calls us to respect the dignity of very human being ... not to swallow without comment or questioning scriptural literalism. (And what DO they do about the two different lists of the 12 disciples, anyway?)

Bateau Master said...

Last things first - great question - post it over on Stand Firm and you can see how wide the consensus is or is not.

But - on the other, much like the work place rules on "sexual harassment", it is not the offender that determines the content or the intent of the action, it is the recipient. In the locker room of the self-proclaimed heretics, such an attitude would go unchallenged. But outside that circle, it is open to a more critical reception.

uffda51 said...

If we as Christians volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or prison this week, will
those we seek to serve care about our thoughts on the historicity of Adam and Eve?

Hundreds of years of Biblical scholarship say that the Bible literalists are wrong. It would be tough to summarize the countless reasons why in a blog post.

It’s also a bit ironic to use the word “critical” when referring to a group of people who adamantly refuse to look at the Bible critically.

LGMarshall said...

Original 12 disciples...

Simon Peter
James son of Z.
John son of Z.
Matthew tax collector
James son of A.
Thaddaeus [aka Judas son of James, & aka as Lebbaeus]
Simon the zealot [aka Simon the Canaanite]
Judas Iscariot [was replaced by Matthias]
[some believe that God's choice for 12th disciple was Paul].

Hope this helps....
See Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:13-16, Luke 6:16, Matt.10:3, Mark 3:18, Acts 1:20-26.

IT said...

Proof texting is so tiresome. Always makes me think of the bitter monk in Browning's poem:

There's a great text in Galatians,
Once you trip on it, entails
Twenty-nine distinct damnations,
One sure, if another fails.
If I trip him just a-dying,
Sure of heaven as sure can be,
Spin him round and send him flying
Off to hell, a Manichee?