The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

The Historicity Of Adam And The Fall


Questions have been raised as to how seriously we are to take this whole narrative about Adam and Eve (and the serpent in the Garden of Eden) as literal history. Many prefer to regard it as a mere myth or fable (suprahistory, to use the neo-orthodox term) in which the moral downfall of man is described by a fictitious episode designed to illustrate it. (Yet insofar as man is a fallen creature, a moral agent with an innate sense of guilt, the myth allegedly reflects a sublime truth, even though no such isolated episode actually took place.) No decisive objections, however, have ever been raised against the historicity of Adam and Eve either on historical, scientific, or philosophical grounds. The protest has been based essentially upon subjective concepts of improbability.

From the standpoint of logic, it is virtually impossible to accept the authority of Rom. 5 (“By one man sin entered into the world.… By one man’s offense death reigned by one.… By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners”) without inferring that the entire human race must have descended from a single father. In Rom. 5, Adam is contrasted with Christ. If therefore Christ was a historical individual, Adam himself must have been historical (or else the inspired apostle was in error). Again, Paul takes the details of Gen. 2 and of the temptation and fall in Gen. 3 as literal history. In 1 Tim. 2:13–14 he says: “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” There can be no question that the New Testament authors accepted the literal historicity of Adam and Eve. The origin of the human race is necessarily a matter of revelation by God, since no written records could extend back to a time prior to the invention of writing. Conceivably the true account of man’s origin could have been handed down by oral tradition (and perhaps it was so handed down until Moses’ time). But apart from revelation, written down as inspired Scripture, there could be no assurance as to which of the bewildering variety of legends of man’s origin known to the many different cultures of earth was the true and reliable account. Here the inspired record tells of a literal Adam and Eve, and gives no indication whatever that the account is intended to be mythical. In this connection note that Luke 3:38 traces the ancestry of Jesus back to Enos, to Seth, and finally to Adam himself (who must therefore have been as historic an individual as Seth and Enos). It was certainly taken as historical by Christ and the apostles.

Archer, G. L. (1998). A survey of Old Testament introduction (3rd. ed.].) (213–214). Chicago: Moody Press.

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October 12, 2010 Posted by | Biblical Studies | , , , , | 1 Comment

How Spiritual Leaders Get Through What They’re Going Through: Lie or Leave


Iyanla Vanzant (The Huffington Post)

True or false, right or wrong, good or bad, the average human being will at some point live some degree of inauthenticity. Whether at work, at home or in public, we have been trained to believe that who we are at the core of our being is often unacceptable. As a result, we work diligently to live up to – and sometimes down to – what others have made us out to be, whether or not it is an accurate reflection of who we are. Should we be bold enough to attempt to tell them that we are not, we cannot and we have no desire to be who they require, they get mad and threaten to withdraw or withhold their love. That’s when we panic! Once panic sets in, our choices seem limited: knuckle under to the expectations or walk away. Misery results when we knuckle under. It is difficult to live being someone you are not. It is even more difficult to tell the truth when you are taught that who you really are is unacceptable. Heartache and anger are often the outgrowth of walking away. If we can’t be authentic with you, we can choose to be authentic without you. This approach almost always leads to spending a great deal of time in anger. There are other choices; however, once fear, panic or anger sets in, they become difficult to identify.

I have been in deep contemplation about the allegations hurled at Bishop Eddie Long. I am not at first concerned with whether or not he has done what he is accused of doing. That is his business and his Creator’s business. My job is to love, in good times and in bad. I have learned the hard way to mind my business, without judging who people are and what they do. I am more troubled by the lack of space being provided for the truth to unfold. Humans cannot seem to wait for or honor the truth. Instead, we make it up based on who we believe people should or should not be. My heart goes out to the young men who have lodged the allegations of inauthentic living against the bishop. If they are telling the truth, they are being demonized for it. Their motives are being questioned, and their humanness is being put on trial in the court of public opinion. As it relates to them, there doesn’t seem to be any space for the probability of truth. Should we allow it to be so, it would mean that the bishop has betrayed us and we must judge and attack him.

My heart is also tender for Bishop Long. Having been in a position of leadership, I know the sting of the arrows that are thrown at you. I know what it feels like to be judged while having your connection to, and admiration of, a community threatened. But, what if? What if this bishop or any bishop, cardinal, priest or pastor has a truth that has been withheld? What if the natural human fear of being rejected, abandoned and unloved motivated him to live within the confines of external expectations? What if this bishop or any other person within a church community is a good human being whose human needs and desires are considered unacceptable in the eyes of other human beings, specifically those in the church? Where does that person go to tell the truth? Is there space in the minds and hearts of his peers, or community to hear, accept and release judgment about what his truth may be? Could be. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?

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October 12, 2010 Posted by | Commentary, Current Events | , , | Leave a comment