Adam and evolution
I could be wrong, but there seems to have been more discussion recently amongst Christians within the evangelical church about how to fit Adam and Eve into an evolutionary framework. I think the historical progression of thought has been something like this:
- Of course, Adam and Eve were specially created by God, and were the biological progenitors of the entire human race.
- Hold on, that doesn't seem to fit with the scientific evidence. But anyway, aren't we being a bit too literalistic with Genesis? Maybe they weren't historical individuals, but rather a metaphor for the entire human race, for example?
- I'm not sure about that—if they weren't historical individuals, then does the Christian doctrine of the Fall really make sense? (E.g., Henri Blocher)
- Fair point, so it seems they were historical individuals. But perhaps they were not actually the biological progenitors of the entire human race? Could they not have been just two members of a long-established population of human beings, but those to whom God chose to reveal himself in a special way? (E.g., Denis Alexander)
- But how then are we to understand the nature of the connection between Adam and the rest of humanity? And what does this do to the traditional Christian understanding of sin and death? Does Jesus death on the cross still make sense? (E.g., Steve Lloyd, Michael Reeves)
- To be continued...
What prompted me to write this was reading the chapter by Michael Reeves, which has been recently been published online at Reformation21. He raises some issues that I hope will be addressed before long (if they haven't already been addressed elsewhere). Also, Steve Lloyd presented some of his arguments at a debate held at my church on Saturday (MP3 available)—watch this space for a report...
But in the meantime, over to you...