Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
DBowling
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:52 pm

Kurieuo wrote:@DB, Scripture itself forms "tradition". You just cannot separate Scripture from Christian tradition, or vice-versa.

I profoundly disagree with that assertion... and so does Geisler.
A Defense of Sola Scriptura
http://www.equip.org/article/a-defense- ... scriptura/

BTW... I like Geisler too. :)

Please read my old paper on sources of theology to understand more deeply I'm getting at, reading through to my concluding statements.

I had to get up to do some work in the middle of the night so I looked at your paper.

To summarize my position
I agree with the following from your article:
"In defining Christian tradition, Bradley Hanson writes that it “generally refers to Christian teachings and practices outside of the Bible that are handed down from generation to generation.”
"Vincent is saying that tradition should be accepted as a valid theological source, but not as authoritative as Scripture."

I profoundly disagree with the following:
"So if Scripture originated from tradition (that is, from the development and passing on of early Christian beliefs), it would seem to be a logical conclusion that Scripture is authoritatively beneath tradition."
"So rather than Scripture being something separate from tradition, it appears to be a deposit from early Christian tradition."

I do not believe that Scripture is a function or deposit of tradition.
I believe Scripture is a function of:
- The inspiration of the Holy Spirit
- The Authority of Jesus
- The Authority of the Apostles.
The early Church did not make Scripture Authoritative.
I believe the early Church recognized the Authority already inherent in Scripture.

This is why I agree with Heiser regarding the difference in the authority of Scripture itself, and the authority of "tradition".

In Christ

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:31 am

You/Heiser might have an argument against "Traditionalism", but to distance from all "Tradition", Scripture is a deposit of an Apostolic tradition the Apostles themselves established in early Christianity. This obviously gives it a higher corrective value, then say traditions that came after. But, simply because something is "traditional" cannot be used as a reason to be be dismissive of another position. Each position, really comes via tradition, yet perhaps what Heiser more means is some sort of dogmatic attitudes felt during his studies.

If what Phil says is correct of Heiser (being a student of Geisler), it helps to see what it is he might be is reacting to (at least, that I feel he is). I do detect reactionary talk mixed in with the substance of his words (the substance of which must be dealt with separately from any causative reasons or prejudices behind his views). While Heiser might resist and protest against such, he is actually an end product of tradition, even an evangelical tradition.

In particular, being taught under Geisler and as such no doubt within a very evangelical context. I don't take that as a bad thing, and it makes me interested to know where he started differing. So now, I might have a better understanding of what Heiser is reacting to when he labels something "tradition" -- I do detect the dogmatism often found within Evangelical scholarship which could impinge upon one's freedom to just freely read text without checks and balances of whether such "complies" with some statement on Biblical Inerrancy (like Gundry and Licona felt the hammer of from Geisler).

Yet, such dogmatism is I believe more correctly understood as "Traditionalism", which can set in in dogmatic attitudes, rather than necessarily "tradition". I quite like how McGrath frames it, to quote from my paper:
McGrath, after noting a concerted effort by Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches to distinguish between “traditionalism” and “tradition”, explains:

[Traditionalism] is understood as a slavish and wooden adherence to the doctrinal or moral formulations of the past, whereas [tradition] is understood as the living faithfulness of the church to the faith it expresses.14

Within McGrath’s explanation, it appears that “traditionalists” fail to realise that “tradition” is something which is alive and changes. As leading Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff writes:

True tradition is always a living tradition. It changes while remaining always the same. It changes because it faces different situations, not because its essential content is modified.15

Clearly then, Heiser, and even Biologos, looks to be developing an Evangelical tradition towards a different end than many might feel uncomfortable with. Whether they are right or wrong, can only be had via reasonable debate, toing and froing. I personally don't like some of Heiser's views, obviously, but then once presented, they must be reasonably dealt aside from any dogmatism that may have set in to the contrary.
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:42 am

Kurieuo wrote:But, simply because something is "traditional" cannot be used as a reason to be be dismissive of another position. Each position, really comes via tradition

I agree 100%.
I identify with a specific Christian Tradition, Protestant Evangelical. And as part of that Christian Tradition I embrace many "traditional" positions.
I frequently appeal to tradition in my posts. When I appeal to Heiser, Walton, Geisler, Ross, or any source other than Scripture that is in essence an appeal to "tradition".

The important thing for me is where "tradition" sits on my hierarchy of authority. My personal hierarchy of authority goes something like this.
1. Special Revelation
2. General Revelation
3. Tradition

So while "tradition" is important and even "authoritative" in a sense, from my perspective the authority of "tradition" is subject to the authority of both Special Revelation (ie Scripture) as well as general revelation (history and science).

If a particular tradition comes into conflict with Scripture, science, or history, then I have no problem taking another look at the tradition in question and potentially abandoning that tradition.
If a particular tradition is consistent with Special Revelation and general revelation, then I am inclined to accept and embrace that tradition.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Philip » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:04 am

Note Heiser's respect of Geisler:

By the way, I love Norm Geisler - had him as a prof. He has little to contribute when it comes to semitics, though. And I think you sell him a bit short - Norm doesn't have a problem with non-literal views of creation. I also know Hugh Ross, and he's the same (more obviously). The issue is that both these scholars know that in places (their lists would differ) they MUST adopt a non-literal hermeneutic to make the Bible appear to be adaptable to science. I don't oppose that in principle, but I think it's much easier to side with Calvin here and affirm something equally obvious: In communicating with humanity, EVERYTHING God tells us is in some way an accommodation to our limitations. Scientific precision really wasn't the point of the divine communication, so I have no trouble with God not bothering to correct the pre-scientific conceptions of the men he chose to write the Scriptures - and if he had, no one but them (and maybe not even them) would have understood it (until perhaps now, but that takes some hubris as well). So, they would have had a frequently obtuse revelation from the get-go, which sort of undermines the whole enterprise.

Heiser on Ross:

And I'm well familiar with Hugh Ross. He's a brilliant scientist, but he's like the rest of them: he will bend the text to his will when he needs to (and I say that not judging his integrity). He's being consistent with his approach. He just isn't informed as to a lot of the detail of the text since that isn't his focus.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:43 am

Tradition is important to help us understand what others BEFORE us thought of these things.
Tradition should NOT be viewed as authoritative however, simply to enlighten us to the views of those before us.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:51 am

Philip wrote:Note Heiser's respect of Geisler:

By the way, I love Norm Geisler - had him as a prof. He has little to contribute when it comes to semitics, though. And I think you sell him a bit short - Norm doesn't have a problem with non-literal views of creation. I also know Hugh Ross, and he's the same (more obviously). The issue is that both these scholars know that in places (their lists would differ) they MUST adopt a non-literal hermeneutic to make the Bible appear to be adaptable to science. I don't oppose that in principle, but I think it's much easier to side with Calvin here and affirm something equally obvious: In communicating with humanity, EVERYTHING God tells us is in some way an accommodation to our limitations. Scientific precision really wasn't the point of the divine communication, so I have no trouble with God not bothering to correct the pre-scientific conceptions of the men he chose to write the Scriptures - and if he had, no one but them (and maybe not even them) would have understood it (until perhaps now, but that takes some hubris as well). So, they would have had a frequently obtuse revelation from the get-go, which sort of undermines the whole enterprise.

Heiser on Ross:

And I'm well familiar with Hugh Ross. He's a brilliant scientist, but he's like the rest of them: he will bend the text to his will when he needs to (and I say that not judging his integrity). He's being consistent with his approach. He just isn't informed as to a lot of the detail of the text since that isn't his focus.

I didn't read the link so didn't see Geisler, I'm sure there's more respect there. I have respect for some of my lecturers, though I disagreed heavily with some of their views. I think I can understand what he identifies as "tradition" though, specifically "traditional" Evangelical scholarship if such was the culture of his own education.

Re: Ross, I don't feel it. It's rather shallow, like he's just being charitable before being not -- but I don't think it really matters. I personally don't believe his criticisms on either are really founded re: their interpreting Scripture. With Ross/RTB, I see that they interpolate science into Scripture, yet their actual interpretation are often legitimate or passable even if their correlations are exaggerated. I elaborated on what I think previously. Perhaps it's splitting hairs.

So then such to me are really his opinion, but it doesn't add up to what I know about either, so really it's a matter of "what is freely asserted is freely dismissed."
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Philip » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:21 am

Just to say, I have tremendous respect for Hugh Ross / RTB. Absolutely Geisler and Archer. But if Ross and co are wrong about what the Genesis accounts are truly addressing, then they're gonna be off the mark.

K, you read that book yet?

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:52 am

Didn't Michio Kaku say life was programmed to live and not die?

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:00 am

I think that you can TRY ( and at times succeed) in reading science back into scripture BUT there is really no reason to.
I don't think that it is unfair to state that the bible was NOT written with science in mind nor is it unfair to state that the creation stories were theological ( God created all) and not scientific observations.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:48 pm

Philip wrote:Just to say, I have tremendous respect for Hugh Ross / RTB. Absolutely Geisler and Archer. But if Ross and co are wrong about what the Genesis accounts are truly addressing, then they're gonna be off the mark.

K, you read that book yet?

No, not yet. But I'll make it one of my next to reads, I really do think it'll provide a rich source of information to reflect and sift through to further strengthen whatever beliefs arise. I take it you see some correlation between the book, and things I've said, so it interests me to know more what such is.

Just to be clear myself, what I disagree with re: how Heiser came at Ross / RTB and then Geisler (which I didn't expect, even if he respects the guy), was through the method. That is, dismissing anything they say by challenging their credentials and parading his own. At least, that's what came across to me in what you quoted.

In that respect it's baseless assertion. Hugh, who has rubbed shoulders with expert Hebrew scholars, and even lay Christians aren't entirely hopeless and can hold valid insights. Martin-Lloyd Jones said, along with many of great Christian figures of the past, there shouldn't exist a Christian who doesn't understand how to read Scripture in the original language. That is a view I share rather than want to discourage as being only a field for Dr titles. More than that, it is just false and smearing, particularly with Geisler, just because Hebrew language and literary criticism may not have been his main field.

What is better, is to take specific interpretations and show them up, rather than attempt to pull the authoritarian card. An argument from authority only gets you so far, especially when you're proclaiming yourself as the authority, and I think such is quite disrespectful to pull especially on peers who are opponents and definitely shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

Anyway, I don't want to dwell on it, would prefer my final post on Heisler to be on his actual views re: Gen 1-3 -- the substance of his own position rather than defending what I see as ad hominems attacking the persons rather than the actual differing positions and views.
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Philip » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:30 pm

That Heiser quote is 9 years old. But what he's saying is that the expertise of both Ross and Geisler are not as text, language and ANE culture knowledgeable as he is. But they are more so in their on respective fields: science / philosophy of theology. The language can really matter, because nuances of it can influence theological views. And the ANE cultures bring illumination to meanings - some of which the Miller books reveals. And he's not saying it's his superior views vs. this giants in their own respective fields - he's saying, ideally, they should be building more effectively upon each other's works, and interactively so. I would not put Archer's language knowledge in that though - I don't think Heiser does either - as Archer was a scholar's scholar. He's the guy who would correct textbooks written by scholars, per the mistakes within. Brilliant man. Geisler is equally brilliant per his philosophical applications of Scripture. Ross is the guy who open a lot of minds of Christians - many who grew up with a fair amount of literalism influences - that often were negative influences.

But, yeah, read that book and we'll discuss more.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:37 am

I was looking for a good quote from N.T. Wright regarding the existence of humans outside of the genetic lineage of Adam. I knew he supported the position based on his contribution in "The Lost World of Adam and Eve" but the closest I could find to quickly copy/paste was this comment by Tremper Longman about N.T. Wright.
Paul’s use of Romans 5:12, that Paul regarded Adam and Eve as a historical couple. Now Wright’s view, as I understand it from conversations with him, is that he’s not adopting a similar position to the first two I just described, but rather that Adam and Eve are kind of a representative couple within that breeding population. They’re not alone. And actually, that helps explain certain features of Genesis 1–11, like who Cain married, who Cain was afraid of, and those kind of things. So that’s his view: they were an actual representative couple, like the queen and the king. Or we could conceive of them as the priest and the priestess, since Genesis 1 and 2 also talk about the cosmos using a kind of temple language.


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