Reasons.org: "A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome"

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Reasons.org: "A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome"

Postby Philip » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:41 pm

Essays by Faz Razale, a colleague of Hugh Ross at Reasons to Believe:

A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome, Part 1: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/the-cells-design/a-critical-reflection-on-adam-and-the-genome--part-1

A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome, Part 2: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/the-cells-%20...%20me--part-2

Adam and Eve: A Primordial Pair or a Population? http://www.reasons.org/blogs/the-cells-design/adam-and-eve-a-primordial-pair-or-a-population

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Re: Reasons.org: "A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome"

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:37 pm

So, here is the thing:
When we read Genesis 1-3 what do we read? how much of what we are reading is there and how much is "theology" that has been put into our heads?
We know for a fact that the writers were not doing modern science or science of any sort when they passed on the oral story of Genesis ( it was first oral history).
There is no need to read science into it.

What we do have is simply this:

God created the heavens and the earth ( everything)
The earth didn't have a form at first and then, eventually, there was light and he separated the heavens and the earth and from water came forth land and from the land came forth plants and vegetation of all sorts and animals of all sorts and eventually humans, male and female and they populated the earth.
The time frame for all this is 6 time periods that can be viewed as days or eras since the term is used BOTH ways in Genesis.
After this, God created a garden in a place called Eden and in that place he created Man and after sometime, He created from Man, Woman.
Man and Woman lived in this secluded area and had a personal relationship with God ( it seems that no one else had this at the time) and could stay there under the conditions to not eat from a specific tree. The Woman was deceived by a serpent and ate and them man followed suit.
They were punished and lost their conditional immortality and were banished.
They had two boys and one boy killed the other out of jealousy and was banished BUT protected so that other people ( this seems to imply that other people were around besides them) would not that he was not to be harmed.
He settled in a community and got married and had kids.
Adam and Eve ( the names given to the man and woman) had other kids after that.

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Re: Reasons.org: "A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome"

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:46 pm

Scientifically speaking ( observation) we have:
God created all that exists.
The planet was formed progressively and over time.
Humans come to be after animals and plant life.
God created a special place and two special people and let them be in that special place as long as they followed one rule.
They broke the rule and were kicked out.
They had two boys.
One killed the other and was banished but protected so as to not be harmed by the other people living in the area.
He settled in a city and got married and had kids.
The Man and Woman had more kids.

Theologically speaking:
God created and sustains all.
The earth and life on this plane came to be progressively over time and humans were the last thing to come, they were created to be God's image bearers and they multiplied and filled the earth.
God created a special place and two special people and entered into a covenant with them.
They broke it and were banished and were told they their decedents would face strive and have to deal with the decedents of the serpent that deceived them.
They had two sons but one son killed the other through jealousy, he was banished by protected by God so that other people would not harm him, he married and had descendants.
Adam and Eve also had descendants, they became what would later be the founding lineage of Israel.

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Re: Reasons.org: "A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome"

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:57 pm

You can't NOT bring a modern understanding and all our other influences to the text, to read it in an absolutely objective manner. We're "tainted" in that respect, all of us. Yet, I don't believe it makes a big difference.

No one has the higher ground here. Some are just more flagrant with the scientific understanding (i.e., RTB), while others try to hide their own behind certain exegetical principles (i.e., Historical-Grammatical, proclaiming a higher ANE understanding and better ability to get into the shoes of the writer/ANE hearers, etc).

The driving factor that lays at the bottom of many differing interpretations, Genesis interpretations, is in fact our own knowledge of how the world is or came to be. OR, in the case of YECs, theological and Christian education influences of those they respected in churches, Sunday School, people they were brought up with, and the like. Many take pride their "strong" faith as an elect Christian who "holds the line" so-to-speak against "the lies being spread by Satan" to try and decieve and lead the whole world astray (or something such). Science and reason is often seen as the enemy by such.

It is for this reason, I have my own take sure, but I'd much rather adopt a "Many Allowances" scenario. What are the many possibilities that can be read from the text, rather than the one way, and ONLY ONE way which the text ought to be read. In actuality, I think the important part God is more concerned with is the personal theological process, our being engaged on the topic, delighting in such issues, rather than who is necessarily right. That is, so long as the person puts Christ first, it's more like whatevs for it'll all be known in the end.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Reasons.org: "A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome"

Postby Philip » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:50 pm

K: I'd much rather adopt a "Many Allowances" scenario. What are the many possibilities that can be read from the text, rather than the one way, and ONLY ONE way which the text ought to be read. In actuality, I think the important part God is more concerned with is the personal theological process, our being engaged on the topic, delighting in such issues, rather than who is necessarily right. That is, so long as the person puts Christ first, it's more like whatevs for it'll all be known in the end.


To me, our understandings and quest for the truth of these issues must begin with the question of whether we are debating things and texts that are somehow actually true. It doesn't matter so much that we know the specifics as to HOW they are true / how they played out so that the text is true. Because if they are not true at all, it's like debating a fictional book supposedly based partly on some actual events, in which we can't know if it is even based upon ANY truth, and thus the debate wouldn't really matter. Because if I can't know that it is true at all, I really don't care to speculate upon parts I can't know anything about, as ultimately, it wouldn't really matter to me. I can't productively or purposely react to mere fictional echoes.

And that is why, although I lean toward old earth / progressive creationism, I well realize there may be a hybrid of possibilities about the text and how it all went down, that we may never know - least not in our earth time. But as ALL we know comes from Scripture, and everything we know about God's Holy character, His attributes and abilities, and about Jesus, come from this book of Scripture which makes many claims for itself about God's Word, His inspiration, and so a Bible that isn't reliable or that is filled with half-truths or a blend of distortions, myths, complete fabrications - even if it still does have portions of God's actual inspiration - I see that as worthless and unreliable - and very dangerous - because it would be indecipherable as to which is which. And I don't believe God has left us in that position, and there are good reasons to realize that it has been preserved - that we can, to a high percentage, determine what was originally written down.

Of course, to have received God's Word as protected down through history, means God had to guide the preservation - as well as have guided those He inspired - as to what to write. Flawed, mistake-prone human writers were precisely those who God inspired to write Scripture down. It's surely not how WE would have done it. We would have probably digitized all immediately and distributed it around the world instantly (if such things had been possible for us). But using imperfect men is also how God spreads His Gospel - using the same flawed creatures that He used to write His inspired words down. I agree that God cares that we understand the more important meanings more than the words being digitally perfect - misspellings, wrong word order, misuse of synonyms, paraphrases - those are not what God truly cares about, as the understandings can be almost perfectly realized, in spite of such errors. Even Wikipedia encourages integrity of sources and that referenced information can be accurately traced to it's source - wouldn't God, the ultimate Source of truth, want absolute integrity as to us having the original intentions of His conveyed and written word?

So, I assert the texts of Scripture are true, but I don't needs to know HOW they are so, to believe that they are. Virgin Birth, a crucified man's resurrection, the plagues of Egypt, the Red Sea parting - I can't understand how such things could be possible. If fact, I do know they are not possible without the incredible abilities God has. Once one realizes just what He is, His attributes, abilities, power, all-knowingness, omnipresence - believing that such a Being exists makes unknowable aspects of the Biblical texts easier to accept, even if I can't know exactly HOW they are true. I believe so much of our focus of our concerns depends upon how we view God, and Who and WHAT we think He is. A God that can speak a universe into existence - what astonishing thing would we doubt He could do? If such a Being exists, we must realize also realize that we have good reasons to believe Scripture can be true.

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Re: Reasons.org: "A Critical Reflection on Adam and the Genome"

Postby abelcainsbrother » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:59 pm

I think it is not really all that difficult to get to the truth of God's word but we must be willing to put aside our biases and truly seek for the truth and be willing to change our understanding as it becomes clear we may have overlooked something,etc and can see where we got it wrong.Instead of just putting our blinders on and holding on to an interpretation even when we realize we got something wrong or overlooked something. We can be so set in our biases and choose to be hard headed instead of truly letting the truth of God's word shine through. I'm talking about humbling ourselves,putting aside our biases and truly seeking the truth of God's word.

And it is not really hard to do because there are only so many interpretations to consider on a certian topic and we can compare them and figure out which is the truest interpretation out of them.It is not as hard as it can seem.But even when we have found the truest interpretation out of them we still need to be aware that over time more can be revealed and so we need to be open to updating our understanding as newer or better info comes forward.

Also sometimes in the body of Christ we can all have pieces of the puzzle seperately and not even realize it because it is like we are on teams and are not communicating with one another and so don't have the whole understanding because of division.Where if we actually communicated and compared what each group knows we just might realize that we all have important truth,and the important thing is,is to weed out the bad info from the good info. Because of our pride though one person might have more truth than another and it could seem like in some cases that one person is doing all of the changing but we need to remember that this is God's word not our word and we should be focused on truly seeking out the truth to enhance our understanding of God's word.

Also there are certian imnstances where we must just believe the bible by faith but there are many examples of areas where we do actually have evidence to back up a particular interpretation and yet some will still choose blind faith in order to hold on to an interpretation when it is not necessary.Like I believe God's word is true,this is the right interpretation and you won't change my mind,etc.I mean we get out of God's word what we put into it and there are people who don't put the work in to understand and are willing to just believe it by blind faith instead of actually having evidence behind what God's word says.

I mean I can read and research and look into young earth creationism,old earth,gap theory,progressive,theistic evolution,etc and can see that they all have their drawbacks on certian things but no matter which interpretation we choose they all have areas where it can be problematic scripturally and scientifically yet despite this we sludge on with our particular interpretation knowing there are flaws here or there with it but we are divided into different teams instead of united as the body of Christ.It is the same thing with all other interpretations too.

People are unwilling to let the truth of God's word be more important than their interpretation and so we lack proper understanding alot of times. I mean in some cases you can read the bible or show what it says and people will deny what it says or even change the meaning of words to prove they're right and in some cases they will even choose a different translation of the bible that helps their interpretation out more than another and in some cases they'll bring up what a certian bible scholar claims,etc instead of just accepting the truth of God's word.I mean I have had discussions with different people over different interpretations and not even God's word will change their mind and they get angry that you pointed out where they were wrong,instead of being appreciative.

This is not how we get to the truth and yet dogma rules the day for alot of believers.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.


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