Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

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Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Philip » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:09 am

Dr. Michael Heiser also rejects the traditional view about being born in sin. He sees a Catholic influence in this belief. Below is his sequence of posts on the issue, particularly as it relates to the Romans passage, original sin, and the death and fate of babies, etc., but also as it relates to assertions that there could have been NO death before the Fall. The posts include hard followup questions and responses from others (and his responses to them) as to his postings. Michael's emphasis is always the text - and constantly warning of reading things in that aren't there that have crept in as tradition, sometimes absorbed as doctrinal belief. But this is a truly interesting series of posts.

I had sent this to K earlier. Read them in the order below - as the url addresses aren't intuitively sequential.

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-what-it-say ... ay-part-1/

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-what-it-say ... ay-part-2/

http://drmsh.com/more-on-romans-5/

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-part-4/

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-part-5-a-fe ... o-replies/

http://drmsh.com/back-to-romans-512-rep ... -comments/

http://drmsh.com/some-brief-thoughts-on ... follow-up/

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-and-the-fat ... t-believe/

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Jac3510 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:45 pm

No one should ever read Heiser. He is a shoddy theologian, and this garbage is exactly why. Just for fun, and because I wrote extensively on this very verse (available on my blog on the papers page), I'll comment on these links:

*cracks knuckles*

---------------------------

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-what-it-say ... ay-part-1/
    Anyone see a problem in the plain text of Romans 5:12? How about “through one MAN…” and “dead spread to all MEN.” The text says absolutely nothing about animals – zero. Whatever happened at the Fall resulted in a transition from (apparent) immortality to mortality for humankind. Animal life has to be read into the text for the purpose of promoting a specific view of the fossil record. Nothing is said of any other life than humankind, so we should not infer anything about it. The verse cannot be used to justify the idea that animal life (and of course plant life) could not and did not die before the Fall. To argue anything in that regard from this verse is to insert it into the verse.
This isn't taking the argument seriously. No one says that animal death didn't occur because the verse says that death spread to all men. They say that because the verse says death entered into the world, and the word "world" is kosmos. Contrary to popular opinion and often argued erroneously by OECs, kosmos does not mean (lexically) "the world of mankind." When it so refers to mankind, it does so by figure of speech and is clearly flagged as such in the text. For example, John 3:16 so figuratively uses the word and flags it by clarifying whosoever, which is personal. That's how you know kosmos there refers to people. All such flags are absent in Rom 5:12 and, in fact, there are very powerful reasons, grammatically and textually, for taking it in its natural sense--the entire world.

You can say Paul was wrong. You cannot say he is only referring to the world of men. That is not what Paul said, and Heiser demonstates a failure to take both those with whom he disagrees and, more seriously, the text itself, seriously.

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-what-it-say ... ay-part-2/
    If ALL humans since Adam inherited Adam’s guilt (however that happens), then why does Jesus get off the hook?
The fact that he not only asks this question but begins his assessment with this question shows, again, how shoddy his scholarship is. This is obvious. Jesus was born of a virgin. He had no human father but was preserved from the guilt/sin-nature that passed on from generation to generation (so whether you are a creationist or traducian, no one thinks Jesus was at fault from birth). But even more, there are those who think that Jesus' flesh did suffer from the same corrupt desires and yet He overcame them. How did He pull that off? Because He is God. Specifically, because of the Incarnation.

Before I move on, looko at how Heiser tries to represent the answer I just gave: "Oh, Jesus was God, so he didn’t have original sin.” Wrong. Notice that's not what I, or ANY theologian, says. He's just dishonest here. So then he gets closer to the mark by saying, "He was virgin born, and we all know that sin is transmitted through the male-after all, Jesus is compared to Adam in Romans 5, not Eve." But notice how he misrepresents what we actually say. It's not that sin is transmitted through the male. I never said that. No one does. It is that Jesus had a DIVINE FATHER, and such divinity entails perfection. Yes, Jesus is 100% man, but He is also 100% God. Can God be imperfect? Think about all the diseased people Jesus touched and healed. When Jesus touches, He brings them wholeness because of His own wholeness. How does not not apply first and foremost to His own humanity?!? Heiser either knows this is the standard argument and is too dishonest to admit it or doesn't know it and is, as usual, talking about things he doesn't understand.

Lastly from the same link:
    The problem is straightforward: we either assume the full humanity of Jesus or we don’t. The full humanity of Jesus–laid out so clearly and repeatedly in the New Testament–isn’t what’s causing the original sin problem with him; it’s the way we understand original sin and misuse Romans 5:12.
This illustrates the depth of Heiser's failure to understand basic Christian philosophy. Humanity itself isn't broken. The human nature itself is not broken. MY human nature is broken. YOUR human nature is broken, but that's because you, THE PERSON, are broken. To say that humanity itself is broken, as a nature, is absurd. No one claims that. Other that Heiser, because he's a hack. No, Jesus took on a human nature--a perfect, not-fallen, human nature. Because He is a Person, and He, the Person, is Perfect.

http://drmsh.com/more-on-romans-5/
    Augustine saw this problem very clearly. In response, he came up with a different view, which theologians call “seminal headship.” This was the idea that all humans were actually present in Adam “in Adam’s loins” so to speak, and so we all “sinned in Adam” when he sinned. We participated in his sin in a real sense (an act of our will) and became guilty before we were born. This view has three enemies: (1) logic (it makes little sense), (2) it requires that persons pre-exist before they are born – an idea that is not reincarnation but which is a component of a reincarnation worldview, and (3) science (it is simply not true that PERSONS are resident in one’s ancestors). Persons are not genetic traits. On this I would recommend a terrific little book that argues for personhood (and hence pro-life) purely on the basis of science and philosophical logic: Embryo. The authors lay out the science of what happens from the moment of fertilization (and even before). The idea that all of humanity as persons were present in Adam is absolutely false, and so Augustine’s view gets us nowhere, though he astutely saw the problem with the federal view.
Now, let it be said that I am not an Augustinian by any account, but we must be fair. And Heiser is not. Heiser is simply misrepresenting Augustine in a way that is embarrassing. For Augustine nowhere claims that all persons are in Adam. That's just not Augustine. Allow me to qutoe from Aquinas who explains Augustine as follows:

    An individual can be considered either as an individual or as part of a whole, a member of a society . . . . Considered in the second way an act can be his although he has not done it himself, nor has it been done by his free will but by the rest of the society or by its head, the nation being considered as doing what the prince does. For a society is considered as a single man of whom the individuals are the different members (St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 12). Thus the multitude of men who receive their human nature from Adam is to be considered as a single community or rather as a single body . . . . If the man, whose privation of original justice is due to Adam, is considered as a private person, this privation is not his 'fault', for a fault is essentially voluntary. If, however, we consider him as a member of the family of Adam, as if all men were only one man, then his privation partakes of the nature of sin on account of its voluntary origin, which is the actual sin of Adam" (De Malo, iv, 1).
In other words, Heiser thinks that Augustine means that all persons were in Adam individually, whereas Aquinas is pointing out that all persons were in Adam considered "as a part of a whole, a member of a society." Jesus was simply not a member of Adam's family. He was human, yes. But human by Incarnation, not by generation from two parents. To say that all humans are Adam's family on the shear basis that all are humans is self-evidently absurd. They are only Adam's chilren if they descend from him, and the point is that Jesus did NOT. He was incarnated by the Holy Spirit, not by Mary and Joseph's marital relations.

Moving on . . .

http://drmsh.com/romans-512-part-4/
    I believe that humanity’s need for grace stems from Adam’s fall.
That's not the basis of humanity's need for grace. We would need God's grace whether we were fallen or not. What, does Heiser think that in the next life we won't continue to need God's grace? That's just silly. We need God's grace because we are finite creatures who want to be in communion with the infinite. Our sinfulness only adds to that problem and only requires a special kind of grace.

    What happened at the Fall did indeed effect every human being, rendering every human in need of a Savior, who is Christ
And here he contradicts himself. In previous posts he argues against the traditional views by saying that if Jesus was really human, then we must apply the fall to Him. But here he argues that the Fall effected EVERY human so that EVERY human needs a Savior. Uhm, what about Jesus then? Heiser falls to his own argument. And why? Because his scholarship is sloppy.

--------------------

Okay, I'm going to stop there. At this point, it looks like he's just commenting on comments. I'm not really interested in that.

Just, please, for the love of God, don't waste your time with Heiser. He's just not a good scholar. He's too busy trying to be different, unique, trying to make a name by saying stuff no one has ever thought of. And in the process, he misrepresents what people have said before him. And as someone who thinks Augustine was wrong, that frustrates me to no end, because Heiser ends up being exactly the post-child for what happens when people tell Augustine he's wrong. In short, he's making all of us look bad. Even if his own interpretation of the verse is right, it doesn't matter, because he gets there the wrong way and in the process burns down straw men all the way. He needs to stop.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Philip » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:07 pm

I'll be interested to see K's thoughts.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:55 am

Heiser is not the only one that states such.
Many others do also.
If we read what Paul wrote and do NOT read doctrine into it, Paul plainly states that the sin inherited from Adam is mortality and that wage of that sin is death.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:06 am

Hi Jac,
You seem to be misrepresenting what Heiser says, ex:
Now, let it be said that I am not an Augustinian by any account, but we must be fair. And Heiser is not. Heiser is simply misrepresenting Augustine in a way that is embarrassing. For Augustine nowhere claims that all persons are in Adam.


What He wrote is:

which theologians call “seminal headship.” This was the idea that all humans were actually present in Adam “in Adam’s loins” so to speak, and so we all “sinned in Adam” when he sinned.


He is saying that Theologians called what Augustine implied is called "seminal headship" and describes their explanation of that. I don't think he meant ti say that Augustine called it that or even described it that way.
And Augustine does state, as you quoted:
Thus the multitude of men who receive their human nature from Adam is to

And how does one receive human nature from another?
It is passed down in our genes.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Philip » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:30 am

What Heiser ultimately concludes on the issue of supposed inheriting of Adam's sin:

Heiser:

I believe Romans 5:12 teaches that Adam sinned, and HE became guilty before God. His guilt was his own, not ours. It wasn’t his guilt that was transferred to all humans. It was something else. I believe Scripture is clear that Adam sinned, and that something happened to the rest of humanity born from that point on, but that something is NOT the transmission of guilt before God. If it was, then Jesus was guilty before God since he is fully human and in Adam’s line.

2. That something *produced* the conditions by which all humans will become guilty before God *on their own* and in need of Savior.

3. What passed to all of humanity as a result of Adam’s sin was mortality / death. That is what the text says. This means that humanity lost immortality. It also means, going back to the Genesis story, that humans were driven from the presence of God in an ideal “heaven meets earth” environment. They were on their own. Left to their own, as non-divine mortals, the result is that all humans, born from that point on, were born into those conditions. If they are allowed to live a normal life span, this means that all humans will sin and incur guilt before God. No human “cannot not sin.” Sin would be universal and inevitable for all humans who get to live some measure of a lifespan where they can choose to rebel against God (i.e., sin).

Adam’s fall affected all humanity by depriving all humans forever more of the conditions under which they could abide with God in a state of non-sinfulness. Adam and Eve were the only humans to ever live in that condition. After the Fall humans were destined to die, and not only that, they were “on their own” when it came to living in righteousness, a pre-condition for living with God. Adam and Eve met that condition before the fall; they did not need redemption until they sinned. They would live on indefinitely at God’s pleasure. His presence maintained this state, and they were in his presence. I think I would be on safe ground in saying that evangelical theologians across the board, rightly wanting God to get credit for Adam and Eve’s sinless state before the Fall, chalk it up (at least in part) to God’s superintending influence and presence in Eden. God was the chief reason they remained in pre-fall sinlessness. Once humans were removed from that, forget it. After the fall, human beings were left to their own efforts and in a hostile environment-the earth outside Eden. They would inevitably and invariably fail and be unable to save themselves.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Jac3510 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:45 am

PaulSacramento wrote:Hi Jac,
You seem to be misrepresenting what Heiser says, ex:
Now, let it be said that I am not an Augustinian by any account, but we must be fair. And Heiser is not. Heiser is simply misrepresenting Augustine in a way that is embarrassing. For Augustine nowhere claims that all persons are in Adam.


What He wrote is:

which theologians call “seminal headship.” This was the idea that all humans were actually present in Adam “in Adam’s loins” so to speak, and so we all “sinned in Adam” when he sinned.


He is saying that Theologians called what Augustine implied is called "seminal headship" and describes their explanation of that. I don't think he meant ti say that Augustine called it that or even described it that way.
And Augustine does state, as you quoted:
Thus the multitude of men who receive their human nature from Adam is to

And how does one receive human nature from another?
It is passed down in our genes.

If you review Heiser's post on Augustine, his central and oft repeated point is that persons are not in anyone else before they are born. He states and defends that proposition in mutiple ways--theologically, scientifically, philosophically, etc. He raises seminal headship but doesn't understand the position, and that's why his argument against it is so absurd. He is misrepresenting Augustine. That's why I quoted Aquinas, do clarify what Augustine meant. It's as bad as when people try to refute the First Way by saying the universe could have always existed. It's just an unrelated objection that demonstrates a person doesn't understand the First Way. In the same way, Heiser's objection demonstrates he doesn't understand Augustine's notion of seminal headship on this point. So, no, I've not misrepresented Heiser. I've illustrated his incompetence.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Jac3510 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:49 am

PaulSacramento wrote: And how does one receive human nature from another?
It is passed down in our genes.

That's incorrect. Our genes are so configured becaues of the nature we have. You've got the cart and the horse backwards.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:12 am

Jac3510 wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote: And how does one receive human nature from another?
It is passed down in our genes.

That's incorrect. Our genes are so configured becaues of the nature we have. You've got the cart and the horse backwards.

So you are saying that it is our human nature that makes our genes what they are and not our genes that makes us human?

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Jac3510 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:32 am

Of course. To put it more precisely, our nature is the formal cause of our genes being what they are. Our genes are in no way the cause of our human nature being what it is. Our genes our the material expression of our nature -- so the old statement, the soul is the form of the body.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Philip » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:38 am

Jac, you disagree with Heiser, but you also don't agree that we inherited Adam's sin?

I would think assessing why, pre-fall, Adam and Eve did not sin. Why? HOW? Do you agree with Heiser on his views as to how that was possible? As well as why this changed for ALL afterward - that ALL, post Adam and Eve, were subsequently BORN to begin (at some very early point) to sin?

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Mallz » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:52 am

Of course. To put it more precisely, our nature is the formal cause of our genes being what they are. Our genes are in no way the cause of our human nature being what it is. Our genes our the material expression of our nature -- so the old statement, the soul is the form of the body.

I'm reminded of genetics and epigentics. I see that our environment and life long social experiences have influence in our genetic structure. We are as you say, fallen into sin by sinning. But I think the fallen nature continues to fall with influence of our environment and fallen selves (we continue to degrade ourselves). So, wouldn't the body be the interactive form of the soul? And a degrading body would negatively influence the soul and even onto the spirit?

*Edit: That reminds me of demons, too.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:33 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Of course. To put it more precisely, our nature is the formal cause of our genes being what they are. Our genes are in no way the cause of our human nature being what it is. Our genes our the material expression of our nature -- so the old statement, the soul is the form of the body.

Are you talking from a theological context and not a biological one, correct?

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Jac3510 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:50 pm

Biology cannot be understood apart from teleology, so no, I am not. I mean exactly what I wrote. Our genes do not give us and do not determine our human nature. That statement is backwards. Our genes are what they are and function the way they do because of their relation to the human nature. Put still differently, the human nature is ontologically prior to our genes.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Romans 5:12, Inheriting Adam's Sin, Fate of Babies, Etc.

Postby Jac3510 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:20 pm

Philip wrote:Jac, you disagree with Heiser, but you also don't agree that we inherited Adam's sin?

I would think assessing why, pre-fall, Adam and Eve did not sin. Why? HOW? Do you agree with Heiser on his views as to how that was possible? As well as why this changed for ALL afterward - that ALL, post Adam and Eve, were subsequently BORN to begin (at some very early point) to sin?

There are things I agree with and things I disagree with in Heiser's conclusion. But as I argued before, that's totally beside the point. Consider the following argument:

1. Roses are red
2. Violets are blue
3. Therefore, the statement "Jesus is God" is true

So you agree with the substance of the conclusion. But I take it you don't respect the argument, and your agreement with the conclusion would then be entirely accidental. And so it is with Heiser. Some things he has right. But that's entirely unrelated to the strawmenarguments he presented.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.


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