O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

I would be very interested to hear any comments about this intriguing new article:

Adam is Israel by Pete Enns


Tim Martin

Views: 156

Comment by Doug on March 13, 2010 at 10:42am
Well of course Adam is proto-Israel. That should come as no shock, unless of course one thinks the garen of Eden story is about the origins of all people. I think this false assumption comes from the statement about Eve that she was the "mother of all living" Taken at face value, that statement would imply that there were no others. But there are difficulties with that, because of the other conflicting statements in Genesis life "Cain knew his wife, and she conceived" or " There were giants in the earth in those days" or "a garden was planted eastward in Eden" (I have difficulty with the place names because they imply that Eden was situated within an already existing geopolitical structure. After all, if Eden was the FIRST place, then there should have been no other places, right?)

Anyway, the bible goes to great lengths to identify the genealogy of Christ, and how He can be traced back to Adam. If Jesus was the King of the Jews, (as opposed to the King of the Gentiles), and the gospel writers specifically identify Jesus in the lineage of Adam, then that thread of the specialness of Adam being one special human amongst many makes sense.

I am more inclined to identify Adam as the START of God revealing Himself to man, rather than limiting him to be a proto-Israelite only. One could just as easily say that Adam was a proto-Jew, or a proto-Noah, or some other "proto", because ALL these people played a role in the eventual revelation of Jesus as our savior.

That it happened through a tribal connection of a certain race of people is simply the physical way that God played out the drama. But don't forget that Jesus also has the bloodline of Rahab (a gentile) included. So in the end, it is more about faith than bloodline - as it has ALWAYS been.
Comment by Tim Martin on March 13, 2010 at 5:38pm
Good comments, Doug. Particularly where you said:

I am more inclined to identify Adam as the START of God revealing Himself to man, rather than limiting him to be a proto-Israelite only.

Thanks for that. Very well put.

Some other writers, like James Jordan, present the function of Adam in the Garden as priestly. In other words, Adam is presented as God's first priest who was created to engage in true worship. I would think that angle would play into this whole topic as well.

A careful reading of the Old Testament shows that not all true priests of God come from Israel; think of Melchizedek and that particular "Priest of Midian" named Jethro we find in Exodus 2 and 3.

Tim Martin
Comment by Doug on March 13, 2010 at 6:57pm

I hadn't thought about those other priests. Thanks for reminding me.

I also wonder often about the "wise men from the East" How is it that non-Israelitish people could be so clued in to the birth of our Savior when even the people He came from wouldn't recognize Him?

Today on Earth, a similar phenomenon is happening in places one would not even think had heard of God. I am thinking of places like China, South Korea, and India. Those nations, while not "physically" Israel, and not even of the Judeo-Christian ethic necessarily, are given the blessings of the New Covenant regardless of race.

Those who would "physicalize" the garden are also physicalizing salvation (just as the Pharisees did, BTW) Whenever anyone conceives of God as being a tribal god, it makes Him small and impotent. I am offended at even the suggestion that God works this way! While it may be true that Adam was proto-Israel, that isn't the intent of God now. Israel was raised up (in my opinion) so that it could be shown that salvation cannot come through a nation. It arose and was brought down on purpose. Not that God CAUSED their downfall, but He did know it would happen.

In the same way, God knew Adam would fall too. That is because it is impossible for salvation to come by performance. Salvation can only come through the impartation of grace by a God who desires a relationship that reflects His own righteousness. Such a righteousness can never come through a physical act. So Adam's fall, Israel's fall, King David's fall, and all the other "falls" of men and women of the bible are only confirmations of the insufficiency of human effort, no matter how good you are. The story started with Adam, but ended with Christ. I believe that's the way it was planned all along. The Genesis story never was about the creation, it was always about the creator. To say otherwise is an affront to God Himself.
Comment by davo on March 13, 2010 at 10:18pm
Tim: A careful reading of the Old Testament shows that not all true priests of God come from Israel; think of Melchizedek and that particular "Priest of Midian" named Jethro we find in Exodus 2 and 3.

Yes indeed Tim… this is a key point I've raised recently with ROE who advocates an "Israel ONLY" mentality when it comes to God's dealing with man, i.e., everything started and stopped with ancient Israel alone… essentially making Yahweh nothing more than a tribal deity etc.

Tim as an aside, with your CC position challenging the "nature" of the creation i.e., covenantal as opposed to tangible, do you then accept or have any issues with following the conventional "timing" or chronology typically given as the beginning of creation circa 4000~ BC?
Comment by Tim Martin on March 13, 2010 at 10:56pm

If the CC model is correct, then the real issue is the nature of creation (i.e. the beginning). The problem with that dating approach you reference is that it is fundamentally set on the physical universe, just as traditional eschatology is stuck on a physical-universe conception of the consummation (i.e. the end).

What you seem to anticipate is that if we change the nature of our expectation of "creation" in Genesis 1 to a covenant world (in the same conception of the new heavens and new earth), then there is no problem with the traditional chronology, rightly applied. Yes, that is my hunch as well.

The one caveat that I would offer is that the traditional young-earth dating attempts rely on a literal reading of the long life-spans recorded solely within the covenant line in early Genesis. I think that method is problematic for a lot of reasons. If you throw that detail into the mix, perhaps my view of the covenant creation is even younger than the common view of the young-earth creationists. I take Adam as a human being biologically identical to you and me, physical life and all. The same applies to all the other patriarchs. I just don't buy YEC "yoda theology."

Another thing to consider is that Ussher was dating Adam. I have reason to believe that he had no intent to date the actual original creation of the physical universe. Ussher comes to us as mediated through the modern YEC organizations. Their credibility and track record for honesty regarding historical sources is not very impressive. Let me put it more bluntly. They are liars. I am certainly not going to take their rendition of Ussher at "face value."

Tim Martin
Comment by davo on March 13, 2010 at 11:56pm
Thanks Tim, yes that makes sense.
Comment by JL Vaughn on March 14, 2010 at 10:39am

At this link, author Don Stoner describes an interpretation of the ages of the patriarchs that relies on Genesis 1-10 being written before Babel.

We assume that the "one lip" in Gen. 11:1 means the same as the "tongues" in Gen. 10:5, that is, languages. This is not without its own problems, but it is a common assumption.

We typically assume everyone else's "language" was changed at Babel. For some reason, we never consider that our "language" was also changed. Why? It's pretty arrogant on our part.

For construction purposes, the most critical communication is numbers and measurements. If "our" numbering system was also screwed up, someone could have mistranslated the numbers.
Comment by davo on March 15, 2010 at 12:28am
Thanks for the link Jeff, it has some interesting stuff on it.
Comment by Doug on March 15, 2010 at 4:35pm
Don sounds like a genius! I learned a great deal. This will be included in my favorites. Thanks
Comment by JL Vaughn on March 15, 2010 at 6:23pm
Don spoke at our Covenant Creation Conference last May. Two great talks. One on this general subject. Another on the science problems with the YEC organizations.

The second talk was truly inspiring. After a few min., Don took questions from the audience. He answered each question with a short Power Point presentation.


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