“If your doctrine of the atonement pivots on a physically inherited quality then the chronological primacy of Adam is absolutely critical. If it depends on a universally shared characteristic then Adam can be seen as an exemplar (in the strict sense) not as everyone’s ultimate ancestor.”

Some limited further reading:

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JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis

“The mystery of divine creativity is, of course, ultimately unknowable. The Genesis narrative does not seek to make intelligible what is beyond human ken. To draw upon human language to explain that which is outside any model of human experience is inevitably to confront the inescapable limitations of any attempt to give verbal expression to this subject. For this reason alone, the narrative in its external form must reflect the time and place of its composition. Thus it directs us to take account of the characteristic modes of literary expression current in ancient Israel. It forces us to realize that a literalistic approach to the text must inevitably confuse idiom with idea, symbol with reality. The result would be to obscure the enduring meaning of that text.

The biblical Creation narrative is a document of faith. It is a quest for meaning and a statement of a religious position. It enunciates the fundamental postulates of the religion of Israel, the central ideas and concepts that animate the whole of biblical literature. Its quintessential teaching is that the universe is wholly the purposeful product of divine intelligence, that is, of the one self-sufficient, self-existing God, who is a transcendent Being outside of nature and who is sovereign over space and time.”
Sarna, N. M. (1989). Genesis (pp. 2–4). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

How did everything survive a global flood?

flood and ancient artefacts

A literal reading which accepts a global flood cannot account for the facts.  Around the world there are an incredible number of man-made structures which predate the flood – including many of the Pyramids.  Rock paintings around the world were not washed away.  The ceremonial burrows of Stonehenge and Avenbury remained.  There are even three trees which are know to have pre dated the flood.  The physical evidence is dwarfed by the DNA evidence (being the diversity everywhere).  The global flood is a simple example of where a literal interpretation is unsustainable.

An interventionist God?

I don’t believe in an interventionist God, but I know darling that you do sings atheist/deist/doubter Nick Cave before he proceeds via song to seek divine intervention. [1]  How much does God intervene in the world?  What modern believers – of all creative stripes – fail to recognise is how far apart all of us are in our assumptions/expectation of divine intervention from people in Bible times.  This should give all of us pause.  While no-one would debate God CAN intervene in anything as He needs, few (if any) believers would literally accept God feeds the animals every day, or dictates the positioning of clouds.  The Bible describes as direct divine intervention things we moderns understand as the outcome of natural (created) systems.  Why?  Because science has changed what used to be perceived as the daily actions of God into (almost) predictable systems.  Literal creationists read down God’s intervention in daily life – understanding them as just processes, yet they adopt a different approach in Genesis 1-3.
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Scientific dating is accurate & refutes a 6,000 year old creation

Much of the science behind dating like Carbon 14 is not hard to understand.  The science can be readily confirmed.  The attached paper, written by Christian professors in Geology and Geoscience.  The paper explains how 4 lines of evidence support each other in giving an ancient age of the earth and life as we know it.  The authors also demonstrate the data absolutely cannot fit a young earth model (or even a young creation model).  Ie no literalist reading works with the data.  Brethren continuing to force their (semi) literal reading as the only acceptable/possible understanding are ignoring God’s reality and falsely judging His flock. Continue reading

Literalists in Taiwan – a warning?

A little over a year ago we discussed the Lampstand Magazine & Australian Christadelphian Bible Mission intervention in Taiwan.  We compared the calamitous situation of the ecclesia pre and post the actions of Australian based brethren.  Bro Jonathan Burke was disfellowshipped and his wife cut off (without a word) from the community as well.  Today?  An ecclesia of two (sometimes three?) remains affiliated with ACBM.  Another group of sheep have no contact and the Burkes remain cut off.  As the Australian community considers how to treat varying approaches to creation, it is worth remembering the fruit borne by literalist hardline actions. Continue reading

We are not alone in this “debate”

Debate about creation is not unique to our community.  This link leads to a resolution described by an evangelical church who suddenly wrestled with evolutionary creation.  They came up with 10 points on which they agreed.  To quote the article:

“The upshot was the development of a series of ten theses on creation and evolution that we believe (most) evangelicals can (mostly) affirm. We weren’t looking for perfect unanimity. Our ultimate goal was to maintain the “unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3) and to prioritize the gospel as of “first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3). It was important for us to arrive at a position on creation and evolution that was in keeping with that faithful Christian saying, “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.””

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