Concordism and Genesis 1-2

Perhaps but you have define concordism in this context. Also, if Adam is recent maybe they did know some of the details we’ve dismissed. If we believe Genesis is inspired, maybe also it includes details that He knows and inspired in the text.

I think traditional theology is a helpful guide. Features of the text consistently picked up on in history, like the de novo creation of Adam, might need a second look.

That being said the @Revealed_Cosmology model might be reading too much into Genesis 1:26-28.

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I see your point of a recent Adam, though how much even he would’ve known of the world before his day is unknowable. I guess I don’t see inspiration the same way—unless it’s a special class of prophecy, I assume the human authors generally write about things they know of. I don’t view inspiration as God hiding secret details about natural or human history. And none of the early Genesis text comes across like eyewitness reports (even with God as eyewitness).

Like I said, we are all concordist at some level. I’m not putting my foot down about what exactly must or must not be true in this respect—though I do reject YEC and the RTB-style OEC with respect to their views of scientific Concordism. I have more trouble dismissing historical concordism b/c then scriptural integrity is in question. So I’m still wrestling with where to draw the lines here.

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Exactly my point. Why wouldn’t we think this? I’m not sure we shouldn’t regarding the historical (not scientific) details of the story.

They do come off as from a human phenomenological perspective, especially Genesis 1 - 2. I’m not at all saying he was hiding secret details (But perhaps @Revealed_Cosmology is).

Here it is:

Concordism Definition #1: Interpret Scripture as agreeing with mainstream science in all areas.

Concordism Definition #2: Interpret Scripture as agreeing with mainstream science in some areas (e.g., astronomy and geology) but not others (e.g., biology). This view is advocated by many old-earth creationists and Intelligent Design advocates who, for various reasons, reject mainstream evolutionary theory.

Concordism Definition #3: Interpret Scripture as disagreeing with mainstream science on both the age of the universe/earth and evolution, and thus mainstream science needs to be revised. This view is advocated primarily by young-earth creationists.

By these definitions, I am not advancing concordism in any way. You’d have to explain with much more care why you think the genealogical Adam is concordist. Rather, I’m saying they are talking about different things in the physical world. Have you read this yet?

@deuteroKJ, have you considered that you are missing some important categories in concordism here?

@swamidass and @deuteroKJ There’s another possibility. Examine Scripture closely to see if the traditional readings and interpretations have been adequate to bring general and special revelation together. Keep open to ways that either has been misread, given the church’s history in this regard. Whatever new you might propose, make sure it doesn’t mess with theological orthodoxy.


I get it. It is a hard line to draw. I’m not in the RTB or YEC camp in this, but probably a lot closer to you.

That seems pretty close to my view. Emphasizing tradition.

I have read it (a while ago and it certainly deserves a more careful reading). This was not what I had in mind in my previous comment about overly concordist (though it fits somewhere on the continuum, as all views do). I can’t tell if your model if what you really believe or what you are offering as an option for those simply must have a de novo creation of A&E (if only the latter, I respect that). I do think the Genealogical Adam is proving itself to be worthy of utmost attention and discussion.


But not necessarily baptizing tradition. That’s the nature of progressive revelation.

Of course. It was a short blog article written several years ago. It was an attempt to expand the normal categories, but not meant to exhaust them. And my thinking has evolved (not necessarily by intelligent design) since then.

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Yes, that is definitely my concern here. In my conservative theological context, I’m already putting my neck on the chopping block just by considering various models and options. I have no interest to “mess with theological orthodoxy.” This is why Peaceful Science and The Hump have been great places to reflect. While I still like a lot of what Biologos is doing, my tent is a little more narrow than theirs.

You fit in here. I hope you keep playing with us :slight_smile:.

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I’d like to make a theological case for concordism. Below is taken from a paper I’m writing.

Truth is found in two places: the book of special revelation (Bible) and the book of general revelation (Nature). God is the Author of both books. The two books cannot contradict each other. If we think they do, we misunderstand one or the other or both. As an apologist, my tools are mainly science and the Bible.

God encourages us to do science because studying the creation teaches us about the Creator.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.
2 Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they communicate knowledge.
3 There is no speech; there are no words;
their voice is not heard.
4 Their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:1-4

The Psalm 19 passage specifically affirms the science of astronomy, but I believe God wants us to study all of Nature. Romans 1:20 confirms this understanding.

For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Based on the creation alone every living person ought to know that God exists and is very powerful and wise.

End of excerpt.

As a OEC, I accept mainstream science in astronomy and geology, in part, because it points to God’s existence and activity in the world. I’m open to the idea of evolution as the cause of biological diversity but believe that mainstream science is overstating its case. I will switch from OEC to TE if I believe the evidence warrants it. I oppose the idea of abiogenesis because OOL researchers are being dishonest and not upholding the standards of science. I love the way James Tour quotes Dostoyevsky regarding this: “Why is everyone here lying?” I wonder the same thing when reading OOL research.


The whole issue of professors or others going gun-shy just because someone tosses out the label of “concordism” mystifies me. As was said, it’s in all theology, to some degree or another. It’s not the issue. Interpreting the text faithfully within its context, before building a theology upon it, is what matters. How that conforms to reality is a secondary, but not trivial, concern. We have been given both special and general revelation as guides towards good interpretation.

What type of concordism? Look at the article linked in the OP.

For some, hesitation exists because historically “concordism” first meant to take the science as given, and then to fit the Bible into it. It’s clear you don’t believe this. This was one of the reasons I wrote the article. Yes we are all concordist in some way (and non-concordist in some way)–the taxonomy was trying to unwrap this.


I am saying He was hiding secret details about those things as they apply to the mystery of Christ. Details that are now accessible to us for His glory, as would be the case if early Genesis made no sense to modern readers without seeing it through the lens of Christ but resolved into clear focus once one did so.

Here are some scriptures which indicate this is a part of His nature…

Ephesians 3:4-9
and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

1 Corinthians 2:7
Verse Concepts
but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;

Colossians 1:25-27
that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Ephesians 1:9-10
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him

Colossians 2:2
Verse Concepts
that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

Revelation 10:7
Verse Concepts
but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.

Mark 4:11
Verse Concepts
And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,

Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings

So I do think it is entirely consistent with the character of God to have mysteries hidden in His Word, in particular as it relates to Christ. I think it is important to distinguish between good concordism and bad concordism. If either the interpretation of nature is bad (bad science) or the interpretation of the text is bad (bad theology) then its bad concordism. If it doesn’t point to Christ, that’s a red flag that it is not really a part of God’s mystery being revealed in the text. The YEC view actually diminishes Him, for example making the Sabbath about a 24-hour literal day when the truth points so much more to Christ and reveals more of the mystery of God.

With regard to the account of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1-2:4) my studies have led me to the conclusion that it is talking about more than just the natural universe and so making it only about the natural universe is getting it wrong and can force the interpreter to put something there about nature when it is mostly talking about something else. But if one is saying what it is supposed to be as literature, then I would say that creation itself is giving a poem or song to Adam, who recorded or passed it on. I won’t get into all the reasons I come to that conclusion here, but as literature I think that’s what its supposed to be.

The language is a bit obtuse. If one “hides secret details,” is the “hider” intending they actually be discovered, or not? If so, they are not "secret " just undiscovered as of yet. That is well within the purview of progressive revelation.
So, while I suspect Mark of an eisegesis that goes beyond the warrant of the text in context, I don’t entirely disagree that there may, in fact, be a thematic foreshadowing taking place.

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Yes, I was referring to the article. Specifically, this quote:

“Concordism, generally, is the supposition that the biblical and non-biblical data on a given topic can and should be harmonized (of course, the term “harmonized” itself is open to varying definitions, which creates the problem for understanding “concordism”).”

Concordism isn’t a “supposition.” It is clearly taught theology. God is the Author of both the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture. These two are not in disagreement. “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace” 1 Corinthians 14:33.

Science and the Bible must agree or we misunderstand one or the other or both. That said, you have to take each passage of the Bible that apparently is in conflict with modern science and decide independently whether our understanding of Scripture is solid or if our understanding of nature is more solid.

Both Luther and Calvin condemned Copernicus as a heretic when he said the earth revolved around the sun. But the truth is that they misunderstood scripture. No respected Bible scholar alive today pleads for geocentrism. We understand that the science is very well established in this respect and the interpretation of scripture Luther and Calvin relied on was suspect.

Concordism is the clear teaching of the Bible and theology. How it is applied will vary from person to person and on a case-by-case basis. But let’s don’t talk about concordism like the idea itself is in doubt.

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