I very much enjoyed the office hours with out Lutheran guests (and regulars). If you have not read it, it is worth checking out for the distinctive (and I think proper) way they have of looking at creation and the tension between tradition and exploring new ideas. The have a tradition of “sola scriptura” like Luther himself, but at the same time they have doctrine on some things which means that they don’t go only from the scriptures, but the scriptures through a lens of their own tradition. On matters such as this I think it creates a natural tension, which they are more comfortable with than some denominations. In looking at creation for example, they start with the Resurrection and look back to see what that says about Creation rather than starting with Creation. The beginning point is always Christ. And properly done He’s the ending point as well.
Unfortunately the dialog ended just as they were beginning to explore the viability of the two-population model. That is, the idea that the biblical role of Adam is not to be the sole genetic progenitor of humanity, but rather to be the progenitor of the line of Messiah who would redeem humanity. There were other humans present outside the garden of Eden.
It is my contention that this view of Adam is far more scriptural and Christ-centered than the traditional view. IOW, it should be a better fit for Lutherans than the traditional view. Romans 5:14 says of Adam that he is a “figure of Him who was to come”. That is, Christ. That’s his scriptural role. And of course Christ is portrayed in scripture as a brother to those of us who are believers, not a father. See Hebrews 2:11, 2:17, Romans 8:29. 1st Cor. 15 says that Adam was the first man, in the way that Christ was the last man!
I could go on, but I’d like to start a conversation, not a monologue. The two-population model is more Christ-centered than the traditional view because it is a better fit at making Adam a figure of Christ than the traditional view. That this view of the text was not publicly supported in ancient Judaism is not surprising. Pandora’s family wouldn’t want to go around hollering that they were the clan that opened the box either. Best to pass over that part, especially given the history of persecution they endured.
That it is hinted at but not discussed in the epistles is not so much cause for concern as one might think either because the epistles tell us that they didn’t tell us everything. Consider the last half of Hebrews Chapter Five and the first few verses of chapter six.
1Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, 2instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrectionof the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And this we will do, if God permits.…
It was clear there was more the writer wanted them to know but they were hung up on the “milk of the word”. He had a lot to say (5:11) about the mysterious OT figure Melchizedek which he didn’t get around to saying. And if you go down that list in chapter six, that milk is pretty much all the Lutherans are talking about now. The other evangelical denominations don’t even talk about that! When is the last time there was “a lot to say” about Melchizedek" from your pulpit?
So let’s talk about the two-population model, any of them not just the one I am advocating. Not just because it best matches what nature is saying to us about humanity, but because it is more Christ-centered than the version of events which the Christian church inherited from Judaism.