What if Adam was just a character in an Ancient Creation Story?

Adam

(Ashwin S) #141

Except Mathew 11:27, all the other verses refer to false worship. (Acts 18, doesnt have verses 29,30; i am assuming you are referring to Acts 19). None of these are an example of worshiping God. Are you claiming, that human beings before Adam could only worship false gods because the YHWH was inaccessible to them?
I would love to know why you think so.
Mathew 11:27 is intriguing and it kinda highlights what the real issue is… Gods Choice… have you read the invitation in verse 28-30.Is there a reason why Pre-Adamites wouldn’t be weary or heavy laden seeking rest for their souls??? Wouldn’t a sinless people before the fall yearn for God more than a sinful humanity?

This is a beautiful synopsis. I see this as dealing with Humanities relationship with God (definitely until Noah). Even Jews accept the covenant with Noah as universal.
And when one looks at it through the lens of the new testament, its about faith… For example Abel gave the correct sacrifice to God through faith… Enoch was carried away because of his faith, Noah built the ark by faith and so on… Ultimately faith in God is the basis of any relationship between man and God.
Look at the final temple in new jerusalem… Who inhabits it? The choice is through faith.
It seems to me that we look at election differently and thats why we disagree on this.


(Jon Garvey) #142

The choice is through faith in God’s revealed word, usually in the form of promise. That was Adam’s failure, in a major sense - lack of trust in the truth of what had been revealed to him was sin, and resulted in death.

But without the revelation from God, there is nothing in which to have faith. And the revelation itself is a work of grace (let alone the faith, which is “not of yourselves, it is a gift of God.”)

Now, one major aspect of Adam’s calling - possibly even the sole one, though that raises its own problems - was entering into a relationship through God’s self revelation. If someone outside the garden has the capacity to respond to such revelation, then relationship is possible.

It is not actually very clear whether that responsiveness is co-terminous with the other capacities of human beings, or not. If it were not, then Adam could stand on a soap-box preaching the love of Yahweh all day, and nobody would be interested.

What we do find is that, at the time of the birth of Seth, or of his son, “Men began to call on the name of the Lord.” Let us suppose that that was not through blood-links to Adam, but through hearing Yahweh preached. That would work in with your concept of faith as choice.

But it still raises questions of grace - the only people who could call on the name of Yahweh were those who heard about him from those who knew him. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

That still leaves us with a problem for people living in central India or China - or at least, it’s a problem if we believe God owes the relationship of faith to everybody.


(Ashwin S) #143

This is only partially true. The basic revelation of God is available through nature… God himself making things plain to all people…
Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

I agree with you here to a large extent… which is one of the reasons i think GA works better when humanity first emerged as a small localised population. (I have read of a bottleneck in the human population about 50kya -100kya which is a suitable point in history).

Preaching of Gods revelation is one way to receive of his grace. However Paul himself points to an instrument of grace in the absence of the law (i.e a revealed word) in Romans 2:14,15.

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.

Besides, we cant say for certain that god revealed himself only to Adam. The bible itself shows that God did not constrain his revelation to incidents recorded in the bible… How did Mechizedek receive God’s word? How did Job Know God? We even have record of prophets like Balaam who heard from God (even though he disobeyed and fell).
A direct revelation from God to those outside cannot be ruled out… after all god is Sovereign.

Maybe in the scenario, mentioned by you, God revealed himself to others… How do you know they didn’t? Do you think the bible records everything God did/does comprehensively? We are dealing with a lot of hypotheticals here .
Edit: The issue is , could the Pre-Adamic people recieve a revelation from God? Did they have a soul or whatever it is that makes a relationship with God possible?


(Jon Garvey) #144

And that’s why (biblically speaking) I include natural religion in my model of those outside the garden. Religion of some kindis also plain from the archaeology. But the limits of what Romans 1:18 shows to be revealed by nature are the limits of natural religion too - and that does not include intimate, personal, knowledge of God.

Paul, of course, is interested only in sinful the descendants of Adam, and those verses are, I think, about them, not anyone else - for it is they who begin, sinfully, to worship the creature instead of the creator, even though they know better. Idolatry’s origin, as far as can be ascertained definitely, coincides with many other things matching the story of Adam (cities, agriculture and so on).

True - but remember that Paul is always assuming the children of Adam. Gentiles are fallen kings, like Adam, and what we know about them cannot be applied to those of whom we have no direct experience, ie those not descended from Adam.

Melchizedek may be a mysterious figure, but he is set within the narrative-framework of Genesis. The Table of Nations documents the spread of Adam’s entire heritage, whatever that means genealogically, culturally and religously. Melchizedek, like Abraham’s relatives back in Haran, had received some knowledge of God traceable back to Eden - and perverted along the way. The same ANE (and therefore thoroughly Adamic) cultural context applies to Job and Balaam.

That’s another question - is all human religion actually revealed religion in different guises? There would seem to be no reason, on that supposal, to contradict those who say that Jesus is your way to heaven, Muhammad for me, and Krishna for George. Maybe someone will work on a Polygenic Genealogical Adam model, but it won’t be me!


(Ashwin S) #145

You dont know this for sure… What if God responds to genuine faith from natural revelation by giving more grace? Afterall doesnt the bible say, To him who has, more will be given?

There is nothing to stop God from turning up in front of a Pre-Adamites hut ! And we cant say anything for or against such a proposal because the bible is silent on such a group.
What we have are assumptions. I dont see any biblical basis for your particular assumption that God would not reveal himself to Pre-Adamic people.

It seems Paul viewed Adam as the first human and is referring to all humans. Paul is referring to the following for sure -

  1. All human beings who will be ressurected and judged by God.
    Now, the obvious question is… why would Pre-Adamic human beings exist (say 4000 years ago in China) whom God refuses to ressurrect or Judge?

Can you see how ridiculous this sounds?

This leads to another question.
Why would Post Adamic people have a conscience when Pre-Adamic people dont? Whats the difference?

You are conflating two different questions. The question is,
"Could it be possible for God to reveal himself to a Pre-Adamic people just as he revealed himself to Abraham or Noah or even Adam?"
If not… Why not?
Its not whether every claim by people about revelation from God would be true.
Can you give a straight answer to this question? Pls note the question is hypothetical… because the entire scenario is hypothetical.


(Jon Garvey) #146

And here’s my hypothetical answer: how would such a scenario fit into the revelation of Jesus Christ that is the crux of history?


(Ashwin S) #147

You did not address my question about the ressurection. Anyway to answer your question.
A revelation of God would fit in the same way Balaam’s prophecy of Christ fits into the revelation of Christ…
Or God’s prophecy about the seed being born to eve would fit in…

Of course, if these pre adamic people are just some shadow people whom God doesn’t even deem worth ressurecting or judging… he might as well not reveal himself to them. Whats he going to say?.. “I am yehovah… I don’t have any expectations from you nor any plans for you”…?
Based on our discussion, the pre Adamic people would have the following features -

  1. No revelation of God.
  2. No conscience.
  3. Will not be ressurected or judged.
  4. Bearing the Image of God but… (no idea what the but is).
  5. Biologically identical to Adamic human beings.
  6. They might have natural religion… but it leads nowhere.

It’s like there is no theological reason for these people to exist other than the fact that scientists and historians say they do…

I respect you a lot and enjoy your writing. However,
I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #148

How about the people of ancient Americas 20,000 years ago. God never talked to them? No burning bush or walrus talking?


(Ashwin S) #149

No idea.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #150

You have absolutely no evidence that God didn’t have a special relationship to all of the people of the Americas for 20,000 years. Why couldn’t these people be God’s chosen people as soon as they crosses into the Promised Land of Beringia?


(Ashwin S) #151

Whats the evidence that they are?
What is the basis of this claim?


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #152

They had there Gods, their Spirits. Why are they less real than the God’s of the Middle East 4000 years ago?


(Ashwin S) #153

It’s possible they were real on some level. However, they are not YHWH-creator of heaven and earth.

You and I do not control history… God does. Take me for example, I had nothing to do with a Christian God when I was born. I can tell you why YHWH is real to me as opposed to any other “god’s”… I can’t really speak for anyone else.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #154

how do you know?


(Ashwin S) #155

They don’t claim to be… do you know much about native American beliefs?


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #156

no, do you?


(Ashwin S) #157

Not much at all… which is what made me wonder what exactly we are discussing… :slight_smile:
I have heard of some lady called Pocahontas… that’s about it…


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #158

My point is that most Christians point to a time period and an region of the world that is very short and very small compared to overall human history (1 million years compared to a thousand years) and overall human migration (the whole world compared to a tiny region in the Middle East). The history of humanity is a lot more amazing to look at that just what’s in the Bible. To me the history of how man went from stone tools to the moon is much more interesting that how a priestly group in Babylon wrote how the world began 3000 years ago.


(Ashwin S) #159

We didn’t take a million years to move from stone tools to the moon… we took several thousands of years… maybe even tens of thousands of years.

We have discussed something similar before…
This is revisionist history IMO.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #160

If man made stone tools for only 10,000 years, there are a lot of stone flakes around perhaps several trillion.