This conversation has sort of exploded. AJ Roberts from RTB, my friend, has joined in. Her comments really merit archiving and notice. I’m going to quote here a bit here.
She writes, in my defense, a very honorable response,
Luis Teixeira it may be possible to remain faithful to the biblical texts in Genesis, Romans, and Corinthians and to see Adam and Eve as archetypal representatives that God entered into relationship with and in doing so did something ontologically unique… imparting his image… Models exist (although they have not been validated) that “allow” such a pair as this to become genealogical ancestors of all extant humans, including all those present prior to 1st century AD of whom Paul and Jesus wrote. I am not endorsing these models, I am simply saying they exist. And as fellow Christians we must encourage one another to wrestle with the data and the scriptures faithfully. I believe that Dr. Swamidass (Yes, Josh is my friend, but I prefer to respectfully acknowledge his title here) is doing this, faithfully, as a computational scientist and brother in Christ. I believe the data comports better with a common design model (progressive creationism) and the evolutionary models have unsupported assumptions and lead to unnecessary complexity. But I may be wrong. And if I am, then I appreciate even more the work Dr. Swamidass is doing.
A man on Facebook responds (woefully ignorantly):
Anjeanette Roberts the text says nothing about the archetypal model as representatives for god’s image . That is just adding your thoughts to the text too. Its good you don’t support it but then again you shouldn’t support anything of Christianity if the PLAIN text has been shown wrong
And AJ response…
Luis Teixeira the word “archetypal” is not in the text, but Adam is archetypal even if he is the sole, historical male progenitor. Others are not reading anything into the text. The text allows faithful interpretations within orthodox, evangelical understandings. God is covenantal. He made covenants with Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob (Israel), Moses, David, and in Christ has made a new covenant with all who acknowledge him as Lord. So it is very consistent with God’s covenantal character that Genesis might be describing the first covenant God made with humanity. To argue, as you are, for constraints to only literalistic interpretations of the text is not good or faithful hermeneutics. The range of faithful interpretations must be lovingly discussed among Christians, and if the points of disagreement are not impinging on salvation issues, then we should remember Paul’s words to the Ephesians to make every effort to maintain unity (in the things that are essential to salvation). Furthermore, realizing that Paul admonishes us to make every effort, even among believers who hold all these things in common, suggests that there may be disagreements within the body of Christ about significant (but not salvific) things. All the more reason to be gracious here.
In another interaction, she writes:
Kenny Hoyt I don’t think we need to “deal with” Dr. Swamidass’ model in the sense of refuting it. In science, models compete with one another, and different scientists prefer different models based on their interpretations of the data and underlying assumptions about reality.