Adam and the Genome, pt. 4

I can’t say I’m not glad to be finished with Adam and the Genome. The second section, that one written by the theologian, Scot McKnight, explains its controlling assumption is that current understanding of the human genome is correct so anything that appears like presenting an “historical” Adam is not. He explains that other categories particularly “literary” Adam is what is mostly found in the Bible. To prove this he depends largely on extra-biblical commentators. It’s interesting also that the words “in our image” are important but the repeated use of the “there was evening and there was morning, the number day” is not. The specificity of the years given in the genealogies is ignored as is God’s own commentary of the time it took to make the creation (cf. Exodus 20).

I did learn that it is still widely held that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are considered to be separate accounts of creation. I thought that idea had gone out with other Wellhausen ideas, but I guess that is just in my circles. So, the point is, the book was a little interesting but not the least bit convincing and I want to explain all of the many reasons why it was not, like how can you build a strong case that the “historical” Adam didn’t exist without that undermining the historical Jesus? Through fiat! …

Instead I am focus on what is interesting, which is God and His wonderful love for us. McKnight recounts that after giving a lecture on this topic a student approached him and told him, “Thank you. This lecture saved my faith” (p. 103). The student had desired to pursue a career in science but couldn’t square it with what he was told the Bible had to say. McKnight encouraged him that the Bible didn’t have to say such things (young earth, et al.), so the student’s faith was saved. I recall a sermon I once heard from J. Vernon McGee on Jonah. His issue was that Jonah died in the fish and was resurrected. I don’t personally think that’s right but it’s what he found most reasonable. Well, he happened to preach on this topic and in the audience was a college student who really appreciated it as it helped him with a discussion with one of his professors (pgs. 16-17). I’m not saying God wants us to believe error but that the issue does not always have to be these other details. Sometimes it should be but God works in all of our lives and for some Jonah in the whale (it wasn’t a whale!) or Adam and the genome become huge sticking points, so God intervenes and says essentially, “I’m not asking you to believe in a young earth. I’m directing you to Jesus.”

The last thing I’d like to add. Genesis is not a science text book and I don’t know anyone that says it is. It does give an account of creation that appears to not be a riddle and appears to be confirmed directly by God Himself on Mt. Sinai (at least creation’s timeline). It seems that many Christians have been discouraged from pursuing a career in science and that is for shame, though understandable: when science is celebrated by non believers as the answer to all of the myths of the Bible, it’s no wonder that some are wary of sending their kids to study it. But they shouldn’t be! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. There is no need to fear non-believers or their irrefutable evidences!  In keeping with this scientific idea: Genesis can be looked at as being part of a scientific experiment; it is the control. There are numerous other creation accounts from early humanity and they share similarities but there are striking differences between all of them and what is found in Genesis. If one accepts that the Bible is God-breathed, then one can hold it to be the control. Genesis is what the creation story looks like uncorrupted and all other accounts show how sin infects and affects the mind and its understanding of our own history. “We express our obedience when we proceed intellectually within the biblical framework allowing His interpretation to control our interpretation of nature” (Charlie Clough, Bible Framework, pg. 58).


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