DR. JIM DENISON, PRESIDENT
AUGUST 11, 2011
Tasing a pastor and arguing about Adam and Eve
Did you hear about the man who tased his pastor? Simone Moore, the Minister of Music at New Welcome Baptist Church in St. Elmo, Alabama, was told last Sunday that his services would no longer be needed. Investigators say that he then tased the pastor. According to authorities, a deacon then stabbed Moore’s mother in the arm. Warrants have been issued for both the music minister and the deacon.
The church has never been immune from controversy. For instance, NPR carried a story two days ago about the argument within evangelical Christianity over a literal Adam and Eve. Some say that the Genesis story cannot be reconciled with genomic science. Others say that a figurative Adam and Eve cannot be reconciled with the rest of Scripture. Let’s consider both sides for a moment.
A biologist quoted in the story states that the mapping of the human genome makes it clear that modern humans emerged “long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago.” And he says that scientists can’t find a way to reduce the human population “below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.”
On the other side, most theologians do not believe the Bible to teach that humanity has existed for only a few thousand years. Perhaps a much longer time frame would allow for the genetic diversity we see today.
As regards the claim that scientists cannot reduce the human population below 10,000, consider an essay on http://www.biologos.org. This is the fascinating website of Dr. Francis Collins, one of the world’s greatest scientists. The essay indicates that the mitochondria of women can be traced to “a single maternal ancestor from whom all mitochondrial DNA descended.” And it states that the Y-chromosome DNA of men can be traced to a single man from whom all Y-chromosomes came. However, the writers make it clear that the woman and the man may well have lived at different times and in different places.
What about the argument that Scripture treats Adam and Eve as literal, not figurative? “Adam” means “man”; “Eve” means “living” (Genesis 3:20). Some see both names as metaphors for humans.
However, in Romans 5, Paul states that “death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses” (v. 14). In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle states, “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (v. 22). He seems to view Adam and Christ as equally historical in nature.
This has been a very brief review of a very complicated argument. While I believe in a literal Adam and Eve, based on my understanding of Scripture, I would be very interested in your thoughts. Whatever our position on this subject, we can agree on this fact: You are here for a reason. You are not the product of chaos or coincidence. You were made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). Are you grateful?
A reader sent me this question recently: “What if you woke up today and all you had left was what you thanked God for yesterday?” Have you thanked your Maker for your day?