Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Going ape over Adam

Doug Wilson recently quoted N. T. Wright saying:
And it leads me to my proposal: that just as God chose Israel from the rest of humankind for a special, strange, demanding vocation, so perhaps what Genesis is telling us is that God chose one pair from the rest of early hominids for a special, strange, demanding vocation. This pair (call them Adam and Eve if you like) were to be the representatives of the whole human race . . .
That gave rise to the following exchange:
From what little you cited, it looks like Wright affirms a literal, historical Adam and Eve, but you interpret his denial of young earth and affirmation of evolution as denial of the literal, historical Adam and Eve. That sort of thing is what bugs me about the reactionary style of young earth rhetoric: it's just as sloppy as much of what comes from the other side.


Because, Tim, he doesn't affirm the "literal, historical Adam and Eve" of Scripture, but a substitute that would be unrecognizable to the narrator and the original audience.

He's reassigned the historical referents to something utterly extraneous to the text. His interpretation has no more basis in the text than saying Adam and Eve were really extraterrestrials, or androids created by alien cyberneticists.

You can't just edit out the Adam and Eve of the narrative, splice in a par of hominids, and keep everything else intact. That's cutting something out of the Genesis account, cutting something out of the evolutionary narrative, then selectively combining two different stories by adding a new set of characters to replace the original.

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