Recently a theistic evolutionist published a book that argued that Adam and Eve possibly existed as real people. For this, I have to give the author a small amount of credit. The theistic evolutionary community has done their best to marginalize any possibility that Adam and Eve were real people. This author leaves the possibility open, though I suspect for dubious reasons (more on that below). However, he does completely and unquestioningly accept the evolutionary paradigm. Never the less, I could see the arguments he presents being seductive to some and thus refute them here.
There is one overarching assumption which undergirds the entire idea behind this version of theistic evolution. Every single interpretation in the book depends on their being people outside the Garden of Eden. If that assumption is false, then the entire rest of the book is wrong. Scripturally, there are numerous reasons why this assumption was must be false.
The primary reason that there were not humans prior to Adam is the damage that it does to the atonement. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 tells us. This verse makes it clear that death came into the world because of man, and the man responsible was Adam. Later in the same chapter, verse 45 tells us “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” Adam was not just the person who brought sin into the world, he was the first man. Romans 5:12 makes it clear that it was man that brought death into the world. Using Scripture to interpret Scripture, we find that Adam, the first man, was the first living soul, he sinned and brought death into the world. We did all that without once referring to Genesis.
Furthermore, we can determine a few other things from the New Testament. We know, and all agree, that death is the penalty for sin. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 tells us. This taken in context with the above passages, tells us that sin was what brought death to the world, and that Adam was the one who did it. Yet, according to this theistic evolutionary view, there were true biological humans outside the Garden who were doing wrong prior to Adam. This upends the entire redemption narrative. It means that the Bible is wrong about death coming because of sin. And if death does not come because of sin, then Adam’s sin had no effect and Christ had no reason to die. The redemption narrative implodes.
The gentleman writing this mangled theology makes a big deal out of the difference between genetic and genealogical ancestry. He is correct the two are not necessarily the same. For example, because you only get half of your DNA from father, and half from your mother, you most likely share very little DNA in common with your great great great grandfather. However, just because you do not share much DNA in common with him, does not remove you from his genealogy. You are still his great great great-grandchild, no matter how much of his DNA you share. However, this only works this way when you apply the assumption of humans outside the garden. If this assumption is false, and Adam was the first man, genealogical and genetic ancestry fold into one. Basically if Adam was the first man, and no one was outside the Garden, then genealogical and genetic ancestry are both the same.
The person driving this proposal recognizes there are theological issues in play so he proposes that Adam and Eve existed in the Garden of Eden, then their descendants bred with those outside the Garden. Gradually over time, the biological human lineages outside the Garden of Eden completely died off, leaving Adam and Eve as the genealogical ancestor of everyone by AD 1. This is supposed to solve the issue of Adam bringing death into the world. However, it does not because of the context of Romans. Romans 4 makes it clear that Abraham was saved the same way we are in the present. This means that redemption worked the same in the Old Testament as the New. This means that the damage done to the redemptive work by Adam not being direct descent of everyone still stands in the Old Testament. Worse, Romans 5 tells us that death being the penalty for sin existed prior to the Law. In fact, it tells us that death reigned from Adam to Moses. This means that everyone who lived in that time was under the same death by sin inflicted on Adam. That undoes the entire premise that there were two separate lineages. The biological humans should not have been under the same curse as Adam’s lineage, but clearly, they were.
The author tries to duck this by muddying the waters on what human means. He claims that those outside the Garden were biological humans but were not the textual humans that the Bible talks about. Even assuming there were humans outside the Garden, there is no textual evidence that they were in any way different than Adam and Eve. Worse, as we have established, there could not have been humans outside the Garden theologically, so this distinction is both wrong and useless.
Unfortunately, as mentioned in the introduction, I seriously doubt if the author is making these mistakes honestly. He has been open on both his blog and his forums about attempting to convert people from a YEC position to a “scientific position”. This idea has been dreamed up, not to make the Bible and evolution harmonize, but to seduce creationists into accepting evolution. If someone is not well versed in Scripture or is not well up on scientific concepts, it is possible this author could convince them. It is due to this that we have elected not to publicize the author’s name, book title, or website, as we do not wish to give him additional publicity. His ideas are dangerous and we will not help him spread them. We will, however, provide you with ammunition to refute them.
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