Table of Contents
Two Men Called Adam
Conclusion: Cause and Effect
true way in which to examine a spiritual movement is in its logical
relations: logic is the great dynamic and the logical implications
of any way of thinking are sooner or later certain to be worked
Gresham Machen *
I am fully persuaded
that an established fact is as sacred as a revealed truth. But
is the creation of man "a revealed truth" or
is it merely one possible interpretation of the Genesis account?
And is human evolution an "established fact" or merely
one possible way of interpreting the geological record? How do
we decide? How does one distinguish interpretation of evidence
from the truth itself? Is "truth," after all, not reality
but only our interpretation, i.e., our perception of
it? How are we to decide what is the correct interpretation of
in my own library over 350 commentaries on Genesis, going back
to some published in the 1600's. In addition I have the works
of the Church Fathers during the first few centuries of the Christian
era, among which are many treatises on the book of Genesis in
various forms. Besides these, taking us even further back in
time, I have some of the earliest commentaries and paraphrases
of Genesis written by the Jewish people themselves. Probably
no other book of the Bible has been subjected to such scrutiny
* Machen, Gresham, quoted by J. I. Packer,
Fundamentals of the Word of God, London, InterVarsity
Press, 1958, p.26, 27.
or studied so extensively,
or argued about so assiduously. Why? Because beginnings are
always important. If our Faith is a logical construct, here is
its foundation. If the evolution of man is a truth, our foundation
is in error. How can a Faith be defended if its foundation
Of course, we still have to interpret
the sacred record: and of course, this in large part accounts
for the diversities of opinion in these commentaries since each
commentator brings his own pair of spectacles to the task. Yet
apart from works written in the past one hundred years or so,
these commentaries almost without exception have held to the
view that man was created by a direct and immediate act of God,
not merely in spirit but in body also. If long-held biblically
informed opinion counts for anything, then either the modern
accommodation to evolution cannot carry the same weight or for
almost 2000 years the Church of God has been misled in a basic
tenet of its faith.
This has indeed been the Faith
of the Church for centuries, and so long as man's origin was
understood in this light, his destiny was understood in
the same light as equally unique. Unlike the other animals
whose bodies return to the earth and whose spirits are destined
to do the same (Ecclesiastes 3:21 and 12:7), man's spirit goes
upwards to God who gave it while his body awaits resurrection
and re-union with it to reconstitute the individual in his entirety.
The destinies of the animal and
the human body are diametrically opposed and it would be reasonable
therefore to assume that their origins are equally diverse. The
Christian evolutionist accounts for the origin of man's body
by a wholly natural process but must then allow it to
have an entirely super-natural destiny which seems a strange
incongruity. Can such an incongruity be defended? Can a body
with such a super-natural destiny as man's body is designed for,
have had the same origin that evolution demands for the animal
also strictly a Faith because its presuppositions
are, like all presuppositions,
simply taken for granted. In the nature of the case, they are
probably unproveable in strictly scientific terms. If man is
merely an animal, then such a Faith entails a consonant view
of his destiny. Each branch of science has its own canons of
proof in mathematics, logic: in astronomy, observation:
and in the natural sciences, experiment. Because evolutionary
theory claims to be a natural science, it ought to be subject
to proof, but it isn't. It never can be, because what is past
is past and cannot be repeated; and an essential of proof in
any science is repeatability. We cannot step into the same river
Nor can we prove the great articles
of our Faith, for we cannot even prove the existence of our God!
"He that comes to God must believe that He is, and
that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him"
(Hebrews 11:6). Faith is the key to understanding in such matters,
not understanding the key to faith as we may prefer to think.
It was Anselm (c. 10331109)
who wrote: "I believe in order that I may understand,"
and Abelard (c.10791142) who, fifty years later, argued:
"I seek to understand in order that I may believe."
(136) Anselm was
right, because every world view starts with an act of
faith and is intelligible only when that initial commitment has
Every "system" of thought,
including evolution, begins with a premise that is an act of
faith. We have to allow this: and if we deny an opponent's premise
or he denies ours, we have no starting point for meaningful dialogue.
When we insist on proof of the basic premise, we bring to a halt
all useful discussion. A premise cannot be proved, for then it
would become a conclusion and cease to be a starting point.
Because the basic premise of the
Christian Faith is completely opposed to the starting point of
a strictly evolutionary world view, there is no real reconciliation
possible except by abandoning any rigid adherence to logical
extension. The Christian view allows forces and realities of
a spiritual nature to be causal factors in the physical world.
Evolution absolutely forbids them. The two positions are
135. Anselm and Abelard: quoted by John H.
Randall, The Making of the Modern Mind, Boston, Houghton
Mifflin, 1940, p.93.
and thus it is hopeless to attempt a wedding of Christian theology
and evolutionary theory. They are erected on different premises
and can only be reconciled by the introduction of logical inconsistencies.
If man derives his body from an
animal source with nothing added beyond what can be provided
by nature, then he must be an animal and nothing more. And if
he shares the origin and nature of animals, it is only reasonable
to suppose that he will share their destiny. To argue that he
is an animal but an animal with a soul introduced from
outside the system, may be a sop for theology but it is quite
unacceptable to the strict evolutionist. And even for theology
such a concession is wholly inadequate because man's body is
to share equally in the redemptive process. So that it is not
enough to argue that a human soul is sufficient distinction:
he must also have a body that is uniquely human.
Why is this not a sufficient
concession to theology? Because the redemptive process required
the vicarious sacrifice of a truly human body. If it should be
asked in what way this redemptive process relates to the nature
of Adam's body as created, the answer is to be found by considering
the three following compelling affirmations which are locked
together and must all be precisely honoured or none of them has
First of all, unless the body of
Jesus Christ was by nature under no necessity of dying, it could
not be sacrificed vicariously. Secondly, unless the body
of Jesus Christ was truly human, the sacrifice of it was
not vicarious for man. Finally, if His body was by
nature free of any necessity of dying and was therefore indeed
sacrificed vicariously for man, then Adam's body in its original
form must also have been by nature free of any necessity of
Such was Adam's body, and it
cannot possibly have been derived from any primate body since
all other primates are by nature subject to death. It must therefore
have been a direct creation of God. Immediate creation
meets all the theological
requirements whereas mediate derivation by evolution meets
none of them.
The Christian evolutionist takes
refuge in the tacit assumption that it is the soul of man which
is unique and this is all that matters. As for man's body, since
it is animal in origin, it cannot have any transcendental significance.
In short, the body is not essential to man's continuance in eternity.
In this view, man is man only because of his soul. The biblical
view of man as a unique body/spirit entity has to be abandoned.
Man can exist just as well as a mere ghost, even if that ghost
supposedly has to assume the shape of his body for purposes
To the evolutionists, there can
be nothing in nature of which nature is not the author. No discontinuities
in the great chain of being from amoeba to man can be allowed.
No divine intervention, no miracle to upset the strict chain
of physical causality, no revelation to point up the inadequacy
of the human mind in its interpretation of the evidence.
The Christian who admits to faith
in either creation or revelation is suspect, for evolution
is a strictly deterministic, materialistic, non-theistic philosophy.
Thus it is difficult to maintain a position that falls between
the two diametrically opposed world views. The passage from
a little admission of doubt to a frank abandonment of any biblical
faith at all is along a slippery path, and those who start upon
it innocently enough, soon find it more and more costly to stop
the slide. Or if they do, they will in the end find it increasingly
difficult to defend what faith they retain except on an emotional
This abandonment of rational defense
is made a little easier if one really has no understanding of
why the issue of the body of man is so important; but
such ignorance of the true situation hardly encourages a strong
and mature Christian faith. Unfortunately, while we have a highly
developed theology of the spirit, there is as yet no convincing
parallel theology of the body. The importance of the
body has been sadly neglected.
To a large extent
our problem is the result of a paradox. In spite of a gross materialism
which infects us all, we have somehow overlooked the importance
of a material body, even though the New Testament lays such an
emphasis upon it. We have tended to settle for the Greek view
that it is a prison to be abandoned as soon as possible. It thus
becomes easy to view its evolutionary origin as quite acceptable,
for in this view it is only a temporary part of our being
in any case not something we shall have throughout eternity.
Where it came from is as irrelevant as where it is going to.
Whereas it is in fact part and parcel of our hope of glory!
We betray this hope of glory by
barely perceptible stages, yielding on some supposedly "innocuous"
point (such as the vast antiquity of man) which then becomes
a first step down the slippery decline. And we do it in a way
that causes us little concern because the element of betrayal
of our Faith is not apparent. We just don't see that it matters.
Soon it becomes necessary to go
a step further and abandon the idea of a real Adam and a real
Eve such as we find in the biblical record and with it
goes the story of the Fall. As their concrete reality slowly
recedes, we are easily led to make the tacit assumption that
if there was an Adam and an Eve in such a distant past,
they would obviously have looked much like the ape-men of current
reconstructions, and very soon the derivation of Eve out of Adam
becomes clearly mythological.
The next step is comparatively
painless. Some kind of ape is in fact in our direct line of
descent. Since the further back we go by natural generation
the more "primitive" we assume we were, early man is
soon indistinguishable from the rest of the primates, so "why
not simply join the family?"
By now our passage down the slope
is going full-tilt. It
is quite exhilarating.
We are coasting freely with the crowd. We no longer stand alone:
and the comforting thing is that it doesn't seem to matter. We
don't appear to have sacrificed any essential part of
our Christian Faith. Yet somehow the "old Book" seems
to have lost its power to inspire or rebuke or encourage. And
we come across the references to the Lord Jesus Christ as the
Last Adam and scarcely realize that the term is now meaningless
because the First Adam has been lost in the mists of evolutionary
antiquity two or three millions of years ago and cannot possibly
have truly been a prototype of the magnificent figure we meet
in the Gospels as the Last Adam.
But it is too late to retract.
At least, the cost will be so great in terms of "reputation
for sanity" and perhaps even job security, that we cannot
contemplate it. And so we settle in the end for a philosophy
that is totally inconsistent with the Faith we once lived by.
To do otherwise requires more and more moral courage, while the
exhilaration of apparent "progress" is hard to give
up. Without a strong conviction that one's course is wrong, there
is no incentive to try to reverse it. And one cannot have any
strong conviction in the matter unless one understands something
of the reason for ever having had such a conviction in the first
No one really wants to be the only
man in step. It takes a lot of stamina to go against the current.
It is difficult to sustain a position which is only reasonable
to those who allow its premises, and the enemy is adamant in
rejecting these premises.
But the logic of the Christian
Faith has such an inner consistency that it cannot be tampered
with or adjusted without virtually rendering it irrational and
therefore difficult to defend. To surrender any part is either
to surrender the whole (as many have done in recent years) or
to retain what is retained in a way that is incomprehensible
to those who have not made the surrender.
Such inner inconsistency may allow
a certain level of
along purely spiritual lines but it certainly destroys fellowship
of mind which is always such a delight among the Lord's
people. The sad thing is that such forms of disagreement are
often the most distressing because theological incompatibility
seems more conducive to disharmony than spiritual incompatibility.
Mental convictions are more intractable: we generally find it
much easier to bend on purely spiritual matters than on theological
ones. Heart is more "forgiving" than mind. Protestant
charismatics who attach little importance to theology can have
close fellowship with Roman Catholic charismatics. It is when
either party becomes theologically adept that their fellowship
We will not
repeat what we have said in the first chapter regarding the shift
in Evangelical Theology which took place at Princeton Theological
Seminary immediately after the publication of Darwin's Origin
of Species in 1859. But it may be worthwhile to pause for
a moment to reflect upon the first step taken on this slide,
because it seemed at the time so innocuous.
Sir Charles Lyell (17971875),
one of the first British geologists, published his Principles
of Geology between 1830 and 1833. In this three volume work
he established that a very long period of geological history
must have preceded the introduction of Adam while the
earth was being prepared for him. He did not seem to have any
doubts about the reality of the Genesis account of what happened
to Adam and Eve and their immediate descendants, only that the
six days which preceded Adam's creation had to be interpreted
as a far greater period. But in a later work, The Antiquity
of Man published in 1863, Lyell argued that Adam must himself
have appeared on the scene far earlier than the 4000 BC of biblical
chronology because his remains were being found increasingly
in rocks of great age.
As we have seen, William Green
accommodated the Bible
to geology in this matter
by proposing that no absolute biblical chronology was possible
due to gaps in the genealogical records. What neither Charles
nor Alexander Hodge recognized in Green's thesis was the fact
that the argument for the existence of gaps is entirely circular.
If it is asked, "How do you know there are gaps?" the
answer has to be, "Because parallel records elsewhere in
Scripture show them up by supplying the missing names!"
How else would one know there was anything missing?
But if the gaps are filled in elsewhere
in the same book, there are no gaps! In other words, we
know that in some instances the genealogies of the Bible are
abbreviated, but we only know this because the abbreviation
is pointed out to us elsewhere by supplying what is missing.
In short, nothing is actually missing; it is only that the
data are presented elsewhere. Were they not to be found "elsewhere"
we could have no knowledge of "the gaps" in what preceded.
The only way we can become aware of the abbreviations
in the genealogies is by being warned later on that such abbreviations
exist because we are given the names of the individuals who must
be inserted therein to make the record complete. When we are
not given these names we have no right to assume there are still
gaps. Thus, in effect, the genealogies do not actually contain
unfilled gaps at all. The only concrete evidence for a gap is
the "filling" supplied elsewhere, which only reveals
the gap by closing it!
If, for instance, a piece of information
in a detective story is given later in the book, would a reviewer
say, "Unfortunately, the story has gaps in it?" The
identity of the murderer may be left by an author until the very
last sentence, but this does not mean that the murderer's identity
is missing! Omissions in one place supplied in another
place are not really gaps at all, but only temporary withholdings
according to the author's intention.
If on an examination paper, for the sake of neatness and ease
of reading, one were to work out a mathematical sum but omit
some of the commonplace steps in the calculation,
and then append these
omitted calculations on a final sheet of paper, it would be quite
improper for the examiner to argue that the student has actually
left gaps in the calculation.
In the Bible these so-called "gaps"
are made manifest and clearly indicated by what is recorded elsewhere
in Scripture itself. There is no evidence of any other
gaps. How could there be? What would be the nature of the biblical
evidence of any such other gaps which are not elsewhere made
manifest? How could one identify such a gap at all unless it
was elsewhere "filled in" and by that very means removed?
William Green was quite unjustified in claiming there are still
actually gaps in the genealogies without providing literary evidence
for the assertion.
Furthermore, if a vast antiquity
far beyond the 4000 BC traditional date is demanded, there are
other ways in which a great antiquity for the world prior to
the creation of man can be allowed for. For example, the days
of Genesis might be viewed as days on which revelation was given
to Moses; or they might be taken to mean ages; or we may introduce
a hiatus between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and so on. One may disagree
with these alternatives, but they have all been proposed by biblical
scholars over the centuries and are still held by many serious
and well-informed students of Scripture.
But there is no way, if we
limit ourselves strictly to biblical evidence, that Adam as the
first man of whom the Last Adam was a true representative, can
be pushed back into a vast antiquity as currently demanded. There
are ways of accommodating long periods prior to Adam,
but not of pushing Adam himself back into a dim period a million
or more years ago.
was indeed the first man seems clear from the Bible. To begin
with, there was prior to Adam no man to till the earth
(Genesis 2:5): and when Adam was created to perform this function
he was strictly alone in the world
(Genesis 2:18). In his
aloneness there was no helpmeet for him, and one had to
be formed out of his own flesh (Genesis 2:20). This helpmeet
then became the mother of all living, i.e., of all
other human beings (Genesis 3:20), none excepted. And to
clinch the matter, 1 Corinthians 15:45 tells that Adam was truly
"the first man."
Suppose for the sake of argument
that this first man really was introduced upon the scene at least
a million years ago, how do we fit this million-year silence
as to his subsequent history into the setting of the first three
chapters of Genesis? Was there "so long ago" a Garden
of Eden in which a helpmeet was brought to him, formed out of
his own body? And were these two then tested in the matter of
a fruit they were not to eat?
And did the disastrous results of their disobedience then affect
the whole human race subsequently so that every individual in
Adam's line throughout all those unrecorded millennia was
a fallen creature about whom Scripture is totally silent? One
has to bear in mind that the Last Adam stood as a potential substitute
for all the descendants of the First Adam and this
would therefore include all the human beings living in the world
throughout these silent millions of years. All of them,
no matter how ape-like or how little like the Last Adam they
might be, would still have to be such that He was nevertheless
truly in the same image: and these untold millions of intermediate
forms would still have to be truly represented by this Last Adam
both physically and spiritually or they would not be "redeemable"
under the terms that clearly apply according to the biblical
strategy of Redemption.
Shortly after the expulsion from
the Garden, this first man and his wife consummated their marriage
and bore two sons who grew up, one to become a farmer and the
other a herder. We actually have their names! One of these sons
in a fit of jealousy killed his brother, fled from the company
of his other brothers and sisters and, taking his sister-wife
with him, built the first "city," naming it after
his own son Enoch. All
this happened within two generations of Adam's first appearance.
And there followed during the next
three or four generations the development of a high civilization
which included all the arts and technologies we have already
mentioned. Suddenly without any evidence of a hiatus of even
a few centuries, let alone a million years, we find ourselves
on the very threshold of an advanced culture abundantly witnessed
by the findings of archaeology.
Bringing Adam into the historical
period makes sense but what does one do with a hiatus of almost
a million years? I remember a brief article on the evolution
of man which occurred in a well-known Christian magazine as part
of a series by various authors on evolution generally. It was
written by a Christian anthropologist about 27 years ago. In
his article the writer said, in effect, that it was now reasonably
certain that man was at least 100,000 years old. He was clearly
quite willing to adjust his thinking about Genesis to suit this
new position. One wonders how he felt, when fifteen years later,
100,000 years had become an even more confident "million"
years: and now we are being told that our roots probably go back
3 million years. At what point does one say, "Hold!
Enough." And having done this, what position does one take?
At what point would the writer of that article now say, "Here
is where Adam was introduced?"
This kind of open-ended stance
can soon become so nebulous as to leave one without any position
at all, or to put the matter slightly differently, we would really
have to say that there was no Adam, ever. The first Adam
is thus eliminated: what does this do to the Last Adam?
Somewhere we have to find room
for these millions of years, and if we do it is obvious that
the very simple and straightforward record in Genesis of what
happened to Adam and Eve (and the whole human race in so far
as they were latent in them) becomes a shambles. The foundation
of the redemptive history of man is utterly destroyed. And
it seems that the great
Princeton defenders of the Faith felt no need to attempt any
reconciliation between these two historical perspectives, nor
were they aware that by allowing the evolution of Adam's body
they were placing in jeopardy the theology of Redemption they
otherwise so ably expounded.
Perhaps they surrendered too readily.
The evolutionary picture itself is tending slightly towards a
position regarding the origin of the human species which lies
a little closer to the biblical concept of direct creation, though
this would certainly not be admitted by those who advocate these
newer concepts of evolutionary process.
As we have seen (Chapter 3), Goldschmidt's
"saltations," then Simpson's "quantum leaps,"
and now Gould's "punctuated equilibrium," are all attempts
to account for the sudden appearance of entirely new species,
of which man is but one. But they are descriptive terms, not
Yet they are at least admissions
of a fact that is surely most simply explained as evidence of
creative intervention. The biological record is by no means a
smooth "gradualist" one but is marked by abrupt changes
from time to time involving sudden extinctions on a mass scale
and sudden new emergings, leaving many gaps that have persisted
despite continued assurances that they will be found. These gaps
are almost universally admitted, as is also the fact that they
can no longer be attributed (as they were formerly) to the "imperfection
of the fossil record."
Thus while the suddenness of
man's appearance is not perhaps the problem that it was, the
assumed timing of his appearance certainly remains a difficulty
for anyone whose faith in Scripture stands firm. And I do not
think that the biblical account can ever be made to accommodate
the antiquity that is still being demanded. Personally, I am
convinced that the arguments for this vast antiquity will in
due course be modified by fresh evidence and the Bible vindicated,
as it always has been. Certainly, within the historical period,
archaeology has consistently verified the biblical
record, not simply in
a general way but in a way that confirms it in its most
literal reading. Historically it has stood every test and
I am convinced that the story of Adam and Eve is part of history,
numbers there are devout Christians who nevertheless take the
evolution of man's body for granted. They tend to regard Genesis
as mythology or poetry or allegory but they have not adequately
considered what such an approach does to the congruity which
is so strongly reinforced in the New Testament between the First
and the Last Adam.
The bond between the only two truly
human beings, both of whom were thus called Adam, is entirely
predicated on a miraculous origin in both cases: the creation
of the first man Adam, which was clearly a supernatural event;
and the virgin conception of the Last Adam, which was also clearly
a supernatural event.
A body of animal origin acquired by evolutionary processes
is an entirely different thing from a body of divine origin
acquired by direct creation. As to the former, it is clear that
such a body must by nature be subject to death, the ancestral
line being through some primate channel where death is natural.
As to the latter, such a body becomes subject to death not by
nature but only as a penalty.
The whole Plan of Redemption
hinges upon this difference because the Last Adam cannot by nature
be subject to death and still make a truly vicarious sacrifice
of Himself. He would merely be paying a debt to nature before
the expected time.
We have to recognize that whereas
an animal dies NATURALLY because it is necessary, a man dies
UN-NATURALLY because it is a penalty he is, in fact, executed.
By contrast, the Lord Jesus died SUPER-NATURALLY because He died
vicariously, himself alone being the executor. As soon as this
important truth is lost sight of, we have lost the rationale
of the divine plan for man's Redemption.
The origin and the death of the First Adam were not
natural events: neither were the birth and death of the
Last Adam. These four events stand or fall together. To speak
of the latter but deny the former is to render meaningless the
terms First and Last upon which so much hinges
in the Plan of Salvation.
We need not
only a "theology of the spirit" but also a "theology
of the body." In every Systematic Theology there is a section
called Anthropology which is intended to treat of the
nature of man. But it is remarkable how little is said about
the importance of man's body not only in this life but in the
world to come. After all, this is an absolutely essential component
of his nature. At any rate, while we have a plethora of Christian
works on the importance of man's spirit, they tend to eclipse
the importance of man's body. It is really no wonder that the
evolution of man's body has been accepted so readily and so widely.
There has seemed no compelling
reason not to accept it and the pressure to do so is very
great indeed. If one can see no reason from the point of view
of the validity of one's faith as a Christian, why not accept
it when everyone else appears to be doing so?
Moreover, the theory of evolution
has firmly established itself as a theory with tremendous heuristic
potential, a key to everything that involves change and development
or so it seems. Since it is a recognized principle that
a "useful" theory is not overthrown merely by contrary
evidence but only by a better theory, and since the "better"
theory that we prefer as Christians is predicated on certain
metaphysical premises that are totally unacceptable to the scientific
* Even the Roman Catholic theologians, conservative
as one expects them to be, have now been given permission to
adopt evolution as a working hypothesis, though they too will
find it introduces unresolvable contradictions into the theological
rationale of the Atonement. This unfortunate step was given approval
in 1951 by Pope Pius XII in an encyclical titled Humani generis,
which allows evolution to be applied to man's body but not
to his soul.
community at the present
time, it looks as though we really have no alternative that can
hope to succeed in opposition to it.
It is fundamentally the premises
that are at issue, and here faith is the deciding factor as to
which premise is chosen. And faith in the reality of a Creator
is not achieved by rational argument but only by a leap in the
dark, a sudden change of viewpoint. It would therefore seem that
our only hope in this warfare lies in a mighty revival among
ourselves and a gracious infusion of saving faith among those
who are our chief opponents. Perhaps we need to pray more for
the salvation of our opponents and not just try to marshal more
facts though we certainly should not enter the fray unarmed!
In spite of the fact that our warfare
in this matter is a spiritual one rather than an intellectual
exercise or a battle of wits, it is still important to keep clearly
in mind that the use of reason cannot be abrogated. To communicate
with an intelligent person we must be able to give a reason
for the hope that is within us. Irrationality is not necessarily
evidence of great faith. But the relation between the direct
creation of Adam's body and our "hope" must at least
be clear to us if our words are to carry any weight.
It is my conviction after watching
this warfare between evolution and creation for over half a century
that there are indeed fatal flaws in the theory of evolution
that ought certainly to be kept before the general public. On
the other hand, there are also theological consequences of which
the Christian public has for too long been almost wholly ignorant.
But theological arguments for rejecting
the evolution of man's body cannot be used as so much 'ammunition'
in this warfare because they are not based on the same premises
upon which our opponents base their case and they therefore carry
little or no weight with them. Nevertheless these arguments (a
number have been examined in this book) can and should
be used to arm the Lord's people
against a too ready
capitulation to evolution as it applies to man's body, even if
we are not adequately equipped to challenge all the biological
data on which the theory is based.
But above all, we must bear in
mind that whatever we allow that diminishes the reality and the
historical significance of the First Adam inevitably reflects
upon the reality and historical significance of the Last Adam.
That is why, in my view, the issue is so very serious and why
it must be fought on both fronts, the biological and the theological.
Why should we
contest the evolution of man's body so vehemently? Because half
of our humanity is wrapped up in it. It is a body which was glorified
by the Incarnation, a body which has made us redeemable creatures,
a body which has a future beyond death and will be essential
to our recognition of one another throughout eternity.
The New Testament asserts that
this body will be resurrected in identifiable form and placed
beyond the power of death for ever. Moreover, this promise is
applied to Adam himself and effectively to every one of his descendants,
however far back we place him in time.
This prospect demands a unique
origin because the redemptive process by which that destiny is
to be effected hinges upon the fact that man began in the first
place with a body which was potentially immortal. Such
a body cannot have arisen by any evolutionary process, because
it was designed for a unique destiny not promised to any other
Evolution is confessed by its own
chief advocates to be a philosophy without any such hope. We
believe that by the super-natural birth and death and bodily
resurrection of the Last Adam, of whom the First Adam was the
prototype, we can have not only a bright hope for the future,
but a certainty of it.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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