Table of Contents
Vol.5: The Virgin Birth and the Incarnation
THE UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
Table of Contents
THE FIRST ADAM AND THE LAST ADAM
Chapter 1. The Body of
the First Adam and of the Last Adam
Chapter 2. The Character
of the First Adam and of the Last Adam
Chapter 3. Exploring Further
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1962: Doorway Paper No. 59, published privately by Arthur
1977: Part IX in The Viegin Birth and the Incarnation,
vol.5 in The Doorway Papers Series, Zondervan Publishing
1997: Arthur Custance Online Library (html)
2001: 2nd Online Edition (design revisions)
Open Thou mine eyes . . .
. . . that I may see!
The very idea
of the history of Adam and Eve in Paradise being an allegory,
as it has been expressed, "poetry, not history," is
in itself absurd and contradictory
to acknowledged facts. For it is acknowledged that the later
part of Genesis, and the subsequent books of the Scripture history,
are a narrative of real events, and of the lives and actions
of real men and women. But where, then, does the allegorical
part end, and the historical part begin?
If Adam and Eve were allegorical
personages, who were the parents of the real men and women whose
history follows afterwards?
Traditions of Eden
IF WE WANT to
find out what Adam was really like, we naturally think of turning
to the first few chapters of Genesis. But actually this tells
us very little, although what it does say is of vital importance.
But our real knowledge of Adam as he came from the hand of God
is not found in the Old Testament but in the New, for here in
the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ Adam is once more restored
to our view.
The current tendency today is to
assume an unbroken line from modern man with his high civilization,
to earlier more primitive types, and then back to the earliest
humans, proto-humans, and finally the supposed animal antecedents.
Adam as a historical person is entirely lost in the process.
But if we insist that this is quite wrong, and in our mind's
eye try to visualize what he was really like, we must ask what
materials we are going to use for this visualization. Although
we may be tempted to do so, since it seems the logical thing,
we are not justified in making the simple assumption that the
first man was essentially like ourselves, lacking only our level
of sophistication. It is not possible to account for man as he
now is with his immense capacity for wickedness by tracing him
back evolution-wise in this manner, because there is a kind of
evil in man's nature which sets him apart from all other creatures.
There is in fact a qualitative difference, not merely a quantitative
difference in his savagery. This tends to be either minimized
unjustifiably or else ignored altogether by those who write about
the evolution of Homo sapiens. The savagery of the most
ferocious animals is in a completely different category from
the potential savagery of the most civilized people. There is
a hiatus, then, between man and the animals in this respect,
and one may well ask whether it is possible to build a bridge
between them. To my mind
the answer is unquestionably, No.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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While man as a fallen creature
cannot therefore be satisfactorily accounted for by an
appeal to evolution, neither is it possible by such means to
account for unfallen man. But where is unfallen man that we need
to account for him? He is to be found in the Person of the Lord
Jesus Christ, who was truly man, yet with an unutterable beauty
of personality which is as impossible to account for by
evolution as man's awful wickedness. There is nothing in nature
to explain these extremes of character, both of which are nevertheless
true expressions of human nature. Human behaviour as seen
in you and me on the one hand, and human behaviour as seen in
the Lord Jesus Christ on the other hand, are somehow rooted elsewhere
than in the animal kingdom. Although these two are therefore
clearly unrelated to the animals, are they even related in any
real sense to one another? Is this perfect man one of us at all?
Or to repeat a previous question in a new context, Is it possible
to build a bridge between such a One and ourselves? This time
the answer is unquestionably, Yes! The bridge is Adam. For there
exists a unique relationship between these three: the First Adam,
the Last Adam, and ourselves. In the person of the Last Adam
the First Adam was recovered in history and presented to our
view so that we might see what man really is, and therefore,
by contrast, how far we ourselves have fallen from manhood.
Moreover, this re-presentation of man involved something
more than merely the spiritual aspect of the potential of our
being, it extended even to the physical aspect of our being,
for both have suffered in the Fall.
The subject of the first section
of this Paper deals with physical matters, Adam's body and the
body of the Lord, the relationship of which is fundamental to
the method by which God has made redemption possible for man,
through vicarious sacrifice. The subject of the second section
is Adam's character in relation to that of the Lord, which in
this case is fundamental to the process whereby a sinful human
nature, after redemption, may be displaced by a nature which
is perfect in the sight of God.
In the first section are matters
which touch, at a basic level, on the important question of whether
man could possibly have been evolved. The second touches, at
an equally basic level, upon the question -- raised with increasing
persistence in recent years ‹ of whether Christianity is
not perhaps, after all, a religion for the White Man only and
not well suited to other racial groups.