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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII



Vol.3: Man in Adam and in Christ





Chapter 1.  The Spiritual Nature of the Physical World
Chapter 2.  The Ubiquity of Mindedness
Chapter 3.  The Two Species of Homo Sapiens

Publishing History:
1972 Doorway paper No. 60, published privately by Arthur C. Custance
1975  Part VIII in Man in Adam and in Christ, vol.3 in The Doorway Papers Series, published by Zondervan Publishing Company
1997  Arthur Custance Online Library (html)
2001  2nd Online Edition (corrections, design revisions)

     pg.1 of 3     


 The old species . . .

     Theological thought has been long accustomed to view humanity as a tree, and of necessity the wormwood in the root imparts its bitter taste to the sap in all its branches. The corruption of our first parents infects their whole progeny.
T. Cynddylan Jones, 1897 (1)

And the new. . .

     To the outward view the Church may appear to be merely a rather queer gathering of very miscellaneous men and women, inexplicably preoccupied with old fashioned ceremonies, strangely excited about apparently irrelevant issues, and patently failing to live in accordance with the ideals of human life in which they profess to believe. But in its inner reality the Church is the re-created human race.
E. L. Mascall, 1958 (2)


     THIS PAPER GIVES a somewhat new approach to a study of the nature of the Body of Christ, the Body of the Second Adam � which is the Church. We are re-examining the structure of this Body by contrasting it with the Body of the First Adam formed of his descendants; and are suggesting that these two "bodies" of people are, in a very special but very real way, two distinct species of Homo sapiens. And like any other two species, they are also fundamentally incompatible with each other. This does not seem to be a very original idea in itself, but the line of thought which leads up to the conclusion has rather intriguing possibilities.
     Essentially, my thesis involves a somewhat new conception of what constitutes a species. I am proposing that the evidence from a number of lines of independent research is increasingly tending

1. Jones, J. Cynddylan, Primeval Revelation, Hodder and 8toughton, London, 1897, p.262.
2. Mascall, E. L., The Importance of Being Human, Columbia University Press, New York, 1958, p.104.

     pg 2 of 3     

toward the view that the basic reality behind the physical world is a spiritual one, as Scripture says it is. Consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of matter, as the mechanists would like us to believe, but matter may well be an epiphenomenon of consciousness, a kind of "congealed" consciousness, spirit at a lower level of expression.
     And I suggest that a species, by definition, is not merely a group of living things with a common genetic endowment, but a "body" of individuals with a psychic unity. The basis of speciation, which must appear to the geneticist to be physical, just as the basis of mind may appear to the neurophysiologist to be brain, is in reality, and more bindingly, psychical or spiritual. Indeed, it seems likely that psychic unity is the basic reality by which animals, in Nature, recognize their own kind. How far this psychic unity penetrates into a living organism is explored in this Paper. It seems likely that it extends even down to the recognition of one kindred cell by another.
     Thus it is possible that the experience of the new birth actually has, for the child of God, the real effect of reconstituting the individual as a member of an entirely new species. As such, while the Christian may still associate with and work in harmony with the old species of Homo sapiens ("this world," as the New Testament has it), he is nevertheless "not of this world." Indeed, in reality he has been constituted a member of the original species of Homo sapiens which disappeared when man sinned, but which is now being re-created. When man fell, he sinned into being a new and alien species that is not truly "man" as God at the first constituted him.
     This then is the new Body, the "cells" of which are truly human "cells," corporately making up the Body of Christ of which He forms the Head � as fallen Adam forms the head of the old species. Any attempt on the part of the Christian to realign himself with the old species must be as unsuccessful and unsatisfying, and indeed improper, as would be any attempt made by a member of one species in the animal world to identify with any other species. Rejection will occur on both sides at crucial points of experience. The "marriage" cannot succeed because the basic reality underlying speciation is not physical but non-physical -- in the case of animals below man, psychical; in the case of man, spiritual.
     This thesis is explored in some detail and it is shown to be entirely in harmony with the plain statements of the New Testament. It also sheds light on some recent findings relating to the study of the behaviour of cells and unicellular animals. 

     pg 3 of 3     

Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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