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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX


Part IX: The Unique Relationship Between the First Adam and the Last Adam

Chapter 3

Exploring Further Inferences

     AS STATED in the Introduction, it was our purpose in this chapter to deal with a few thoughts related to chapters 1 and 2 which it did not seem appropriate to introduce at the time. In many ways they are still not appropriate and one has considerable hesitation in any addition to what has been said. It is rather like an anti-climax. The thoughts which follow may or may not contribute to the rest of the Paper. A lot depends upon the attitude of the reader. It is hoped that those who are not sympathetic to them will quickly dismiss them, leaving only chapters 1 and 2; but those who are will find them stimulating. They are set forth under separate subtitles, since in a way they can be considered independently.

The Concept of Species as Applied
to the "Body" of Adam and of Christ

     Anyone who has studied the problem of defining a species in biology will know how difficult it is. While a neat little phrase such as "an interbreeding community" may serve very nicely in certain circumstances, it obviously cannot be applied either to plants which have the power of self-fertilization or to asexual animals such as the paramecia. One also runs into difficulties in the presence of two populations which can be artificially induced to interbreed, but do not do so in nature: for example, the gibbon, chimpanzee, and orangutan. (15)
     Although it has never been suggested as far as I know, one might allow the behaviour of the animals themselves to decide the

15. Schultz, Adolph H., "Man and the Catarrhine Primates," in Coldspring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 15, 1950, p.49.

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matter. This could not apply to plants, but what I have in mind is that one animal does somehow recognize another animal which would make an appropriate mate for it. To take a most obvious example, dogs do not "fall in love" with cats. Nor do horses with cows. How do they know where not "to fall in love"?    Instinct, of course . . .  But what does this tell us, really?
     It may well be that body odour is the identifying means, in which case there is not really much mystery to it. However, I think there may still be some psychological factor (psychology is applied to animals as well as to humans), which, operating under the guise of instinct, informs any animal that it is in the presence of its own species. I don't think it has ever been tried, but if one were to surgically intervene to remove a dog's sense of smell, it seems highly probable that the animal would still recognize its own species, in spite of its enormous diversity of appearance -- thanks to man. The only cost to the animal mutilated in this way might be a failure to recognize the proper time to mate.
     Now, there is a small group of people who believe that consciousness in the universe progresses from a very, very low level through an ascending scale which reaches ultimately to God Himself. They use the term "consciousness," as will be observed below, in a very broad sense. The idea is appealing to many minds and goes something like this: Atoms have "consciousness," which takes the form of some kind of recognition of other atoms of like kind that attracts them into pure aggregates. Aggregates of atoms as molecules have a larger "consciousness," which enables them to form complex patterns. Inanimate objects, next in the scale, have some kind of awareness which allows them, for example, to respond to the environment by reaching the same level of thermal agitation, i.e., temperature. Living things, like flowers, take us one step further since they are able to show their awareness by quite pronounced movement, plant tropisms.
(16) Animals, of course, have consciousness of their environment, but perhaps also a larger consciousness, or one should say a more refined consciousness, which enables them to recognize their own species.
     When we come to man, we have a new dimension, for man has self-consciousness. According to these philosophers, he also has in a very small number of notable individuals (Buddha, for example) a still higher kind of consciousness (they refer to it as Cosmic Consciousness), which makes him aware not merely of himself or his

16. Tropisms: For a useful article see Victor A. Greulach, "Plant Movements," Scientific American, February, 1955, p.100.

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society, but in some mystical way of the whole human race. The Christian may go one step further with a consciousness of God, not merely that God exists, but that He is present. Is there a still further stage? Yes, for according to these philosophers, the consciousness which God has is total, encompassing not merely Himself and the universe as a whole, but every other consciousness, past or present.
     This, of course, is just man's imagination at work trying to create in a slightly different form what Arthur Lovejoy
(17) refers to as "the great chain of being" and what other men have tried to construct in Nature, for example, a single thread of continuity from the atom to the universe, from the smallest particle to the largest aggregate. Both Nature and man "abhor a vacuum." There is some peculiar satisfaction in believing that such "chains," without missing links, really exist.
     To many people such a concept has an inherent interest in itself. But the point of it in the context of this Paper is to suggest that the two Bodies of which we have spoken are in the psychological sense different species, because each Body has a form of self-consciousness of its own, which allows it to recognize a psychological or spiritual kinship with other members of its "self," but not with members of the other. These "species" are also distinguished unqualifyingly by their different levels of consciousness, the one species being in the proper sense conscious of God, the other "not having cared to retain Him in their mind" (Romans 1:28). As distinct species, there is an unbridgeable psychological gap between them, so that although they may constantly keep company one with another, as the giraffe and zebra may do for mutual protection and because they are gregarious, both realize at certain critical points that they do not really belong together. However much we may depart from the Lord and fall back into the ways of the world, there is something about us which sets us apart. We shall never be accepted altogether as one of them. This is not a conscious rejection any more than it is between animals of different species, but it is basic. And largely because it is unconscious, it can never be altogether broken down. A Christian by the very fact of having been born again becomes a member of this new species. It is important to notice that it is a re-creation rather than a changed life that establishes this discontinuity, for not infrequently the behaviour of the old species is more "Christian" than that of the new. So behaviour in itself, though it may have an influence, is not the deciding factor.

17. Lovejoy, Arthur O., The Great Chain of Being, Harvard Unicersity Press, 1942.

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     Yet, if one accepts the view that unfallen Adam preceded fallen Adam, then in terms of chronological order it is fallen man who is a new species, a point worth pondering. In so far as the rest of Nature is concerned, it is not unfallen, but fallen man, who is alien and "out of joint," the great disturber as Wood Jones calls him. (18) Indeed, Jones holds that it is a most odd situation that evolution has cast up as its climax a creature who seems to be about to bring the whole process to a disastrous end. Would it not be simpler to suppose that evolution did not produce the species "fallen man" at all?

Was Adam a Male-Female Being?

     The next question is, Was Adam a male-female being? We have carefully chosen to introduce the topic in this way, because, although we might have used the word "bisexual," there is a tendency to assume that the reference is only to physical characteristics. Whereas what we have in mind is something much more complete, including as it does a union of male and female personality as well.
     It should be said perhaps that secular and biblical tradition in antiquity supported this view. Plato, for example, had this to say:

     Our nature of old was not the same as now. It was then one man-woman, whose form and name were common both to male and female. Then said Jupiter, "I will divide them into two parts."

     This is rather a remarkable statement, and one wonders whether Plato was idly philosophizing or had been influenced by some stream rooted in the Hebrew tradition. At any rate, the Hebrews themselves maintained a somewhat similar idea, believing that Adam contained within himself, before Eve was separated out of him, both the male and the female principles. (20) They supposed that the first human being was hermaphroditic and that the formation of Eve was accomplished by a divine surgery which separated the two principles and housed them in two beings, who thereafter were only made truly whole again when joined by God in marriage.
     It is now recognized that these principles, maleness and femaleness, are never completely distinguished in any one of us. It is also known that whatever the so-called chromosomal sex (i.e., the possession of an X or Y chromosome) of the individual, the decisive steps towards dimorphism of sexual character and gender-identity occur later in the development of the fetus and are not predetermined by

18. Jones, F. Wood, Trends of Life, Arnold, London, 1953, p.18.
19. Plato, Symposium (On Love), chap.14.
20. See on this, for example: A. Cohen, The Sonano Chumash, Soncino Press, London, 1964, xi and p.7; Jacob Newman, Commentary by Nahmanides, Brill, Leiden, 1960, xx and note 144.

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the X or Y chromosome, but only pre-disposed by them. Research shows, in fact, that the male can develop very easily into a female, that the acquisition of maleness proceeds only after a struggle against a tendency towards the development of female character. All this occurs during prenatal development. A genuine form of bisexuality is actually a perfectly conceivable condition for a human being, and indeed occurs in a very small number of individuals.
     If we assume that Adam was bisexual when he was first created and before Eve was formed out of him, then a true Second Adam must in some sense have reflected the qualities of both sexes, not merely as they are assigned by society and determine the role that shall be played by each, but as they in fact hinge upon and are mediated by two different hormonal systems. Knowing as we do that the new Christian character which emerges from the experience of regeneration is the result of the indwelling presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who seeks to live through and express Himself in the redeemed soul, it is clear that one and the same Saviour can be the source of this new character for both the saved man and the saved woman, expressing His own Person, entirely appropriately, in terms of temperament and disposition in male and female alike.

What If Adam Had Not Died?

     This is really the subject of another Doorway Paper (Part III in this volume), and we shall not explore the matter at any length here, but one or two thoughts might be in order, since the question naturally arises in connection with chapter 1.
     In their unfallen condition, the state of Adam and Eve at first was one of innocence, rather than virtue. Both such states are indicative of purity, but the first is a negative form that results from the absence of any temptation. Virtue, on the other hand, is evidence of positive victory in the presence of it. A child is innocent rather than virtuous. The Lord was virtuous rather than innocent, for He was often tempted (Luke 4:13 and 22:28). There is no question which of these two conditions is the higher order of morality. However, if an immortal Adam and Eve had continued resisting all temptations and growing in virtue from day to day, would this process have simply gone on endlessly? Where would it end?
     I think we may reasonably assume that a point would have been reached when both of them would have achieved that measure of spiritual maturity and virtue to fit them for a further transformation. This would have signalled the time of their removal from the physical order of things, which hitherto had been their "school," to be

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transferred into a different level of being. Yet even here their bodies would nonetheless have had a significant part -- as the Lord's body did in the resurrection appearances -- in identifying them as essentially the same people, Adam and Eve. The Lord's glorified body, however, had passed through death, whereas we are assuming that Adam and Eve could have achieved this state without doing so. Is such an assumption justified?
     The answer to this question lies in the significance of the Transfiguration. For at the moment of the Transfiguration it is evident that the Lord could have proceeded directly into heaven to join His Father in glory. It may also be significant that this was one of the occasions upon which God expressly declared that He was well pleased, a statement which in Scripture is also explicitly applied to one other individual, Enoch, who had walked with God and passed into glory without seeing death. To this extent, then, both Enoch and the Lord had so completed their education as men that their virtue was fulfilled and God was satisfied.
     If Adam and Eve had reached this position, they too presumably would have passed into a higher order of life by transformation and without dying (1 Corinthians 15:51). And had their children similarly reached such virtuous perfection, they too in due time would have followed their parents. Thus the population of the world need never have gotten out of hand, even though its human inhabitants had continued as immortals. Each would have passed on by transformation in due time. The physical order of things would have served only as that means whereby, in each individual, innocence became virtue. Life here would have been a school -- a School for Immortals.
     But must we conclude, therefore, that the present order of things is a second best? Mascall, whose viewpoint is quite different from our own, has, however, put the matter interestingly in the following form:

     Three distinct questions are in fact involved here, though they are very rarely distinguished. There is first the question of whether man has any value as created and unfallen; second, the question as to whether man has any value as fallen and unredeemed; and third, the question whether man has any value when he has been redeemed by God.

     The answer to the first of these questions is really beyond our power to answer, though the question is worth asking nonetheless. It is worth asking because it was the Fall of man which provided the occasion for God to demonstrate His great love for man by the

21. Mascall, E. L., The Importance of Being Human, Columbia University Press, New York, 1958, p.85.

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sacrifice of His only begotten Son, and we have to ask whether He could have done this in any other way -- or perhaps we should say, in any other way as convincingly. Is there, in fact, any other evidence of the love of God toward us? There may be plenty of evidence of His goodness and power (Romans 1:20), but where else shall we see any demonstration of His love? Many people are persuaded that mankind can arrive at this conclusion philosophically. The fact is, however, that no other religion or philosophy of which we have any knowledge ever succeeded in arriving at the conclusion that God is love, or even that God is loving. In fact, this must also be said of the Jewish people themselves, for, as Canon Pilcher of Wycliffe College once said to me, "The climax of the Old Testament revelation is to be found in the message of the prophets who proclaimed that God is 'good' (Jeremiah 33: 11; Lamentations 3:25; Nahum 1:7), but never that God is love."
     Whatever we may like to believe about man's search after God, we must conclude that the ultimate demonstration of His love, stated most succinctly in John 3:16, is revealed most assuredly at Calvary and predicated solely on man's need as a fallen creature.
     As far as the second question is concerned, the answer would surely seem to be in the negative. Yet, who can tell? Have we any way, really, of knowing what the value of a soul that dies unredeemed is? After all, God loved the world, a world of fallen and unredeemed humanity. Can anything be worthless that God has once loved?
     With respect to Mascall's third question, it seems that we must answer in the affirmative, for did He not say (Luke 12:6,7), "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows"? Fallen man redeemed is of great value, evidently, perhaps not because of what he is intrinsically, but because he has been bought at such a great cost.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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