Nevin - Bethany Church 14-3-10 - Adam and the Garden of Eden.
One of the, as it were burning questions among evangelical today is the question of “was adam a historical figure or was Adam a myth or a legend?” And what I want to try and show this evening, that Adam was historical figure. Evangelicals at the moment are, I was going to say at war but I don’t mean that indeed differ very much about god and creation because there are those that believe in the historicity of Adam and others who believe in fact that it wasn’t a special individual created by god and that god used evolution to bring about this universe, this planet, and man and the creatures that are therein, they are sometimes referred to as theistic evolutionists and it is growing.
Let me read to you a few verses and it really is concerning the sixth day of creation genesis 1:24 “And god said let the earth bring forth the living creatures according to its kind, cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth, each according to its kind and it was so.” repeats, “ And god saw that it was good and god said let us make man in our image according to our likeness let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and the earth and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so God created man in his own image and god created them male and female, created he them. Then god blessed them and said to them, be fruitful and multiply and till the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea over the boards of the air and over every living thing that moves over the earth. And god said see I have given you every herb that yields seed that in on the face of the earth and every tree that gives fruit to you shall be for food and also to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the earth in which there is life I have given every green herb and it was so. Then god saw everything that he had made and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning where the sixth day.”
Let us make man began with this solid because this question of the [historicity?] of Adam is actually based on scripture and that why it began last week and this evening with this quotation from proverbs, “Every word of god is flawless, do not add to it.” Now Adam is a real historical person, the new testament endorse the accuracy of Genesis both directly and indirectly over 200 times. Genesis chapter 1 to 11 which indeed many, many Darwinists and evolutionists say is myth or legend, I believe it is historical and it is cited 107 times in theta new testament and Jesus refers himself, to the early chapters in genesis at least 25 times.
Now lets just look at the evidence we have that Adam was a real person. We have three genealogies, genesis 5, 1 chronicles and Luke and each of those 3 genealogies trace back to the first parent, Adam. Now when you examine genealogies and the word of god, yes there are occasions where you find names that are omitted but you never in any of the genealogies find in fact that someone who is considered a myth is inserted into a genealogy.
Secondly there is nothing in the teachings of Jesus on marriage to suggest for one second that he doubted that Adam was a real person, and indeed when we look at the writings of Paul again we see the same thing, that he spoke of Adam as being formed first and then woman coming from him, and thats in at least two places. So the new testament and this who spa, like Paul and Jesus refer to Adam as a historical person.
Now what are the views that exist today about Adam, about man and the origin of man? This summarises in fact what I would call the Darwinist or the evolutionist view or the materialistic view, this is one of the problems of science as theta define it as a materialistic process without reference to any supernatural cause or event and it was in 1859 that Darwin published his origin of species and the idea was that from non-living matter you have organic matter and then from that you have a profession of living animals so that the pinnacle as it were of evolutionary tree you have man. That is the Darwinist or evolutionary view but there are other views that exist for example, Francis Collins in the head of the NIH in the US, before his appointment last year he was the driving force behind the sequencing of the human DNA, in other words trying to find how those 3.1b letter of DNA are actually arranged in perfect order. He published a book just about 3.5 years ago entitled the language of god and he put forward this view that god created the universe , established the natural laws and seeking to popularise [populate] this otherwise sterile universe he chose the elegant mechanism of evolution to create microbes plants and animals, most remarkably god intentionally chose the same mechanism to give rise to special creatures that have special knowledge of right and wrong, free will and desire to seek fellowship with him. So in other words he accepts god as the creator but that god use the mechanism of evolution to bring about what we see today.
There are varieties of theistic evolution and this perhaps is one of the more recent ones, a book published in 2009 and the author states that god in his grace chose a couple of neolithic farmers in the near east or maybe a community of farmers that he chose to reveal himself to in a special way calling them into fellowship with him so that they may know him as their personal god and so this reason this first couple or community have been termed homo devious, otherwise this is exactly the same kind of concept that god used evolution. As I see it scientists and evangelicals are drawn up into two groups, those who accept Adam as areal person and those who accept that Adam was created as a result of evolution. Does it make a difference? Does it make a difference if what you as a young person maybe in your 5th and 6th form believe. I do believe it does make a difference and I have listed some of the differences that I see.
First of all if it was the result of an evolutionary process there is no need for god or god the creator as evolution starts off and ends according to them by its own action.
If you are the process of an evolutionary process then you are not responsible for your own actions, there is no sin there is no need of a saviour and you have to questions yourself, where does this sense of morale values come from, life has no purpose and christianity is false so I believe it does matter where you stand.
I edited and published earlier this year a book entitled, should a christian believe evolution? and I had theologians and scientists from throughout the UK and the US who indeed agreed with the historicity of Adam, that he was a real person. Now we have already ready these verses together, “Now god said let the earth bring forth living creatures” and we have a series of living creatures and I want you to notice how soften the words appear “after its kind” in other words he created cattle according to their kind and so froth.
Now if you take time and read through those versus this is what you find, and there is a series of kind you will find, you have plants, you have fruit bearing you have domesticated animals you have creatures and another two there, wild animals and creature and with all of that the description there in genesis says and they reproduce after their kind. Here is s good example, I am sure you have seen a vast variety of dogs and breeders of dogs, what they are trying to do is produce different kinds and they can do that by breeding out certain qualities and encouraging other qualities in the animals but the one thing I want you to notice is that although they all appear different they are all still dogs after its kind as in genesis chapter 1. And its again one of the things that I want to point out that evolutionists do not accept and that is that as you would breed say from a wolf down to a poodle you are actually losing genetic material, you are not really adding any additional genetic information, as you breed and breed there is no additional genetic information and indeed there is a risk of abnormal genetic change that can occur. No new information is added. Again you find this in your textbooks at school from the evolution of a horse but they are still horses although they change and you can breed horses and so forth and the same with horses and dogs.
Now when Darwin journeyed on the beagle and spent time on the galapagos island this was one of the pieces of evidence he said for evolution, he looked at the different species of finches on the islands and those finches in fact had difference shaped beaks and if you have difficulty in getting a seed then perhaps you might have a sharp beak to pick that out but the thing is that they are all still finches. Now I believe in what is know as micro evolution , and this is a good example of micro evolution and the dogs are a good example of micro evolution, and the this congregation tonight is an excellent example of micro-evolution, you vary in height and appearance and so forth that is the normal development within kinds but you are always human or you are always a bird or a dog, after its kind. I think it is very important that we recognise that but what even evangelicals would draw the line at is basically the question of a common ancestor, in other words we came form a blob of protoplasm to our present position today.
You find this in your text-books still believe it or not - the question of moths. Before the industrial revolution that took place trees where a bit like those on the left hand side of the screen, they were not contaminated with soot or dust and therefore birds were able to spot the black moths and the evolutionists say that the white moths increased and now we are getting the reverse of that. Can i say there is a book entitled “On moths” and in it the author points out that this experiment that evolutionists still accept, in fact was faked, the scientists actually took the moths and stuck them on to the truck of the tree, if you go out into the garden at night and look at the moths you will never see a moth on the trunk of a tree, they are all on branches. So in fact the pictures you see in a text-book were all faked, but still I accept that its micro evolution it just changes within months themselves its not evidence of what we call macro evolution.
Let me just mention this very quickly, and I’ll have to watch my time, earnest hackle was a scientist who supported Darwin and he put forward the idea that when you look at the development of an animal or a human within the womb it undergoes a series of changes so that it looks like a fish at one stage and gradually evolves and the next slide is a picture of animals, human, pig, salamander etc. And you will notice that there are similarities of slits on the region of the gills, again earner Haekel faked those results, he manipulate those embryos so that they all look alike. That now should be abandoned from any text book you have at school because it is false, there is no evidence that a human goes through the process, the various stages of evolution within the womb.
And on the sixth day I just want to emphasise the last four lines there it says, so god created man in his own image, in the image of god created he him male and female created he them.
I want to spend just a few moments on what I have entitled the origin of man. What do scientists put forward the origin of man, This is what is known as the tree of life, Darwin’s tree of life, and by the way again that is something that should be taken out of textbooks because both both nature and new scientists how both recently indicated that the idea of a tree of life is totally false. Starting from a primitive human you get man developing through, sorry about all the big words, Australopithecus, Homo habilis, homo erectus, Neanderthal man and eventually homo sapiens and that they are related to the apes, particularly the chimpanzee. I’ll come back to that diagram and the one in which I think is probably the correct one, the neanderthal man, Neanderthal bones have been home usually in Germany on the Neander valley and the picture you see there is of the skull, very prominent skull, and this is they say between ape and man one skull is now shown to be due to arthritis and his very large capacity of the brain, neanderthal man is considered to be a variety of man and is now extinct, I’ll try maybe next week when we are talking about Noah, if we get time to talk about how the various flows of humans occurred after the flood and I believe that some of the extinct races of man that we see like neanderthal man are in fact consequence of that spread after the flood and this is from a recent independent newspaper that says not only do we know he was capable of beating an opponent over the head with a blunt instrument, but he could also heal these wounds, so in fact neanderthal man is in fact an extinct man and there is no evidence form the DNA that we are in fact descended from neanderthal man. One of the things that I think it is important for young people to realise depends a lot on the imagination of the scientist or indeed the imagination of the artist. Here is an impression by the artist of Nebraska man now just look at him the height and the brutish appearance and the skin and so forth, that in fact was base don one single tooth which was identified in 1922 and from that tooth the artist gives you that impression, six years later that tooth was found in fact not to be from a primitive man but in fact from an extinct pig and then in 1972 evidence was found that these pigs were still alive in the community, so remember that the artist portrays the skin the hair and the appearance and sometimes its on the most flimsy of evidence.
We all know about the Piltdown man this was put forward as a primitive man and scientists actually in the same institution as those who discovered it set it up as a hoax, the took fragments of a human skull a chimpanzee jaw and teeth and they filed them down and stained them and it took 40 years for some of these scientists of high repute to actually come to realise that they had been hoaxed by this which was totally false.
This again was put forward as a primitive man, this was Lucy unearthed in ethiopia but most, majority of scientists of today now believe that it is not a forerunner of man at all but indeed it is in fact an ape. So what I am trying to say is that a lot of what you see put forward as early man, fossils of early man in fact there is very little around other than the imagination of the artists and so forth. And we could go through these, many of them have been lost or based on the flimsiest of evidence. Now this is one that came up last year - this is IDA infect it was called Darwinius because it was Darwin’s 200 anniversary and 150 years since the publication of the Origin of Species and this is what was put forward in journal and I have just picked out three. It was said that this fossil was a missing link between humans and our primate kind, it was the eighth wonder of the world, it was the holy grail, this was in fact the most primitive of primates to be found. 2 months later other scientists have looked at it and said I am utterly convinced that Darwinius has nothing what so ever to do worth the origin of primates and that is the head of the chicago museum. Again somebody in Nature which is the leading science journal says, we have analysed a larger data set and observations we have made on almost 120 living and extinct primates and we find that Ida is not in our ancestry. So you have to be careful what you read and obviously listen very carefully to what the majority of scientists are saying.
This is a picture of what, as I see it, the apes they had a separate origin and as Man homo habilis homo erects, neanderthal were primitive man and I’ll get the chance perhaps next week to mention how they have come about.
God said let us make man in our image, in our own likeness and let them rule over the creatures that we have created. [repeats] he took the dust of the ground he formed man , he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. Formed by the dust of the ground, breath of life and man become a living soul, and that is how adam was created.
Now when you read through this first chapter of Genesis you find that god uses the words let their be, let there be an expanse, let there be light, let there be sun let there be stars, oceans and vegetation. When it comes to the creation of man he say let us make man, not let there be but let us make man in our image and our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea birds of the air and livestock and over the creatures that move on the ground. Now we could take a whole evening and we could talk about what it means to be created in the image of god but I just want to use this triangle to talk about what it means to be in the image of god, there is personality involved there is a high level of morality and then finally spirituality. This is not like any other creature that god has mead he said let us not let there be, let us make man in our own image and we could debate what that means but I think that it gives man a sense of the morale values in the society in which he lives and his relationship with a god, a spiritual dimension and obviously is concerned with his whole inner being his personality and the the lord made man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. It’s interesting that Job makes reference to this, he says, It it were his intention he could withdraw hi spirits and the wool of mankind would perish and return to dust. And JOb uses the same words, he uses the word spirit he uses the word dust and he uses the world breath.
Now let me just quickly say a little bit about male and female created he them. So god created man in his own image, in the image of god he created them male and female he created them. Now this is, I haven’t seen this is print but this is a thought I had that is that Adam was formed first and then Eve and Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived because, and became a transgressor. Adam first, the woman second. This is a picture of your human chromosomes, your genetic material indeed it is marvellous that is taken from one cell of the body and if I were to place those human chromosome end to end it would in fact be 6 meters long and if you were to take every cell of your body and lay them end to end your human chromosomes would actually stretch from the earth to the moon and back not once not twice but eighty thousand times. That is the vastness of the creation of man but look at the extreme right and bottom line that is the make chromosome, he’s got a female chromosome X and a male chromosome Y. Now there is a biological reason why man was created first. The female has XX and the male has XY, now if the female had been created first he could never have made a male from a female as she has two X chromosome but you can make a female from a male as he has an X chromosome so the man was firmed first and then eve and it was good. God saw all of his creation and saw that it was good. The totality with each aspect harmonising with the other and it was good.