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Adam, the Fall, and the Goodness of God
A Two Day Conference on Human Origins
God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes. Ecclesiastes 7:30
The Christian tradition has historically maintained that Adam and Eve, our first human ancestors, were created in a state of righteousness that was lost through Adam’s disobedience. These affirmations oriented and supported a number of related doctrinal judgments, such as the original goodness of the created order, the corruption of human nature, the incarnation of the Word to redeem humanity from its fallen state, and the necessity of God’s gracious initiative in salvation. In different ways, Marcionism, Manichaeism, and Pelagianism rejected some aspect of the above affirmations.
Recent advancements in the fields of population genetics and paleoanthropology have called these traditional affirmations into question. In light of these developments some have argued for dehistoricizing both Adam and the fall. Others have purposed various reconciling strategies that affirm the historical referentiality of the persons and events depicted in Genesis 1-3 while maintaining basic congruence with the current scientific consensus. Still others have rejected the scientific consensus on theological grounds.
In this conference our aim is to clarify the theological stakes of the current debate in a manner faithful to Scripture and in open and earnest dialogue with modern scientific research. What are the exegetical, philosophical, and theological consequences of adopting the various competing models of Adam and the fall? What can we learn from the judgments and debates of the early church surrounding the doctrine of creation that may be able to offer guidance to the current discussion? What does Scripture, properly interpreted, require that we believe about Adam and the fall?
Seating is limited and registration is required.
This event is made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust. The opinions expressed in this lecture are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton Religion Trust.
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