VIDEO What A Day That Will Be When I Look upon His Face

Oct 1, 2011

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, And I look upon His face, The One who saved me by His grace!

A Historical Adam Is Not Enough

historical adam not enough

Belief in an old earth creates enormous theological problems for Christians.

There is an obvious tension with a straightforward reading of Genesis, as well as the problem of animal death and suffering before Adam’s sin. Nevertheless, Christians who advocate an old earth might argue that these difficulties, though serious, are tolerable as long as one affirms that human death, at least, began with Adam (Romans 5:12-21). This is because logically Christ’s death on the cross can only pay for our sins if human death really is the penalty for sin. And since a just God would not impose the penalty for sin before a sin had actually been committed, human death could not have occurred before Adam’s fall. This may seem obvious since one would naturally conclude this from Genesis, but it is a logical necessity for the Christian faith to be true.

Thus, human death as the penalty for sin is a nonnegotiable Christian doctrine. If human death did not originate with Adam, then the gospel itself is logically undermined because the doctrine of blood atonement for sin makes no sense apart from death as a consequence of Adam’s fall (Genesis 2:15-17). This is such an obvious point that even old-earth Christian organizations sometimes take great pains to affirm that Adam was indeed the first true man.1

Old-earth Christians who acknowledge Adam as a real person may think their compromise position leaves the doctrine of atonement unaffected since they affirm that human death began with Adam. But in reality they have, theologically and logically, already “given away the store.” This is because in order to affirm Adam as the first man, they must deny the humanity of any “hominids” assumed to predate Adam and Eve, such as Neandertals.

However, the evidence for the true humanity of these ancient people is very strong. Even evolutionists have conceded that Neandertals could speak, deliberately buried their dead, used tools, and even interbred with so-called “modern” humans.2,3 Of course, if they interbred with humans, then by definition they too must have been human.4 Likewise, Neandertals lived in cold climates that would have necessitated the wearing of clothing, which was given to man to cover his nakedness after the Fall (Genesis 3:21). Therefore, it is implausible to claim that Neandertals, which even some evolutionists classify as a “subspecies” of Homo sapiens, were not genuine members of the human family.

But since old-earth Christians have already accepted the premise that Neandertals existed before Adam, this would imply that human death did not begin with Adam, even if he were a real person. Thus, the only thing preventing old-earth Christians from reaching this disastrous theological conclusion is their untenable denial of Neandertals’ humanity. And untenable positions cannot be maintained for very long. In this light, it is not surprising that some professing old-earth Christians have begun to openly claim that Adam never existed.5

But if Neandertals were actually post-Babel descendants of Noah, then this theological conundrum is instantly resolved. And it is only secular old-earth interpretations imposed on the data that lead to the conclusions that Earth is old and Neandertals predated Adam. Despite the claims of secular scientists, the evidence strongly favors a young world, a young human race, and the reality of the global Flood of Noah. Therefore, taking Scripture at face value provides an intellectually satisfying way of interpreting both the theological and scientific data.

References

Rana, F. Were They Real? The Scientific Case for Adam and Eve. Reasons to Believe. Posted on reasons.org October 1, 2010, accessed May 29, 2015.
Oard, M. 2003. Neandertal Man—the changing picture. Creation. 25 (4): 10-14.
Thomas, B. Neanderthal Men Were Modern Men. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org December 18, 2008, accessed May 29, 2015.
One of the features of the standard definition of a species is that its members are able to interbreed and produce fertile offspring.
Chaffey, T. and R. Patterson. Was Jesus Wrong? Peter Enns Says, “Yes.” Answers in Genesis. Posted on answersingenesis.org January 30, 2012, accessed May 29, 2015

Image Credit: Copyright © 2012 T. Evanson. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holder.

by Jake Hebert, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Cite this article: Jake Hebert, Ph.D. 2015. A Historical Adam Is Not Enough. Acts & Facts. 44 (8).

A Lesson In Pruning

John 15:1-4

Years ago I lived in Fruitland, North Carolina. It was apple country, and several of my parishioners were growers. I remember the time I stopped by to pay one of them a visit, and his wife told me he was in the orchard. I found him out there, mercilessly cutting branches. Without thinking, I said, “You’re going to kill that tree!” He turned around and said, “You stick to preaching, and leave the pruning to me.”

This gentleman and I became friends, and it was from him that I learned about the pruning process. Cutting the way he did was necessary to produce an abundant crop of the best fruit. It might look as if the tree was going to die, but new growth would spring from the wounds. Our conversations helped me understand why the Lord sometimes acts as a pruning force in people’s lives.

To get a plentiful crop of spiritual fruit, our heavenly Father must remove anything that distracts or deters us from serving Him. The process is oftentimes painful. I know I have cried out, “More, Lord?” when He has taken the “knife” to me. But the result is always satisfying—I’m a better, more accurate reflection of Jesus Christ after God cuts away a fleshly habit or worldly attitude.

Being loved by God doesn’t mean we’ll be coddled—our comfort is not His primary interest. A grower prunes an apple tree to get a bountiful harvest. In the same way, the heavenly Father sometimes lets us feel pain so He can bring forth greater growth and more spiritual fruit in our lives.

Many Books

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12)

It seems amazing, at first, that we should be reading a complaint from almost 3,000 years ago that too many books were already being published. The greatest book, of course, is the collection of 66 books known as the Bible—that is, the Book (which is the meaning of “Bible”). This Book has been “for ever . . . settled in heaven” and “endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:89, 160).

The first mention of “book” in the Bible is found in Genesis 5:1: “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” Similarly, the first mention of “book” in the New Testament is Matthew 1:1: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ.” These “books” are now incorporated into the Book and, in a striking way, emphasize the continuity of Old and New Testaments—the one dealing with the first Adam, the other with the last Adam.

The final mentions of “book” also are very important, again dealing not with books that are temporal but with books that are eternal. In the Old Testament we have the beautiful promise of Malachi 3:16: “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”

The final mention of “book” in the Bible, on the other hand, is a sober warning not to tamper with the Book. “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:19). Let us honor it, guard it, believe it, and follow it. HMM

A Genuine Encounter with God

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in aflame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. —Exodus 3:2

Is it not true that for most of us who call ourselves Christians there is no real experience? We have substituted theological ideas for an arresting encounter; we are full of religious notions, but our great weakness is that for our hearts there is no one there.

Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard. It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear, and no heart to love….

We who experience God in this day may rejoice that we have in Him all that Abraham or David or Paul could have; indeed the very angels before the throne can have no more than we, for they can have no more than God and can want nothing apart from Him. And all that He is and all that He has done is for us and for all who share the common salvation.

Lord, may I experience Your presence in such a real way today that I’ll feel like taking off my shoes, because I’ll know I’m on holy ground. Amen.

What It Means To Be United with Christ

We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 5:20)

The Spirit of God has impelled me to preach and write much about the believer’s conscious union with Christ—a union that must be felt and experienced. I will never be through talking about the union of the soul with the Savior, the conscious union of the believer’s heart with Jesus.

Remember, I am not talking about a “theological union” only. I am speaking also of a conscious union, a union that is felt and experienced.

I have never been ashamed to tell my congregations that I believe in feelings. I surely believe in what Jonathan Edwards termed “religious affections.” That is man’s perspective.

I am aware also that from God’s perspective there are qualities in the Divine Being that can only be known by the heart; never by the intellect!

Long ago John wrote: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). So it is best for us to confess that as humans we have difficulty in understanding what God has said when He says that He loves us!

An epitome of the Christian religion

If any one should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say, it is in that one word—”prayer.” If I should be asked, “What will take in the whole of Christian experience?” I should answer “prayer.” A man must have been convinced of sin before he could pray; he must have had some hope that there was mercy for him before he could pray.

All the Christian virtues are locked up in the word, prayer. In troublous times our best communion with God will be carried on by supplication. Tell Him thy case; search out His promise, and then plead it with holy boldness. This is the best, the surest, the speediest way of relief.