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Abstract

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII

Part VIII

Part IX

     

Vol.5: The Virgin Birth and the Incarnation

Part IX

THE UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
THE FIRST ADAM AND THE LAST ADAM

Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1.   The Body of the First Adam and of the Last Adam
Chapter 2.   The Character of the First Adam and of the Last Adam
Chapter 3.   Exploring Further Inferences

 

Publishing history:
1962:  Doorway Paper No. 59, published privately by Arthur C. Custance
1977:  Part IX in The Viegin Birth and the Incarnation, vol.5 in The Doorway Papers Series, Zondervan Publishing Company
1997:  Arthur Custance Online Library (html)
2001:  2nd Online Edition (design revisions)

     pg 1 of 4      

O Lord!
Open Thou mine eyes . . .
. . . that I may see!

 

     The very idea of the history of Adam and Eve in Paradise being an allegory, or
as it has been expressed, "poetry, not history," is in itself absurd and contradictory
to acknowledged facts. For it is acknowledged that the later part of Genesis, and the subsequent books of the Scripture history, are a narrative of real events, and of the lives and actions of real men and women. But where, then, does the allegorical part end, and the historical part begin?
     If Adam and Eve were allegorical personages, who were the parents of the real men and women whose history follows afterwards?

H. Shepheard          
Traditions of Eden  
London, 1871         

     pg.2 of 4     

INTRODUCTION

     IF WE WANT to find out what Adam was really like, we naturally think of turning to the first few chapters of Genesis. But actually this tells us very little, although what it does say is of vital importance. But our real knowledge of Adam as he came from the hand of God is not found in the Old Testament but in the New, for here in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ Adam is once more restored to our view.
     The current tendency today is to assume an unbroken line from modern man with his high civilization, to earlier more primitive types, and then back to the earliest humans, proto-humans, and finally the supposed animal antecedents. Adam as a historical person is entirely lost in the process. But if we insist that this is quite wrong, and in our mind's eye try to visualize what he was really like, we must ask what materials we are going to use for this visualization. Although we may be tempted to do so, since it seems the logical thing, we are not justified in making the simple assumption that the first man was essentially like ourselves, lacking only our level of sophistication. It is not possible to account for man as he now is with his immense capacity for wickedness by tracing him back evolution-wise in this manner, because there is a kind of evil in man's nature which sets him apart from all other creatures. There is in fact a qualitative difference, not merely a quantitative difference in his savagery. This tends to be either minimized unjustifiably or else ignored altogether by those who write about the evolution of Homo sapiens. The savagery of the most ferocious animals is in a completely different category from the potential savagery of the most civilized people. There is a hiatus, then, between man and the animals in this respect, and one may well ask whether it is possible to build a bridge

     pg.3 of 4     

between them. To my mind the answer is unquestionably, No.
     While man as a fallen creature cannot therefore be satisfactorily accounted for by an appeal to evolution, neither is it possible by such means to account for unfallen man. But where is unfallen man that we need to account for him? He is to be found in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was truly man, yet with an unutterable beauty of personality which is as impossible to account for by evolution as man's awful wickedness. There is nothing in nature to explain these extremes of character, both of which are nevertheless true expressions of human nature. Human behaviour as seen in you and me on the one hand, and human behaviour as seen in the Lord Jesus Christ on the other hand, are somehow rooted elsewhere than in the animal kingdom. Although these two are therefore clearly unrelated to the animals, are they even related in any real sense to one another? Is this perfect man one of us at all? Or to repeat a previous question in a new context, Is it possible to build a bridge between such a One and ourselves? This time the answer is unquestionably, Yes! The bridge is Adam. For there exists a unique relationship between these three: the First Adam, the Last Adam, and ourselves. In the person of the Last Adam the First Adam was recovered in history and presented to our view so that we might see what man really is, and therefore, by contrast, how far we ourselves have fallen from manhood. Moreover, this re-presentation of man involved something more than merely the spiritual aspect of the potential of our being, it extended even to the physical aspect of our being, for both have suffered in the Fall.
     The subject of the first section of this Paper deals with physical matters, Adam's body and the body of the Lord, the relationship of which is fundamental to the method by which God has made redemption possible for man, through vicarious sacrifice. The subject of the second section is Adam's character in relation to that of the Lord, which in this case is fundamental to the process whereby a sinful human nature, after redemption, may be displaced by a nature which is perfect in the sight of God.
     In the first section are matters which touch, at a basic level, on the important question of whether man could possibly have been evolved. The second touches, at an equally basic level, upon the question -- raised with increasing persistence in recent years of whether Christianity is not perhaps, after all, a religion for the White Man only and not well suited to other racial groups.

     pg.4 of 4     

Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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