When it comes to the origin and nature of humanity, I am going to depart from traditional understandings. First, I think that the two accounts in Genesis of the creation of people are actually two events. The first one, on the sixth day of creation (Genesis 1:26-31) begins with a description of the creation of humans in the same terms as the creation of livestock, wild beasts, and varmints (my terminology). Then that creation account tells us that these people were to be fruitful and multiply and rule over the other animals (except wild animals) and the earth. This mandate to rule, I believe, constitutes their creation in the image of God, that is they were able to think rationally. Since these original people came before people had spirits and Jesus had a body they had to be in the image of God in some way other than physically or spiritually.
The second account, which is that of Adam and Eve, I believe, particularizes the origin and nature of current humanity. The creation of Adam and Eve marked the beginning of a new kind of humanity. It differed from the earlier humanity in that they had an indwelling spirit. As it is written in Ecclesiastes 11:5( ESV) “As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” What we do know was that these new people had spirits that came to them while they were babies still in the womb.
These humans were also to have something new—a sense of right and wrong. This came into being when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. It also resulted in them being expelled from the Garden of Eden and forced to make their way in the “real” world and deal with their spiritless relatives. We are told in Genesis 6 how the sons of God found the daughters of man (earlier humans) attractive and the usual thing happened.
By the time of Noah, the attractiveness of the women and their culture had so overwhelmed the virtues of the sons of God that God brought about a mass extinction of humanity, except for eight people of the new type.
I think what I believe about the origin and nature of humanity is different from what you have been told or have read about. Nonetheless, what I have pictured retains the validity of the biblical accounts of creation and also allows for the prior existence of human-type people. It also takes into account the knowledge we have of the effects of mass extinctions on the overall history of life.
Continuing creation is God’s enduring and effective activity in nature and human events. I believe continuing creation allows both God and people to have options while allowing God’s purposes to be accomplished. The dialogue in Exodus 32 between Moses and God following the worship of the golden calf indicates that both God and Moses had real choices they could make. Fortunately for the Israelites, Moses persuaded God to honor his promises to the patriarchs and form the Israelites into an enduring nation.
Continuing creation has brought humanity to where it is now and will continue to change the world we live in. Not all change is of God but what prospers and blesses humanity is. There are too many beneficial things given to humanity by God since Adam and Eve to list.
The Garden of Eden appears to be an anomaly. It was unique and set at a particular place on the earth for God to create in two particular people, Adam and Eve, the psychological and sociological characteristics that would eventually come to all humanity.
We focus on the disobedience of Adam and Eve and the curse they brought by eating the forbidden fruit. We tend to forget all the other things that occurred in the garden. Adam named animals and found he was not one of them and so could not be satisfied with their presence. God created Eve and marital relations had their beginning. Adam and Eve were given the ability to act outside their instincts. This is why Eve was able to think about her choices, and shape her replies when Satan tempted her. Adam did the same when Eve tempted him. In one of the great ironies of the story, they came to have knowledge of good and evil so they and their descendants could know that they needed the redemption God would provide.
When Richard Corradi wrote “Human nature does not change” (“Transgender Delusion” First Things, October 2015) it appears that he conflated our physical and our spiritual natures. It is the hope and teaching of Christianity that our spiritual natures will be changed by the Holy Spirit to ones like that of Christ. When I write “like that of Christ” I do not mean into a masculine gender. Our spirits, and resurrection bodies, become as Christ’s when we are given the perfection of our creation as envisioned by God the Father before anything physical came into existence.
The Genesis account of the creation of Adam and Eve and their subsequent experiences tell us much about how deep male and female differences are in our human existence. First, Adam and Eve are separate creations. In some sense we might think of Adam as the “beta” version and Eve the final release. The exposure to temptation was different for each of them and the punishments for their transgressions were also “personalized.” We can also note that it is Eve, not Adam, whose offspring are described as both striking the tempter and being injured by him.
A long time ago I attended a meeting of college feminists. I was surprised to learn that their objectives were to obtain the freedom to use bad language like men and to sleep around, again like men. At present, women, of course, have obtained these objectives, and others, to make their contributions to the corruption of our society. There was no hint back then, nor is there one now, of any desire to emulate masculine virtues such as Rudyard Kipling outlined in his poem “If.” Perhaps there was not any awareness among them that there were ideas at certain times and places that men should be good in contructive ways.
The feminist distortions of reality stem from spiritual deceptions as does the transgender delusion—as do all the others Corradi mentions. The psychiatric profession is unable to deal effectively with delusions because they suffer from the ones common to our society. Also, having eliminated spiritual causes as a source of human behavior they have no foundational reality to offer their patients. Psychiatry also is made ineffective due to the lack of a medication for the problem. In science-fiction worlds all human delusions seem to be remedied by physical solutions. However, almost all visions of a science-based future are dystopias. Like the society being created by the delusions of our time.