Christadelphian Writers in Support of Monogenism

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Note: these may need to be checked against original sources.Bruce. For example, the first one of these quotes that I checked: the second ellipsis in the second LGS quotation leaves out a quite sympathetic paragraph admitting the Scriptural basis of Bro Ralph Lovelock's ideas, though according to LGS "unsound in detail":

In scriptural interpretation bro. Lovelock starts from the belief that the first chapter of Genesis surveys the whole work of God from the beginning to the future consummation—a view which is possible but doubtful. Within this framework he develops scripture exposition which I believe to be unsound in detail because slanted throughout by a particular point of view. In this he finds justification for an evolutionary interpretation of creation and the history of man, and this underlies his approach to scientific questions.

More: the answer to my yellow-highlighted question below is "No!" In actual fact LGS went on to write this:

Bro. Lovelock himself is strong in his faith in the revealed word and convinced that he is providing a genuine—if admittedly speculative—reconciliation between Scripture and science which will ease the way of those who are troubled. I heartily wish I could share his belief. . . .

after which he reiterated his view that Bro Lovelock's ideas were dangerous in the long term. It seems that these are selective quotations from a biased secondary source.

Bruce (talk)

Paul — I agree that references would need to be confirmed with the original sources. It is hard enough to appreciate others thoughts contained in such quotations in isolation from their context but at the least the references should be identical lest we be criticised for tampering with or misrepresenting the author's words and ideas. Paul (talk) 00:34, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Prue —Yes I agree too about checking references. How much is left out of the LGS article? This is a very long quotation and might be better to supply all of it or more selected quotations. More context would be useful for making sense of the LGS response to Lovelock when we don't have the Lovelock available (or do we?) (or is this needed for here? - To me, this seems more appropriate to document as part of the Lovelock story if this is something we want to do.) Prue (talk) 06:40, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
Bruce — Actually checking them is a lower priority than flagging that they need to be checked and it's up to anyone who wants to use them as an authority to do that. It would be decent to check them before citing them by way of disagreement, too!
As for whether we want to document the Lovelock story, I think maybe not. It's still raw for a surprising number of people, I've been learning, and the story doesn't leave many people in a good light. Probably more importantly, scientific knowledge has exploded since his day, and I don't know anybody who believes nowadays exactly what he believed or suggested. Bruce (talk) 09:07, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
Bruce  — Colin has confirmed below that he took them from Colin Byrnes' paper By One Man which is not an accurate source, as these quotations show. Please, everybody attribute all quotations accurately! If you trust a secondary source, say so! Bruce (talk) 08:32, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Worthy of note: the final sentence of the L. G. Sargent passage is actually Colin Byrnes' own editorialising:
"Adam was miraculously created and is the progenitor of our entire human race."
As Colin points out, the rest of the paragraph, unlike the other paragraphs quoted from LGS, is surrounded by double quote marks: make up your own mind on whether that's good enough. — Bruce

L G Sargent

As to Acts 17:26, in my view “of one man” or “of one race” included all that could be meant by the reading “of one blood”. Bro. Lovelock has made me imply that “a large portion of mankind is cut off from salvation”. Of course I meant no such thing. Such an idea could only arise where it is first accepted that they are not of Adamic descent. The fact remains that throughout revelation the only race dealt with in creation, fall and redemption is the race of Adam; and there is no indication of the existence of any other race unless it be in a few vague hints of doubtful interpretation such as Gen. 6:1. The conclusion must be that any beings of a creation prior to Adam indicated by archaeological remains could have no place in redemption in Christ Jesus.

— The Christadelphian, 1965, Vol. 102, p. 401

Bro. Lovelock’s solution is that Adam was “a selectd and divinely modified member of a race already numerous in the earth”, that he was selected by God to be His witness to this race, and given such extra powers as marked him out as a leader and assured the successful spread of his way of life. Adam, like Christ, was a “representative man”, and this did not exclude the incorporation among his descendants of those who were not physically of his race.

Against this we have the words of Paul at Athens: “He made of one every nation of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26, R.V.); and as was recently pointed out, while this can mean “of one man” or “of one race”, it cannot mean anything else. Nor can there be any doubt that Paul was referring to the Biblical account of man’s creation in Genesis 2, and it is not enough to say that the whole race is from one pre-Adamic interbreeding stock.

Against this bro. Lovelock would stress the representative character he attributes to Adam, and would appeal to 1 Cor. 15 : 45–49. But Paul’s contrast of the first Adam and the last surely only strengthens the case against his view: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive” (verse 22). Can there be any doubt that Paul means we are “in” Adam as mortal sinners because we inherit our nature from him, but we are “in” Christ on the spiritual basis of faith and obedience in baptism, so that in him “there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”? Paul’s argument is “first the natural, then the spiritual”, and the very point of his teaching is that in the spiritual relationship the bounds of race and even of sex are transcended. It is simply not relevant to argue back from this to the natural, and suggest (as bro. Lovelock does) that because “aliens” may be incorporated into Christ “aliens” from the Adamic race might be assimilated into Adam’s descendants. And only with a wrench from anything which Paul could conceivably have meant himself can it be reconciled with Paul’s teaching on the coming of sin and death into human life, and the consequences for the whole race which followed from Adam’s transgression. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death has passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” What happened to any pre-Adamic race, we cannot know; that there may have been such beings has never been denied; what we cannot admit is that they could have had any part in the Gospel of salvation as preached to the race of Adam.

The point which has been discussed is another example of the fallacies which pervade this work—arguing back from antitype to type; confusing the symbol with the thing symbolized; depriving the symbol of its literal basis (which must be different in kind from the thing symbolized) and then confusing the symbol with its object. To describe Christ, who comes within the Adamic race and represents it in sacrifice, as a “representative man” expresses a truth; to apply the same term to the one whom all scripture presents as the progenitor of the race is not a true comparison; it rests on a theory which is against the whole tenor of the scripture message which so clearly portrays the first pair as unique and alone, and their acts as governing the condition of the whole succeeding race.

…. The further development of bro. Lovelock’s study is dependent on the line of argument so far surveyed. Whether the Flood was universal or local has been discussed among Christadelphians, to my knowledge, for at least fifty years; what is controversial in this book is the suggestion that only a part of the race was exterminated, and that some of homo sapiens, both Adamic and pre-Adamic, survived. This conception of the existence of other peoples alongside the descendants of Adam and of Noah is the basis for the whole of the argument on the distribution of peoples, the development of languages, and the comparison of myth with revealed religion. It is developed with a wealth of learning in archaeology and ethnology, but one has the impression that in these fields a great deal is being stated positively which is tentative and theoretical, and the whole construction is admittedly speculative. That archaeology presents problems, we must admit; but it is the supposed intermingling of the Adamic strain with contemporary races outside Adam which is so intractable to reconcile with the Biblical revelation; and Gen. 6 : 1–2 is a wholly inadequate basis for the structure of speculation offered here.

… “Now, it is true that there are devout Christians such as Professor C. A. Coulson who take a strictly uniformitarian view of the universe and believe that evolution can be regarded as God’s method in creation. The objection to this does not rest only, or even mainly, on the early chapters of Genesis. It is that an evolutionary view does not fit in with essential elements of the Faith; where it is adopted there must sooner or later be changes in the Biblical conceptions of the Fall and Atonement, in the nature of revelation, in the literal fact of resurrection, and in the character of the Kingdom of God. Of this there is abundant example in the teaching of the churches around us where an evolutionary philosophy has come to be accepted. If adopted among us I am convinced that it would in time pervade the whole of our belief and change it as the doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul changed the belief of the early church.” Adam was miraculously created and is the progenitor of our entire human race. Colin, did LGS write this last sentence? Bruce

— “THE ORIGIN OF MAN”, The Christadelphian, 1965, Vol. 102, p. 340-346
Firstly, to answer Bruce's highlighted question, LGS did not write it; as you can see the last sentence is not within the quotation marks. It was Colin Byrnes' own comment and is a reasonable conclusion of what Bro LGS writes anyway. In particular refer to LGS's second paragraph above.
Bro LGS also writes:
LG Sargent, Editorial, Our Faith and our Body, The Christadelphian, 1966, vol. 103, p.124-126
"I believe that the early chapters of Genesis mean that the first man and woman came into being by a special act of Divine creation, and that they are the progenitors of the race who are the subjects of God’s redemptive work. I believe that on this fact the Bible teaching on God’s redemptive purpose is based, and that the revelation through psalmists, prophets, Christ and the apostles rests upon it. It is therefore involved in later Bible teaching, and does not stand only upon our own reading of Genesis...
Yet creation, however and whenever it occurred, remains unique and unrepeatable, and I do not believe that speculative attempts to reconcile the Bible with current scientific theory can ever be successful, or in the long run helpful to faith. However well meant and sincere, they may indeed make shipwreck of faith in more ways than one. If they prove inadequate—as in the end they must—they may increase doubt by taking away what seemed a prop, and leaving the structure shaken. Even more seriously, they may bring subtle changes in the faith itself by some adaptation to current philosophical outlooks which may be very much of the wisdom of man rather than the wisdom of God."
I urge the group to seriously consider the citations in this section, to be aware of the important ramifications of shortfalls in understanding of the scriptures referred to in particular.
Colin (talk)
Thank you, Colin. I documented the other Colin's own statements of his motivation and intent at C. Byrnes, By One Man and communicated by email Ken Chalmers' response to his claims. His paper is a useful reference if we are looking for quotations from brethren who have not agreed with evolution in the past, but in view of his stated desire to see some of us purged from the brotherhood it is not a good representative sample of Christadelphian viewpoints. In any case it is best to cite references exactly, as this example proves. If we take a quotation from a third party, we should always attribute it.
Bruce (talk) 08:25, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

Michael Ashton

The opening chapters of Genesis contain information which records the Creative work of God by His Spirit, but they do not explain precisely how long ago it occurred, nor in modern scientific terms how it was accomplished: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). We are told about the introduction of human life and the test to which it was put; and the consequences of failure, both for our first parents and for all their descendants.

… Apart from the revelation in Genesis itself, what do the scriptures reveal about the beginning of life? Some words of the Apostle Paul to the philosophers of his day form a useful introduction: “God that made the world and all things therein ... is Lord of heaven and earth ... he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth ... they should seek the Lord ... For in him we live, and move, and have our being ... we are the offspring of God.”(Acts 17:24–29) There are some important statements here which confirm the message of Genesis. Paul told the Athenians that:
• all the material world was made by God
• He is the author and sustainer of life
• He peopled the world with a race of individuals who all descended from one original source
• Men and women should “seek the Lord”, who intends to fill the earth with His glory.
It is therefore of no surprise to find the same Apostle writing to believers in Corinth and referring to, “The first man Adam (who) was made a living soul” (1 Corinthians 15:45). Jesus himself commented on these early events in human history and, as we would expect, he confirmed what we have already discovered: “He which made them at the beginning (i.e., from the beginning of the creation, Mark 10:6) made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4). … This common heritage of the human race is explained in Genesis when we are told that Adam at the age of 130 years, “begat a son in his own likeness, after his image” (Genesis 5:3). And the New Testament comment continues the idea when we read, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). Like begets like. Adam’s new condition was shared by all his descendants, without exception.

— “The Beginning”, The Christadelphian, vol. 136, 1999, p.104

Alfred Norris

The Lord and the Genesis Record - In setting out his teaching on the permanence of marriage, the Lord answers his critics in terms of Genesis 1 and 2 (Matt. 19:1–8, etc.). God made them in the beginning male and female (Genesis 1), and said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife” (Genesis 2). Both the “creation records” are included in one statement, and made the basis of the true teaching on marriage. It is impossible to drive a wedge between the teaching and the history on which it is based. If such an Adam and Eve had not existed, and such a divine blessing had not been pronounced, then such a conclusion as to the sanctity of the marriage state could not validly have been drawn. Jesus must be right in his estimate of the history, or he is unreliable in his estimate of the morals.

Though outside the record of the Creation, other aspects of the Genesis story also receive the Lord’s confirmation, including the assassination of Abel (Matt. 23:35), the historicity of the Flood (Luke 17:26–27), of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (17:28–32), and of the life of Abraham in general. In all these cases, his confirmation of the record is bound up with the lesson which he draws from it, and the one would fall without the other.

The Apostles and the Genesis Record - The evidence is more specific here. As the apostles settle down to write for us the meaning of the work of the Lord, they draw in the historical basis and interpret it for us; and so, when Paul says that “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12), it is impossible to understand this without the assurance that Paul was satisfied of the existence and the uniqueness of that “one man” to whom he refers. When he adds, “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” and “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:21–22), he bases the work of the Lord Jesus in overcoming sin and death, on the fact that sin and death are owed by all of us to our descent from this Adam. Adam and Christ are equally real to Paul: the one man is from the earth, earthy (a very evident quotation of Genesis 2), while the second is “the Lord from heaven”. Paul seems, in fact, to have indicated something of the kind in his address to the Athenians, saying that “God hath made of one all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth” (Acts 17:24–26). For this, too, has the Genesis record as its basis.

— Where Religion and Science Meet, The Christadelphian, v101, p437-439 (1964)


Robert Roberts

That there was a first man, from whom the whole race of mankind extant upon the face of the earth have been derived, is among the earliest things revealed in the Scriptures, as it is also among the things subsequently confirmed by the whole tenor of Bible history …. To say that Adam was not the only man then existing on the face of the earth is to introduce confusion into a matter that left alone is simplicity itself; more than that, it is to introduce an element that is entirely excluded by all the facts of the case. … To say that the Gentiles whom we see every day in the street are the members of a race derived altogether outside of Adam, is to make void the entire genealogy of revelation, and to make of none effect the most express testimony to the contrary; and indeed to overthrow completely the doctrine that “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;” and that “through the offence of one many be dead;” that “death reigned by one; ” that “by the offence of one judgment came upon all;” and that “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” … The doctrine that Adam was only the “first man” of a covenant, and not literally the first man of the whole race, with which the earth is peopled, is a mistaken interpretation that requires the application of the same kind of unwarrantable treatment to the whole line of route from Adam to Moses, and from Moses to Christ. … the only human souls that survived being the “eight souls saved by water” (1 Pet. 3:20), consisting of Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their wives. From these the world received, as it were, a new start, with no more possibility of any outside themselves than in the watery chaos that preceded creation’s dawn.

— The First Man, The Christadelphian, 1888, vol. 25, pp. 618-619, 679-681

C. C. Walker

We know that the popularly received doctrine of evolution scorns a literal interpretation of the Genesis account; but philosophical speculation is of little weight as against the divine revelation attested by the facts of history. It has been supposed that life came at the first by spontaneous generation, but more careful study and more refined experiment have altogether discredited this philosophy, and left us with the idea expressed in Christ’s own doctrine, that the Father “hath life in Himself,” and that out of Him has all life come. The divine manipulation of human affairs is altogether opposed to the doctrine of evolution. The “survival of the fittest,” as men reckon fitness, is no part of God’s plan, as may be seen plainly in the cases of Esau and Saul, who were rejected in favour of the comparatively undesirable Jacob and David, undesirable that is, from a merely human notion of fitness.

— “In the Beginning”, The Christadelphian, v45, 1908, pp. 5-8

John Carter

We see then that there are involved in the book of Genesis (and it is also the case in the other historical books) statements which can only be true if God is the author. If God has not revealed them, if God has not inspired the writers of these books, they are no more trustworthy than other sacred books. If Adam and Eve are “mythical figures” the foundation of the divine scheme of redemption which is unfolded in God’s work in Christ is destroyed.

— The Oracles of God, 1944, pp. 17-18

We are all mortal independently of personal sin; and that mortality is an inherited one, and its ultimate cause is the sin at the beginning of human history. All Adam’s posterity are involved in the consequences of his transgression, Jesus being no exception. If our mortality is in no way a consequence of sin, and simply something that belongs to the human organization as created (as some have taught), then the nature of Jesus was likewise unrelated to a mortality which was a consequence of sin. In that case unrighteousness and not righteousness would be shown by his death . . .

— Prophets After the Exile, 1945, pp. 66-67, 80 (1962 Edition)

Alan Hayward

One thing we dare not do. We must not take the easy way out and say, "Adam was just a myth." That way lies disaster. I have tried to show throughout this book that we must let the Bible speak for itself. We must not twist it, to make it mean what we think it ought to have said. We must let it make its own message clear to us.

It is necessary to make due allowance for figures of speech in the Bible. We must not treat poetry as if it were prose, or parables as if they were literal truth. We need to be very, very careful not to read the Bible as if it had been written by Englishmen; instead, we must read it in the light of the Hebrew idiom that shines through into the English translation.

And, above all, we simply must let the New Testament provide us with the key to the Old. If we doubt what Jesus and His apostles taught about the Old Testament, we shall end up doubting them in other matters too. Our faith will then prove to be a house built on sand.

So we have to begin with the question: what does the New Testament say about Adam? The answer is sharply defined, clear and unmistakable. Adam was a real person. He and his wife, Eve, were the ancestors of the whole human race. Several lines of evidence lead to this conclusion. There are the words quoted from Luke’s Gospel in the first paragraph of this chapter 1. There is the way that Jesus referred to Adam and Eve. He spoke of them in the same literal way as the other historical characters of the Old Testament. Above all, there is the teaching of Paul. As was shown in Chapter 14, his whole teaching about sin and death and salvation had two foundation stones. One was a historical Adam, whose sin started a pattern of sinfulness that has affected all his descendants. The other was a historical Jesus, who came to save some of the sons of Adam from sin and death, and give them everlasting life. Remove one of those twin foundations and the whole structure of Christianity collapses. If Adams sin was a myth, then Christs righteousness might have been a myth, too.

One thing is certain: Christianity-that is, real Christianity, Biblical Christianity, the Christianity of Christ and His apostles-starts with the sad, true story of events in the Garden of Eden. This is our starting point. Within this framework we must look for a solution to our problem.

…. The Bibles teaching about the origin of mankind is beautiful in its simplicity. By a special creative act God made the first man and woman, after He had made all the rest of creation. From these two the whole human race is descended. This explanation satisfied men and women three thousand years ago. It is still eminently sensible today. It can stand up to the critical scrutiny of our scientific age.

How can this be? Every other ancient account of creation and the origin of life reads like childish nonsense in the modern world. Why is the Bible so different? There is an obvious answer. The Bible is the inspired Word of God.

— God’s Truth, 1973, (Chapter 23 – How the Human Race Began)

H. P. Mansfield

If there was a pre-Adamic creation, it must have been overwhelmed by some terrible catastrophe when God’s purpose with the earth had been completed. Those mortals who found approval in his sight would have been given divine nature, and as angels, become God’s ministers to re-order creation (Gen. 1:26). It is the hope of those who obey God now that they might become “equal unto the angels” at Christ’s coming (Luke 20:36).

— Story of the Bible, vol. 1, pp. 35-37 (1992 ed.)

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