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Resurrecting Adam

“If the human race fell in a mere man named Adam, what happened to the human race in the death, resurrection and ascension of the incarnate Son of God?  Why is it that the Church has been so quick to give Adam such status in the whole scheme of things and so slow to recognize the surpassing greatness of Jesus Christ?  Is the incarnate Son less than Adam?  Is Jesus Christ less a factor in human existence?  Adam is only a man, a mere shadow when compared to the incarnate Son of God.

If we all went down in Adam, we certainly all went down in Christ.  But that is only be beginning of the story.  What happened to us in his resurrection?  When this Son rose, did he leave us in the grave?  Did he leave Adam behind?  Did he leave you and me, the human race, in the grave?  ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,’ Peter says, ‘who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’

When this Son went down, we went down.  And when this Son came forth from the grave, the human race came forth with hum, quickened with new life, born again in the Spirit into a living hope.  And when this Son ascended to the Father, he took the whole human race with him.  And there and then the human race was welcomed by the Father, accepted, embraced, included in the great dance.”

–C. Baxter Kruger, The Great Dance: The Christian Vision Revisited (Vancouver BC: Regent College Publishing, 2005), 48-49.

4 Comments

  1. Ben George wrote:

    I’ve been nitpicking through vB’s “Dare We Hope?” and it seems to cover some of this same ground.

    A few unsystematic thoughts:

    In Adam we all die, and in Christ we live, but is this automatic? Our first human nature is automatically “attached/is” to Adam, but the new “divinized-human” nature to which Christ is “attached/is” and which he offers us, is it automatic as well? I think rather, that it is voluntary, in that one may voluntarily enter or leave the Church.

    Friday, June 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    Voluntary? You sound like an anabaptist now, Ben!

    Friday, June 20, 2008 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  3. A similar question has rattled around in my mind for a few years now.

    What is the nature of the solidarity of humanity in Adam (that all of us should fall at once)?

    And is the solidarity of humanity in Jesus Christ the same, or a different kind?

    I hope to post on this soon myself, but I found Athanasius speaking on the effacement and restoration of the image of God to be a helpful way of thinking about this.

    Humanity is bound in solidarity in the fall of Adam and Eve (why is Eve always left out?) because their negation of God’s image cannot but be passed on to their children. Once the fellowship of Eden is broken, there are flaming swords between the rest of us and whatever the unbroken bliss of the garden. Paradoxically, it is the aspiration to be “like God” that tarnishes God’s image and separates humanity from God’s life.

    Whatever the image of God entails precisely, it certainly makes sense to speak of Jesus Christ as the exemplar par excellence of God’s image. Where God invests himself in bodily life, the image is restored to humanity. There is something “voluntary” about this restoration, but I think it makes more sense to speak sacramentally. Christ shares his body and blood with us—the body and blood that carry God’s untarnished image—and in faithfully receiving that body and blood solidarity is restored to humanity.

    So now you’ve got a Catholic sounding like and Anabaptist and a Lutheran sounding rather Catholic!

    Friday, June 20, 2008 at 6:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Ben George wrote:

    “Voluntary? You sound like an anabaptist now, Ben!”

    Heh…

    I was thinking along the lines of Jenson in his Large Catechism, wherein he desires to reunite baptism with the idea of introduction into Christ’s community, and how when one is born into a Churchly family, one is thereby introduced into the community, but that baptizing the infants of those who are just “getting the sacraments taken care of” is in many ways dishonest.

    In “voluntary”, I mean to say that one is not strictly AGAINST being in that community. This thought stems from a question one of my young students asked me: How do we know that in heaven we won’t be bad again? –”Because heaven is made from those who love God and WANT to be there.” Not the clearest of answers, but I hope it points in a helpful direction.

    For this reason universalism makes no sense to me: God overrides the will of those who hate him so that they suddenly must be taken up into his presence? This doesn’t sound like a loving action, it sounds rather violent.

    The offering of the gift of his Body and Blood that Eric describes above, and the voluntary taking of that Body and Blood, I find this to be accurate about what I seem to believe.

    (On a tangent: I think about baptism quite a bit, I’m involved in a few baptism prep processes at my local parish, and so get to see quite a few unchurched people bringing their kids in to get rubber stamped.)

    Saturday, June 21, 2008 at 10:48 am | Permalink

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