Adam: federal head and representative, but not...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Aki, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. Aki

    Aki
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    to those (which includes me) who believe in the imputation of Adam's sin to all of mankind, two reasons are said why God does such imputation.

    1. that Adam acted as a federal head; his sin (particularly concerning the "tree of knowledge..." become his descedants'

    2. that Adam acted as a perfect representative, in that everyone will do what he did.

    i've seen articles interchange these two concepts. however, it is wrong to do so. moreover, the second one is NOT in scriptures. a very appealing approach to prove the second one is to say: "God used a perfect representative. this means that Adam did what everybody else would have done. if one does not believe this, it's as if he said that God cannot pick a perfect representative."

    i'm having a bit of discomfort in that view. first, it's not in scriptures. and though none cannot say that he would not disobey God should he be in Adam's place, neither is it said in scriptures that everyone would have done the same as what Adam did.

    this brings up the argument: "but God chose a perfect representative". that's just it. it is what is not in scriptures. what scriptures say (or imply) is that:

    1. Adam, being the federal head, his disobedience becomes mankind's sin too, as Christ's rightesosness becomes the righteousness of those in Him.

    2. God imputes Adam's sin to everybody.

    again, scriptures do not tell that each one would have done the same as Adam, being our representative. rather, Adam is our representative in that he is the federal head - not that we will do what he did - it's just that his sin will be ours too. God also plays an active part in each man's getting guilty of Adam's sin. that is, God imputes Adam's sin to everone, as He imputes Christ's rigtheousness to those who believe.

    just a thought. may we all continue to learn [​IMG]
     
  2. Eric B

    Eric B
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    I think the whole point of "federal headship" (in the sense of 'legal imputation') was to support the "perfect representative" theory, to try to justify saying that if God witholds salvation from some,it is "fair", becaue they actually "chose 'in' Adam", and thus did do the same thing he did, already in effect being "in his place". After all, the "head" is the "representative".

    This is what makes me wonder why someone who is non-Calvinist would pitch this central aspect of Calvinist theory :confused:
     
  3. Aki

    Aki
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    at best, that's just it: that's what you think! does the bible say the same? the scriptures do not imply the perfect representative thought. it made a parallelism with the imputation of righteounsness of Jesus Christ, which is totally by God's sovereignty. it is more scholarly accurate to see the imputation of Adam's sin to everyone as a result of Adam being the head. that is what should be meant by Adam being our representative - he is the head of mankind. it's not that we will also disobey as he (Adam) did, for, simply, it's not said in scriptures.

    again that's not in scriptures, neither is that implied in scriptures. we are in Adam, yes. but it does not mean that our personal volition was put into testing when Adam was tested. we were only imputed, because Adam represented us. and we are represented in the sense that Adam is our head, and not the unscriptural thought that we would have done the same as he did. no, the scriptures do not use Adam being our perfect representative to justify God's act if He does not save some (or many). rather, God imputed Adam's sin to everyone so that Christ's death will reach everyone. if some would not accept God's salvation, then God is free to condemn those persons.

    i really have no idea what you are trying to say here. in fact, i had to look up for the meaning of pitch. but to let you know, i also believe in the imputation of Adam's sin to everyone. i once accepted the perfect representative idea, but in thinking it over, i come to realize that a better proof must be presented. otherwise, that idea is totally not in scriptures.
     
  4. Eric B

    Eric B
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    Pitch, meaning "throw" and in that light it has also taken on a meaning synonymous to "advocate", "promote", etc.

    I still think it lends ammunition to the Calvinists, because even though you say one is in scripture and not the other; you know how the Calvinists like to extend things by implication :rolleyes:
    So to them one is the same as the other.
     
  5. Aki

    Aki
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    ...but the concept of the "perfect representative" which says that we would have done the same in Adam, is not implied.

    the only thing taught in scriptures is that Adam's sin is imputed to each one, as Adam is the head. he is the representative in that sense and that sense alone. it is what is written and implied. nevertheless it's still true that each one is imputed of Adam's sin by God.

    with regards to "pitching", must i not tackle on things that i believe is true simply because it's a calvinist teaching and i'm a non-calvinist?

    whoever is right among those who participate here, at the bottom of it all we all are learning christians. in that light it is best to deal with every possible aspects even if some points give stronger postion to the other, as long as the truth gets clearer.
     
  6. russell55

    russell55
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    You're right. Scripture doesn't say that we would all do what Adam did, just that Adam represented us.

    The idea that we would have done the same thing as Adam did if we were in the same circumstances that he was IS logical, though. We would have been made of the same stuff he was, wouldn't we? We would have been righteous in the same sort of was he was--with a dependent righteousness rather than an inherent righteousness, wouldn't we? And 100% of the two people who have ever been in the "able to sin, able to not sin" position did, in fact, sin. I think it would be pretty hard for anyone to make that case that if they had been in Adam's position they would have done differently than he did....
     
  7. Aki

    Aki
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    however logical to assume that each man would have done the same as what Adam did given the condition (or the odds), it remains for a fact that each man is imputed of Adam's sin not because of that fact that each one would have the same thing as that of Adam, but that Adam is the federal head.

    should it be true that each man would have done the same, it still cannot be used as a reason why God imputed Adam's sin to everybody else. the only reason is federal headship, and not any forseen knowledge of God of what every man would do in the place of Adam. that simply is not in the scriptures. those who use the "perfect representative" to say that we would have done the same can prove their point only with logical approach, which can be countered with equal validity using the same level of logic. but to use it and say it was the reason why God imputed Adam's sin to everyone is a mistake. it's simply Adam being our federal head, and God being sovereign, which is (are) the reason why each one is born with an imputed sin without any regards to each one's volition.
     
  8. russell55

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    True.

    I've never actually seen it used as a reason why Adam's sin was imputed, just as a reason why it's not unjust for it to have been imputed, but then, of course, I haven't read everything there is on the subject.
     

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