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In my personal theology library I have a lot of materials that my father (a life long unitarian Advent Christian and devout arm-chair theologian) collected over the years.  It is my quest to go back through these many papers, booklets, pamphlets, letters, magazines, & books and share (where possible) many of these excellent works.  Many if not most of the writers of these are now dead and their works were never converted into the digital realm – certainly not posted out on the world-wide web where others can find/read them. Here is one such work that I have been wanting to get out for quite some time.  This is a terrific piece by a former Advent Christian pastor (and family friend of my grandfathers) entitled “The Two Adams”.  The booklet is 16 pages long, so I will break it up into four sections of four pages. I will transcribe it as faithfully as possible and keep everything just as it is presented in the booklet.  I’m not exactly sure when this was written, but I’m guessing sometime in the 1960’s.  Enjoy!

The Two Adams

By Homer D. Baxter

Introduction

The destinies of the entire world past, present, and future are embodied in two men, called the first and second Adams. “And so it is written, the first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). The Lord God has made but two men directly through creation and begettal. The first man was made of the dust of the ground, sinned through disobedience and plunged the whole world of mankind into sin and death. Because of this it “repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at his heart” (Gen. 6:6) When the Lord repents of a thing He never does the same thing again. All humanity that has ever existed upon the earth has come through the first couple, God having no need to officiate at each birth because He gave power to man to reproduce his kind. The disobedience of the first Adam was, and still is, responsible for all the illnesses, misfortunes, disappointments, pain and death to which the world is heir. If he had obeyed God and produced a race of people obedient to God there would have been a world without sin, hence no death. The results of that transgression cannot be legislated out of existence; they cannot be eliminated by education, riches, poverty, popularity, race, color, or creed. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, was not created but begotten through the Holy Spirit and born of a woman (Luke 1:32-33;Gal. 4:4). The only remedy for a perfect race of people must come through and by this second man, and that race must be of the redeemed from the off-spring of the first man.

The First Adam

PART I

God’s blueprint of His earthly creations in Genesis, Chapter 1, shows that He planned well for man’s future. Before forming man He intended that the earth should be complete and ready for habitation. He first created light. Then proceeding step by step the waters above the firmament were separated from the waters below the firmament, with space between the canopy and the earth, called the atmosphere which is made up of oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements essential to life and growth. The Supreme Architect of the universe planned that the earth should bring forth grass, herbs, with great lights in the heavens for “signs, seasons, days, and years.” The waters were to bring forth living creatures and fowls should fly “in the open firmament of heaven.” On the sixth day of creation came the beasts of the earth, climaxed by the creation of man. It should be noted that the words, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) refer only to the present heavens and earth of man’s habitation, and not the beginning of all the creations of the Lord. To better understand man’s position among the living creatures and his responsibility to his Creator, it should be kept in mind that earthly life was created on a graduated scale. On the third day two of the lowest forms of life were planned: grass and herbs and trees. This form of life possessed no ability to know, think, suffer pain, nor any blood, therefore they were intended to be food for both man and beast (Gen. 1:29-30). The difference between grass and herbs and the trees is that the trees are larger, live longer, and thrive better in hotter and colder climates. Then came two other forms of life, the creatures of the water and the fowls of the air. These are higher forms of life. The contain blood, with instinct and a certain amount of knowledge, with ability to provide for themselves, can suffer pain and many are subject to training. On the sixth day came two other, and still greater forms of life, the animal creation and man. Paul mentions the last four and notes the differences in each (1 Cor. 15:39). Man was the last step in creation, the top of the scale of earthly life. Man was created “a little lower than the angels” (Psalms 8:5); subject to death if he became disobedient. When God had completed the creation He looked upon everything which He had created and pronounced everything “very good” (Gen. 1:31).

FORMATION OF MAN

In Genesis, Chapter 2, one finds the formation and actual bringing into existence those things which had been planned. This fact is evident by reading Genesis 2:4-6; “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.” While all the separate acts of God are not mentioned in either Genesis 1 and 2, the second chapter does speak of the formation of man, planting a garden, and formation of “every beast of the field and every fowl of the air” (Gen 2:7,8,19). Genesis is the foundation book of the Bible. There is no important teaching of the Scriptures concerning man, sin, and salvation which is not first brought to view in Genesis. It tells of the beginning of life, marriage, birth disobedience, death, promise of a Redeemer, faith, hope, trust, and dozens of other “first things.” To begin at the source of a teaching is far better than starting at the middle or at the end. A stream of water though it be a small creek or river, naturally becomes larger as it gathers from other streams. Yet, regardless of its sizeat the end, the elements, the essence, the basic ingredients remain the same. Much like the stream of water, the source of man’s beginning and ending, with the causes of the world’s ills are basically the same. Though also like water which gathers a certain amount of pollution as it flows, so man’s true composition and condition may become polluted with man’s ideas and interpretations. However, this does not affect the basic principles laid down in Genesis. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). May we examine closely and carefully analyze this text for a clear understanding of what kind and type of man God made, and what his condition was after he became alive. The authority and ability of anyone is based upon and determined by who does the speaking, writing, or making. In this case the Lord God, the Creator of all things, is the Maker of man and the supreme authority for the written Word. Only He is fully able to tell exactly how man was made and what he became. First, “And the Lord God formed man…” This is not another man aside from the one created; not a different man. Here the Master Architect of the universe sets about to give shape, form, and substance to the creature whom He had planned. This is very much like an architect and builders. The architect first draws the plans on the blueprint. But a building on paper can not be lived in nor business transacted in it. The carpenters, stone-masons, bricklayers and others must give shape to the proposed building with materials. Secondly, “…of the dust of the ground….” This states very plainly and in simple language of what man was made. He was not part dust and part spirit; not a separately created man and a formed man, as though two men were in one. If an owner desires a brick house, purchases the brick, hires bricklayers, one would naturally expect the result to be a brick building, regardless of the furniture inside. God never called anything else man but that which He made of the earth. Thirdly, “…and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” Life itself was not breathed into man – only the vital element which produced life; the breath which caused the organs of the body to begin functioning. Adam could not become a living, breathing, animated, moving creature until God started the process of breathing. Persons who have drowned sometimes are rejuvenated by inciting breathing; physicians who officiate at child-births often must force the new-born child to begin breathing. Adam was called a man before he began breathing, even as a child is called such, even though still-born. Fourth, “…and man became a living soul.” Far too many have added their own definition of what man became, which changes the Lord’s plain, and easily understood words. It is feared that some also read “between” the lines in an attempt to find something which God has not meant. The Lord said that man himself became “a living soul” – simply a living being, creature. And that is all the Lord said he was. Nothing whatsoever is said of a “soul” being breathed into man.

Continued next in Part 2.

11 Responses to “The Two Adams – Part 1 of 4”

  1. on 04 Apr 2009 at 7:18 amRandy Turner

    I am very interested in your article(s) and the concept of “Unitarian Advent Christian. Growing up as an Advent Christian in North Carolina and now Augusta, Ga, it was until lately it seems that the idea of God is three in one began to permeate Adventist teaching. From conversations with my present pastor who spent one year at Berkshire it would seem the professors their grasped the teachings of Calvin and then and now attempt to indoctrinate that “ism” in the beliefs of the denomination. Thankfully a friend introduced me to the Restoration theology found on this blog. It is good to find another like minded Advent Christian. The denomination is so small in comparison to others, the thought of running into another is overwhelming. Thanks for your article. Look forward to reading more and even sharing other topics.

  2. on 08 Apr 2009 at 1:46 pmRon S.

    Randy,

    Greetings! Glad to make your acquaintance!

    I grew up not far from you – just slightly north up in Roanoke, Virginia. Did you ever go to the Advent Christian campgrounds in Blowing Rock? I only went there once since my family was originally from Oklahoma and we always went back there each summer to attend the Oklahoma camp.

    Unitarian Advent Christians have always been around – just in much smaller numbers (like maybe 10% vs. 90%). The Oklahoma Advent Christian churches (along with some in North Texas) were pretty much unitarian in their Christology. But other areas (especially eastward and northward) were much more towards the trinitarian persuasion. It always baffled me growing up (as it still does to this day), how an Advent Christian can see the error of the man-made immortal soul belief, yet NOT see the error of the man-made trinity belief.

    What you’ve heard about Berkshire is about right. The old Adventist colleges like it and Aurora have given in to all sorts of erronous, “traditional” errors that have spread into the denomination as a whole. In fact, today there are many Advent Christian churches that are starting to convert over to the heaven at death idology. If the tide can’t be turned, truth seekers like yourself will have to find a new denomination.

    Because I’m extremely anti-trinity and the AC denomination is dominantly pro-trinity and seems to be moving further towards other mainstream errors, I stopped offiicially labeling myself (especially online) as an Advent Christian years ago. I sometimes say “old-school” Advent Christian when I do, or I use a more generic term like “Biblical Unitarian” that doesn’t carry unecessary baggage with the name. Though now days that isn’t as perfect since the CES (Christian Educational Services – formerly The Way International) folk now have a website called “biblicalunitarian.com”. People who know about them & all their beliefs might think you subscribe to everything they do. And though I agree with them on a great number of things, issues like “OSAS” are dealbreakers for me. Maybe its time to come up with a new & improved name/term/designation. Of course what exactly that would be to not remain confusing to somebody else might be extremely difficult!

    Again, I’m glad to meet you, and I look foward to hearing more from you!

  3. on 08 Apr 2009 at 1:49 pmSean

    how about a christian monotheist?

  4. on 08 Apr 2009 at 2:47 pmRay

    I like this article. There are some observations made that I had
    not thought of, nor had I ever seen.

    Thank you Ron for sharing this.

  5. on 08 Apr 2009 at 3:39 pmRon S.

    Sean,

    “Christian Monotheist” sounds good to us. But most trinitarians consider themselves to be Christian Monotheists (within their own logic parameters). Of course you know their arguements better than most. And while we don’t see that as true monotheism, they will argue that it is – in a three-in-one way.

    As a term, “Unitarian” has much more clarity to it. But of course the UUA denomination (Unitarian Universalist Association) muddies that up so as to require something else combined with it to dissassociate from them.

    “Christian Unitarian” should be the logical choice. But I don’t know if that totally works or not.

  6. on 08 Apr 2009 at 3:44 pmRon S.

    Ray,

    Thanks.

    Look for Parts 3 & 4 to come soon!

  7. on 08 Apr 2009 at 8:26 pmRich

    Ron

    I think the term “unitarian” is beyond repair as far as trying to define one’s own beliefs to someone on the street today. No matter how many qualifiers we add to it, such as “Biblical Unitarian” or “Christian Unitarian” or even, i suppose “Monotheistic Non-universalist Unitarian” it becomes a lost cause in trying to explain it to most folks.
    As soon as most people hear the word “Unitarian” they can’t help but think of the Unitarian Universalist church. Any attempt to erase that image or distance oneself from that becomes a defensive effort at best.

    Why not get rid of the “U” word altogether.

    Sean’s “Christian Monotheist” – Hey, that has possibilities.

    Hmmm. I should think about this a while, maybe I could come up with some other fresh suggestions.

    Rich

  8. on 09 Apr 2009 at 6:23 amSean

    Ron,

    Although, technically speaking trinis do believe in a highly sophisticated form of complex monotheism, they don’t go around calling themselves “Christian Monotheists” which is why the term may be helpful to us. I usually use BU (biblical unitarian) myself when communicating with others, though of course it has the UU baggage which I always need to clarify. Furthermore, I was speaking to a professor last week and mentioned to him that we are bible-believing but not trinitarian, and he asked, “So you are Christian Unitarian?” I said, “Well, I never heard it put that way but if the shoe fits…” Apparently there is a Christian Unitarian church in Boston…maybe Obo can check it out (it’s called King’s Chapel).

  9. on 09 Apr 2009 at 10:18 amRon S.

    Rich,

    Give it some thought and see if you can come up with something new. I’m all for a better descriptor.

    But I’m just not sold on “Christian Monotheist” for the reason I stated above to Sean. Too many trinitarians I’ve had discussions with have claimed to be “monotheists” at heart. They’ll be the first to say that they reallly believe there is but ONE God – just in three persons. So since that term and its real meaning is a point of debate between trinitarians and unitarians, I just don’t think it works.

    That said, I have heard some Jewish believers in Jesus as the Messiah call themselves “Monotheistic Messianics” in order to differentiate themselves from normal Messianic Judaism that is trinitarian.

  10. on 09 Apr 2009 at 10:38 amRon S.

    Sean,

    I kind of like “Christian Unitarian”. Yeah the UUA confusion can still be there to some degree. But anyone who really knows that the UUA is a watered-down, grab-bag of everything that is FAR from bible-based Christian beliefs, I think using the term “Christian” in there can really help.

    Of course even the word “Christian” can carry other baggage with it – like the immortal soul belief. But that’s a whole other can of worms. 🙂

    I have heard about a church in New England that was an old true Christian Unitarian church from the early 1800’s (back when Unitarianism was truly Christian and long before the 1960’s merger with the Unversalists). In fact I use to have some online discussions on some forums on Beliefnet with a guy who was a member there. I think he said that the church is UUA now, but that there is a strong contingency of Unitarian Christians that go there (he being one of them). He once sent me a photo of the inside of the church there that had John 17:3 chiseled into the building itself! I wish I could remember the name and location of it. I’ve just slept way too many times since then. 🙂

  11. on 02 Oct 2009 at 4:08 pmAlex Galeano

    I notice that most you guys pat yourselves on the back about the things that you believe in. I will challenge you guys to discuss the reason why the trinitarian view is upheld for most true christians. By the way, Calvin was not the only one who saw this. It was studied even before him, in the 300s AD.

  

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