Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor

Response to Bube

Gavin Basil McGrath, ASA Friend

Protestant Proofs For Belief
P.O. Box 4583
North Rocks, N.S.W., 2151 AUSTRALIA

From: PSCF 49 (September 1997): 209-210.

In my opinion, Richard Bube's Communication (PSCF 48 [Dec. 1996]: 250˝253) contains a number of serious theological errors. In the first place, his definition of "man" as a creature that "is based on `human' genetic material," is inadequate, since it fails to isolate this as Adamic genetic material. Eve herself was made by God with the assistance of genetic material taken from Adam (Gen. 2:18˝23; 1 Cor. 11:8,9), and man's common descent thereafter from Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:20; 1 Chron. 1:1˝28) is strongly stressed throughout the OT. The word "man" in the OT is usually either 'adam or 'iysh. Where it is 'adam, rather than translating it as "man" or "men," it would generally be quite accurate to translate it as "Adamite(s)." If this were done, it would highlight just how important the OT considers it is to recognize that all human beings are Adamites. This same teaching is found in such NT passages as Acts 17:26 (NASB, cf. Luke 3:38); Rom. 5 and 1 Cor. 15. In failing to recognize this, Bube has, in my opinion, failed to properly define what a man is.

I consider that his tolerance towards in vitro fertilization (Bube's model 2) also shows a failure to uphold the sanctity of human life, since many Adamites are conceived and die for every conception that makes it through the IVF program. Therefore, I consider it a program that violates the sixth commandment and fails to recognize the true value of human life.

Furthermore, Bube then conjectures artificial creation of either "manufactured" sperm, or sperm and ovum. This also fails to recognize that man now has a fallen sinful nature and is subject to spiritual and physical death because of a historical fall by Adam in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:13,14). All men are guilty of Adam's sin of eating the apple; and God subjected men between Adam and Moses to death, exclusively due to their racial relationship to Adam (Rom. 5:12˝14; see L. Berkhof's Systematic Theology, pp. 211˝243ˇA Federalist's View, and A.H. Strong's Systematic Theology pp. 597˝627ˇAn Augustinian's View). Bube asks if one could say of such creatures that they were "sinful and in need of a Savior?" or "a real `human person' for whom Christ died?" But any such "manufactured" human beings would not be full-blooded Adamites, and so being outside of Adam's race, would, like the creature Bube refers to which is "clearly not a member of Homo Sapiens" be therefore outside the orbit of redemption. This is very clear from Rom. 5:11˝21, where the Bible makes it clear that Christ died for Adam's race and no other.

Medical science's progress has been constantly opening up a range of new matters. But Bube's position should be understood purely as an esoteric intellectual expedition into the often dangerous jungles of bioethics; Bube is trying to "beat a path" on matters that may never become a real possibility for human science anyway. However, I would note that Bube's basic models have previously arisen in literature and fable in the form of incubusˇwith male demon spirit impregnation of a woman by a demon spirit, or succubusˇwith human male impregnation of a female demon spirit (Bube's model 3); a demon spirit taking on a human form (sometimes described as occurring through ectoplasm) (Bube's model 4)ˇwhich of course is a necessary step for incubus or succubus; and demon spirits or unfallen angels in their spirit formˇalthough only demon spirits could meet Bube's "sinful" requirement (Bube's model 5).

Though conservative Protestants differ on the issue of what the prohibited marriages of Gen. 6 were, I understand Gen. 6:2 to be written in such a way as to convey multiple meanings. Thus there were some mixed marriages between Seth's race ("the sons of God" i.e., the godly race) and Cain's race ("the daughters of men" i.e., the earthly and spiritually non-godly raceˇn.b. Gen. 4:1˝15, 19, 23, 24) (Gen. 4:16˝5:32), which violates God's laws against race mixing and religious mixing. But some mixed marriages between humans ("the daughters of men") and fallen angels ("the sons of God," cf. Job 2:1) also occurred. It is also my opinion that "the sons of God" refers to some male human beings (see the universal Fatherhood of God, Luke 3:38; Acts 17:26˝29 NASB), who polygamously "took" female human "wives." Since there was only a limited number of women, "violence" among combative males ensued (cf. Gen. 4:19,23). Thus by natural selection, some stronger males fathered some "giants."

Without expanding on the other matters, I note that Jewish writings from around the time of the NT that support the proposition that the prohibited antediluvian marriages included angel-human marriages, include Josephus (Antiquities Bk. 1, ch. 3, s. 1) and the psuedepigraphal Book of Enoch (ch. 6˝15). Unlike Bube who would ascribe "value" and "rights" to, for example, those produced by model 3, God is said to declare in the Book of Enoch, "Proceed against the bastards the children of fornication: and destroy [them]" (10:9). Many, including myself, consider that this type of thinking is then manifested in the NT (2 Pet. 2:4,5; Jude 14,15 cf. Enoch 1:9 {Pseud.}). For example, in Enoch, the demon spirits who engaged in Bube's models 3 & 4 raise a petition for clemency. Enoch then goes and preaches at the spirits in hell, telling them that their doom is sealed (14:1˝7). This, to my mind, is strikingly similar to Christ preaching to the spirits in hell and likewise telling them that they were well and truly defeated and beyond any chance of redemption (1 Pet. 3:18˝20, cf. Acts 2:27,31 and Ps. 16:10). Indeed, it is generally recognized that there are two broad classes of demon spirits: those in "chains" because of what they did in antediluvian times (1 Pet. 3:19; 2 Pet. 2:4), and those that are still able to cause trouble here on earth (e.g., Mark 5:9; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 16:13,14). The evidence to date is that demon spirits no longer seek to follow Bube's model 3 because they know that if they do, God will throw them into the chains of hell. However, there is evidence of sex with demons not leading to any form of procreation.

It seems to me that Bube's model 2, in which he refers to an IVF child in the womb of a woman that is not the mother's, is necessarily polygamous, since it means reproductive organs are used that do not belong to a married couple. This, in my opinion, also touches on one of the reasons for the Flood, namely, polygamy (Gen. 4:19), although it also contains some notable dissimilarities to the pre-Flood situation. Whatever the situation for polygamy was in post-Flood OT times, Christian morality clearly requires monogamy; for our Lord does not say that whoever divorces contrary to God's law and remarries "engages in lawful polygamy," but rather, "committeth adultery" (Matt. 19:9).

Furthermore, while his models 3,4,& 5 may to some extent be distinguished from the matters of demonology that I have mentioned, on the basis that Bube is referring to construction of new creaturesˇwhich he freely admits is not now a scientific possibility, whereas demons are pre-existing life forms; nevertheless, it seems to me that he is offering a philosophical justification for demon spirits to do things, and have the type of "value" and "rights" that they enjoyed in antediluvian times. If that sounds like a hard word against Bube, let me say that I consider it is a fair word. After all, God Almighty caused a universal deluge that killed all human beings other than the eight people in Noah's ark (Heb. 11:7; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:6), at least in part, for doing the type of things that Bube is suggesting here. On my understanding of Holy Scripture, I would say he has a faulty understanding of Gen. 1˝9. For example, Gen. 1 teaches that God created man in his image, and so I would reject the proposition that men have any business even trying to construct artificial humans, or creatures something like them. It is an example of men seeking to "be as gods" (Gen. 3:5). Therefore I think it fair to give him warning, in the hope he and like-minded people will repent (Ezek. 3:17˝19).