On Monday, June 18, the Overtures Committee wrestled with an appropriate response to the recent arguments in favor of theistic evolution. Both the Rocky Mountain and Savannah River presbyteries submitted overtures rejecting all evolutionary views of the origin of Adam and Eve.

Concurrently, Potomac Presbytery submitted a motion (Overture 26) to view those overtures as in thesi (pertaining to a particular topic at a particular point in time). The issue, according to the Potomac overture, is sufficiently covered in the Westminster Larger Catechism Question 17.

Overture 26 also cited three previous arguments (at the 10th, 22nd, and 30th General Assemblies) as precedent for removing the issue of Adam and Eve’s origin as a matter requiring judicial deliberation and/or constitutional revision.

The Overtures Committee, “…while not wishing to diminish the importance of engaging the current controversies regarding the historicity of Adam and Eve, believes that what is most called for is not a new deliverance from this Assembly, but rather a clear and uncompromising appeal to the Scriptures (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-22) and the Westminster Standards (Westminster Confession of Faith 4:2; Westminster Larger Catechism 17).”

For more information, see overtures 26, 10, and 29 here.

4 Responses to Adam’s Origin Left to Larger Catechism

  1. RE Albert S. Anderson (from Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC) says:

    It is deeply distressing that there are still those in the GA who advocate yet another sweeping under the rug of the continually recurring acceptance of theistic evolutionists. Even those who question the historicity of Adam are in our midst! If, as the Potomac Presbytery and the Overtures Committee claim, with obfuscating legalese, that our present state of affairs is perfectly fine, why does the PCA still allow theistic evolutionists to continue to throw doubt on God’s Word and hold any office in our denomination?

  2. The last paragraph is not an accurate representation of the grounds with the Overture Committee passed. I am not sure why the incomplete version is quoted here, though I know you guys have a lot to cover. Here is the final version:

    “While not wishing to diminish the importance of engaging the current controversies regarding the historicity of Adam and Eve, we believe that what is most called for at this time is not a new deliverance from this assembly, but rather a clear and uncompromising appeal to the Scriptures (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-22) and the Westminster Standards (Westminster Confession of Faith 4:2; Westminster Shorter Catechism 16; Westminster Larger Catechism 17) which are already sufficiently clear that Adam and Eve are real, historical human beings directly created by God.”

    There is also a minority report in favor of issuing a statement on the issue.

  3. RE Albert S. Anderson (from Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC) says:

    Thank you, Chris!

  4. Judy Hubbard says:

    I am sorry to see that this overture did not pass. I understand that the Bible and Catechism are already clear on the subject, but too many in our churches have accepted evolution as fact when, in reality, scripture is fact. They treat the creation passages just like the “Pope is Antichrist” portion of the catechism — an irrelevant statement rooted in a particular time period before we became a wiser generation.

    So we have a situation where our written standards are routinely disbelieved when it comes to origins. What is next?