Can I tell you something. Got to tell you one thing. If you expect the freedom that you say is yours prove that you deserve it. Help us to preserve it or being free will just be words and nothing more.
Kansas, 1974

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Existence of Adam and Eve

Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve
...some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: "That would be against all the genomic evidence that we've assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all."

"Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost," Schneider says. "So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings."

To many evangelicals, this is heresy.

"From my viewpoint, a historical Adam and Eve is absolutely central to the truth claims of the Christian faith," says Fazale Rana, vice president of Reasons To Believe, an evangelical think tank that questions evolution. Rana, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio University, readily admits that small details of Scripture could be wrong.

Rana and others believe in a literal, historical Adam and Eve for many reasons. One is that the Genesis account makes man unique, created in the image of God — not a descendant of lower primates. Second, it tells a story of how evil came into the world, and it's not a story in which God introduced evil through the process of evolution, but one in which Adam and Eve decided to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit.
I've been pondering this story all day and I'm not really sure what to make of it. My first thoughts were, this is what happens when you take your eyes off of the prize. The central pillar of Christianity is the healing of the relationship between man and God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the son of God. Arguing about the literal interpretation of the Genesis account takes our eyes off of that world and life changing fact.

My second thoughts were, Genesis isn't about the nitty gritty of how God created everything we know. That's what science is for, to the best of the abilities of limited human understanding. Genesis is about the fact that God did create us and why he created us.

My third thoughts were, why does this insistence on a literal interpretation of the creation story in Genesis exist? Where did it come from? Whose bright idea was it to use this as a litmus test for whether one has genuine belief in God and a proper respect for God's authority? What's the real prevalence of this belief in the Christian community?

Then I came back around to my first thoughts again. This is a distraction from the gospel of salvation. What do I think about evolution with respect to the Christian faith? I don't care about evolution with respect to faith. As a science geek I know it's the best theory that science can come up with. I'm not going to begrudge them that. As a Christian I know that it doesn't even begin to tell the whole story and it really can't because of the nature of what science is and because of what faith is. The drive to hold up the literal interpretation of the Genesis account as a fundamental tenet of Christian faith is, I think, purely a reaction to what some see as an incursion of science and evolution into their sphere of influence. For my part evolutionary theory holds no power over me as a Christian and it holds no real power over any other Christian either. I don't understand why people keep acting like it does.

First tell me who you think Jesus Christ is and then maybe we can argue about how to interpret Genesis. Maybe.

7 comments:

  1. Faith comes by hearing what God says. Romans 10:17

    Faith concerns those things which God assures (hupostasis) us are true but which man has not seen. Hebrews 11:1

    This posting seems to me to suggest that you give more credence to manmade theories based on incomplete evidence of remnants of the past than you do upon God's word.

    Now I may be wrong in my perception of what you were saying.

    But here's what it sounds to me like you are saying.

    God caused Moses to write a book which is no more reliable than all the pagan legends of creation when it comes to the actual "nitty gritty" as to how creation occurred.

    But those men who profess themselves to be wise (Romans 1:22) and who for the most part are either agnostic or atheistic have reached such an exalted pinnacle of science that they are able to reveal things to us that God's prophet got wrong.

    Again, maybe that isn't what you are saying.

    Is your faith in man or is your faith in the God who reveals Truth to man?

    The Bible claims that the answers to what is truth are not able to be discovered within the physical universe. (I Cor. 1:20-21 and 2:5-16)

    The Bible also claims that the origin of books like Genesis is not based upon the scribe's private opinions and imagination but rather that it is based on an external revelation of information over which the writer had no control. II Peter 1:19-21

    Furthermore, the epistles of the New Testament rely very heavily on Genesis as being literal. For example, Galatians 3:16 is dependent upon the History of Abraham being literal.

    Hearken to these words and be wise. (Psalm 118:8; Jeremiah 17:5; Jeremiah 2:13; Hebrews 3:12)

    God said it, that Settles it. I came along later and believed it.

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  2. ~
    Dutch rethink Christianity for a doubtful world

    The Rev Klaas Hendrikse can offer his congregation little hope of life after death, and he's not the sort of man to sugar the pill.
    ...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14417362
    `

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  3. There are people worried about the first Adam/second Adam stuff in Paul, which does seem to indicate a real, historical Adam.

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  4. Shewmaker what you perceive me as saying it most definitely not what I said. And I'm not sure how you came to perceive what you say in your comment from what I wrote. I'd like to know how you came to your conclusion that what I said indicates that, "This posting seems to me to suggest that you give more credence to manmade theories based on incomplete evidence of remnants of the past than you do upon God's word."

    One of my points was that belief in a literal interpretation of the Genesis account should not be used as a litmus test for the genuineness of an individual's faith. Doing so is a distraction from the gospel of Christ. To paraphrase Jesus when he spoke to his disciples, who do you say that he is?

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  5. Hi Nsagoma, what's your point please? Thanks.

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  6. ~
    Isn't the HAM story in Genesis?

    The blood-thirsty desert GAWD of the Hebrews, YHWH, instructed them to kill every Negroe in Phoenicia.

    Only the most ignorant of North American Negroe would affiliate themselves with the Bible and YHWH-ism.

    Phoenicia is the Greek name for Canaan.

    `

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  7. NSangoma, are you talking about the curse on Ham's son Canaan (which is never directed against Ham himself)? It's a vile slur on Christianity and on the Bible to attribute to it the racist ideology of the 19th century that was basically derived from Islamic legends (ones not even in the Qur'an) and pulled out to misinterpret the biblical texts against blacks. The passage in question speaks of Canaan and is about the people who occupied the land before the Hebrews arrived.

    Besides, all of Noah's sons would have had dark skin. Ham's descendants would have been the ones to have kept it. And furthermore, where in Genesis 8 do you see anything about killing? What it says is that the Canaanites would serve the children of Shem (not, I note, the children of Japheth, who would be the white Europeans). It doesn't say anything about killing, and it doesn't say the serving is morally legitimate on the part of the Shemites, just that it will happen.

    Only the most ignorant person of any category would think the Bible or Christianity supports such a huge departure from what the biblical texts actually say.

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