March 1, 2013
Thank-you Deborah for supporting a dialogue on this topic. For Christians, these issues can only be resolved, we don't have the right to ignore them (that would be failing to love our neighbor) or the option to ignore what God shows us through His Word, His creation, and His creatures (that would be failing to love God with heart, mind, and will).
A few weeks ago I noted Alvin Plantinga's ability to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end whenever he wades into murks waters of discussion around the relations between something called religion and something called science. The biblical texts seems to suggest that humanity descends from an original pair. Evolutionary theory holds that evolution occurs across communities of organisms. It makes utter nonsense of both the biblical texts and the neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis try to "read" the two accounts together. An individual pair is not a large enough community for evolution to occur. When you only have an individual pair, it's called inbreeding. That's right: inbreeding. Despite a few difficulties with matching up historical narratives up against the law texts (see 'Cain's Wife' and some good questions here about what Noah's children got up to), the Bible also condemns inbreeding. The Book of Leviticus has some rather harsh things to say about men who 'approach', 'lie with', or 'know' immediate female relations.
"While debating how sin got started...."
Debates are not settled until someone is right. Christians are commanded to believe God when He says, "Sin got started with Adam." But if evolution is a fact, humans are just glorified beasts, and sin could be a holdover from our evolutionary past.
Biblically though, there is an inextricable link between the one man Adam - our representative or "federal head" - as the source of sin, and the one man Jesus Christ as the only One sufficient to atone for our iniquities by the sacrifice of Himself. If animals are the ultimate source of sin in the world, then the blood of animals would suffice. But "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin." (Hebrews 10:4)
Furthermore, God is the One who subjected the creation to frustration (Romans 8:20). But why? "Because of [Adam]" (Genesis 3:17). And the "whole creation has been groaning", waiting to "be liberated from its bondage to decay" (Romans 8:21-22).
If Theistic Evolution is true, suffering, disease, pain, decay and death were "built into" creation from the start. Adam's sin had nothing to do with it. The cosmos was accursed from its inception. Contra Scripture, God, not mankind, is the reason death and decay are in the world. The "problem of evil" is laid at God's feet.
What God is this? Not the One described in Genesis as declaring everything "very good". Death is not "very good". It is "the last enemy" (1 Corinthians 15:26), and will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire, along with the Devil and all who follow his lies (Revelation 20:10,14;21:8).
So, yes, we are indeed called to "speak the truth in love". So let's make sure what we are speaking is true. If evolution is true, then the biblical descriptions of the origins of life, of sin, and of death and decay in the world are not. How long before the soteriology of the Cross also falls under the weight of this syncretistic compromise?
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