Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Evolution of Adam

18 Comments

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.  For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
                                                                                                                                      Romans 5:12-21

This passage is so very foundational to my faith – almost the bedrock of it.  God made Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden and everything was good.  That was God’s own declaration, not mine.  Adam and Eve were innocent and naive until the serpent tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit.  Let’s just bypass the talking snake, forget that apparently snakes used to do that.  The fact is according to Genesis that there was no death before they did the dirty deed and brought sin into the world and thrust upon us all the curse that needed, demanded, an atonement.  And that a benevolent God sent His righteous Son into the world to be the propitiation of our sins.  No longer separated and at enmity with a Holy God would we be if only we conjured up the right words and repented of our unrighteous deeds. The basis for this belief begins in the garden where there is no death and no separation. God comes and walks with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day because they too are Holy and He can be in their presence. They do the unthinkable, the break the one rule God gave them and then have the ability to feel shame and know good from evil.  They are banished from the garden and sentenced to certain death apart from some form of atonement, one which God provides to them at that time as well.


Here is where I begin to have a problem.  It’s at the very beginning. If I accept a literal creation account just as it’s spoken of in Genesis I can follow along through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus without questioning much, because essentially I’m questioning nothing.  To go along with this I need to start with a lot of presuppositions, not the least of which is that the Bible is indeed the inspired, inerrant word of God.  I’m at a loss for how to reconcile any other explanation of the origins of the earth and life as we know it.  There are lots of folks that somehow count the creation story and the first 3 chapters of Genesis as allegory.  Maybe it’s my fundamentalist, conservative background, but I have trouble doing that.  It seems to me that to account for it in any other way scripture must be twisted and bent and stretched to fit that world view.


If I’m honest with myself at some level I’ve always questioned that account in Genesis.  I’ve always wondered why if things were so fantastic in the garden Eve would have succumbed to the temptations of a talking snake.  It’s always puzzled me that God created Adam and Eve and called them good even though He obviously created them with a sin nature.  If He created us with a sin nature why are we punished for having it?  Why make sin so tempting?  God surely created that too.


That brings me to evolution and/or intelligent design.  I’ve tried to defend the literal creation account always having wondered about the age of the earth.  I felt it was something I must believe as foundational to the entire rest of the Bible and I’ve turned a blind eye to the reality intentionally.  I’ve tried to subscribe to the Ken Ham school of science.  If I remove that foundational principal then I’m left to ponder the existence of Adam and Eve. If there’s no Adam and Eve, there’s no fall of man.  If there’s no fall of man, no need for a Savior, at least not based on the scripture above. 


I’m not a scientist, I’m not even a college graduate.  But the more I learn about evolution the more I can see that it’s the truth of how we got here.  I’m sure someone with far more expertise than I could read this and  laugh at it’s simplicity. What can I say?  I’m a simple girl.  I look at the fossil record, one which YEC’s try to use to substantiate the global flood.  Makes me wonder though why the different layers appear to be different ages.  And does a flood cause the biggest bones to settle at the bottom?  Why don’t we find modern human fossils in the same layer as dinosaurs?  What of intelligent design?  That leaves me wondering why God would use evolution as a mechanism for some developments and then decide some things were just too complicated for that.  Either way, short of a young earth and literal creation, death was a certainty and requirement for the development of life.


I had a Sunday School teacher once who said, we believe the earth to only be about 6,000 years old.  The question was posed to her about radioactive dating and her response was “God is sovereign, He can make things look as old as He wants to”.  The question was dropped and I bought into that ideology without even thinking about it much.  I thought to myself “yeah, God can do what He wants”. And that was that.  Now I have burning questions.  Like why would a God who wants love and devotion and worship try to trick people into not believing in Him?  Why would He intentionally make the earth look older than it is to deceive people into the untruth?  It makes no sense.  I thought the Bible says that God doesn’t tempt us.  Then why would He make the truth so obscure?  Does He want to see just who will follow Him with undying allegiance beyond a preponderance of evidence to the contrary?

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Evolution of Adam

  1. For me, it has come down to the fact that most scientists, Christian or not, subscribe to evolution. I wasn't in an evolutionary biology field, but even in biochemistry, evolution made sense. Even if we are completely wrong about evolution (which is possible…scientist have often been wrong than right if you look at history), right now, the fact is that evolution makes alot of sense, and if Christianity is about evangelism, then evolution must be able to mesh with the Bible. So rather than trying to nullify the science of evolution like Ham et al do, I think the focus should be to look ways to integrate it. Yet, like you, evolution was initial spark that lighted the fire to the rest of my doubts. I still often long to go back to YEC. But I can't, because a Christianity that is putting a stumbling block to so many good scientists, is not one I want to be part of. On another note, after reading I&I, there are so many creation stories out there, that it YEC seems especially invalidated.

    Like

  2. I&I- Inspiration and Incarnation

    Like

  3. D'Ma says:Like why would a God who wants love and devotion and worship try to trick people into not believing in Him?You are right. That would make God into a liar. I never bought that.I was kind of an oddball when I attended Calvary Chapel in the late 80's – I have always been convinced in The Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection. Even as a Fundamentalist, Bible Believing Jesus Freak, and as one always interested in science, I have always found the evidence too overwhelming. I had to keep my trap shut when Henry Morris came to speak at our church in Albuquerque in the early 1980s. How did I rationalize Gen 1-3?In some mighty clever ways. First, I had to admit that the Adam and Eve story were raw mythology. BUT – myth, in this sense, does not mean a falsehood, it is just a story in which we wrap our reality around. You can see my article on the myth of Lapu-Lapu as an example. So I believed that Adam, Eve, the serpent, etc, were mythi which described events that actually occurred, albeit, in the unknown and mysterious heavenly realms that we cannot imagine. Myth is the only way to convey these truths to us lowly, fleshbound, non-spiritual beings. Genesis 3:16 tipped me off:God cursing Eve: "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children…"I knew that pain during childbirth is caused by a compromise of Natural Selection. It is the compromise between humans having giant heads, and women's hips being narrow enough to walk upright. Therefore, in order for this curse to work, 'Eve' could not be a 'human' in our sense of the word, because she would have had to have a skeletal system completely different to allow her painless childbirth BEFORE the curse. This mystical way of thinking permeated my personal Theology. I only found out much later that Jews had heavily mysticized their own mythologies in much the same way.Now? I consider it raw mythology. It is a fascinating story that the Ancients invented to answer some very puzzling questions that they had. And it is nothing more than that.Bizarre when I think back on those days of belief. When we must rationalize our beliefs, we can be forced to become very, very inventive.

    Like

  4. Hi D'Ma,One thing I find interesting about all of this (aside from the evolution thing), and maybe you can ask your rabbi friend about this- is that Jewish tradition looks at the Genesis story as a "coming of age" type of a story. So, it's not that Adam and Eve (ok, Eve) destroyed paradise for us; but it's that God expected some independent thinking, and this is the point where people were put into the unfinished world to help God finish it. This is my cursory understanding of it. It kind of blows me away that the Jewish and Christian interpretations of this story are so far apart. Please verify- I read this quite some time ago (I think in a book by Harold Kushner) Of course, this is a separate issue from the creation of the world thing. Anyway, more to chew on…

    Like

  5. HeIsSailing says:Now? I consider it raw mythology. It is a fascinating story that the Ancients invented to answer some very puzzling questions that they had. And it is nothing more than that.Bizarre when I think back on those days of belief. When we must rationalize our beliefs, we can be forced to become very, very inventive.I think this is where I'm headed at the moment. I can't say that I've read the Bible in it's entirity like a novel, but I have read the entire thing systematically. What I'm beginning to think (and this is just my simple mind at work here *grin), is that the OT is filled with mythological stories that helped galvanize a people, much like the myth of Lapu-Lapu that you wrote about. The tiny nation of Israel needed to believe they were God's chosen people and that He was on their side to embolden them and unify them as a race. When I think about the OT laws and how many of them dealt with marrying outside their race, it begins to take shape. The modern slant on that is that they were forbidden to marry foreigners because of the idolatry. Why would the Law of Moses then just not say, you may not marry anyone who worships a false God? No, it forbids marrying foreigners in general. That would be one sure way to propagate a race. I realize this is not a complete view nor is it very established. It's a thought I'm chewing on at the moment.

    Like

  6. @Is Too,Thanks, just what I needed – more to chew on. *grin* I did google up what you mentioned. It appears that Orthodox Jews hold to a more literal interpretation, and Non-Orthodox Jews to an allegorical interpretation. Maybe it's because of the literal interpretation that's been drilled into me over the years, but I'm finding it hard to interpret scripture any way other than literally. Maybe I need to give it some time and let the idea grown on me.It is quite interesting, though, the difference in interpretation here. Then again it is quite interesting the differences in interpretation within Christendom itself, which is a whole nother issue that causes doubts with me.

    Like

  7. LAC says:Yet, like you, evolution was initial spark that lighted the fire to the rest of my doubts. I still often long to go back to YEC. But I can't, because a Christianity that is putting a stumbling block to so many good scientists, is not one I want to be part of.Yes, that was just the beginning of my doubts. It's just opened a big ole can of worms for me. One question just leads to another. If it were just that one issue, YEC vs. Evolution/ID, I think I might possibly be ale to resolve it somehow in my mind.And as for this being a Christianity that puts a stumbling block in front of a lot of good scientists, I think its a Christianity that puts a stumbling block in front of a lot of good people period. You mentioned the varying creation stories out there. Pretty much every ancient culture has one. That makes me ask the question "is every culture's God the same one God and He really does deal with each one differently?". Or is there really no God and each ancient culture just needed a way to explain things they didn't understand? Or is there really a God/Higher Power out there that is beyond our comprehension but we like to make up stories about Him and imagine that He's at least a little like us?

    Like

  8. See…more questions and no good answers.

    Like

  9. I’m probably not going to help with the questions much…My problem with the Garden of Eden was never the physical story. Grew up YEC, knew it was true. It was the morality that baffled me.God puts them in a garden and says “Eat everything but the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” But if they didn’t have the knowledge, how would they know what was “good” and what was “evil”? They had no moral barometer. Like talking to a mentally-impaired person who cannot understand the difference between:“Do not take candy without permission.” Or”You can take candy if it is in a dish on the counter” or“The bathroom is on the left.”Adam & Eve had no concept whether doing what God said was either the correct thing to do, or not, or neither. Until one has knowledge, how can one be culpable? I’ve heard explanations, but nothing explaining Gen. 3:22 where God specifically says they gained the knowledge of knowing Good and evil. (For another puzzler, since we claimed God never committed evil, did the humans have more knowledge, because we have experiential knowledge as well? And how can we have more knowledge than God?)But we also debated whether Adam & Eve had belly buttons (they did not), so consider the source. *grin*

    Like

  10. DagoodS says:But we also debated whether Adam & Eve had belly buttons (they did not)What's your source for that? *smile*

    Like

  11. Maybe I can help a bit. There are two distinct creation stories in Genesis. One is located at 1:1-2:4a, the second at 2:4b-3:24. The first was written by the Priestly group, writing either during or immediately after the babylonian exile. It includes material that was fron oral traditions much earlier, hundreds of years. The Second refects the Yahwist, Elohim faction. It too was originally oral. Note that the two accounts have the creation of things in different order. Moreover, the first account reflects a "flat earth" surrounded by water, with water below, and above, kept from earth by the "firmament" which is a metal disk in which the stars were implanted. These stories reflect similar stories from their time and location in other cultures. They are myths, designed to signify the great connection between God and his creation. The worst element of fundamentalism is it's teaching that if anything is "incorrect" in the bible, then the whole thing is worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are right to question why God would have created man flawed. Why would he but a forbidden tree in the midst of the Eden? Why the serpent? Try seeing Jesus not so much as the one to undo the "sin" of Adam as the one leading us to a truer and most real relationship with God, one not dominated by archaic rules of sacrifice, food requirements, purity and cleanliness issues, and one based on loving and compassion. These are the attributes of Jesus and of God. HOpe this helps some. I'll be happy to talk further if you like.

    Like

  12. I tried to come up with some sort of retroactive curse to account for dinosaurs being carnivores before humans could have sinned. Because Isaiah clearly stated that lions and lambs would lie togther, perfection must have included vegetariansism.Now I see Adam and Eve as a myth story possibly to bring a patriarchal god into a matriarchal culture. Makes sense that woman be born of man to undo the reliance on women. Serpents or dragons are seen as strength and wisdom in many eastern cultures so they had to be destroyed too.Makes more sense than any literal reading. Especially since the two accounts are contradictory.

    Like

  13. I actually bought into the whole idea that dinosaurs were herbivores until the flood. After the flood when there wasn't enough vegetation for them to survive on is when they became omnivores and carnivores. That just seems like such a silly notion now, I can't believe I really thought that. It's pretty clear to me now that the creation account is purely myth.

    Like

  14. Maybe I can help a bit. There are two distinct creation stories in Genesis. One is located at 1:1-2:4a, the second at 2:4b-3:24. The first was written by the Priestly group, writing either during or immediately after the babylonian exile. It includes material that was fron oral traditions much earlier, hundreds of years. The Second refects the Yahwist, Elohim faction. It too was originally oral. Note that the two accounts have the creation of things in different order. Moreover, the first account reflects a "flat earth" surrounded by water, with water below, and above, kept from earth by the "firmament" which is a metal disk in which the stars were implanted. These stories reflect similar stories from their time and location in other cultures. They are myths, designed to signify the great connection between God and his creation. The worst element of fundamentalism is it's teaching that if anything is "incorrect" in the bible, then the whole thing is worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are right to question why God would have created man flawed. Why would he but a forbidden tree in the midst of the Eden? Why the serpent? Try seeing Jesus not so much as the one to undo the "sin" of Adam as the one leading us to a truer and most real relationship with God, one not dominated by archaic rules of sacrifice, food requirements, purity and cleanliness issues, and one based on loving and compassion. These are the attributes of Jesus and of God. HOpe this helps some. I'll be happy to talk further if you like.

    Like

  15. I’m probably not going to help with the questions much…My problem with the Garden of Eden was never the physical story. Grew up YEC, knew it was true. It was the morality that baffled me.God puts them in a garden and says “Eat everything but the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” But if they didn’t have the knowledge, how would they know what was “good” and what was “evil”? They had no moral barometer. Like talking to a mentally-impaired person who cannot understand the difference between:“Do not take candy without permission.” Or”You can take candy if it is in a dish on the counter” or“The bathroom is on the left.”Adam & Eve had no concept whether doing what God said was either the correct thing to do, or not, or neither. Until one has knowledge, how can one be culpable? I’ve heard explanations, but nothing explaining Gen. 3:22 where God specifically says they gained the knowledge of knowing Good and evil. (For another puzzler, since we claimed God never committed evil, did the humans have more knowledge, because we have experiential knowledge as well? And how can we have more knowledge than God?)But we also debated whether Adam & Eve had belly buttons (they did not), so consider the source. *grin*

    Like

  16. D'Ma says:Like why would a God who wants love and devotion and worship try to trick people into not believing in Him?You are right. That would make God into a liar. I never bought that.I was kind of an oddball when I attended Calvary Chapel in the late 80's – I have always been convinced in The Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection. Even as a Fundamentalist, Bible Believing Jesus Freak, and as one always interested in science, I have always found the evidence too overwhelming. I had to keep my trap shut when Henry Morris came to speak at our church in Albuquerque in the early 1980s. How did I rationalize Gen 1-3?In some mighty clever ways. First, I had to admit that the Adam and Eve story were raw mythology. BUT – myth, in this sense, does not mean a falsehood, it is just a story in which we wrap our reality around. You can see my article on the myth of Lapu-Lapu as an example. So I believed that Adam, Eve, the serpent, etc, were mythi which described events that actually occurred, albeit, in the unknown and mysterious heavenly realms that we cannot imagine. Myth is the only way to convey these truths to us lowly, fleshbound, non-spiritual beings. Genesis 3:16 tipped me off:God cursing Eve: "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children…"I knew that pain during childbirth is caused by a compromise of Natural Selection. It is the compromise between humans having giant heads, and women's hips being narrow enough to walk upright. Therefore, in order for this curse to work, 'Eve' could not be a 'human' in our sense of the word, because she would have had to have a skeletal system completely different to allow her painless childbirth BEFORE the curse. This mystical way of thinking permeated my personal Theology. I only found out much later that Jews had heavily mysticized their own mythologies in much the same way.Now? I consider it raw mythology. It is a fascinating story that the Ancients invented to answer some very puzzling questions that they had. And it is nothing more than that.Bizarre when I think back on those days of belief. When we must rationalize our beliefs, we can be forced to become very, very inventive.

    Like

  17. I share your woes. Hopefully this book will help – coming soon… http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Adam-Bible-Doesnt-Origins/dp/158743315X

    Like

  18. I’m at a loss for how to reconcile any other explanation of the origins of the earth and life as we know it.

    Me too.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s