Hello to all who read this! I hope you all are having a great day!
I am a student, currently studying at a Christian school, and we’ve recently covered the topic of different views of Creation, including Young Earth, Old Earth, and Evolutionary Creation. One question that I’d like to ask to gain some insight is “Does one’s understanding/interpretation of Creation and how the world came to be affect their understanding of the Gospel?” Is the reason why people debate their views of Creation to simply understand the Bible further, or to clear up any confusions that they might possibly have about God? From my current perspective, I think that even with different views on Creation, people often still have the same or at least similar interpretations of the Gospel, but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to discuss this often, so I’m unsure. I’m still a little bit new to the multiple interpretations of Genesis and Creation, so any insight or response would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much, and I wish you all a wonderful week!
Hello to all who read this! I hope you all are having a great day!
My simple understanding of the perceived conflict is that those who may not believe in Adam & Eve as historical then do not have a moment they can point to about Original Sin, and if there wasn’t original sin, then why did Jesus need to come and die? That’s the “slippery slope” many YEC like to paint on EC’s behalf.
This is long, but may help you!
I think that it won’t affect salvation, but that it definitely can affect someone’s understanding of the gospel. I guess assuming what the gospel means to you. To me the gospel goes beyond salvation to understanding the restored heaven and earth. I also believe that a bad understanding of genesis can undermine the beauty of theology.
My main issue with some interpretations of genesis though is this.
As younger people, and even older people, when they in cage that demands a literal interpretation of genesis or either rejecting it that’s problematic. To me, a literalist interpretation of scripture is not simply a “ let bygones be bygones” type of thing. I believe that kids growing up being taught that genesis must be understood as real history and science often fall away in college where the lies don’t stand up against sincere studying of actual science and theology.
So I believe that a bad understanding of genesis can affect someone’s ability to trust in the gospel because of the framework they are operating from creating unnecessary area of contention.
For me there is also the issue of original sin. I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe there is any theological reason for us to be accountable of anyone’s sin except our own. What Adam did won’t affect us. Sin has always existed, just that there was not accountability of it until after God drew a line in the sand.
So Jesus had to come and die not because of Adam, but because of all the sins we commit as individuals.
But I am curious to read the article. I remember a while back it was mentioned that I think Stump and someone else wrote a book on multiple views of it.
I think the heart of the gospel preached by Jesus and the apostles is that Jesus is Lord and his Kingdom is coming. Through Jesus we can be reconciled to God and participate as faithful subject in this kingdom. None of that good news is changed based on whether or not you think Adam and Eve are historical or whether you think sin entered the world from literally eating forbidden fruit, or whether you think the world is billions of years or thousands of years old.
Some Christians think the gospel is something different, so maybe they see more of a connection.
Hello and welcome! Maybe I am a good one to speak to that, since I have been all three. In my youth (a long time ago ), I was a YEC, automatically equating biological evolution with atheism, thinking that was necessitated to believe in it.
After some scientific training in nuclear physics, I began to discount the variable radioactive nuclide decay rates necessary to support YECism’s distain for the various clocks God has engineered into his creation for us to discover and learn how to use.
Even as a youngster, I had problems with YEC explanations for how light came to be before the creation of the sun (they seemed forced and out of context). And to justify the admittedly enormous expanse of the universe, we have to have the speed of light itself be variable.
This seems to refute that, in my book:
Already leaning toward the understanding of the antiquity of the universe, I became an OEC and endorsing RTB (Reasons to Believe) almost four decades ago, when, in God’s providence in a unique circumstance, I caught an interview of Hugh Ross (before RTB was founded) on the radio at a time when I would normally been at work, unable to listen. I instantly became an OEC (I still have an affinity for his cosmological sequence explanation of Genesis 1). Also having an engineering background, the Intelligent Design* movement was attractive to me.
Upon learning of neutral drift about two years ago, and the neutral theory of evolution, and that it can and in fact does produce complexity, and that complex information can be transmitted without intelligent agency (think of a cloud and the information about it available from its shadow), I began to be able to see that God used evolution to create biological complexity.
So to answer your question…
In a word, no. It has not ever and does not mine. I don’t have a strong opinion about original sin, but we all need salvation, whatever way you take it. (Anyone who thinks children are implicitly innocent has never seen an angry one-week-old baby with its face all scrunched up and red, waving its fists in a fit and kicking. )
*I also think there is a theological reason that Intelligent Design cannot be proven: if it were, then you have proven the existence of a Designer, and God does not want his existence to be scientifically proven (not that there isn’t plenty of evidence pointing to him). I think our intuition is correct, that there is design executed in creation through God’s providence – I therefore believe in lowercase ‘id’.
Thank you very much for your response. I agree, I can see how, when people are younger they are taught to simply accept what is taught to them as it is, and as they learn about science, it conflicts with what they learned previously. I hadn’t thought about how they might begin to doubt the credibility or how they understood the rest of the Bible afterwards, though now I can see how it has a very high chance of happening if they understood Genesis wrong.
Hello! Thank you for replying to my message. I think that I agree with your point of view, as most people seem to have the core idea that Jesus is Lord and that he came to save us from sin and bring us closer to God, whether they agree or have conflict in specific details of Genesis. I think that, for some time, I wondered if perhaps there was something different in how they viewed the details of the Gospel, the same way they had a different interpretation of Genesis.
Yes! He edited it. https://www.ivpress.com/original-sin-and-the-fall
Saved it to the notes on my phone this time. I’m really annoyed Facebook got rid of the notes and they can only be found in the timeline lol. I had years of books and info saved there. I think that’s where I originally had this link saved as well. But I’m not certain.
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to share your background and personal understanding in reply to my question. It’s cool to hear of someone who has understanding of all three perspectives, and has reached the conclusion that, whichever way you look at Creation, the idea that we all need salvation remains the same. I’ve never heard of an explanation for light before the creation of the sun, but that sounds interesting. Are they trying to address why light (day/night) was created on the first day and how the sun was made on the fourth, and where the first light might have come from? Perhaps I’ll search up a few explanations later. Thank you!
Yes, that exactly.
Hello! Thank you for the article that you linked below your reply, I have not found the time to finish it yet unfortunately, but have managed to read about halfway of section 2. Since I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish reading it in time to reply, from reading what you wrote, the conflict or differences over when Original Sin came about could affect their view of the Gospel, to an extent that, if they don’t think original sin was there, then there would have been no reason for Jesus to die for us, since he died because of our sin, which is how it changes how they understand the Gospel. I think I understand your point, I hadn’t thought about original sin in Genesis and it’s influence to the Gospel before.
Okay, cool, thank you!
Hi Aidyn. I have evolved from fundamentalist OE creationist with full on PSA to full on materialist with faith. The latter remains thanks to Jesus. The meaning of His atonement has therefore been deconstructed and reconstructed for me. Without Him we have no warrant for God at all. And we have Him because we have the greatest story ever told. Of His faithfulness to death and beyond. My faith is now in His fully effective faithfulness, regardless of ours.
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