Hi Everyone. I’d love to hear what others think about the following - feel free to pick any questions you’d like to answer:
If you think that nothing in Genesis should be taken literally:
1)Then Original Sin is just a metaphor - what then did Jesus die on the cross for? A metaphor?
2) It seems like a very poor choice of a metaphor. If god formed humans out of existing animals, why didn’t he just say so in the Bible? Why say he created them from dust and a rib? It sounds strange that he didn’t choose a metaphor that was consistent with Evolution if this was true.
3) If the Bible intended Adam to be a metaphor, why does it give his age at death and details of his lineage? Same with The Garden of Eden - why give it’s general location as in the Middle East, which by the way is not where most scientists think mankind originated?
4) What about the other events described in the Bible that are inconsistent with science such as the virgin birth and resurrection of Christ? Why believe these are real events, but not the others?
If you think that Adam and Eve were real people and that Original Sin actually happened then:
5) It has been shown that modern non-human primates have Theory of Mind, have a concept of fairness and can empathize with others. Since we both share a common ancestor, it is reasonable to assume that our common ancestor also had these traits. This, in turn, means that humans had these traits before The Fall. According to Genesis, humans were also capable of reason and language before The Fall, but they couldn’t tell right from wrong. This seems completely bizarre. Surely the ability to tell right from wrong would evolve much earlier than language?
6) If the determining factor of whether a creature is sinful depends on whether they can distinguish right from wrong, what about people born with severe mental retardation from birth? Some of these people were born without the ability to tell right from wrong, so does that mean they are not capable of sin and therefore do not need Christ’s redemption?
7) If physical death was the consequence of Original Sin, how could Evolution work before Original Sin? Surely natural selection cannot occur without death? Some say death here was spiritual death, but I disagree since Genesis 3:19 describes the consequences of Original Sin: “By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken for dust you are and to dust you will return”. Working and eating food is something one does in the physical world. Returning to the ground is something a human does in the physical world when they die. Similarly, god made Adams physical body from dust. It seems inconsistent here to claim that death here meant spiritual death?
8) According to evolution there was no first human just like there was no first English speaking individual. In other words there is no clear distinction between humans and animals, which is in direct opposition to what the bible teaches. I think I have difficulty imagining that there existed a primate in our lineage that had all the physical, intellectual and emotional traits of a modern human (and was therefore also in the image of god), but was without a soul. Imagine explaining to those people that this particular person has a soul and so has the potential to spend eternity in heaven but his father or wife has no soul and so their existence ends when their lives do.
9) Evolution is an undirected process with no goals and the fact that humans exist today is just down to chance and the environment in which life evolved. This seems inconsistent with the bible where humans were the goal of creation?
10) Genesis says that humans were created in God’s image, which implies that we are the pinnacle of evolution. However Evolution will never end and humans will eventually evolve into another (better?) species - again this seems inconsistent with the bible? .