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they have been given the natural ability to do so, otherwise the appeal by Christianity would be fruitless. Those who don’t will eventually remove themselves from the genepool. Would be a pity if they were to wipe out the entire human gene pool in the process

I’m sure that’s all fine and dandy… if only I knew what you were talking about.

you confused the ability of people to love ones neighbour with the enactment of this ability.

Christ teaches that we all should enact this word of God on which hang all the law and the prophets as the expression of Gods will. The problem is that the fall represents our rejection of the authority of God over us as the poetic description of puberty in the separation from the father.

By the way, humans have unfortunately plenty of the ability to love “ones self” but narcissism is definitely not what Christianity calls for, but what it warns against. It is to my understanding one of the most common misunderstandings that people translate the third person directive to the first person directive. It is only once we understand that we can not fulfil the ultimate act of love, to give up your self for the sake of your loved ones, that we understand that the love for “ones self” would be logically incoherent with the interpretation of the word of God. It is the key differentiator between the “golden rule” and the law as the golden rule puts the ego in the centre of its rule, the word of God puts the “not ego” in the centre being outward directed or integrating.

I think I understand what you are driving at (in one sense). Can you explain ‘the poetic description of puberty’ that you mention and also how you see all of this in relation to to evolution in general? Thanks

considering the aim of the bible was to tell a story that allowed the illiterate as well as the intellectuals to get a perspective that allowed them a meaningful interaction with reality it is about explaining reality in a poetic way that allows even a child to grasp a concept or process in a simplified way they can identify with at various stages of their intellectual development. Poetry is about painting pictures on your visual cortex.
The fall is a poetic description of puberty as in it it describes the rejection of the authority over the self by the adolescent. This separation is achieved by eating from the “tree of moral judgement” as this is the fundamental problem of puberty to become your own authority in claiming ownership of morality and what is good and bad for oneself. This in turn sets you up for the eternal conflict with other selfs.
The problem of evil arises as a logical consequence of that, as well as the suffering of death - e.g. as soon as you eat from this tree you will die -, as in defining your existence in your temporal self you will by this definition cease to exist with the disintegration of that body. Suffering is the discrepancy between the wished for reality for the self and reality.
so when one insists that God made mudpie men and women as the riverbank in paradise one clearly has not yet encompassed the concept of literal abstraction. That is acceptable for those who do not lay claim to being highly intellectual, but a declaration of intellectual bankruptcy to those who do.
The important step in the evolutionary process is the concept of the awareness of the self as in the spiritual awareness described as the breath of God and that with the moral awareness there came moral responsibility which is the part of the evolutionary process that is metaphysical and yet beyond our comprehension

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From my perspective, and if you don’t mind me saying, that of historic Christian orthodoxy, this is the sort of interpretation that happens when evolution becomes the dominant hermeneutic. That is when something else becomes the interpretive grid imposed upon the Bible rather than letting the Bible speak for itself. For example Genesis never speaks of a ‘tree of moral judgement’. However it does speak about death entering the world by the act of the first two human ancestors eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which is something entirely different. This is what many theistic evolutionists will never allow. The Bible itself never speaks about this in terms of puberty either which is really about the growth of hair around male and female genitalia.

There is no doubt that there is a poetic aspect to these opening chapters of Genesis, but to entirely divorce it from factual history is also what evolutionists do. Then a completely different theology has to be invented which is undermining of the message in its totality. This (former) message, so they say, is entirely beyond our comprehension we will have to invent another one so that people can understand it.

A fruit tree that results in death if you eat it certainly sounds like moral judgement to me.

But what death? Adam lived for 900 years after eating the fruit.

Puberty is much more than the growth of hair. Many cultures have rituals associated with puberty.

And also what some of the early Church Fathers did.

When the former message insists that the Earth has to be 6,000 years old when it very clearly isn’t then yes we need to adjust the message.

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I don’t think evolution is the dominant hermeneutic. Rather, people have come to understand that interpretations of the Bible are much more likely to be in error than nature itself. If a biblical interpretation contradicts mountains of scientific evidence then the biblical interpretation is wrong. This is the same hermeneutic that threw out geocentrist interpretations, among others.

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I highly recommend the book Genealogical Adam and Eve to you, @eyeillustration. Dr. Swamidass shows a way to believe in a literal, historical Adam and Eve that can be reconciled with the science of evolution.

This in turn allows the reader to glean real insight into God’s message and purpose in Genesis, as opposed to setting up a hermeneutical battle line and firing away at all who disagree.

It’s worth a try. Give it a shot and let us know what you think!

Best,
Chris

A fruit tree that results in death if you eat it certainly sounds like moral judgement to me.<

Even so, it isn’t called ‘the tree of moral judgement’ but ‘the tree of good and evil’. There are all kinds of poisonous plants in the natural world but death resulting from having eaten from one of them them does not necessitate a moral judgement. However, the act of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is generally taken to mean the first disobedience (rebellion) against God and this is why death, as a result, entered the world.

But what death? Adam lived for 900 years after eating the fruit.<

From what understand it would seem that this is where many (theistic)) evolutionists find difficulty with the gospel narrative i.e. that there was a change in nature of the first man and the woman from sinless to sinful. From potentially immortal to mortal. A change in nature which brought a curse and an alienation from God. The death on that day was spiritual but also the beginning of dying which in turn resulted in actual physical death many years later.

Puberty is much more than the growth of hair. Many cultures have rituals associated with puberty.<

Even so, the Genesis account refers to the two people as ‘man’ and ‘woman’ i.e. adults, rather than two people passing through puberty. To bring in ‘puberty’ at this point confuses the issue. It is really nothing to do with it, either biologically theologically or culturally.

And also what some of the early Church Fathers did.<

I would be one of the first to admit the church fathers did not get everything right. However, has been much theological development since the church fathers which aims to be faithful to the received texts and which do not refer to evolution. I don’t know of any church fathers who did, although I do believe that the idea of evolution had been around in the Graeco/Roman world for some time. It is generally understood to be a pagan idea rather than Judeo/Christian.

When the former message insists that the Earth has to be 6,000 years old when it very clearly isn’t then yes we need to adjust the message<

Well… I’m not one of those who is insisting on 6,000 years. I have never read where the Bible actually does. However the stages of creation do appear to be abrupt supernatural events where species are created wholly after their kind, whereas evolutionists (Christian or otherwise) would seem to be wedded to a naturalism of sorts following on in the naturalistic tramlines laid down by atheistic evolutionism. Read without any kind of naturalistic interpretive grid, the early Genesis narrative would appear to be teaching otherwise in the ordinary reading and understanding of the text, and this is also confirmed in other parts of the Bible.

So I don’t think it follows that this is a story as you say…

‘that allowed the illiterate as well as the intellectuals to get a perspective that allowed them a meaningful interaction with reality it is about explaining reality in a poetic way that allows even a child to grasp a concept or process in a simplified way they can identify with at various stages of their intellectual development.’

That is if evolutionism is imposed upon the text when the text never calls for it.

Rather, people have come to understand that interpretations of the Bible are much more likely to be in error than nature itself. If a biblical interpretation contradicts mountains of scientific evidence then the biblical interpretation is wrong<

Quite often I have found that it is not so much ‘mountains of scientific evidence’ but rather interpretations of mountains of scientific data. ‘Interpretations’ of scientific data have also in hindsight have scientifically been ‘proven’ to be wrong. The classic one being the difference between Newtonian mechanics and the theory of relativity. There would appear to be many other examples. There are many scientists and not all Christian who in all integrity have very grave doubts about the evolutionary explanations for life, particularly when it comes to explanations about origins.

Most in the EC camp do not impose evolution on the text. Some have read the “bring forth” phrase in Genesis 1 to do so, but most agree that that does not describe evolution, but rather is a poetic phrase. In fact, you can argue that it is the literalist camp that is trying to turn a theologic writing into a science text.

If you look at the text as dealing with the nature of God being revealed, and the relationship of creation to the creator, then either young or old earth views can be held independently, if desired.

You are coming in on a conversation here I was having with someone else who appeared to be reading the Genesis accounts through evolutionary lenses. I think it better that he were answer these things himself. It wasn’t really about young Earth vs Old Earth but how the text reads, particularly in relation with the rest of the Bible. If the Bible is allowed to be it’s own interpreter then you would never come up with evolution. Not in a million years (that was tongue in cheek by the way).

But you could also come up with a flat and stationary earth.

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If the Bible is allowed to be it’s own interpreter then you would never come up with nuclear fusion as the source of the Sun’s energy. So does that mean nuclear fusion doesn’t exist?

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You might have a point if the Bible didn’t actually speak about origins. I need to remind you that this began as a conversation with someone who is taking the Bible seriously but appears to be imposing a belief system that originates from outside of it in order to interpret the text.

That would be to impose ‘flat earth-ism’ in a similar way to the way that evolutionists impose evolutionism.

Sorry to intrude. If you wish a private conversation, the option exists to private message. My point is that there is not a real evolutionary lens to look at the Bible through, but there are several different ways to interpret it, many of which allows for cell phones and evolution.

Genesis does speak about the origin of the sun.

Just as you do, I am supposing, when you don’t take the descriptions of the Earth as a flat surface supported by pillars, etc, etc, as being literally true because you believe the Earth is a sphere that circles the sun, etc, etc.

And you appear to miss the point several people have made that we don’t try to find evolution in the Bible, we don’t look at the Bible through a evolution lens. Hermeneutics are not defined in the Bible. They are a very human choice and are therefore fallible.

The shape of the Earth was not the point of the conversation. We apparently both believe that the earth is a sphere. This really has no bearing on the question of origins. You apparently miss the point that the Bible never speaks about evolution. However, when it comes to the question of origins then evolutionists insist upon evolutionary processes. As you have said if hermeneutics are fallible, then insisting upon evolution when it comes to interpreting Genesis is fallible too. There is no getting around that.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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