RJS is a contributor to Scot McKnight’s blog, Jesus Creed, who usually writes on matters of science. Today she references a recent survey about pastors and their view of origins, and answers a question about the necessity of the Bible’s view of the fall and redemption. You can read it here, though I will pick out just one section.
There is no more certain fact than the “fallenness” of humankind. We don’t need a single mother, a single father, or a snake to convince us of this. It runs through human experience worldwide. Given a fallen creation (however it got there), we need redemption and a redeemer.
About this she is surely right. We don’t need the Bible’s story to convince us of fallenness. However, we do need the Bible’s story to provide a rational explanation for it. In the naturalistic or evolutionary theories of origins (she distinguishes the two and says naturalism is the real enemy of Christianity), evil exists, but there is no explanation for how it got here.
The universal existence (and recognition) of evil can be explained only by the Bible’s teaching of one man and one woman from whom the human race descended. This is why it is the human experience worldwide and has been from the beginning. All people worldwide find their sinfulness in one man. This is exactly the point of Romans 5:12-21, where the sin of one man is tied inseparably to the redemption by one man. So not only do we find our sinfulness in one man, we also find our hope in one man—the man Jesus, the second Adam, who did what the first Adam did not do.
It is certainly true that true Christians can be evolutionists and deny the historical Adam and Eve. But they cannot do so rationally. They undermine the whole reality that pervades our world and end up grasping at straws. In essence, they have sold the farm in hopes of hanging on to the barn. In the end, they lose both.
While many do not want to make a big issue of either end of the world (creation or eschatology), these things still matter. We best not pretend they don’t.