A Question I Was Asked:
“...But I Surely Don't Have to Believe in Adam and Eve and the Biblical Creation Story in Order to Become a Christian Do I?”
In Fact, The Lesson Of Every Event in Human History Can Be Found in Genesis 1-4.
Let me start out by saying a few things about “the biblical creation story”. It is a story which gives us great truths which we vitally need to know - moreover, these are truths which we could have learned in no other way. We are not told how God made this world in what might be called a “scientific” fashion, but we are certainly told that:
God made this entire universe.
How long God took to make it.
What has been called 'the creation
narrative' is purposely given in relatively simple, moral terms that
everybody - of all human societies of all ages – can understand
and cope with. There is just no excuse for anybody – even
children – to say, 'But I just don't understand that story!'
The story is about great moral principles which all parents teach
their children – about telling the truth, about being loyal,
about not cheating or lying, about honesty and faithfulness. There is
never any point in the story where the narrative enters into
complicated areas which might confuse some people - in other words:
Every man, woman and child on the planet is without excuse if they should chime up with, 'But I just never understood that story!'
The story and narrative (my use of the word, 'story' should not imply that I don't believe the narrative ever occurred as I will soon make clear) also should make clear that our first parents refused the divine revelation of truth from the Creator God Himself, preferring (under influence of a great evil spirit being) the theoretical and experimental “search” for a humanly-appealing form of “knowledge” - all this is made abundantly clear from the events in Eden – I cannot see any excuse for anybody of even much less than average intelligence not to grasp this much from this narrative. Full moral responsibility for one's actions is also clearly taught in this story. Actually, the first revelation of Christ is also here (Genesis 3:15) but it is not entirely clear and it might be allowable for one not to note this from the story.
New Testament theology firmly backs up the existence of an actual Adam and Eve when Paul refers to Christ as 'The second Adam'. Notice how the New Testament shows obvious acceptance of the Creation narrative/Adam and Eve story: John 1:1-18; Romans 1:18-32; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22,45; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; Hebrews 1; Jude 14, and large sections of Revelation. In other words, to divorce the early chapters of Genesis from Christian belief is problematic, to put it very mildly.
We sometimes forget how very new the challenge to the authority of the Holy Bible really is! For many centuries the claims of the Bible were at least loosely accepted right across society until the arrival of the 17th/18th century 'enlightenment' (so-called) this, in fact, had its roots in the earlier 15th century 'renaissance' – this was the revival and re-invigoration of human knowledge and the joy in human endeavour and discovery in many fields, including the Arts. Prior to this time, our great adversary seemed satisfied that the name of Christ was only really well-known in certain parts of the world and that much of the rest of the world remained steeped in religious error, but then came the Protestant Reformation which would lead to a fresh evangelistic impetus going to many nations. Our adversary knew that he had to act! So he now moved to directly attack the Christian West, undermining the name of Christ and of the Christian Gospel throughout the European and American universities system.
By the 19th century, “Christian seminaries” would start turning out “Christian ministers” by the score who rejected large parts of the Bible. In the very same century Charles Darwin taught a new 'grand paradigm' of life which ruled out any need for a supernatural God. Millions have fallen for this great lie. Yes, as I have written elsewhere, there really is a Great Conspiracy at work in this world and the Great Conspirator is Satan the devil! Of course, just as some of the great criminal minds have discovered, the most successful crimes are commited by people unknown to those affected by the crimes and Satan himself is no longer accepted as a literal being by milions whom he continually conspires against! He is clever! Yet he is doomed to fail.
The point is, I have a problem when somebody says to me, 'I would become a Christian, but I don't think I can swallow all that Adam and Eve stuff!'
I suspect that such people are not truly comprehending that to become a Christian is to make a complete about-turn in one's life and to be determined to swim against the tide for the rest of one's life – yes, the change has to be that dramatic!! If one does not grasp this I doubt whether that person is even close to being ready for baptism. Becoming a Christian should lead to a renewing of one's mind (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10). The worldly ways all around us are to be banished and we are to take up a new lifelong position of challenging them! So if somebody says to me, 'I would become a Christian but for all that Adam and Eve stuff' I am bound to strongly suspect that that person has not yet reached the stage of genuine Christian repentance.
But are there not some believers who accept 'theistic evolution'? Sure there are and I cannot comment on their walk with God or their understanding of the Bible – those things are between them and God. What I will say is that in an age where perhaps most of the really stern challenges to evolution are starting to come from scientists themselves (one man who has actually lectured on evolution tells me that he now knows that 85-90% of what Darwin said was pure fairy tales), theistic evolution (that is: evolution by the hand of God) is now starting to seriously lose ground. I might also mention the increasingly powerful influence of a whole new breed of Christian philosophers who are beginning to have influence. The new influences of Post-modernism are gradually gaining ground and Modernism (which believed that science could solve all the problems of Humankind) is steadily in retreat (although almost every television “science prgramme” seems blithely unaware of this and most of them still worship at the 'high altar' of Darwin). Indeed, even in the sceptical world of biblical studies and research, the trend is not to deconstruct the Bible but to work with its obvious unity and literary quality. Yes, these are all encouraging signs but - whichever way society is moving – believers in the Christ will (however imperfectly at times)continue to stick to the path and calling of life which they consider themselves divinely elected to.
Robin A. Brace, 2005.