RE: BIBLE:first humans

Daniel J. Berger (
Fri, 20 Sep 1996 13:10:56 -0400

"Bill Frix" <> wrote,

I know and agree that evangelism should and must begin and end with
the fact of sinfulness and the redemption we have in Christ.
Unfortunately, in dealing with engineers and scientific people, I
have had difficulty occasionally in getting them to see their
sinfulness due to the "problems" with Genesis.

"Any excuse will do." There's no point (IMHO) in trying to discuss Genesis
before proving personal, individual sinfulness. There are too many
assumptions implicit therein, which flow naturally from realization of
sinfulness and realization of the reasonableness of the existence of God,
which won't be granted until and unless those two points are also granted.

Some persons I have
talked to ... are intent on denying the
existence of God and any associated responsibility to obey Him.

This is really the key, I think.

to them, is a conditioned guilt complex created by society to impose
order. Thus, by following the, "You're Okay, I'm Okay" method of
guilt denial, they repress the concept of sin and accountability.
For these people, knowledge of the factuality of Adam and sin is my
only course to undermine their false faith in psychological denial.

What about CS Lewis' comment that we must first convert people to paganism,
that is, realization that morality is absolute and not relative, before we
can convince them that they need Christ? I don't think it would help even
if we *could* convince them that Adam was a real, single, individual
person. There are plenty of Christians who are fully convicted of their
own sinfulness and the need of others to be saved from their sins, who
aren't convinced of this.

Jesus said that "the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to
their own kind than the sons of light" (Luke 16:8, NAS). These
persons zero in on inconsistencies in our beliefs and exploit them,
like loopholes, to avoid repentence.

People have been doing that for a lot longer than the 120 (?) years since
"The Descent of Man" was published. No amount of work on convincing people
of the reasonableness of your origin story will have any effect without
conviction of personal sinfulness.

Since the alternative is to
abandon them, I must strive to reason with them on their level and be
consistent in all that I claim; hence the questions I have brought

True. I just don't think that starting with Genesis is the right approach.
"The Bible is a library, not a book." You don't start with A 000 and work
through to Z 999 to find something in a library.

Daniel J. Berger "Grace rains down on us all, but is
Bluffton College obtained only by those who open the
280 W. College Avenue windows of their hearts."
Bluffton OH 45817-1196 -- Bishop Daniel Deng
(419) 358-3379