Re: [asa] (introducing... sin) "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Fri Oct 02 2009 - 10:24:18 EDT

My own suggestion on this one comes from John Polkinghorne, "Belief in God in an Age of Science," p. 88:

"In the sense of contemporary experience [original sin] seems straightforward. One recalls Reinhold Niebuhr's remark that original sin is the only empirically verifiable Christian doctrine! You only have to look around -- or within -- to see the slantedness of human nature, which frustrates human hopes and perverts human desires. Yet we can no more believe that this is the entail of a single disastrous natural act than we can believe that there was neither death nor thistles in the world before our forebears took that fatal step. It has long been understood that the powerful tale in Genesis 3 is to be understood mythically rather than literally. In part it portrays life as we now experience it, but that recognition does not remove the question of how these things came to be in God's supposedly good creation."

P goes on to suggest that "the Fall, as I have described it, turned death into mortality. Self-consciousness made us aware of our transience -- we could foresee our deaths -- and alienation from the God who is the eternal ground of hope, turned that recognition into sadness and bitterness. In a similar way, the problems of living, symbolised by thorns and thistles, became causes of frustration and the expense of spirit."

I resonate more strongly with the first part of this passage than with the second, but there something to think about all the way. IMO.


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Received on Fri Oct 2 10:26:38 2009

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