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

From: <>
Date: Fri Oct 02 2009 - 13:05:13 EDT

For a similar (at least in part) approach by Lutheran O.T. scholar Terry Fretheim see:

Fretheim is an insightful exegete and in this brief article touches on a number of issues that this list has been rather casually tossing about.



Karl V. Evans

-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Davis <>
To: Don Nield <>; Murray Hogg <>; Denis O. Lamoureux <>
Cc: ASA <>
Sent: Fri, Oct 2, 2009 8:24 am
Subject: Re: [asa] (introducing... sin) "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

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 13:06:11 2009

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