Re: Evolution's Imperative

Kevin O'Brien (
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 18:45:54 -0700

>To all Christians in the Forum:
>Interrogated by Pontius Pilate shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus
>explains the overall purpose of his earthly ministry: "...I came to
>bring truth to the world. All who love the truth are my followers."
>(Jn.18:37, LB). An essential hallmark of the Christian, therefore, is
>that he loves truth; he is not prepared to accept half-truths or lies.
>A little while ago, I posed the question, "Who was Adam?" Answers were
>provided by Kevin and (inadvertently) by Glenn. Clearly, neither accepts
>the straight scriptural answer provided in Genesis 2 and 3.

Once again you are hypocritically demanding that your opponents use only a
straight-forward, face-value approach to Scripture even as you often abandon
that approach to promote your own interpretation or to defend Scripture
against the errors that a literal approach would produce.

>Yet the Lord
>did! - and so did his apostles! - as is made clear from the Gospels and
>Pauline letters. For example:
>Mt.19:4 - "Haven't you read, that at the beginning the Creator made them
>male and female, and said..." Doesn't this make it clear that our Lord
>read the Genesis narrative in a literal fashion?

No. Christ was using Genesis as a parable; as such, all that was important
was that the Pharasees believed it was real, not that Christ did. Nowhere
in the Gospels can you find Christ saying anything like, "I tell you, Adam
and Eve were real people created by the Father in Heaven at the beginning of

>Lk.3:23-38 - the genealogy recorded by Luke ends with "The son of Enos,
>the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God." In Luke's mind,
>therefore, God was the only 'ancestor' Adam had. This strongly suggests
>that Luke read Genesis 2 in a straightforward fashion - i.e. Adam had no
>earthly father.

So what? Luke is not God, just a man. His beliefs do not constitute the
word of God.

>Ro.5:12-21 - Paul clearly regarded Adam and Christ as parallel - not so
>much in who they were, but in what they did. The act of Adam that
>brought condemnation and the act of Christ that brought justification
>stand side by side, and the one cancels out the other. Moreover, the
>apostle speaks of Adam and his act of disobedience as facts of history.
>Christ was a real historical man whose death was a real event; there can
>be no parallel between him and his act of atonement and a mythological
>Adam whose Fall is only a symbol. The two sides of the parallel stand or
>fall together.

Again, Paul was not God, so his beliefs do not constitute the word of God.
Besides, Paul was intelligent and learned enough to know that these stories
can act as powerful metaphors to explain his theology. As such, it was not
necessary for them to have actually been historical events, just as long as
his audience believed they were.

>1Co.15:21,22 - "...for as in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made
>alive." Death entered the world 'through a man' and 'in Adam'. Clearly,
>he accepted that the narrative of the Fall (Gn.3) teaches this.

Or he knew his audience would.

>1Co.15:45,47 - "...the first man Adam became a living being; the last
>Adam a life-giving spirit...The first man was of the dust of the earth,
>the second man from heaven." Reference is made to the manner in which
>the first man was created; this factor is injected into the parallel
>with Christ.

Again, Paul knew his audience believed that even if he did not.

>2Co.11:3 - "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the
>serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your
>sincere and pure devotion to Christ." In this highly relevant text we
>see further evidence of Paul's literal understanding of Gn.2-3.

Again, Paul knew his audience would accept it as literal truth even if he
did not.

>1Tm. 2:13, 14 - "For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not
>the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a
>sinner." This statement occurs in Paul's discussion of the place of
>women. Referring to the Genesis account, he calls it in evidence to
>support his practice of not allowing women teaching authority over men.
>This is interesting because it refers to, (i) the order in which Adam
>and Eve were created, and (b), the order in which they fell. Paul's
>exegesis here gives striking confirmation to the natural reading of the
>Genesis narrative; for him, it was something that actually took place.

Or he knew his audience would believe that even if he didn't.

>I suggest that Christians cannot avoid accepting the correctness of
>Paul's theology.

No argument there.

>Both in theory and in practice it is the
>foundation-stone of their reflection on the relation of Jesus Christ to
>the OT revelation, and, as a result, to God's purposes as a whole.

True, up to a point.

>can be no other option than to accept the NT witness as authoritative,
>since the whole fabric of Christian theology - not some small portion of
>the OT interpretation - is under threat.

This is where you cross the line. The Old Testament could be pure myth,
beginning to end, and yet the New Testament would still be authoritative,
because it contains the teachings of the Word of God Himself (Christ).

>It is surely a serious matter then that (in the interests of maintaining
>a rapprochement with evolution) he who declared himself to be "the way,
>the truth and the life..." (Jn.14:6) is questioned as to his
>understanding of the Scriptures....

Don't put words in my mouth. I do not question Christ's understanding of
Scripture; what I question is yours.

>...again, that the meticulous Dr.Luke is
>reckoned to be sadly adrift as a historian....

Luke accepted the history that Paul taught to him, who accepted the history
that was taught to him by his teachers. Neither were historians; neither
had any way of determining the true history of mankind.

>...and further, that Paul -
>largely responsible for promoting the Gospel - is completely devoid of
>real scholarship and understanding.

Again, it you who is claiming this, not I; as such, I question your
scholarship and understanding, not Paul's.

>May I respectfully inquire of TEs: How can you so readily indulge in
>textual violence of this magnitude and yet believe you have the Gospel?

Because in fact we do not "indulge in textual violence of this magnitude";
that is your opinion, based on your fear and hatred of us.

>Can't you see that evolution is a cruel deception?

Can't you see that your fear and hatred of evolution has clouded your
reason, choked your faith and deafened you to the Holy Spirit?

>It is a cancer that
>weakens and ultimately destroys the roots of your faith....

On the contrary, it has strengthened my faith; if I ever abandon my faith it
will be because you creationists have finally convinced me that unreasoning
faith is better than reasoning faith. It is your fear and hatred that has
destroyed your faith.

> is a heavy and largely self-imposed, yoke.

On the contrary, I find it most enlightening; it is your fear and hatred
that is a heavy and largely self-imposed yoke.

Kevin L. O'Brien