Saturday, January 02, 2010

Creation and Evolution: Potato, potatoe?

A sticking point in the minds of many when they try to work through Christianity and come to believe it (which is, to put full confidence in Jesus) is the issue of science. Contrary to most of the history of thought, there is today an air of mistrust and uneasiness between science and religion.
The thought--on both sides--seems to be that the two are incompatible. And the rift seems to be growing. It seems that if you believe in religion, you must necessarily not believe in science--and vice versa.

For instance, in Genesis 2, Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Is a thinking person to believe there was a tree (maybe with a plaque nailed to it naming it thusly?) that Adam and Eve ate from and this single act of rebellion is what plunged humanity and creation itself into darkness? Or does the text point to deeper realities?

Tim Keller, one of my pastoral heroes, has a great take on it here. I asked the question on Facebook about the meaning of this tree and got some interesting responses (see the comments). Join the conversation.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Comments from Facebook:

Kathleen Ellen Hardy: Read CS Lewis Perelandra! Basically, the main character visits another planet where he meets the "eve" of the planet.
Satan has yet to visit this planet (although he's not far behind) and "eve" only knows goodness and love. She has no comprehension of darkness, death or pain until Satan arrives.
He tells her that she needs to grow "older" so she will know more. "Older" just means that she will experience things that are currently off limits for her and become more knowledgeable.
8 hours ago ·

Paul Fitzgerald: Sure. I'm always up for thinking outside the box. How best to proceed?
8 hours ago ·

Jerry Varner: Its God's gift of free will. It makes a loving relationship possible. That's a "off the top of my head" thought.
8 hours ago ·

Stacey Ann Kruse: Kathleen's post is enlightening. It's like growing old when you're still young. Perhaps it is equal to having too much "knowledge" of someone before marriage. This powerful act is given as a gift to married couples committed to God and each other. It is only in this context, that this "knowledge" can be discovered in the light of God- not under the false light of guilt.
7 hours ago ·

Stacey Ann Kruse: ....or maybe it's like telling your kids what all their presents are before they unwrap them.
7 hours ago ·

Jim Hampton: Scott, don't know if this would help or not, but here is a small segment of a sermon I preached recently on this passage: "As they eat, their eyes are opened. But instead of the terrific rush of wisdom coursing through their heads, a sense of shame fills them. Where before their nakedness had been something they mutually enjoyed, now it was something of which they are ashamed. No longer are they guiltless in their relation with one another or with God. So they cover themselves, and in the process, lose the intimacy they had once known. God had meant for them to be one flesh, but now they are two again. They understand that they now have independent wills and already they begin to sense that these differing wills are potentially hostile. No longer will they be able to look out for the safety and care of the other created beings. The have no energy for that. The man and the woman's attention has now turned completely inward upon self, upon their newfound freedom and the terror that comes with it."
7 hours ago ·

Paul Fitzgerald: It certainly seems to symbolize the universal and timeless temptation to autonomy apart from trusting the Trinity. (interesting that even we Trinitarians rarely "see" five characters in the Garden when God returns). "The Lie" was that God did not have their best interests at heart and they better learn to trust themselves. The choice to "eat" the lie was the symptom and not the issue of disobedience we've made it to be theologically. Fascinating details about shame/honor dynamics. Important to note that there is nothing suggesting anything about God's opinion about them changes because of their doubt and choice. What changed was their image of God (they hid) and their community (blamed each other). The "expulsion" from the Garden is usually seen as punishment/consequences for disobedience but it can more accurately be seen (IMHO) as protection so they don't eat of the Tree of Life and remain without hope for change. From their distrust of Father comes the Second Adam's enfleshment to live in a non-adamic way within flesh for us to accomplish the adoption intended before creation and this incident. Amen, Amen! (At least my $0.02)
7 hours ago ·

Bobby Casler: I think it's just one part of a larger story.
7 hours ago ·

Robert Pfeifer: We have a choice now, every day.
6 hours ago ·

Stacy Woods: Partaking of it's fruit gave Adam and Eve (and consequently us) the ability to discern - as well as choose - between good and evil?
4 hours ago ·