Psalm 100: 1-2 : Juig tot eer van die Here, almal op aarde! Dien die Here met blydskap! Kom voor Hom met gejubel!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Theological implications of human evolution

(From BYLOGOS, here: )

"Following mainstream science, Drs. Harlow and Schneider presume that humans did not originate from a single pair 6000 years ago but, rather, from a population of about 10,000 interbreeding individuals living in Africa about 150,000 years ago. Consequently, Dr. Harlow (and Dr. Schneider) favour the view that "Adam and Eve are strictly literary figures—characters in a divinely inspired story about the imagined past that intends to teach primarily theological, not historical, truths about God, creation, and humanity." (read on... )

1 comment:

  1. Drs. Harlow and Schneider both grant that Paul and Luke regarded Adam as a historical person. However, Harlow asserts, "Paul had little reason not to regard Adam as a historical figure, whereas today we have many reasons for recognizing him as a strictly literary one”. Dr. Schneider concedes that denying an historical Adam and his fall means rejecting biblical inerrancy.

    Drs. Harlow and Schneider also both conclude that, if humans evolved, they could not have been originally upright. Thus, our sinfulness cannot be due to an historical fall. Rather, all humans are united in sin because our evolutionary heritage predisposes us to selfishness and sin. The doctrine of original sin must therefore be reformulated accordingly.

    This has implications also for Christ's atonement. Harlow asserts:
    Once the doctrine of original sin is reformulated, the doctrine of the atonement may likewise be deepened. But the new understanding of sin requires that we now favor theories of the atonement like the Christus victor model or the moral influence theory, instead of the theory of a ransom paid to the Devil or a satisfaction paid to God’s honor.

    In other words, the Reformed notion of Christ's atonement as a payment for human sin is no longer viable.

    Dr. Schneider, who seems to be inclined towards a similar revision of Christ's atonement, goes one step further. He writes, "These intuitions about grace have very important implications for Christian thinking on the matter of eternal damnation, which is very hard to integrate well into theology as integrated with evolutionary science, and is also very difficult, if not impossible, to sustain within successful Christian theodicy." He seems to favour a universalism in which all humans will be saved.