Items posted on 26 June 2012
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Genesis 3.12-14 and Romans 5.12-14 – Science and the truths of God
Posted: 26 June 2012 in Genesis, Romans

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

What seems to bug many Christians today, especially in the United States, is the idea that science poses a challenge to the truths of the Bible. Most famously that is supposed to be the case when it comes to the opening chapters of Genesis.

Well, I would beg to differ with them about that. One of the most important truths to be found in the Bible is that God is creator of all things, in heaven and in earth. That remains the case whether the big bang theory is true or not. Atheists might like to entertain the idea that science can dispose of God, but Christians ought to know better. Christians are sometimes heard to say that something does not come from nothing. As an argument meant to convince an atheist, that is perhaps less than water tight, but it is something the Bible reveals to be true, and so it can be said, without qualification, that it must be true. What is more, science, as science, poses no challenge to it.

Not only is God the creator of all things, he is the sustainer of all things, and nothing can exist except through his sovereign grace. The Creation provides more than adequate grounds for all Christians to praise and worship him. But perhaps, even more important for Christian theology than the Creation, is the doctrine of the fall. And that is because it impinges directly upon our need for a saviour. If there was no fall, Christ’s sacrifice was meaningless, and, if evolution is true, then Genesis 3 obviously cannot be literally true. But having made that negative statement, it is necessary to go on and say that the doctrine of the fall most certainly is true. The Bible reveals its origin to lie with us, and it also reveals the whole of humanity to be now under the curse of sin. We are all culpable in God’s eyes. Maybe, in our curiosity, we would like to have more in the way of explanation, firstly as to how that came about, and secondly about we can be guilty for something in which we (apparently) had no active part. But since we now know that Genesis 3 gives us theology, not history, we must be content to live with what is revealed. Without seeking, with itching ears, information which most likely is beyond our comprehension, and which, anyway, God has seen fit not to give us.

A theologian I know of made the remark that if he thought there was a conflict between the theory of Evolution (which he didn’t) then he would have to heed the Bible. I can see his position, in fact I probably share it. What God reveals to be true must, of necessity, be true. He is omniscient, and does not lie. Nevertheless, it is perhaps just as well that there is no necessary conflict, because amongst Christian biologists there seems to be almost universal agreement that evolution is true – albeit with the qualification that, like every thing else, it flows directly from the will of God.

Of course you wouldn’t hear that last bit from Richard Dawkins, but there is no immutable law which says that anybody has to pay a blind bit of attention to Richard Dawkins.

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