Evolution and Christianity 2

I don't understand creationists. I can sympathize with them, mainly because they're the result of accepting Genesis literally, but at the same time I don't quite get them. Creationists will go and debate science saying that 'evolution doesn't exist' and that the Bible is literally true in the sense that the world was created in a matter of seven days about ~5000 years ago. As we covered in the first part of this, Saint Augustine of Hippo said that Genesis was more of an allegory, for people of the time to understand easier.

So why do creationists insist on the Bible being absolutely literal in Genesis? Jesus himself told parables, which is a type of analogy. Is it that, in this case, the allegory is not an allegory but rather the reality? Now in the sense of creationists, the simple answer would be that Genesis was not an allegory, but how would that explain scientific processes? It's not like evolution is out of God's scope, nor is the big bang, the water cycle, trees growing and decaying, etc. Is it that God is merely not powerful enough to make evolution a thing? Of course, that question is rhetorical, God is omnipotent, He can do all that He wants. So just because Genesis says the world was created in seven days, why is it invalid to say that evolution and the big bang weren't realities?

The website Answers in Genesis argues that:

Essentially, they [Christians that believe in the big bang and evolution] are telling God that they believe Him when He told us about the Virgin Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ, but they do not trust Him when He tells us about how He created the world.

This is a fallacy, just because the Bible is inspired by God doesn't mean that God wanted to be literal in the entire thing. Just because Genesis says that everything was created in seven days does not mean that the author(s) of Genesis didn't intend for it to be interpreted literally. There's no way that God intended it to be interpreted literally, because why would evolution exist if that was the case? Maybe I'm going a bit far asserting what God means, because we cannot know what He means, we can just speculate to a certain extent. However, if evolution wasn't of God's doing, then who or what did it?

It's not like evolution is a sin (a la 'thou shalt not evolve') or the result of devil's work. God is the supreme ruler and is the only person who can allow the devil to do things. But who are we to say that God didn't make things to be developed or, as Saint Thomas Aquinas said, 'to have potential.' That in itself is asserting what God means, which again, we cannot know what He means, we can just speculate.

The final point that I will make is the point of debating creation. If creationists and Christians who believe in evolution will be constantly in disagreement, without any chance of agreement, what's the point in debating it? It's like me going to punch a tree for standing there, but I'll be the one getting hurt from it, not the tree. Debating it is useless, especially when we don't really know the meaning ourselves. We can assert opinions all we like, but we were not there when Genesis was written nor can we go there. The purpose of debating becomes null when the debate results in nothing more than 'my opinion is better than yours.'

Of course, expecting people to stop debating about this would be stupid to do, because it would never happen. However, we can agree to disagree. While that's a fallacy in and of itself, but it's the only thing we can rationally do. Continuing to debate theistic evolution against creationism will continue to be a dull discussion for everyone involved. Why waste our time debating when we ourselves don't get the full picture?

Let us not forget 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

[16] All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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Evolution and Christianity

I know this is a gif simulating the big bang, but I feel like the overall message of this applies to the big bang as well.

So, I've been recently studying the compatibility of evolution with the book of Genesis. While I've always believed they were compatible, I never really had much of a reason outside of "well, God created everything, so He had to create the evolutionary process."

While looking at Saint Augustine of Hippo's 'The Literal Meaning of Genesis,' Augustine claims that Genesis was written to be comprehensible to the people of that time, that it was told in a more simple and allegorical manner, which makes more sense. Another interpretation of Genesis which I like is Saint Thomas Aquinas' where he argues that God created things to have potential, which aligns quite well with evolution. Here's a quote:

On the day on which God created the heaven and the earth, He created also every plant of the field, not, indeed, actually, but “before it sprung up in the earth,” that is, potentially...

All things were not distinguished and adorned together, not from a want of power on God’s part, as requiring time in which to work, but that due order might be observed in the instituting of the world.

I find that very sound and enough of an explanation that I could reasonably accept, but then I came across another problem, which was the validity of original sin.

I've personally always believed that we inherited our sins from Adam and Eve, after the fall of man with them eating the fruit. However, if I was to propose that Augustine's and Aquinas' arguments were correct, there is a discrepancy with this.

Now, Eastern Orthodoxy does not have a doctrine on original sin, claiming that sin is merely human nature, which I can concur with. We as humans have a nature to do things independently. With Genesis being an allegory for humans being sinful by nature, by humanity wanting to stray on our own without any care for the results, this makes more sense. However, at the same time, inheriting sin could certainly be true. Think of Y-chromosomal Adam and mitochondrial Eve, the most recent common ancestors of humans. With the Bible's claim of Adam and Eve taking the fruit and creating the fall of man, maybe our sinful nature is inherited. While, of course, they may have not literally taken fruit from a tree and ate it, they may still have sinned by nature and we inherited it as a result of evolution.

Of course, we cannot go back and try to get a first-hand view of the events in Genesis, as well as try to understand the author(s) of Genesis' reasoning and thought behind it. All we can really do is try to understand the Scripture in a way that makes the most sense, whether we agree with the meaning of it or not.

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