Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Battle Over Origins: Is It Worth the Fight? Part 6

Theological Implications of the Literal Interpretation of Genesis

Now that we have reviewed many of the key words and phrases in the first chapter of Genesis, there are two significant implications that are worthy of our attention related to a literal interpretation of the creation account.

Unfortunately, the world that God created “very good” has been corrupted by Adam’s original sin. The consequences of this sin have been devastating on all of mankind, bringing death into the human race. Romans 5:12 states: “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” (KJV). Furthermore, according to the Bible, all of creation was negatively affected by the entrance of sin into the world. According to Romans 8:22: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (KJV)

Praise God that He did not leave us in a state of despair, but stepped into human history to provide us with the gift of salvation through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ our Lord. In Romans 5:18, we read the following verse of hope: “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (KJV)

However, this justification of life through God’s grace extended to us via the Cross makes no sense if death and suffering have been a part of the world since the beginning of time, as evolution claims. According to evolutionary theory, death plays a key role in the progression of life. Consequently, holding to evolution removes the vital connection made in God’s special revelation between sin and death. Without this link of sin bringing about the death that we see today, the need to be saved from that sin is eroded away. Therefore, one’s view of origins has a direct impact on the earthly mission of Christ and the essential Christian doctrine of salvation.

Another important implication of the literal interpretation of Genesis is related to one’s ultimate source of authority. Each one of us must answer the following question: “What is the final authority in our lives to which we will submit?” Will it be our own autonomous reason, the claims of supposed experts, or the perfect and inerrant Word of God? Anyone who is willing to accept the supposed findings of science over the clear teaching of Scripture is casting their vote for human knowledge rather than for God’s wisdom as their highest court of appeal. Anytime that we place anything in a position of judging the veracity of God’s Word, our thinking is misguided and we need to be calling out to the Lord for the renewing of our minds. For the Christian, the Bible is to be the very foundation of every aspect of our thinking, as well as being the guide for all of life and practice. The Holy Bible is to be our ultimate standard and we are to view everything through the lens of Scripture. In doing so, we will be able to properly discern truth about the world around us and we will be in a position to help lead others into that truth.

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