Were Adam & Eve Real? A Critical Look at the Inconsistency of Long Age Compromise Creationism


The majority of this post originally appeared as comments on Eric Kemp’s Intelligence Science blog. I highly recommend that you read the post in question: Theistic Evolutionists and the Truth of Jesus: The Two Don’t Mix.

I’ve been meaning to address the contradiction of their particular submission of the Bible to the authority of the reasonings of men.

I’m always interested in how theistic evolutionists, or progressive creationists or whatever-the-devil they care to call themselves, whose Biblically inconsistent views often make her bedfellows with openly atheistic bloggers, propose to handle verses that claim that Christ was the Creator and verses that note that we all sinned in Adam, but are saved in the Last Adam. If the Genesis Creation record is figurative or allegorical, what does this do to the claim that “by Him and for Him were all things made, visible and invisible, and without Him was not anything made [paraphrased from memory]” if Christ was not the Creator, but merely a product of evolution? What does it do to the incarnantion? In what way have we sinned if the Genesis account is allegorical? Why wouldn’t God relate the real incident upon which our sin nature is actually based? Jesus validated Noah [“as in the days of Noah…”], but if the world-wide flood was only local, God has broken His promise innumerable times not to judge the world by water in like manner again and the rainbow is the symbol of a God who breaks his oaths!

This sort of judging the Bible by the knowledge of men [the magisterial approach] makes a shipwreck of Christian doctrine and swiss cheese of the reliability of the Bible, particularly passages foundational to the Gospel message and Christology. Far preferred is the ministerial appraoch, whereby we judge the suppositions of men by the sure word of God.

Let’s get down to the knuckles here. The following quote is from the book Refuting Compromise by Jonathan Sarfati [page 55 – I just like the way he words this argument]:

“If an old earth were really the teaching of Scripture, then one claim is glaringly conspicuous by its absence, that is, any claim in commentaries that the Bible unambiguously teaches long ages. Rather, usual claim is that the biblical text appears on the surface to teach a young earth but may allow for an old earth. We never hear something like, ‘Yes, the decay of the earth’s magnetic field and rapid reversals seem to provide irrefutable proof of a young earth. But we mustn’t allow even the strongest science to overrule the clear teaching of the Word of God that the earth is billions of years old.’” [Emphasis in original text]

He makes an excellent point. The plain meaning of these passages is a young earth created by the word of God in six literal 24-hour days. An old earth is only supported biblically by a long string of ad hoc arguments meant to try to harmonize Scripture with the interpretation of long-age uniformitarianism.

I should also like to make a comment about people who say they don’t personally have a strong opinion one way or the other on whether Adam and Eve are literal or figurative people.” Don’t you think the answer to that question is important?? The Bible plainly teaches that they were literal people. We’ve noted that Jesus mentioned them as historical without qualification. He noted that they were made “from the beginning of creation, male and female.”

Consider the judment of atheist Frank Zindler:

“The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation there is no need of a saviour. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.” [given in a debate with William Craig, Atheism vs Christianity video, Zondervan, 1996.]

He has a point. The Last Adam’s remedy for sin, the need for salvation itself, is based upon the historicity of the First Adam.

Here is where I get preachy.

The central question of Eve’s Temptation and Man’s Fall is this: “Did God really say?” And this is the primary problem of old earth creationism. They have judged the Bible by the opinions of fallible men [rather than the other way around – the way that they should!]. In essence, when confronted with the Genesis account of origins they are merely repeating the Serpent’s question:

“Did God really say?”

But they’re straining at gnats while swallowing camels! If science is their ultimate authority and the Bible must be re-interpreted to accomodate the latest ever-evolving notions and theories of academia, then they have just as many problems to mend in the Gospels. Does science allow for men walking on water? Instantaneous healing? Water turning into wine? Multiplying a kid’s meal to feed multitudes? Dead men coming back to life? Bad weather vanishing at a spoken command? Where does naturalistic science allow for a post-resurrection Jesus suddenly appearing in a room or ascending [flying? levitating?] into the heavens? Oh, wait. Naturalism precludes all supernatural possibilities. Naturalistic science such as evolutionism insists that there must always be “a natural explanation.” No miracles allowed! [Except something springing from nothing at the beginning of the cosmos and the origin of life itself, of course. ] 

Can you think of anything more inconsistent than demanding we capitulate to naturalism when we read Genesis, but allow the Bible a plain reading when we interpret the Gospels?

And what has come of this sort of compromise creationism? Historically, the Church accomodated Ptolemaic astronomy [geocentrism] because it was the scientific notion of the day. They even found verses to support it, before a young earth creationist put forth the notion of heliocentrism. More to the point, by Charles Darwin’s time the Church had compromised the plain teaching of six literal days of Creation to accomodate the long ages proposed by Lyell’s uniformitarian geology. As a result, they also did away with the global Noachim flood and proposed a series of small local catastrophes instead. They also proposed that God had created each animal for its current ecological niche, which the Bible does not teach. Darwin rightly rejected this distortion of truth, but proposed an utter rejection of a Creator God in favor of a purely naturalistic theory: evolutionism. This is the legacy of the magisterial use of science.

The alternative to this approach is non-overlapping magisteria or NOMA, which is a logical contradiction. It states that science is science and religion is religion and never the twain shall meet. Science described the real world, while religion is allowed supernatural stuff. Yet Christianity is a religion based on historical events. You can’t compartmentalize it away like that. Though NOMA advocates, like the proponents of the Clergy Letter Project, claim that “Bible stories” did not actually happen but still “convey timeless truths,” the traditional view of Christendom is that the Bible conveys historical events from which we glean timeless truths. They’re not parables, allegories or fables. They give no such impression, except to someone who cannot accept their plain meaning and so seeks a different interpretation. As far as I’m concerned the Clergy Letter Project and like-minded NOMA compromisers are implying that God has decieved man, for He gave us “Bible stories” but did not bother to tell us they were teaching fictions!

Think about it.

“Did God really say?” You bet He did!

–Sirius Knott

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Eric Kemp says:

    Sirius

    Great job sir. You know, I had never thought of that before. What would a progressive Creationists say to Jesus walking on water? Is Jesus capable of violating all known physical laws at whim, and it was an act he actually performed (not a figurative story), and He is unable to create the Earth in six days? If we are unable to take God’s Word in Genesis, how can we take His word in Matthew? When Jesus claims that He is the Christ, is that claim just as erroneous or figurative as His claim to have created the Earth in 6 days?

    This are almost unanswerable questions for the progressive Creationist.

  2. Sirius says:

    As Jesus said to Nicodemus: “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” [John 3:12]

    –Sirius Knott

  3. Mike says:

    “What would a progressive Creationists say … These are almost unanswerable questions for the progressive Creationist.”

    I would imagine in that case, one would be inevitably forced into a naturalist view of Christianity – denying all miracle claims, including the full-body resurrection (sounds the the “Jesus Seminar” view). From there, inevitably, one would be forced to call all the authors of Christian scripture liars.

    One thing that has always intrigued me were the ages attributed to the generations/offspring of Adam and Eve and through Noah (Gen 5 & Gen 11). I mean, not just the sheer amount of years, but exact numbers, including how old each was when they had children. Who would make this up? What metaphor or allegory is served by this? Especially considering that at the time Genesis was authored, people no longer lived hundreds of years (Gen 6:3). So, there was no contemporary precedent. Genesis sure reads like the author’s intent is to relay an accurate historical record

  4. Mike says:

    There is another issue of treating Adam and Eve as metaphor/myth:

    Doing such admits that God’s evolutionary mechanism screwed up royally, didn’t it. Because we evolved as a species of evil-doers, didn’t we? We were better off as mindless knuckle-dragging primates. That would seem more life-affirming to me, rather than a species naturally-selected to evolve the means to destroy itself with a couple of button pushes.

    If the “sin nature” evolved naturally, then we really didn’t need Jesus to come and save us from it, did we? On the other hand, if the “sin nature” was divinely-guided by God’s evolutionary processes, then God purposely made us to be evil sinners, didn’t he?

    “On the other hand, if the “sin nature” was divinely-guided by God’s evolutionary processes, then God purposely made us to be evil sinners, didn’t he?”

    Meaning that Jesus came to clean up God’s own mess!!!

  5. Sirius says:

    Sorry, Thomas, but I have to agree with Eric here. You’re reading into the text. Think not? Consider this: The history of Christian interpretation disagrees with you.

    I also am forced to remind you of the following point, made by sourcequote in the original post:

    “If an old earth were really the teaching of Scripture, then one claim is glaringly conspicuous by its absence, that is, any claim in commentaries that the Bible unambiguously teaches long ages. Rather, usual claim is that the biblical text appears on the surface to teach a young earth but may allow for an old earth. We never hear something like, ‘Yes, the decay of the earth’s magnetic field and rapid reversals seem to provide irrefutable proof of a young earth. But we mustn’t allow even the strongest science to overrule the clear teaching of the Word of God that the earth is billions of years old.’”
    –[Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Compromise, pg 55. Empasis in original]

    Do you realize that your entire argument for an old Earth is based on the erroneous idea that the Bible does NOT contain figures of speech, which not even a literalist such as myself claims. This makes your argument a straw man. Your further argument is that the ancient Hebrews did literally believe in a solid firmament, which you [erroneously] believe, so we should not believe them when they say Creation took 6 days, but we should believe whatever we please of the rest of the Bible… This is inconsistent.

    You ARE correct that it comes down to interpretation. Do we believe that the Bible is a true and accurate revelation of God? Or the flawed work of fallible men whose religious ideas have developed and refined over time as knowledge has increased? The Bible claims to be the revelation of God and dogmatically asserts that it came not by the will of men at any time [2 Peter 1:21]; it also claims to be Truth and the One who called Himself Truth also vouched for its veracity [Matt 5:18; 22:29].

    So what is the Bible? The religious searchings and speculations of men or the revealed, inerrant Word of God?

    –Sirius Knott

  6. Eric Kemp says:

    Sirius

    “So what is the Bible? The religious searchings and speculations of men or the revealed, inerrant Word of God?”

    I think this is the crux of the issue. At it seems that theistic evolutionists truly don’t have an understanding of inerrancy. They pay lip-service to the idea, “Sure I believe the Bible to be the Word of God,” yet when they describe it it’s amazing how much the Bible is wrong about. For instance, for Thomas, the Bible is teaching an erroneous cosmology. How can the Bible be inerrant and teach erroneous cosmology? How can one believe in both with a straight face?

    Thomas

    “Eric, you speak with more certainty than I think you have a right to. What the Bible says is not always easy to ascertain. ”

    So the truth of God’s Word is locked away in mysterious and figurative words? God would make His truth so mysterious as to confuse, He wouldn’t put His truth into plain speech? You can say all you want that I’m wrong about what Scripture is saying, but without reconciling how the Bible itself interprets the Genesis account, you are doing so inconsistently.

    “What I am trying to do is read the language of the Bible and interprete it as reflecting an understanding of the universe that is consistent with its original audience. Why is that such a big deal?”

    As Sirius has pointed out to you, how do you know that ALL of the original audience read it the way you say they did? And even if they did…so what?? What bearing does that have on what Scripture actually says? As you’ve seen by reading the OT, God was among His people, leading them to the Promised Land, providing them on every step of the way and they STILL rebelled from Him time and time again. They still misunderstood Him, although his provision was a daily reminder. The misunderstanding of men has nothing to do with the words of Scripture.

    By the way, this IS a big deal. As you just admitted, you are not reading Scripture with the mind of allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. You desire for other men, and preferably ancient men, to interpret Scripture for you. Does the Holy Spirit not speak to you regarding the Father’s truth? Allow Him to speak to you by reading His Words, and His Words alone.

    “The Bible talks about a lot of things, and I don’t think you can write them all off to figures of speech. Sure, some may be figures of speech, but I think not all”

    No one ever said “all”. There aren’t waters under the earth? Hell isn’t under the Earth?

    “As far as plain language goes, what is “plain” is up for debate. I think my reading of Genesis 1 is much more natural than yours.”

    You continue to make this statement while, at the same time, admitting that you have not tackled the issues I put before you regarding “yom” or any of the others. Feel free to take your time to formulate your beliefs, but please, cease to make these statements, it makes you look unwilling to engage in honest discussion.

  7. Sirius says:

    Ironically, AiG just put out an article on the subject at hand: The Authority Test. It really comes down to who’s your ultimate authority: God or man?

    Please also note that the Poll results associated with this post have been skewed. A troll called Cosmic Teapot [usually refered to as Cosmic Teaputz on this site] has invited the folks at PZ “Wackaloon” Myers blogsite to crash my polls. Poll crashing is unfortunately something trolls like to do. What’s deplorable about it is that they don’t actually care about the debate; they just want to give a skewed impression of public opinion due to the concentrated attention of only one side – hence, the term crashing.

    –Sirius Knott

  8. Michael Pillay says:

    Hi guys I was surfing the net for answers and came across this page, I did not read the comments in details, which I will do over the weekend, anyway I need answers and it must be logical, whislt I do not believe in evolution, i do believe in God (well more reasons to believe in God than evolution) I’am a Christian and want to believe in Christianity but there are too many things taht worry me about the Bible, like the ommission of Jesus life as a teenager, the adam and eve story, how sin came about, God made perfect people yet they sinned, this does not make sense at all God had his own religion, the Jewish way, yet when Jesus came there is a new religion, Christianity, it seems like God (of the Bible) cannot make up his mind or made alot of mistakes himself, how could 1 man save the world, he is no longer on earth to save modern day man so why send him in the first place, what was that for, the world is no better place now, what about Jesus being born, he was already an Angel in heaven yet he was like a normal human being in terms being a baby growing from child to man why that way why did’nt he just decend from heaven and why does’nt the bible mention anything of his teen years, what happened during that time?? I will continue with this next week, thanks guys maybe you might have some comments in the interim

  9. Thomas says:

    Michael, Seems like you have lots of questions and even misunderstandings about who Jesus is. Do you have a Southern Baptist minister where you are? I am sure he would be happy to meet with you and talk through these things. If you would rather talk on this site, I’m sure Tony would be happy to talk about some of your basic questions. What’s your most important question, do you think?

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