I couldn’t resist putting the following exchange up as a blog post. It happened in the comments section of “Evolution and Romans 5:12.”
I’ll just give you Monster’s one comment, and my reply. I chopped out a section his (marked with …) for obvious reasons:
Monster’s Comment to Me
“And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
“Which was the son of Matthat …
“Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.”
So which one of these in the line of Jesus were made up characters? Just Adam? Perhaps Seth, or Enos? How about Noah? Why stop at Adam, let’s just throw out the Great Deluge as a fairy story as well. Seriously, where do the real people start and the made up people end? Where do the made-up events stop and the real events start? If Adam was a real person, just from a long line of sinning cavemen who died, then why does he take the rap for sin? That’s not very just; in fact, I would call it false witness.
Your watered-down version of Genesis just doesn’t add up.
I know that Christians love to reason from “if x is true, then y.” For Christians, if they don’t like y, then x must not be true. I’ve started referring to such Christians as AI Wits (meaning “Anything I Want is True”).
I can’t do that. Wishful thinking doesn’t work for me. I like to take a good, long, hard, and evens years-long look at the evidence to determine whether x is true. Then, once I find out whether x is true, then I deal with y.
In this case, x is true, or at least has so much evidence for being true that we have to deal with it. Evolution at least seems to have happened, whether we like it or not.
This affects our interpretation of Genesis, whether we like it or not.
This means we have to deal with the question you asked, not complain about having to deal with it and throw out evolution because we don’t like it.
As it turns out, the question you ask–”Which one of these in the line of Jesus were made-up characters?”–is a really important question that can start the process of leading us out of our modern version of Christianity back into apostolic Christianity. What do I mean by modern version of Christianity? I mean the one that is powerless to produce “love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith” but instead “straying from these into fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions” (1 Timothy 1:5-8, NASB).
The approach we have to Genesis, which you are offended to have questioned, is part of the reason that our Gospel, with some exceptions, can’t produce “the power of God to salvation” (Rom. 1:16) so that saints are “zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:14) and rarely have love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith.
X (evolution) shocked me back in the mid-90’s. The incredible power of leaving American Christianity’s rigid, novel, and mostly powerless approach to Scripture (Y) shocked me even more.
Amazingly, in this case, x-y=z, where z is abundant grace and faith.