If you attended some evangelical church weddings last month, you probably heard a pastor delivering a homily based on the last section of Chapter 2 of Genesis: “… the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”
The pastor probably quoted Adam’s enthusiastic poetry: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” He may have quoted the next verse, which (when followed) breaks down the power of clans: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
And yet, given today’s trends, that same pastor might have been reluctant to take seriously an earlier verse in the chapter: “… the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
With the BioLogos Foundation as the point of the spear, some Christian college professors and others are saying that God did not make a man and give him life, but worked through evolution. Some say God selected an already-existing specimen from a herd of hominids and breathing into it a spiritual nature. Others see multiple Adams and Eves.
BioLogos-influenced professors offer students the opportunity to have their biblical cake and eat it too: You can continue to express faith in Jesus but you don’t have to put up with snickers and sneers when you say you doubt Darwin. If you’re looking for a scientific career, you don’t have to keep your views hidden.
Some professors say they’ll report dispassionately about evolution and let students decide—yet given the media pro-evolution tilt, many students will slide downhill unless a committed professor makes the biblical and scientific case for creation.
Christians who gravitate toward Darwin rather than design should understand the inconsistency of disregarding the Bible’s description of man’s creation but then holding up as normative other parts of early Genesis, such as the description of the first wedding.
If we think God did not bring the animals before Adam so he could name them and possibly marry one—“But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him”—we don’t see proof of a strict separation of humans from animals.
If we think that Adam was merely one creature God ensouled from among a herd of hominids, or if God ensouled all of them, then Adam is not the father of us all—and the door opens to racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic cleansing, and other portrayals of some humans as weeds.
If we go on to Chapter 3 of Genesis and read it as mythology, we miss the introduction of original sin: No Adam, no need for the Second Adam, Christ.
For more on this, please look at my column in the current issue of WORLD.