In a previous post, I argued that Adam and Eve's historical existence is biblically affirmed and theologically necessary—but what about the evidence? Has science disproved their existence? Is the Genesis account just a quaint fairy tale invented by ancient Jews who were trying to figure out where they came from? What does the science actually say? First it must be noted that science doesn't say anything. Scientists do.
Scientists gather evidence and then interpret that evidence to form a conclusion. Each scientist has certain pre-conceived biases, assumptions, and philosophical commitments. This is why different scientists can come to such radically diverse conclusions, even though they are working with the same evidence. This will be important to remember as you read through this post. Let's look at 3 different pieces of evidence and see how they might interact with the biblical account:
Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead? A Historian, an Atheist, a Skeptic, a Theologian, and an Ex-Con Weigh In
It's that time of year again—the time when Christians come together to celebrate the pinnacle of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus. It's also the time when news outlets like Time, the Discovery Channel, and Newsweek unleash their skepticism about Christianity, the Bible, and the resurrection. It can be confusing to wade through the various historical evidences, personal beliefs, and opinions floating around in scholarship and the blogosphere. Here are quotes from several sources who all have unique qualifications and an interesting take on the evidence:
In my previous post, I outlined how Jesus believed the Old Testament Scripture was the Word of God—authoritative, inspired, and historically reliable. If you missed that one, I recommend you read it before reading this one. Here are 4 more things Jesus believed about Scripture:
5. It is inerrant.
Considering what we've learned so far about Jesus' opinion of Scripture, how would He have responded if someone implied that it might contain errors? I think He would have been astonished at the suggestion.
What on earth are we to make of the Bible? Is it God's Word? A human cultural product that simply reflects the beliefs and observations of ancient people? Something else? This is the question du jour in Christian circles. Typically, conservative theologians maintain that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, authoritative, and inspired Word of God. Progressive theologians tend to define those words differently, or abandon them altogether.
Some affirm that they take the Bible seriously but argue that we need to re-interpret it. In their view, the Bible condones immoral practices and teachings when taken at face value.(1) A couple of years ago, Rob Bell told Oprah Winfrey that the Christian church is "irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 ago" to defend its moral principles.(2) In an excerpt from his upcoming book, What is the Bible?, Bell calls it "a profoundly human book."(3)
How do we wade through this amalgam of views and understand what the Bible actually is? I suggest we look to Jesus. The New Testament wasn't yet written when Jesus walked the earth, but we can certainly take a cue from His understanding of the Old Testament. What did He think it was? Here are 8 things the Gospel accounts tell us that Jesus affirmed about Scripture. (This post will deal with the first 4):