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Evolution and God’s intervention with Creation and the Garden of Eden: the Biblical Tradition is not anti-scientific

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Blogging my thoughts: 3rd of August, 2017

Doing the little study of the “Nephilim: the Giants in the Earth,” it seems that Genesis 6:1-4 could be an insert of some sort. If somehow the biblical writers heard of the twelve children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (the Earth), the Titans who were considered giants: Oceanus, Chronos, Theia, Hyperion, Rhea, Phoebe, etc., then they were alluding to the Greek mythological consciousness. Allusions to Zeus and Hera would certainly be foreign to the consciousness of the biblical tradition. I wonder if Sumerian traditions could have made it into the consciousness of the biblical tradition? The Babylonian tradition of Marduk and Tiamat could still have a vestige in the Hebrew word for chaos Tohu va Bohu in the biblical creation account.

Taking the consciousness of the biblical tradition one step further, it necessarily includes God’s plan of salvation. The Nephilim were the fourth divine disappointment of God with the creation: the Fall in which Adam and Eve disobeyed God, Cain’s murder of his brother Abel, and Lamech’s seven-times-seven-fold law of revenge for anyone who would injure him. But in the plan of salvation, there is the promise of Christ as well as the children of God in a new creation, that is, the Kingdom of Heaven as the outcome on earth.

It is impossible to simply ignore the fossil evidence and the theory of evolution that integrates biology today, and therefore the Garden of Eden story needs to be interpreted as a divine intervention, by which Adam and Eve, the first hominoids, become truly human by feeling shame, becoming guilty, recognizing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of eternal life, which means that they became conscious of their mortality. In this creation story, Adam and Eve become the first “converts” in God’s plan of salvation. They illustrate the starting point in the consciousness of the biblical writers as human beings of God’s creation as opposed to their hominoid nature of before.

Thus, the Garden of Eden story needs to be understood in God’s plan of salvation as a giant step away from nature red in tooth and claw. Of course, Cain and Lamech represent our continual back-sliding into violence and murder.

My interpretation of the creation and the Garden of Eden does not mean to be a reductionism of God’s creation. God created the heavens and the earth and in our pre-history, used evolution biology in creating all our plants and animals.

The Bible is not a book of science, but a theological work. But if we compare the biblical creation story with the Babylonian or Egyptian ones, it will prove more scientific in comparison. Monsters are not torn up in wars that make their body parts the earth and sky. But we look back and say, “What’s this about a talking snake?”[1] But that question obscures the scientific advance that the biblical account featured at the time when it was written.

God created the heavens and the earth now in our understanding of it, that is, on the scientific level of knowledge we possess as of today. There is evolution, genetic codes, etc. in biology; the Big Bang, black holes, dark matter, Higgs Bosom particles, relativity in the astronomy of the universe, etc., which is our particular attainment in scientific knowledge at this point. But what must be the level of God’s knowledge of science to have created us all and this whole unfathomable universe? We will learn far many more secrets of the universe, but the more we know, the more we’ll know that we don’t know; the less we know, the more we’ll think we know, to bring up the Socratic paradox.

Now creationists who treat the bible as a scientific textbook have the same narrow mind-set of those scientists who debunk religion, because they think their level of scientific knowledge allows them to do so. What can such a narrow mind-set know of ultimate things?

Therefore, the biblical account of creations is not anti-scientific, because a comparative investigation of the account demonstrates an inherent scientific advance. The narrow mind-set, however, misses the theological plan of salvation, not comprehending the anthropological, sociological, psychological, ethical, and mystical dimensions of the account.

The consciousness of the biblical tradition includes deep insights into human beings and the human condition. Just read the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Joseph, for example, let alone, Moses and the successful revolutionary liberation of Hebrew slaves from the Egyptian house of bondage.

Missing the plan of God’s salvation in the account misunderstands the heart of the message of the biblical writers: that Adam and Eve (the names mean “man and the mother of all the living”) by God’s grace created the first human beings, converted from their former hominoid state to live before God and now on the way to becoming Christ-like, to one day be described by the Beatitudes. On their historical journey, they are waiting with eager longing for the birth-pangs of the children of God in the new creations (Romans 8:21-23, 29). That emphasis is something the narrow mind-set of naturalism and materialism misses and cannot comprehend.

In that day, having the four elements of earth, wind, water, and fire, they described God creating Adam from the dust and Eve from his side, his rib, but note God’s hand in creating human beings is what is so important. Now we know how much greater God is, using evolution and giving each one of us a unique blueprint via our genes and our DNA. God intervened in the Garden of Eden, God came to be with us in Jesus Christ, and in God’s plan of salvation, things will end in the new Jerusalem, the city of God. this is the consciousness of the biblical tradition, which amounts to an incredible blessing, especially when the message of Christ is unpacked: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

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[1] Speaking with Native Americans, I heard them insist that animals talk if you are close to nature and have learned their language.

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