What Genesis doesn’t say

Rethinking the creation story

Many people believe that according to the Bible, there has been a cosmic Fall as a result of the sin of the first humans, and death was a consequence of this supposed Fall. Many such approaches to scripture are lamentably lacking in theological sophistication. In certain respects, some of the approaches recommended by no doubt sincere religious believers are more consonant with atheism than with the orthodox Christian tradition of scriptural interpretation.

In light of the understanding of scripture offered in the first five centuries by the saints and fathers of the church—not to mention later figures such as the Victorines and St. Thomas Aquinas—Christians were never medieval in their approach to scripture. If anything, it is our common contemporary approach to scripture that is medieval, in the pejorative sense of the term. For example, despite the very best of intentions, the advent and rise of creationism and its understanding of the Bible represent a lapse into intellectual barbarism, a complete abandonment of the Christian tradition.


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