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.
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.