If the Old Earth/evolutionary model is true, then God made a world with sin, sickness, and death. But then… what is Jesus saving us FROM? His own design? And what is promised to us in the future when He makes all things new? More sin, sickness and death? Or will He finally make perfect what He couldn’t (or refused to) make perfect in the beginning?
The debate over Genesis 1 is not merely academic. Most of the major beliefs and doctrines are rooted in Genesis, and much of the rest of the Bible point back to the creation and the flood as real events.
One model presents God as the creator of a perfect world, free of sin, sickness and death. One model presents God looking at a world full of sin, sickness and death and calling it “very good.”
One model presents humans as one family, made in the image of God by his own hand. The other has us developing gradually from other animals, distinct from them only in our most recent years.
One model presents humans made perfect, with free will, ultimately falling to sin and breaking the relationship with God. The other model has us as always being in a “fallen” state, made as animals, maybe even made to rebel.
One model shows us that the Bible can be trusted from the very first page. The other tells us the Bible is fiction for the first 13 chapters at least, presents a God who lies to his people, and a Jesus who doesn’t know any better.
The Gospel only makes sense with a real, historical Genesis 1. We were made perfect in a world which was perfect, but we chose to sin and thus brought sin and death and sickness into the world. Jesus died to pay for our sins and make all things new, to restore what was lost. So yes, this debate is worth having, not to win fights, but to win souls to Jesus. We’re not contending for some trivial background knowledge about the past, but about the foundation of the Christian faith. That is, ultimately, EVERYTHING worth talking about.
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