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The beginning of the covenant; Faith vs. Faithlessness

Salvation with a literal Genesis 1

Postby Johnny on the Rocks » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:52 pm

I grew up heavily influenced by Creationism, and one of the central tenets is that the Gospel needs a literal creation, as without an actual fall, there is no need for salvation/redemption, and therefore no need for Jesus. I've looked around in the subsequent years and never found an answer that really explains it.

As many Christians do not believe in creation as per the first chapters of Genesis, how do they understand the purpose of Christ's sacrifice.

My understanding was God created Man>Man rejected God>God had to have some way of having relationship with man (which demanded sacrifice)>Jesus was ultimate sacrifice.

Without a literal Garden of Eden, there would be no rejection of God, so no broken relationship right? Then what was Jesus for?
Thanks for your help in advance
Johnny on the Rocks

Re: Salvation with a literal Genesis 1

Postby jimwalton » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:44 pm

I follow the perspective on Genesis 1 posted by Dr. John Walton. He takes the approach that Gn. 1 is about how God ordered the cosmos and world to function as his temple rather than being about material origin. It's quite a literal reading of Gn.1 in its own right. Day 1 is literally about a period of light and a period of darkness, known as day and night, evening and morning, and therefore God is ordering the function of the day and night, viz., time. On Day 2 God literally separates the firmaments, ordering the function of climate and weather. On Day 3 the earth functions to bring forth vegetation, the function of agriculture. On Day 4 the sun moon and stars literally function to give us times and seasons. On Day 6 humans function to rule the earth and subdue it. You get the point. It's not taking Genesis 1 as metaphor, poetry, or figurative, but literally as God ordering the world to function in a certain way.

Certainly God created the world and all that is (Jn. 1.3, Col. 1.15-16; Heb. 1.3, and others), but that's not what Gn. 1-2 are about.

Given that interpretation, there is still the same need for salvation. A literal and historic Adam and Eve (who may or may not be the first hominids) represent all of humanity, and their sin and separation from God is real and require the sacrifice of Jesus for atonement.

As you can see, I'm not a young earth creationist, nor do I believe in a 6-day creation, but I still believe God created the world, Adam & Eve were real, the Garden of Eden was real—just that Gn. 1-2 are not about the material creation. If you're interested, here are links to Dr. Walton's books:

I can explain Walton's perspective more if you wish. I just don't want to dump a wall of text on you without you wanting to see more.

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