Monday, July 31, 2017

On Reading the Story of Adam and Eve

By Fr. John Breck

Someone asked the other day how we should read Genesis 2-3, the story of Adam and Eve. Behind his question lay troubled concern over the apparent conflict between science and Scripture. “If we take the biblical account seriously,” he concluded, “then we have to reject evolutionary theory altogether and align ourselves with those ‘creationists’ who believe the Genesis account is to be taken literally, as an actual biological description of the way human life came to be.”

There are two closely intertwined issues here: the meaning of the Genesis account, and God’s role in the process of creation. To address either one, it is necessary first of all to untangle and separate them. Here we will try to speak to the first question; then in a future column we will turn briefly to the debate over evolution and creationism.