*"The whole traditional teology that is taught in our seminars and churches is based on some basic principals. One of the most important is the principle of the Fall. The teology considers the existence of a definite point in space and time where the man, by his own will, decided to sin. This principle has a lot of theological consequences, as the Original Sin Theology, etc. This point of view is very confortable for the YEC’s [young-earth creationists], since this has nothing against their assumptions. But I, like many of you, do not believe in the evidences presented by the YEC’s (I would be very thankful if anyone could give me a name of a scientist who believes in the YEC’s and is not a Christian).
“Considering the current scientific evidences, I am a evolutionist. That puts me in a very confortable position in relation to the current science, but certainly also puts me in a very unconfortable position in relation to theology. How can I consider the notion of the Fall in the ‘paradigm’ of evolutionary creationism [or theistic evolution] ? When, and how did the man became a real man, in the theological view? What feature makes him a real man? Please, give me your opinions.”*
THE POSSIBLE ANSWERS:
This is a very important question. Even though a number of people have thought and written about this question, it’s difficult to find material. The Christian books, magazines, and e-mail groups which might discuss this question are pretty obscure.
For now, I’ll quickly summarize 11 ideas which I’ve encountered in various books and articles. All of them are suggestions for dealing with the biological and paleontological evidence while maintaining the doctrine of Original Sin and the need for a Savior. For this post, I’ll just list the ideas and won’t comment on which ones I believe probable or improbable, acceptable or unacceptable, or the scientific and/or theological problems faced by each idea. Maybe others in this group will want to start that discussion.
(1) God used evolutionary creation of plants, animals, and some hominids; followed by special creation of Adam & Eve, the parents of all modern humans, in a literal Garden of Eden several tens of thousands of years ago.
(2) God used evolutionary creation, including modern homo sapiens; followed by special creation of Adam & Eve, as representatives of all existing and future humanity, in a literal Garden of Eden.
(3) God used evolutionary creation, including modern homo sapiens; followed by special selection of Adam & Eve, as representatives of all existing and future humanity, in a literal Garden.
(4-6) The same as 1-3 above, except the Garden of Eden story is an allegorical re-telling of some other historical event. The historical details of The Fall are unknown, but it involved revelation from God, choice, and rebellion.
(7) Same as #1 above, but occurring 5.5 million years ago with the Genesis flood (a local flood) corresponding to the filling of the Mediterranean basin; Abraham is a modern person.
(8) God used evolutionary creation, including modern homo sapiens. The story of Adam, Eve and the Garden of Eden is an allegorical version of some actual historical event, in the distant past, where God revealed Himself to a group of humans (perhaps more than two), and the humans rebelled. The Fall was not inevitable, but a choice. Original sin “spread” from this group who received the first “revelation” outward to eventually include all humans.
(9) Same as #8, but the story of the Fall is a telescoping of multiple events of revelation and rebellion in human pre-history.
(10) Same as #9, but taking into account the slow development of hominid intelligence and self-awareness over time. (Analogous to the gradual development from the ordinary self-centeredness of an infant into the sinful selfishness of a toddler.)
(11) Same as #10, but the eventual sinful state of humanity was inevitable, given the number of opportunities for it to happen.
That seems a fairly exhaustive list, though I’ve probably missed a few.
from a post by Loren Haarsma on an old creation-evolution List I found