from RJS at Jesus Creed who is reviewing Ronald Osborn's book, Death Before the Fall:
This central focus has (or should have) a profound influence on the perspective we take of creation and the nature of creation. There is, quite frankly, nothing christological in the typical literalist reading of Genesis. Christ is the subsequent solution to a problem … a problem of our making although many will also point to God's foreknowledge and/or predestination in the discussion. But this is not the universal Christian view. Turning to the ancient church fathers Osborn puts on the table the view that God’s purpose in creation always included the incarnation as a necessary part of bringing humans into union with God.
The linear creation, fall, redemption story line is deeply connected with a popular view of atonement. After a bit of discussion of atonement theory, Osborn suggests that perhaps the weakness lies with the monotone view of atonement as penal substitution. We need a bigger and broader picture including the ancient understanding of ransom and Christus Victor in the mix
This position is also, to my mind, the only one that makes any sense at all of the biblical narrative from Genesis to revelation. The text we have is characterized by the response of God to faithfulness and faithlessness of his people. He is in relationship with people who have the freedom to follow or to turn away. We can cherry pick selected verses that support meticulous sovereignty, but can maintain that position only by rationalizing away the vast (vast!) majority of the text. God’s control is an open-handed control.
This God willed freedom extends (and here Osborn quotes John Polkinghorne) to freedom in the very nature of creation, a freedom that includes quantum uncertainty, plate tectonics, weather, and evolution. Osborn brings in a study by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies) "The Creator wills that his creation itself should affirm and continue his work, he wills that created things should live and create further life." This God-willed freedom is in harmony with the nature of God and with the person of Christ in the Gospels.
And Adam? There is more to a Christ-centered view of creation than the fall of Adam and Eve. It is Christ, not Adam who is the first true human.
The entire post can be read here.
A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)