Evolution and the Fall

Evolution and the Fall

Evolution and the Fall

Evolution and the Fall


Tackles thorny questions and tensions at the intersection of Scripture and science

What does it mean for the Christian doctrine of the Fall if there was no historical Adam? If humanity emerged from nonhuman primates--as genetic, biological, and archaeological evidence seems to suggest--then what are the implications for a Christian understanding of human origins, including the origin of sin?

This book gathers a multidisciplinary, ecumenical team of scholars to address these difficult questions from the perspectives of biology, theology, history, Scripture, philosophy, and politics. After mapping the territory of challenging questions surrounding human origins and the Fall, the contributors delve into biblical sources and traditional theological accounts as resources for understanding, consider broader cultural implications of the Fall, and propose ways of reimagining the conversation so as to move forward faithfully.


One thing is clear: as a culture we no longer have the place or patience needed to tackle difficult issues and questions. Where does one go to consider and discuss the pressing issues of the day, to explore questions whose answers are not readily or easily found?

At the Colossian Forum, we believe that difficult questions—like the ones discussed in this book—belong to (and so belong in) the community that is the church. We confess that we have been given, in the church and its teachings, everything we need to engage divisive cultural questions in ways that both extend the tradition faithfully and deepen human flourishing. What’s more, in the church’s practices of worship we’ve been given a common space in which we might take up these difficult issues. We need not rush through to an easy answer, but, rooted in liturgical time, we can, together with all the saints, address questions as occasions to manifest love of God and neighbor.

The Colossian Forum exists to equip leaders to transform cultural conflicts into opportunities for spiritual growth and witness. This book is one example of the kind of dialogue we have in mind. Over the course of three years, ten scholars from a variety of disciplines gathered with the Colossian Forum to consider and address one particularly difficult question: If humanity emerged from nonhuman primates (as genetic, biological, and archaeological evidence seems to suggest), then what are the implications for Christian theology’s traditional account of origins, including both the origin of humanity and the origin of sin?

As we considered this question together, we did so not from within the . . .

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