Theology of the Fall and the origins of evil Henri Blocher
Blocher starts by stating that he is a theologian and an amateur when it comes to science. Nevertheless, this is an issue that he has written about and considered over a number of decades. Not least in his In the Beginning (IVP, 1984).
I was particularly pleased that he spelled out how he sees science and the Bible interacting. We must take the Bible first, in the light of the original intention of the author and then 'Only secondarily should we reflect on the modern relevance of the meaning and any confrontation with contemporary scientific opinion' (p. 150).
He is right to remind us that 'science' is not 'immune from errors, frauds or ideological slant' (p. 151). This is particulalry true to remember in the light of the recent climategate e-mails. One wonders how much we are also kept in the dark about other scientific theories?
It is refreshing to see him unequivocally state that 'Whatever the tensions, the non-historical interpretation of Genesis 3 is no option for a consistent Christian believer' (p. 155). He briefly discusses James Barr and Christopher Southgate and Moltmann and dismisses their objections and interpretations.
Again, he stresses: 'The issue of historicity here is no peripheral matter for hair-splitting theologians: it is vital for the biblical message - it is the heart of the message' (p. 158); also: 'The issue is not whether we have a historical account of the Fall [no scare quotes here], but whether we have the account of a historical Fall (p. 159).
He then looks at palaeoanthropology and sees what light this can provide in light of the fact that 'A historical Fall is a non-negotiable article of faith' (p. 169). He notes that 20 years ago it looked like human origins could be traced back to 40 000 BC from one centre, but this no longer seems the case. Hence, he concludes that we need not be embarrassed that we have scientific uncertainties we can trust the Creator and Redeemer.