Adam, the Fall and Original Sin: Part 3, The Slavery of Death

Summarizing the point of this series so far, we don't have to read Genesis 1-3 as a historical timeline. What is revealed in Genesis 1-3 is our predicament in the light of Jesus Christ. And that predicament is a slavery to both sin and death.

Can this view be reconciled with evolutionary biology? Yes it can, and a great example of this comes from my book The Slavery of Death

The Slavery of Death takes its cue from Hebrews 2.14-15:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Here the "power of the devil" in our lives is described as a lifelong slavery to the fear of death. In this view, moral failure isn't due to "total depravity" but anxiety, specifically the fear of death. Taking a cue from the Orthodox tradition, the issue isn't Original Sin but what that tradition calls Ancestral Sin. What we inherit from Adam isn't a congenital moral defect but a death-saturated existence. Born into a world of death as "biodegradable creatures in a world of real and imagined scarcity" we are slaves to anxiety, a slavery that becomes "the power of the devil" in our lives.

Simply, our primary moral predicament is anxiety. 

The point for this series is that this view of sin, death, and the devil fits very well with evolutionary and Darwinian accounts of human evolution. In the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ, our life "in Adam" is revealed to be a lifelong slavery to the fear of death. Our lives are mired in a Darwinian matrix of struggle and competition where self-offering love is continually scuttled by anxiety. Through his resurrection and gifts of forgiveness and life, Christ breaks "the power of the devil" in our lives, gifting biological creatures stuck "in Adam" the ontological capacity to love. 

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