Understanding Original Sin

by Ken Ham on December 11, 2013

Many of you have certainly heard about the doctrine of original sin, which is really just a term that refers to the sin that is ours because of Adam. In Genesis 3, we read of man’s Fall through Adam’s sin:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:6–7)
Genesis is clear that there was a single original couple—Adam and Eve—and that they sinned by eating of the one tree in the Garden of Eden that God had commanded them not to. (We depict this event inside our Creation Museum.) The results of Adam’s sin are seen all around us, as the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans:
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:20–22)
What’s more, Paul clearly outlines how sin and death entered the world:
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12)

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)

Now, after reading this, it is clear that death of humans (and other passages make it clear that death of all nephesh creatures—those with a life spirit) entered the world as a result of Adam’s sin, and that all of humanity is sinful because of the sin nature inherited from Adam. But Dr. Loren Haarsma is not sure the answer is as straightforward as that.

Dr. Haarsma is associate professor of physics at Calvin College (a Christian college) and husband to Dr. Deborah Haarsma, the newest president of BioLogos (which promotes theistic evolution). So, what’s his problem with this view of original sin? Well, it doesn’t account for an evolutionary view of human origins.

In an article from BioLogos titled Why the Church Needs Multiple Theories of Original Sin, Dr. Haarsma makes a claim that challenges the very truthfulness of Genesis 1:

Just as theologians before Galileo understandably assumed that the earth was fixed and didn’t move, so Augustine and most ancient and medieval theologians who followed him understandably assumed that those first humans—from whom we all descended—were a single pair who lived in Mesopotamia a few thousand years ago.
So right away, it’s evident that Dr. Haarsma’s bias is in favor of evolution and millions of years. Despite Scripture’s clear claim that God created a single man and woman about 6,000 years ago (when you add up the genealogies in the Old Testament back to Adam), Dr. Haarsma relies of man’s faulty assumptions about the past to reinterpret biblical doctrine.

After a discussion of human evolution and the supposed evidence for it, Dr. Haarsma presents the same old claims that theistic evolutionists have been presenting to try to reconcile millions of years of human evolution with a historical Adam and Eve. He considers the idea that Adam and Eve were just two in a group of people that God chose, or that they were “literary representations” of a group of people. What he seems to be saying is that we can’t trust the claims of God the Creator, because evolutionary ideas don’t fit!

This is just another example of what many professors at Christian universities believe and are teaching young students. As parents, we must equip our children to stand firmly on the authority of Scripture in the face of such attacks on the accuracy of God’s clear Word. I encourage you to order a copy of my book Already Compromised for more examples of how many Christian universities, colleges, and seminaries have compromised on Genesis and what you as a parent can do to strengthen your child’s faith.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,


This blog post was written with the assistance of Steve Golden.

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