This book defends a startling idea: that the age-old theological and philosophical problems of original sin and evil, long thought intractable, have already been solved. The solution has come from the very scientific discovery that many consider the most mortal threat to traditional religion: evolution. Daryl P. Domning explains in straightforward terms the workings of modern evolutionary theory, Darwinian natural selection, and how this has brought forth life and the human mind. He counters objections to Darwinism that are raised by some believers and emphasizes that the evolutionary process necessarily enforces selfish behavior on all living things. This account of both physical and moral evil is arguably more consistent with traditional Christian teachings than are the explanations given by most contemporary "evolutionary" theologians themselves. The prominent theologian, Monika K. Hellwig, dialogues with Daryl Domning throughout the book to present a balanced reappraisal of the doctrine of original sin from both a scientist's and theologian's perspective.
'Those wishing a thoroughgoing reinterpretation of Christian belief in the light of evolutionary theory will be satisfied with this book… Others who wish to think through the doctrine of original sin in the light of evolutionary theory, though without allowing the latter such a dominating role, will also find it hugely stimulating…' Theological Book Review 'Anyone concerned about reconciling early Genesis (and Romans 5) with a modern understanding of paleontology will find in this book a well-reasoned solution that deserves to be considered.' Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith ’… provides an imporant contribution to an immature intellectual province.’ Reports of the National Center for Science Education ’… a well-argued, thought-provoking proposal which deserves further debate by both scientists and theologians.’ Science & Christian Belief
Contents: Foreword, Monika K. Hellwig; Introduction, Daryl P. Domning. Part One The Historical and Theological Background of Original Sin, Monika K. Hellwig: The classic teaching on original sin. Part Two Why the Pre-Critical Understanding of Creation and Original Sin is no Longer Tenable, Daryl P. Domning: The Genesis cosmogony disproven: the universe is ancient and large; Life has evolved: how Darwinian evolution works; Objections to the Darwinian view of nature; No more Adam and Eve: science refutes monogenism; How suffering and death fit into evolution; Are we going anywhere? A static or cyclic universe versus an evolutionary universe. Response to Part Two, Monika K. Hellwig. Part Three Towards a New Understanding of Original Sin, Daryl P. Domning: Evolution and human behavior; Evolution and human ethics. Response to Part Three, Monika K. Hellwig. Part Four Original Selfishness: A Contribution to Evolutionary Theology, Daryl P. Domning: Adam and Eve reinterpreted; The meaning of salvation and the 'fall'; Reprise: what about suffering?; Teilhard's synthesis and its fruits: a critique; Summary and conclusion. Response to Part Four, Monika K. Hellwig. Rejoinder, Daryl P. Domning. Bibliography; Indexes.