Every explanation of life’s origins is a version of one of the following two ideologies: either life springs from death or death is an interruption of life. We, 21st century human beings who live in an ever-more secular world, must decide for ourselves whether we believe life comes from death or that death is an unnatural interruption of life.
Since the 19th century, Western culture has become more and more convinced that life is simply a result of “natural” processes dependent upon death.
Charles Darwin proposed in the conclusion of On the Origin of Species that death along biological lines has brought life on earth to its current form, “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.” In other words life as we now see it is a product of millions and millions of years of death.
Those who believe that God Elohim is the Creator of the universe teach that life came before death and therefore hold that death is an unnatural interruption to life. On the fifth day of creation, God Elohim filled the sea and skies with “living creatures” (נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֑ה). He filled the dry land with living creatures on the sixth day, capping off His creation with human beings who were created in His Image. These living creatures were blessed so that they could fill the new planet with biological life of all forms.
How do Christians reconcile these two competing ideas? Some interpret the opening chapters of the Bible in light of science, favoring the secular explanation of origins to the Biblical account for a variety of reasons. Others hold to the creation account and look for ways to interpret scientific findings in light of the scriptures. In both cases, what you presuppose is true (either life from death or death from life) will color how you interpret what you discover in the scriptures and observe in the physical realm.
Recognizing this—what you presuppose to be true about the origin of life determines how you will interpret every fact or theory regarding life as it now exists—is the first step towards understanding why you think the way you do about your life. Everyone who embraces the “life springs from death” mentality will be more likely to think along secular lines about life, ethics, even God and eternity. Those who presuppose that physical death is an “unnatural” interruption to life will be much more open to what God proposes in the scriptures.
It takes special insight and great courage to hold to the Truth of human origins as recorded in the scriptures. Jesus Himself said such knowledge is a supernatural gift. “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17 ESV).
Christians have been blessed with faith to see God at work in creation, in Christ and through His Church. But this greatest blessing can become a curse if we look down upon others who think differently than us or fail to share Christ’s love and forgiveness with those who are different from us. Instead, we should live humbly among our neighbors while speaking confidently of our faith so that God can draw others to Himself through us. This is how Christians bring others from spiritual death to life in Christ!