Christian apologists trip over the age of the earth … again1

by

Published: 10 April 2018 (GMT+10)

How could a loving God … ? Identifying the problem

Sooner or later, anyone involved in the subject of Christian apologetics will be asked about the existence of death and suffering. The question can take many forms: Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why does God allow it? What about suffering caused by natural evil? Historically, the Christian response to this question has been to explain that the original creation, which was declared by God to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31), did not contain such aberrations as death and suffering. Apologists then typically point to the historical event of the Fall as that which allowed sin and death to enter and corrupt the created order (Romans 8:20–22). Such a response is a biblical one, yet many are seemingly oblivious that this answer can only be used consistently within a ‘young-Earth’ framework. While correctly pointing to the Fall as an explanation for death and suffering, many apologists who accept the evolutionary long-age paradigm of earth history are unaware of the massive inconsistency. Old-Earth belief directly undercuts the biblical defence against objections posed by death and suffering. The secular paradigm is built upon ‘dating’ methods and assumptions which place death, suffering, disease, cancer and carnivorous activity long before the Fall of man. Thus, pointing to the Fall as the terminus a quo2 for death and suffering is logically inconsistent, and many thoughtful sceptics have picked up on this.

Exposing the problem.

Justin-Brierley-premierchristianradio
Justin Brierley

A recent example occurred on the Unbelievable podcast hosted by Justin Brierley. This is the UK’s leading apologetics podcast that brings believers and unbelievers together for discussion and debate. I listen to the show regularly and greatly enjoy the content. Recently, an episode aired which featured Christian philosopher Paul Copan.3 Paul is well known for his book Is God a Moral Monster? which attempts to explain many of the difficult passages in the Old Testament (see also this review of Copan’s book, co-authored with William Lane Craig, Creation out of nothing). As part of the show, listeners were invited to submit questions for him. The central part of the show featured what I considered an illuminating, yet frustrating, exchange between Paul and an atheist caller.

The age of the earth is pivotal

The caller was introduced by Justin Brierley as a person with a question about death and natural evil that seems to predate the Fall. He explained that his question was based on a video response that Justin made previously to the infamous viral video of Stephen Fry (discussed here), lamenting the God who would create bone cancer in children and worms that burrow into the eye.4 The caller first summarised Justin’s previous response;5 basically, these bad things are not how the world was intended to be, and the world is now out of kilter because of the Fall. So far so good—nothing to disagree with here. The caller then set his trap. He started by getting Paul Copan to confirm that he held to a 4.5 billion-year-old earth. Once Paul agreed that this was indeed his view, the caller proceeded with his main question:

Paul-Copan
Paul Copan
“ … knowing the world as we see today, if extrapolating back millions of years, we have millions of years of death (as the engine of evolution), suffering, cancers, parasites and diseases. How is all that equated for if the Fall is responsible for it?”

The point which this caller had so astutely noticed, and was trying to get the host to acknowledge, was that you cannot use the Fall as a response to why we have death and suffering if you also accept the evolutionary time scale, because they contradict each other! If you want to accept the old-earth view then you must acknowledge the history that goes with it, i.e. millions of years of death, disease and bloodshed before the Fall. But once you accept that, you have no option but to say that God did in fact create these things and even pronounced them “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Ignoring the issue

However, most people can recognise that such an inconsistent answer has little apologetic strength and the next five minutes of discussion illustrated this. Paul responded by first referencing Scripture passages6 which he said hinted at the food chain being the way God has ordered the world. However, citing basically poetic references to the animal kingdom as seen by someone living long after the Fall did nothing to answer the caller’s question. So Paul continued, explaining that he wouldn’t call animal death a natural evil and that animal suffering is an incorrect category. Again, he was just evading the thrust of the question. Unsurprisingly, the caller interjected that, while Paul Copan might be happy to dismiss animal death as “natural”, to him it was actually horrific. Indeed, Richard Dawkins has remarked that, “The total amount of [animal] suffering per year is beyond all decent comprehension.”7 There are crippling and painful genetic diseases and mutations—things which Justin had implied were a result of the Fall. But how did they come about before the Fall, if Adam was really to blame?

Exegetical errors

Interestingly, the caller also commented that he had seen at conferences that Christians are honestly struggling with this issue. Paul’s response was that the world which was first created was not in fact perfect, his argument being that the phrase “very good” from Genesis does not imply perfection. This statement flies directly in the face of Hebrew lexicons which show that moral and physical perfection are conveyed by these words (see, Was God’s finished creation perfect?). The atheist caller would have been warranted in asking whether the phrase “very good” also included the presence of cancer! Paul continued:

“ … the primary focus is on humans who rebel and as a result the world is corrupted, spiritual death comes to human beings. The effects of the Fall are a spiritual issue rather than a physical one”.

However, the description of the effects of the Fall clearly includes physical elements: the serpent is cursed above all livestock, women will experience unpleasant pain in childbirth, the ground is cursed and will bring forth thorns and thistles, and growing food will be a laborious task (Genesis 3:14–19). Also, and most importantly, man was to die a physical death; ‘dust to dust’ (v.19). These unquestionably are physical changes. Paul then referenced the teaching in Romans 8, which talks about the creation being in “bondage to corruption” (Romans 8:21), in an attempt to say that this is something bigger than the Fall; it is about replacing the first creation. Yet again, he evaded the real issue, which is about when this bondage started; at the Fall or hundreds of millions of years before it?

The atheist caller, clearly getting a little frustrated that his question was not being answered, said, “You are kind of avoiding the issue by putting everything back to man. I am trying to home in on the stuff before. You are brushing it aside by saying the world is not good. Justin, you seemed to imply that the eye-eating worm is because the world is out of kilter due to the Fall, but Paul you are maybe implying, this is how it was made by God?” In other words, he was pointing out that Justin Brierley and Paul Copan could not both be correct.

Unsatisfactory answers

In Paul’s final reply, he acknowledged that he believed there were instances before the Fall where parasites caused death and suffering, and that natural disasters were responsible for the deaths of many hominids—which, in his theistic-evolutionary worldview were not, of course, fully-evolved humans and did not have souls. He implied that, since neither parasites nor hominids were divine image-bearers, their suffering and death before the Fall of man could not be counted as true death or evil.

Sadly, this view of history is imposed on Scripture and cannot be supported by any biblical references. Besides, admitting such a situation actually confirms the atheist’s point: ‘secular interpretations of earth-history’ and the biblical record are inconsistent. At the end of the exchange, Justin jumped in, almost second-guessing his original response, to say that he would have to check the exact wording on his video.3 He asserted that human choice is responsible for the world being the way it is, but that maybe bone cancer is part of a wider picture of the creation being in bondage to decay; that in some ways, it could be part of a bigger picture on a mystical level. I’ll admit, that along with the atheist caller, I do not really understand what this means!

Fixing the problem

This sorry episode clearly demonstrates that the age of the earth is not a secondary, peripheral issue, related only to the creation-evolution debate. It is absolutely pivotal in determining how we answer fundamental questions relating to death and suffering. If we are inconsistent, astute sceptics, like this caller, will pick up on it. It also demonstrates the irrational fear that so many Christian apologists have over the age issue, causing them to repeatedly make these types of contradictory statements. This fear seems to be driven by the incorrect assumption that deep time has been irrefutably demonstrated. However, such an assumption is unwarranted given the abundant evidence available today that the deep time paradigm is flawed.

The solution really is quite simple: rather than trying to invent different explanatory models or interpretations of Genesis that can accommodate millions of years, we need to realise that the Bible can and should be taken at face value. Its explanation for the origin of suffering and death needs no alteration and the problem only appears when secular evolutionary assumptions are imported into our theology (see Plumbing and paradigms). It is those compromising assumptions that need to be thrown out! Only then can we present the biblical explanation of death and suffering without contradictions.

References and notes

  1. Originally published in Prayer News, CMI-UK/Europe, October 2017. Return to text.
  2. Latin for, the earliest possible date. Return to text.
  3. Grill Paul Copan—your questions answered, Unbelievable? premierchristianradio.com, 8 July 2017. Return to text.
  4. Stephen Fry annihilates God, Secular Talk channel, youtube.com, posted 31 January 2015; accessed 26 July 2017. Return to text.
  5. Dear Stephen, I believe in Oscar Wilde’s God, Premier On Demand, youtube.com, posted 6 February 2015; accessed 26 July 2017. Return to text.
  6. While not directly mentioned, he seems to have had in mind Job 38:39–40 and Psalm 104:21. Return to text.
  7. Dawkins, R., The Greatest Show on Earth, p. 391, Bantam Press, London, 2009. See detailed critique, The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Return to text.

Reader’s comments

Roger G.
Thanks for sharing these comments about a UK podcast exchange. I think that your article helps to clear the fog from fuzzy thinking and clarifies the reality of an actual fall a relatively short time ago and hence the closeness in time of the opening Biblical story. By using a real example of an exchange on this subject you have helped to increase the faith and the confidence of readers, who may now be a little better equipped to engage with people who verbalize this sort of inconsistency. Thanks for the clear teaching and keep clear teachings like this coming through. Blessings, Roger
Richard G.
God bless you at CMI,
You've done it beautifully and well this time and remarkably briefly. I spend little time in thoroughly absorbing everything but I grasped almost all of what you said! I fear that Bro Brierley will be related to Peter Brierley whom I respect as a missionary statesman. It's difficult when some long agers are connected closely to us not just as Christians. Jesus called the Apostle Peter Satan. Oh for His freedom from human feelings! I am a huge fan of John Lennox. We are both brethren if you understand my cryptic appellation. But he is a long ager. Worse, the son of a brethren missionary close to me is an outright evolutionist lecturing in Auckland University but fortunately now out of the brethren and with the Methodists. How comforting verses 98 to 100 of Psalm 119 showing that we who stick to the simple Word of God know more re evolution creation etc than our enemies , our teachers, and the aged!!! My struggles to understand 'coding' in genetics etc.. are unnecessary! Hallelujah! Let's boldly spread the gospel in and out of our comfort zones.
King T.
Having seen the damage caused by a belief in evolution and deep time (one glaring example being people demolishing the long-life ages of those who lived before and just after the flood because they re-interpret the numbers), I have to wonder how it would be possible for them to be saved. If they do not believe the things that Moses wrote, how is it logically possible for them to believe that Jesus rose from the dead? What is it that changes between Genesis and Matthew that makes Matthew true but the whole of the Old Testament untrue (since the flood is mentioned just about everywhere in the old testament)?

...

God is a jealous God, we cannot worship Him and also the man-made god [idol] of evolution. He will not share His glory with others [Isaiah 42:8].

There are consequences to following the deep time paradigm, one of them being to resorting to totally distort the word of the LORD in order to please the unbeliever.
Philip Bell
We share your deep concerns. In some cases, professing Christians who argue for long ages exhibit such a low view of Scripture (by explicitly denying such cardinal doctrines of Christianity as the Fall of Man and Christ's penal substitutionary atonement), one cannot help but wonder where they really stand before God. That said, we must be careful not to lump all people in one category. Many true believers (saved by the grace of God) hold views that are inconsistent with their profession and it can take time for their eyes to be opened. See: Do I have to believe in a historical Genesis to be saved?
Guy W.
Another article which nails the issue squarely! One of the interesting by-products of the discussions about Darwinian Christians v. Biblical Christians is just how much of an indication it is about their own level of faith. The button-hole question is "in 6 literal days????" Christians who cannot believe the whole Bible are either spiritually very young and need to grow or they are mature and are really calling God a liar. The thing is that if Jesus so much as lied even ONCE, then Satan would have a claim on Him just the same as the rest of us. Since He rose from the dead ... it proves - to those of us that believe - that the WHOLE of the Bible is true and inspired by God. Christians unsure of the truth of God's creation would be well advised to feed their faith by reading more Bible (Romans 10:17). Regarding the corruption of Creation they need to come to terms with the fact that Satan is the great deceiver and also the god of this world. ... How can anyone pray and believe God for anything like healing, provision and leading while at the same time [effectively] believing that He is a liar?! John 8:44 tells us WHO the liar is, and this whole evolution faith is from him! ... Sin, sickness, poverty, wars, murders, suffering, crime, abuses of any kind are ALL the product of the Fall, when man agreed with Satan. So reader, may I challenge, who do you agree with? Ask God to lead you in His Word and get wise!
joe S.
Thanks to all your hard work CMI! You may have already done this but please publish an article on how to calculate the age of the earth according to the Bible. ...
Philip Bell
Indeed we have, most recently: How does the Bible teach 6,000 years?
Richard D.
Exellent article! It couldn't be more clear how foolish it is for a Christian Apologist to hold a theistic evolutionary worldview. Even the lost intellectuals see it as folly. Also, it must be kept in mind that religious syncretism is an abomination in the eyes of God (one of ancient Israel's biggest problems). Why won't these clever apologists see? Surely they understand evolution is an ideology/religion not operational science? Why can't they see? How can someone who professes faith in the risen Christ be so lost when it comes to the clear teaching of scripture regarding creation? Why do they let Lyell and Darwin and Dawkins and Hawking and their ilk have the final say on origins? How can Lyell being evil speak what is good? What kind of treasure does an anti-theist bring out of his heart?
So Christian apologist, why do yo believe them? Why???
I agree with Richard G, - Frankly, the following needs to be said to the apologist who teaches theistic evolution/old earth progressive creation, etc. "May the Lord rebuke you, ...you are a stumbling block to the church! For you are not setting you mind on the things of God but on the things of man. (Matt. 16:22-23, Mark 8:31-33). God's word is the final say regarding history, not Lyell and his disciples. Why do you esteem man above God?"
Jesus was this strong with Peter when Peter contradicted the Word of God in front of the other disciples. And so should we when it comes to the authority of Scripture, and rebuke the wayward apologist, who should really know better. May the Lord rebuke them.
Matthew D.
Well before Darwin published his famous tome, many gentlemanly scholars or the 18th an 19th centuries had taken to examining the geologic record around them, and despite their fundamental Christian beliefs, had come to accept a complex 'antediluvian' pre-history for the world. Whether they were neptunists or plutonists, catastrophists or gradualists, they were not prepared to forfeit their powers of observation or reason to fit a world-view that they happened simply to have been born into. Few differ from what they were taught while sitting on their mother's knee. My dad was an Anglican minister.
Philip Bell
Unfortunately, these scholars were not operating within an intellectual world-view vacuum, simply following where the field evidence led them. During that period, while many still had "fundamental Christian beliefs" regarding such things as the historical Adam and the Fall of Man, they were biblically awry concerning other matters of origins. For instance, while believers in catastrophism, many considered the Noahic Deluge merely to have been the most recent in a sequence of world-affecting catastrophes that went back into much deeper time than a straight reading of Genesis 1 would allow. The late Derek Ager (secular geologist at the University of Wales, Swansea, and no friend of biblical creationists) made this candid admission when addressing his 'old-earth' geological colleagues:
“My excuse for this lengthy and amateur digression into history is that I have been trying to show how I think geology got into the hands of the theoreticians who were conditioned by the social and political history of their day more than by observations in the field... In other words, we have allowed ourselves to be brain-washed into avoiding any interpretation of the past that involves extreme and what might be termed ‘catastrophic’ processes” (my emphasis). Derek Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, Macmillan, London, 1981, p. 46-47.

Another 20th century 'giant' of evolutionary theory, Ernst Mayr, concurred:
"The reason why catastrophism was adopted by virtually all of the truly productive leading geologists in the first half of the 19th century is that the facts seemed to support it." Ernst Mayr, The nature of the Darwinian Revolution, Science 176 (4038):981-989, 2 June 1972 (quotation is from p. 985).

Thus any kind of gradualism was certainly not borne out by geological field evidence. So-called 'scriptural geologists' of that period were Christians who saw no problem whatever with accommodating all the observations then available within the context of a thousands of years time frame for earth history (not hundreds of thousands or millions of years), and a single global catastrophic flood. A useful article in showing the historical milieu of that period is here.



James K.
Great insightful article. I agree that the inconsistencies the Christian 'long agers' create, in their unwitting compromise with the biblical text and the atheist evolutionary timescale, is indeed a problem plaguing Christianity. ... Keep on fighting the good fight in this area, for it explains how we got here, how sin entered, and our need of a Savior, and how it all will end before sin is no more. "What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time." Nahum 1:9. ...
Paul M.
I am saddened to hear an genuinely intelligent question from an atheist being ineptly answered! In fact, William Lane Craig rebukes Christians who hold a short age view. I was a long-age evolutionist until my conversion, and my world-view on origins science was dismantled by a straight forward reading of the bible. (I attribute this to the grace of God, not my own intellect!) Re-looking at any 'scientific' evidence to the contrary was far from compelling. I find the underlying 'scientific conspiracy' to disprove God or the bible far more interesting!
Stephen L.
There is no resurrection of animals in the Bible nor do they possess a personal relationship to God. So life and death for animals is regarded in a different category to human death life and relationship to God. Therefore arguments based on death pain and suffering in animals should not be used in the arguments about the age of the earth.
Philip Bell
Would the death and suffering of animals have occurred for millions of years before Adam's existence? See Resolving human reaction to animal suffering and also, The carnivorous nature and suffering of animals.
Douglas R.
In the early years of the church, little tolerance was given to those who taught false doctrine regarding any aspect of the gospel. A single false doctrine perverted the gospel of God and Christ. Adding circumcision by Jewish "brethren", who claimed to be Christian, was strongly refuted by Paul and then by the whole church counsel, made up of the apostles and James, the elder of the church at Jerusalem, who also wrote the book of James. Paul called these supposed brethren "false brethren." He did not say they were just good Christians who had embraced a bad doctrine. This is what supposed leaders do today. They don't want to offend anyone, even though those who take these evil and subversive positions cause others to stumble and fall from the grace of God.

I would submit that such men who refuse to label heretics for what they are, are themselves in the same boat. Jesus told us to "beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing." He also said "a little leaven, leavens the whole lump," and to beware of the leaven or teaching of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians. Paul made it very clear in his writing to the Galatians that if any one preaches another gospel other than the true gospel that he first taught, "let him be accursed." There are no stronger words of condemnation in Scripture. But today, we have people apologizing or apologists, not labeling them for what they truly are, "false brethren." This is not how Paul or the apostles or Christ would deal with such matters.
Don P.
A difficulty is that even if there were no time for any deaths before the Fall, it seems very hard to understand why God would punish the whole universe afterwards because of the sin of one couple (or even of all of humanity). It seems to make much more sense to try to understand how creation is indeed "very good" despite the existence of suffering and death (as, for example, Leibnitz tried to do), rather than to try to blame it ALL on human sin.
Philip Bell
The issue is not whether God punished the universe (an idea nowhere taught in Scripture) but whether or not death and suffering were intended to be part and parcel of the world He had made; Genesis 1:29-31 make clear that they were absent from that original perfection, as do corroborating teaching elsewhere in the Bible. The teaching of the resultant Curse of the created order as a result of man's disobedience is not "difficult" to understand (for the text clearly teaches exactly that and the NT writers like Paul affirmed it). It may be 'hard' for some to believe, but that is a very different matter. Respectfully, whether something seems to make sense to us is not the issue, rather, what does the Bible unambiguously teach.
Joseph M.
For the earth to be much older than a few thousand years does not require evolution at all. Genesis 1:1 alone covers the full creation of heaven and earth, the universe. Verse 2 very briefly describes earth's condition after a huge universal catastrophe, without going into any detail about what caused it (other passages in the Bible provide the main details). Beginning in verse 3 is God's restoration of Planet Earth to habitability, while introducing living creatures that could reproduce themselves according to kind. Why reproduction now? Because of what God was planning to do with His own life.

The timing of Genesis 1:3 after said catastrophe had to be precisely correct for all of the rest to a work properly. Thus the very old age of the earth and of the universe.
Philip Bell
True, one can choose to believe in a millions-of-years old earth without accepting evolution, but there are important implications of that, something that many articles on this site discuss in detail; this one being a case in point. The Gap Theory to which you refer (and there are various versions of these 'Ruin/Reconstruction' theories), fail the test of Scripture and do not begin to provide a harmonisation with ancient-earth geological interpretations that is remotely acceptable to secular scientists who are wedded to the standard paradigm of uniforrmitarian (or actualistic) thinking. See What about gap theories? and 'Soft gap' sophistry, plus search on 'gap theory' on this site to find many more articles that deal with these topics.
Andy V.
It would seem to me that the Fall began not with Adam's Sin, but with Satan's fall from heaven, and nobody knows when that actually occurred. The Bible doesn't say, except the obvious fact that Satan's fall preceded Adam and Eve's. If Satan's fall happened millions or billions of years (or even just thousands) before Adam's fall, then why couldn't physical death have occurred thousands, or millions or even billions of years as a result of his sin?
Philip Bell
The teaching of the Old and New Testaments (e.g. Genesis 3 and Romans 8:18-22) is clear that it was the Fall of Adam (not Satan) which occasioned the Curse of the created order by God. Clearly, Satan's fall into sin happened prior to the Fall of Adam but the Scripture nowhere teaches (or allows for the idea) that death of nephesh creatures, let alone the death of any so-called pre-Adamites or pre-Adamic hominids, predated the events of Genesis 3. As to the timing of Satan's rebellion, several articles on this site explain these things but a good place to start is, Was God's finished creation perfect?
Christopher W.
Although this article was about death and animals before the fall, that's not the full extent or full implication.

May I ask a rhetorical question, tongue in cheek. Lets just suppose for one minute that Adam did evolve, which therefore means he also had a mother, father, uncles and aunts. He therefore also had brothers, sisters and cousins. Now most of humanity are descended from Adam, who committed original sin meaning that all of his decedents are fallen as per New testament teaching etc. The English however are descended from Adam's brother, who never committed any sin, which is why the English are perfect.........

I will leave you all to work out the theological implications of what I just said, and its compatibility with the rest of scripture. I'd be very interested to see a list of books in the bible that don't conflict with this scenario, I doubt anyone can offer anything.
Philip Bell
With respect, such suppositions are unwarranted from Scripture. The Apostle Paul affirmed Adam was the "first man" (1 Corinthians 15:45) and we also read that Eve was the progenitor female of all human beings (Genesis 3:20). Thus, ALL of humanity, not "most" of humanity, are descended from these First Parents. Therefore, ALL humans that have ever lived are fallen. Your hypothetical story is without foundation but also without teaching value and there is no case to answer.
Philippus S.
Need I say anymore, this is the problem of this world.
Matthew 18:2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 
Matthew 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
Matthew 18:4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 
Matthew 18:5  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 
Matthew 18:6  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 

Let me say it again;
Mathew 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
Philip R.
Thanks Thomas for writing this.
I have listened to the Unbelievable? podcast for years, and generally find it very good, and Justin Brierley is an excellent moderator. Apparently the show has very many listeners from outside the UK (I'm from Oz), so this article certainly deserved a wider audience than it had originally.
The usual format is a discussion between a Christian and a non-Christian about a specified topic, although there are occasional episodes between two Christians about some Christian issue, and some episodes involve more than two sides. And occasionally, as in this case, several pre-arranged atheists "calling in" to "grill" the Christian guest.
However, when it comes to biblical creation, Justin and his show are severely deficient. He has had a creation vs. evolution discussion a handful of times, but in almost every case it was between a creationist and another Christian who took an evolutionary or ID or progressive creation view (he often has guests from Reasons to Believe).
And I've found it very frustrating when both the atheist and Christian guests have been in agreement about evolution and/or the age of the earth, as often seems to be the case.
Even when discussing a topic such as the genetics of Adam and Eve, he has avoided having a biblical creationist on the show.
I know he has a fair number of biblical creationists listening, as he sometimes reads out comments from them. More feedback from biblical creationist listeners should encourage him to give biblical creation a fairer hearing.
Philip R.
I read Christopher W's comment as agreeing with the biblical creation position, by pointing out one absurdity of the idea that Adam had evolved from a pre-Adamite being—that therefore some people today are not descended from Adam and therefore don't need to be saved. This is along the similar lines to CMI's argument against Hugh Ross and the age of Australian Aboriginal culture (e.g. here).
However, some people do indeed make such arguments (except the "English are perfect" bit!), and explain the difficulties that Christopher was highlighting by inventing workarounds such as claiming that Adam's sin then got imputed to all of humanity.

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