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According to the great Christian theologians, like Augustine and Aquinas, the most difficult to understand issue in the whole Christian story (why we needed Christ's redemption) was dumbed down so that the people of the day, nomadic Israelites, could understand it.
This is an extremely profound thought. Think about it.
How could their all powerful, loving God be put in such a position that he had to subject his only son to terrible agony and death? Who else could impose such a requirement on Him? There must be a more powerful force being exerted on him? Some say this is simply his nature: He is so fundamentally good that this is the only way that the stain of his creation of humanity can be erased.
The basic most fundamental Christian notion is that somehow early humans did something so terrible to God that they were sentenced to eternal damnation. Consequently, we are all born guilty of this most terrible crime, and subject to the punishment.
At this point we have to abandon all our modern notions of justice and accept the antediluvian concept that this act was so egregious that even our beautiful newborn baby daughter who knows nothing of the world will be punished like this: if she does not accept that she was saved from it by a divine sacrifice.
We will never even know what this crime was, because somehow it is too difficult to explain to us mere humans. Therefore, the authors of the Bible invented a children's fairy tale to explain it.
And so we received the story of Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden, talking snake and all. Very simple and easy to understand, but the terrible crime was reduced to a simple disobedience of a command of God.
Obviously, the real offense was nothing to do with an apple, but something infinitely more serious.
Having committed that awful, crime there was no way out of the punishment for humans under their own power, and a Godly/human sacrifice was the only answer.
Huh! No one can explain where that rule came from?
The Creation story is in an earlier chapter of the book of Genesis, but the idea is the same: a simple explanation for an ancient flat-earth tribe who could not have begun to understand about particle physics, the big bang, special relativity, gravitational attraction of orbital space debris in the solar system, or quantum mechanics. Most of us do not really understand about those things now either, although the better educated do believe that they exist, and can be used by those who do really know to account for most of the story of the creation of the earth. To date, the remainder of that story is concentrated in the first few nanoseconds of the Big Bang, and is being further reduced by science: using the Large Hadron Collider.
So, science has finally given us the incredibly complex story of the Earth's and Universe's creation that the authors of Genesis rightly considered to be beyond the comprehension of their audience.
Similarly, science is currently giving us the full story of the creation of mankind and all the animals and plants.
This also is an incredibly complex story that can only be understood by the few people who have a deep education in microbiology, genetics, etc. The rest of us can understand a broad explanation from the scientists and have to trust them for the rest.
Of course the ancient Israelites could not have accepted such an explanation.
So now the requirement is to discover the real explanation for the redemption story: the one that could not have been understood by the ancients. Can science help us in this? Where should it start?
Or, would it be better to just pretend we are like those ancient Israelites and insist that the Genesis story is literally true, and no further explanation is required: faith. This is the line of the Young Earth Creationists.
My problem with that is that we modern humans have proved, by discovering the real story of creation, that we are not like those flat earth ancients, and there is no excuse for pretending that we are. *We can handle the truth!* Indeed, given the personal consequences, we are entitled to the truth.
Our modern notions of natural justice will make scientific discovery of the real story of the redemption much more difficult. We simply cannot accept the condemnation of a person (every person) for actions taken by other people thousands of years before they were born.
My opinion is that we will never get there. There is simply no hypothesis for salvation that can be tested by scientific experiment, publishing and peer review. No way of duplicating the initial conditions or reproducing the result, or even of knowing if we have achieved the result - until we are dead.