Creation Out of Nothing
Christianity didn’t start out the way that most Christians practice it today. Some of the church dogma is hardly even recognizable, if at all, in the Bible. Take Original Sin, for example.
If it was in the Old Testament, it would by necessity have to be part of Jewish religious thought. However, one rabbi summed up Judaism’s rejection of Original Sin this way, “The term ‘original sin’ is unknown to the Jewish Scriptures, and the Church’s teachings on this doctrine are antithetical to the core principles of the Torah and its prophets.” By Jewish Scriptures, he meant the Old Testament, of course. So how exactly, did the Church get there?
The road to Original Sin is a fascinating story. It all started with the Greek philosopher Epicurus who created the well-known logic problem with respect to evil and where it came from (for a comprehensive discussion of Epicurus and his logic problem you can read my article “The Illogic of God” posted 8/26/13). The Church had a quandary. How do you have a omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God without having to finger Him as the source of evil?
Their answer was remarkably simple. Since God, by definition, had to have created a perfect world, the source of evil in the world must have been Man. One problem though, since if God created man then the source of evil still had to be ultimately attributable to this all-powerful God. The solution to that dilemma was to say that souls were not part of God, which doctrine is typically referred to as creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing); as if anything could ever be created out of nothing.
Aside: Why would a non-contingent being create a contingent being, anyway?
That solution caused yet another problem in that an all-powerful God certainly could have created a good entity (out of himself) if he wanted to. He didn’t have to resort to creating something out of nothing. So the Church tried to solve that dilemma by saying that Man fell (The Fall of Man) as a consequence of Original Sin. The Church thought that perhaps they were now off the hook. However, an omniscient God would have known the end result (sin) if he had created something out of nothing. All this twisted logic about Original Sin was simply the result of trying to explain how God (who is presumably good) created man (who is presumably evil).
Aside: Of course, the concept of Original Sin ignores the fact that the Bible says that life was created from either the Waters, the Deep or from the Chaos (depending upon which verse you read), as opposed to creation from absolutely nothing.
French biologist Louis Pasteur, popularly known as the “father of microbiology”, actually may have had the last word on this issue. It was Pasteur who proved that life can only come from life (omne vivum ex vivo), also known as the Law of Biogenesis. That pretty much upset the apple cart of both the deists who believed in Original Sin and the evolutionists. No more primordial soup and no more creating life out of nothing. Unfortunately, no one was listening then and still are not listening now. Perhaps they never will.
“Nothing comes from nothing.”
– Lucretius, Roman poet and philosopher