For more than a century the Christian world has debated the question of the origin of man against the backgrounds of the biblical view of creation and the Darwinian theory of evolution.

The antiquity of the earth and of man-like forms of life is no longer in dispute, although the question of the relation or non-relation of Adam to these forms remains a lively subject of controversy.

The following essay docs not necessarily reflect the view of the editors of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. But it is an able presentation of the viewpoint that “hints” of man’s supposed animal ancestry are found in Genesis. Those who find this line of argument unconvincing—and there will doubtless be many—will find the essay valuable for the constructive context in which it elaborates the themes of miracle and process.

Leonard Verduin is a Christian Reformed minister, now retired and living in Grand Rapids. He holds the A.B. degree from Calvin College, the Th.B. from Calvin Seminary, and the A.M. from the University of Michigan. He is the author of “The Reformers and Their Stepchildren.”

CHRISTIANITY TODAY supplements the essay by questions and comments from four evangelical leaders, one a scientist, one a philosopher, and two theologians.—ED.

Question: ‘What art thou?’

Answer: ‘A created being, both moral and mortal.’”

So begins an ancient Waldensian catechism, written in the Provencal language long before the Reformation.

Not all catechisms begin at this point. The Heidelberg Catechism, for example, begins with, “What is your only comfort?” And the Westminster Confession has as its first question: “What is the chief end of man?” There are many other points from ...

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