This is an interesting interview with John Piper in which he basically says that the important things about Christian belief in creation are: 1) that God created it, 2) that humanity is relatively young on the planet, but 3) he allows for a variety of views on how old the earth might be prior to humanity's arrival, presumably including the evolution of lower forms of life. He only insists that the purpose of whatever happened prior to that point was to prepare the earth for humanity.
He has been convinced by a book called Genesis Unbound. I haven't read the book, but I find the view attractive simply because it lets science be science while holding to the direct creation of Adam by God at some point in the last 6-20,000 years. As long as we only talk to other fundamentalist Christians, we never have to face the evolution issue. But if we ever find ourselves presenting Christianity to someone outside of our comfort zone, we will have to account for the fact that we (who almost always have no scientific competence in these areas) have made an all or nothing issue out of a position that is more than overwhelmingly rejected by those who are scientifically competent (both by scientists with and without faith) in a field where one makes their name on new ideas and discoveries. It seems to me this is a major truth credibility issue for fundamentalist Christianity (it is not clearly an evangelical issue) that it makes this issue not a matter of individual conscience but one of core dogma.
Piper's position here demands all the key Christian beliefs (God created Adam directly as the first true human) while considering one's position on time prior to that as tangential. In effect it says, perhaps God created the world in six literal 24 hour periods. Perhaps He directed an evolutionary process to prepare the world for humanity and then directly created Adam 10,000 years ago. It says the question of "how" before Adam is really tangential and let those competent in science debate it. If Christian scientists want to enter that debate as part of their discipline, have at it, whichever position you have come to. The rest of us scientific incompetents only know that God created the world and directly created Adam.
This approach would probably require us to take the death that entered the world through Adam as human death or spiritual death rather than the death of any living thing. This fits with Genesis where Adam has to eat from the tree of life to live forever--implying that he would not have lived forever if he did not eat, which he and Eve did not.
What do you think?