Saturday, February 6, 2010

Was Death A Part Of The Good Creation Of God?

Genesis 1:27-31 ~ 27-So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 
28-And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29- And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30-And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31-And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day

Did God create and earth where death was a part of the natural and physical world?

Did God create anything and everything that he created to suffer death and die? 

Unfortunately, some Christians think so.

Ranging from theistic evolutionists to progressive creationists, some modern Christians feel a need to try to balance certain modern scientific discoveries with the very creation story itself as found in Genesis ch's 1 and 2. The problem is that today's argument has moved beyond asking about creation parallels from other literature, which are almost a dime a dozen and not significant to the biblical narrative, into discovery of just what God created when he created. One should be mindful that even though some aspects of early Genesis are poetic in nature and highly filled with symbolism, those things do not overturn or compromise the integrity of the actual events found within the narrative, neither do they minimize the importance of what God did and communicated to man and mankind. 

Section I: The Beginning

The Command

Genesis 2:15-17 ~ "15-And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16-And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17- But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

This was the command of God toward man. This was also outlined the result of man's rebellion. In that day tat he would he, he would die. Now some claim that Adam could not have known what death was without having witnessed it or having had the ability to witness it. That speaks nothing of the fact that if we are to
follow the narrative and believe what God says that God made Adam with cognitive ability and the ability to understand. In other words his ability to understand was not somehow a slow evolution of cognitive ability, God made man with that ability to communicate and understand certain facts and information. Therefore, man knew what it was to die in relationship to God and his presence as was seen within the narrative itself.    

The Fall

Genesis 3:1-7 ~ "1-Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2-And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  3-But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4- And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5- For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6-And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7-And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

The Penalty

Genesis 3:14-19 ~ "14-And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15-And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16-Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17-And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; 18-Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19-In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return."

In this post I will deal with the singular issue of death and when it came into the creation aka: "the world" as it is called many times in the bible. I will seek to address the question of when sin entered the world, what effect that sin had on the material world and why redemption is not efficacious to non humans within the material world. Interestingly enough the greatest hints and clues we have regarding the issue are not in Genesis, but sprinkled throughout the New Testament itself. Let's examine a couple of them to begin with: 

Section II: Within The New Testament

Throughout the NT we see that death is not the optimum state of men or mankind. In fact the NT states that death is a product of sin and was brought into the world by sin itself. To this point both James and Paul totally agree with Paul going into somewhat greater detail:

James 1:15 ~ Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

The process was 1- the conception of lust or inordinate desire (against the established command of God) , 2- the entrance of sin and 3- the finished product of death. There is no distinction between physical death and spiritual death. Man was considered to be a complete unit, a "living soul" that could experience both meta physical and spiritual realities. Thus death and its process effects the complete person naturally and spiritually.

Paul takes the concept further allowing us to see how sin effects all of mankind, including the "world":

Rom. 5:12-21 ~  "12-Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13-(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14-Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15-But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16-And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift: for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift [is] of many offences unto justification. 17-For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18- Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. 19-For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  20-Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21-That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

From this passage we see a some things clearly:
1- Death came upon all men because of Adam's sin
2- Death was equated to judgement for Adam's sin
3- Where the "law" is not made manifest there was no sin, BUT death reigned (v.13)
4- Life came to all men through Jesus
5- Through and because of Jesus grace is given to all men unto eternal life
There are two counter arguments that are generally rendered for this scripture and I will deal with each of them by course.
Argument 1- Romans 5 only points to judgement or personification of death and not always physical death.
Now, some of those who have taken time to exegete this scripture claim that the context of death was, both upon men as we have discovered, but primarily geared toward fulfilling the judgement of God by personifying death upon all men. This is due to the fact that one meaning of the word death (Gk: thanatos) CAN BE USED to imply divine judgement and the personification of death rather than physical death. 
There are two things to note about this explanation. 
First, Thanatos is rarely if EVER used within the scripture to indicate merely "judgement", the process of judging or the personification of death. The Greek words used for judgement are 1- krisis, 2- krima and 3- kriterion. Most NT scholars agree that when thanatos is used as a personification for death is is an unusual event. In addition, with words more readily suited to indicate judgement, and with Paul being very exacting in his use of words, one would wonder why he would suddenly loose track of all thoughts and use the word thatatos to mysteriously indicate "judgement" or the personification of death in this passage when he does not use it otherwise?  
Secondlythanatos is also used in the NT in passages where the clear meaning is not judgement or the personification of death at all, but rather physical and literal death. One such passage is:
Matt. 26: 57- 66 ~ "57-And they that had laid hold on Jesus led [him] away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58-But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59-Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; (thanatos) 60-But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, [yet] found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61-And said, This [fellow] said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62-And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what [is it which] these witness against thee? 63-But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64-Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65-Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66-What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death" (thanatos)

Now the meaning is clear. The High Priest and the council did not merely seek to "judge" Jesus, nor do any of these scriptures indicate the mere personification of death. They wanted to put him to a literal and physical death. Other scriptures where this word clearly indicates physical death include:
Mt. 20:18 ~ "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,"(thanatos)
Mt. 26:66 ~ "What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death." (thanatos)
Lk. 24:20 ~"And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, (thanatos) and have crucified him."
In this scripture Paul uses a literary technique called merism contrasting death to eternal life:
Rom. 6:23 ~ "For the wages of sin [is] death; (thanatos) but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Rom 6:23 clearly establishes the fact that death was the opposite of life, not judgement or a figurative death. In fact there is no contrast to judgement contained within this scripture at all. Further, Paul states that death is/was our enemy and that God would destroy it:
1 Cor. 15:26 ~ "The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death."(thanatos)
It's hard to believe that God would claim to only destroy a personification and further imply that death is somehow a friend, an associate, or something that he would use to develop his creation with. The backdrop here is that death, without a doubt,  is viewed as an enemy, and the ultimate purpose of God is to destroy it completely, not the mere personification of it! Persistence in thoughts that thanatos was merely a personification or judgement lends itself to the incredulous and unsupportable attacks against God's nature as being capricious. However this train of thought  lends no TRUTH to the issue at hand, distorts the nature of God and offers no observation or enlightenment towards the actual interaction of God with his creation.
With all things considered one would ask the question, why would anyone make an exception stating that death means "judgement" in Romans 5:12-21? Plainly and simply this is an attempt to reconcile God's created reality with what is observed now after centuries of sin being let loose upon the earth. There is very little correlation between observable modern reality and created reality. I don't believe that man has a point of reference as to what the physical reality would be without the hand or taint of sin.  
Therefore, to impose a meaning of judgement upon Romans 5:12-21 is an improper scriptural interpretation and is a form of unwarranted special pleading that not only takes away the context of scripture but leads into absurd and unreasonable interpretations of scriptures that clearly specify physical death.
Argument 2The "world" that Paul was referring to and talking about in this scripture was only the "world" of men and mankind and was not the "world" of his creation, animals or other physical reality because they can't be either saved nor condemned.
Yes, it is true that the "world" does not always convey the meaning of God's created order or his physical creation. The term "the world" generally refers to the system, thoughts and actions of people out of union with God. However, Paul elsewhere refers to physical creation and also gives it character:
Romans 8:19-23 ~ "19-For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20-For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, 21-Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22-For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23-And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body."
The word creature (Gk: ktisis ~ original formation) is used four times in this set of scriptures (3 times as "creature" and 1 time as "creation"). The Greek word ktisma although closely related to ktisis more specifically deals with the product of creation. Interestingly enough Paul does not use ktisma but he uses ktisis. What does this mean? This means that Paul, in his theological construct,  was referencing not merely specific elements of God's creation that groaned such as man and mankind, but also included all aspects of God's creation as desiring and wanting to be restored back to its creator. Contextually, the scripture was referring to the adoption of men by God, however there is no reason to believe that the rights or benefits of adoption and the rejoinder of God to his creatures somehow does not include his participation with the non human part of his creation. I believe this is a very important observation. It indicates that the physical world in which we live has been effected by sin so much that even "it" has an expectation, desire and a reaction towards the deliverance of the creator. None of this is an attempt to smuggle in an idea of universal consciousness, but it is however designed to suggest that the very creation of God, whether animate or inanimate, has some concept in some way or fashion, who created it and what transpires within it to some degree or extent.
"By the creature here we understand, not as some do the Gentile world, and their expectation of Christ and the gospel, which is an exposition very foreign and forced, but the whole frame of nature, especially that of this lower world-the whole creation, the compages of inanimate and sensible creatures, which, because of their harmony and mutual dependence, and because they all constitute and make up one world, are spoken of in the singular number as the creature. The sense of the apostle in these four verses we may take in the following observations:-(1.) That there is a present vanity to which the creature, by reason of the sin of man, is made subject, v. 20. When man sinned, the ground was cursed for man's sake, and with it all the creatures (especially of this lower world, where our acquaintance lies) became subject to that curse, became mutable and mortal. Under the bondage of corruption, v. 21. There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which the creature has contracted by the fall of man: the creation is sullied and stained, much of the beauty of the world gone. There is an enmity of one creature to another; they are all subject to continual alteration and decay of the individuals, liable to the strokes of God's judgments upon man. When the world was drowned, and almost all the creatures in it, surely then it was subject to vanity indeed. The whole species of creatures is designed for, and is hastening to, a total dissolution by fire. And it is not the least part of their vanity and bondage that they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. The creatures are often abused to the dishonour of their Creator, the hurt of his children, or the service of his enemies. When the creatures are made the food and fuel of our lusts, they are subject to vanity, they are captivated by the law of sin. And this not willingly, not of their own choice. All the creatures desire their own perfection and consummation; when they are made instruments of sin it is not willingly. Or, They are thus captivated, not for any sin of their own, which they had committed, but for man's sin: By reason of him who hath subjected the same. Adam did it meritoriously; the creatures being delivered to him, when he by sin delivered himself he delivered them likewise into the bondage of corruption. God did it judicially; he passed a sentence upon the creatures for the sin of man, by which they became subject. And this yoke (poor creatures) they bear in hope that it will not be so always. EpÕ elpidi hoti kai, etc.-in hope that the creature itself; so many Greek copies join the words. We have reason to pity the poor creatures that for our sin have become subject to vanity. (2.) That the creatures groan and travail in pain together under this vanity and corruption, v. 22. It is a figurative expression. Sin is a burden to the whole creation; the sin of the Jews, in crucifying Christ, set the earth a quaking under them." [Biblos Bible Commentary: Matthew Henry Rom. 8:22]
To the metaphysical naturalist this certainly seems like nonsense, to the Christian merely focused on their personal relationship with Christ not fully apprehending the relationship of Christ to the physical world around them,  this may be either heresy or it may open a new dimension of understanding. To ask how this works, I simply respond by saying "I don't know", but just knowing this fact causes some scriptures to take on an added dimension. One of those is as follows:
 Luke 19:40 ~ "And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."
Stones having voices, and the ability to speak are a mere impossibility as far as we are aware under any circumstance. However, the event and saying as recorded by Luke was simply more than a mere metaphorical saying. Noting that the "stones would immediately cry out" was not only shocking, but also indicitive of the God controlling the very physical existence of life. This was the point. That God controlled all life and all aspects of life including the material world. We certainly can't and shouldn't develop a doctrine based upon this, but we should keep in mind that the very order of what has created aligns itself to declare and proclam God anytime at his bidding. 
Psalms 19:1 ~ "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."

Psalms 97:6 ~ "The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory."

The work of God is seen readily upon nature and the very discovery of the material world.

Rom. 1:20 ~ "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

Section III: Plant & Animal Death

Argument 3- Plants die and both them and animals were to be used for food so there had to be death before there was sin. 
This is the sentiment of many individuals when they consider that if Adam and Eve were given authority to have dominion over all of creation then that means that they would also have had the license and ability to kill indiscriminately and especially as it pertains to food. Some suggest that there was always death because man was the one given charge to "subdue" the earth. What Does Genesis Say?
Genesis says:
Genesis 1:29-30 ~ "29-And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30-And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so."

Genesis 2:8-9 ~ "8-And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9-And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
Genesis 2:15-17 ~ "15-And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16-And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17-But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
Prior to the fall plants were given to man for food not animals. In fact the purpose of plants were to serve the needs of man and mankind. Science has confirmed that plants are living organisms and offer many benefits when it comes to human health. Current studies also affirm that plants have innate properties and genetic tendacies that are beneficial for man to study. Certainly certain plants would have been good for the physical body of man and mankind.  
One confusion regarding plants however, is understanding of their life. We can assume that since God set things in order, the earth expereinced the seasons or seasons similar to those that we expereince today as a part of a natural process. We can also assume that with some variation, plant systems functioned similar to what we observe them doing today. One common misunderstanding however as it relates to plants is that many think that plants die in the winter.
Seasonal plant death was the primary thought contained within paganistic religions all the way until 4th century AD. There was constant death and constant life cycle relating to weather and seasons. What is interesting to note however is that with some exception plants don't technically die in the winter or under adverse conditions, they simply hibernate or go dormant. This dormancy allows plants to manage and conserve themselves, shutting down certain aspects of their systems so that they can endure extreme cold or heat. 
This is conjecture:
Where there is no body soul union, can there actually be "death" in the biblical sense? Plants live but as far as we know they do not have souls or breath. Now if God created all things "good" as the scripture has stated then it would be reasonable to assume that the conditions of the creation were good also. There were probably no extremes such as extreme heat nor extreme cold and that adverse conditions were not catastrophic or destructuive. Therefore, the weather or conditions may not have been a factor in the life cycle or process of plants.   Further, as a spiritual concept, performing the function for which something is created gives and brings life. If plants were created for the purpose of providing food for man, can this ultimately be considered death by God especially when what is being rendered has no breath or body/soul union? 
Utopia Lost
The critic asserts that I am making an assumption that the whole earth was made "good". The claim is that only the Garden of Eden was good. They refer to the following scriptures as proof:
Genesis 2:8-9 ~"8-And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed" and Genesis 2:15-17 ~ "15-And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."
The thought is that the garden was a planted utopia upon an otherwise death and chaos filled earth. The Garden of Eden therefore was a special and unique place upon earth. The latter is true. The garden was a special and unique place, but the scripture does not address the condition of the rest of the earth or created order in a negative fashion. The assumption is that the Garden was planted because the rest of the earth was bad. This thought is unsupportable by scripture. What the scripture does clearly convey is that Adam was given dominion not only over the garden, but over the whole earth and all of the plants of the earth were given him for food and not just the plants in the garden itself, however the Garden was a special place of communion and fellowship between God and man that had life right in the middle of it ripe for the asking. This life from which man was banned Gen. 3:22 would not be available to man again until Jesus himself would appear. This is how he could claim to be the "true vine" (Jn. 15:1-3)

Quite naturally this leads to another though that Adam and Eve did not have eternal life and therefore were destined to die anyway. If that is so, then Christians are in the most worse possible shape. this would mean that the process of death began before the fall and redemption would then actually mean nothing. Once again, this attempt to read more into scripture only seeks to diminish it and the clear message that man needs a savior and that savior is and can only be a sinless Jesus Christ!
  • Sin was the choice of man to disobey God. This choice effected all creatures both animate and inanimate upon the earth.
  • The Greek word Thanatos is not merely used to indicate the personification of death as many claim. That word is used to indicate a physical and literal death. It is used that way in Romans 5 and connceted to both mankind and the world in general. The world refers to not only the world of mankind but the actual physical creation as indicated in Romans 8 and it's use of "creature" or "creation"
  • Plants functioning as they should function and without a body/soul union would not have satisfied the condition of death as we know it  as death is a perversion of the process of life and and enemy of man and by that God also.
  • There is no evidence to support death of animals before the fall of Adam. My argument is normally associated with Young Earth Creationism. Although I believe that man's interpretation of the evidence as it stands so far is consistent with an old earth either argument does not conflic with  my findings or assertions in this article. 
  • Death is an enemy of man that will ultimately be destroyed. It is nearly impossible to believe that God would somehow have commissioned man's enemy to assist man in the process of his daily needs.
1- Animals have reproductive organs. Are you trying to say that no animal would have died before sin? If so that would overrun the world population with animals.

While this is conjecture and we may never know, the fact of animal reproductive organs does not inhibit any of the argument. That's similar to saying that someone is going to be a "hippie" because their hair will grow. The potential is there but what does that have to do with anything? If God told man to subdue the earth, then why think that the animals would have subdued man or mankind? Sin effected the animal population and its very nature, actions, and interactions with each other. This is a bogus argument but one that is propped up to support death before the fall amongs the animal kingdom as if killing for food andf reproduction had to be a continuous cycle among the animal world.
2- Skin cells are no more than dead cells. Therefore there was clearly death before the fall.

While this argument appears to be a nail in the proverbial coffin, what happens if the original body, created by God sinless and perfect, also had a system, even a skin system, where cells did not die? Now before the evolutionists jump on the bandwagon and claim evolution and common descent, it's clear that Adam in no wise gave rise to Apes in any form or fashion. They like man were created by God. Therefore there would be no form of common descent. However, it is not beyond us to imagine that the body of Adam was very unlike our current physical body. Certainly he had no navel and there was no function of death or process of death within him until he sinned and disobeyed God. At that very moment death set in as a process, a literal force, whereby the whole of creation would be subdued. Once again this objection is not a threat to no death before the fall.

3- When we eat the whole process of digesting and breaking down food is death. Therefore there had to be death since the very creation

Yet another chance to say that even if a plant doesn't die on the stalk or in the field it dies in the mouth and belly. Once again I would say that if plants are being used according to their intended purpose and there is no body soul union, why would that be called death, when the outcome is only life.

4- OK, you made me go there...They went to the bathroom and whatever they let loose certainly decayed. Decay is a process of death plain and simple.

OK, you got me! This is true only IF their body functioned like our does today. As stated, we have no reference for what a sinless body would function like. Though Jesus was sinless, he was in the likeness or similitude of sinful flesh. That is a mystery that deserves some additional study, but even at times his body did not funtion like others. he could walk on water, walk through the midst of a crowd without them seeing him, feel virtue leave his body, walk through doors after resurrection, appear and not be known and all other kinds of things. The mistake is stating that how we appear to be now is how Adam was created.

5- The fossil record is red. Clearly there is death specified from the time that we see animals formed upon the earth and according to all accounts man was the last of God's creation. So you're wrong!

The fossil record provides evidence of a long history of animals upon the earth. This evidence contains a clear indication of death among carnivores who ate one another. Once again this has no bearing on the argument as noone knows when sin entered the world. The progressive creationist would hold that animals existed millions of years before man. The YEC'er would hold that man is so recent that only 6,000 to 10,000 years of human history is accounted for. though many believe in an old earth based on the dating of the fossil record, the problems with radiometric dating cannot be understated, but none of this has a bearing on the argument as there is no time line laid out under which man entered the earth and all attempts to define it lack some crucial support. Therefore, I would contend that any animal that had another for a meal, didn't do so before the fall. He waited until afterward, whether that was 10,000 years ago or 250 million years ago.  


  1. I will give you my answer from a Reformed (Monergistic) position.

    I believe that God obviously knew what was going to happen and had everything in place ready to accommodate the fall both physically and spiritually.

    We see that from a spiritual perspective God immediately stated after the fall, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

    So from the spiritual perspective God had the plan already in place. (Foreordination)

    So what now of the physical.

    I believe in both a young earth and an early fall from grace.

    I believe Satan in no time flat tempted Eve. So with such little time between all of creation (days) the creatures had ALL the necessary components (Teeth, claws, internal organs,) and such which were conducive to ridding the planet of dead bodies. I.e. carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores were created with all their respective physical means to accommodate physical death brought on by sin. However, with such little time (days) between creation and sin, no death occurred until after the fall.

    So from the physical perspective God had the plan already in place. (Foreordination)

    P.S. I’m NOT a hyper-Calvinist nor do I believe that God is the author of evil. I am a infralapsarian Monergist who believes in common grace.

    Also, I’m Kyle who posts on Pulpit Pimps.

  2. Thanks Kyle for your perspectives on this. With the exception of the "infralapsarian Monergist" part, I say me too!-LOL

    I agree. I don't see how God would have allowed death to operate before the fall and I don't see that view as being less sophisticated than any other whether one is a YEC'er or not.

    I know that there are currently dinosaur prints and man's foot prints found within the same strata and there's a big variation and problem with radiometric dating, so to be dogmatic against what the bible says is a stretch under current findings.

  3. Now, interestingly enough apologist Elliot Miller has an interesting take on creation.

    He states that according to his belief in day/age creationism, that God created a universe in which the Second Law Of Thermodynamics was in operation or prevalent from the beginning.

    The Law of entropy is basically why everything breaks down or ages. He asserts that the neither the universe nor the earth was created in a perfected state or condition and that immediately both were winding down ie: dying.

    Now, there is much room for speculation here I suppose, but I don't see anything that would permit death as a part of God's ultimate goodness. I speak additionally about this in the new Born In Sin post, but this is one that should be examined much more thoroughly. To me this has great implications regarding the relationship between God and what he creates...does he create things to eventually die? Then that leads to questions of what pleasure does he find in that?


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