Hey Steve, how do you respond to the objection to old earth creationism that death before the fall destroys the authority of genesis? And what do you think really happened at the fall, when all of creation fell? Thanks
It would only destroy the authority of Genesis on the assumption that according to Genesis, there was no animal death before the Fall. But I don't see where that's taught in Genesis–or the NT. Rather, there was no human death before the Fall. Here's a good treatment:http://www.upper-register.com/papers/animal_death_before_fall.html
Thanks Steve. I may have an idea about it. Man brought sin into the world by disobeying god and eating the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So by then they knew about evil in the world, and actually saw it as evil, but they couldn't handle it. That's why its such a problem for us. What I mean is that there could have been "evil" in the world before the fall, and man's job was to subdue creation, and reign with God. It says in Genesis, "they were naked, but they felt no shame". Notice it says "they were naked", something that would be viewed as evil after they ate of the tree, but nonetheless existed before that. Now its ever more clear to me what God meant by "you will die". Almost every Christian says that death there meant separation from God, but I didn't understand really what that meant until now. God is the only Life there is. The only life. Without him, it doesn't matter if you're in a coffin, or you're working at your job, there is no life. Atheists would (or at least should) agree with me. Without god, what are we other than a bunch of chemical reactions? Aren't we no different than fizzing alka-seltzer, albeit more complex? Death then is the only truth there is. I believe that is why God says, "for dust you are, and to dust you will return." When God was telling Adam of the curses of creation, it now seems to me that he was explaining the suffering, and evil that the earth was without him. For me it doesn't mean that Man didn't have to work and sweat before that,or that there were no thorns in plants, because it says before the fall "there was no man to work the land". I think God is showing a different picture of creation without Him. This is for me is kind of parallel to the "chaotic waters" of Genesis 1. Then God took over and made a beautiful earth teeming with life. Every living thing had the breath of life in it, including us. Now this view gives a lot more significance to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus I think, because when he rose again, he proved to us that death wasn't the only reality. That's why he was called the second Adam. Now If we didn't fall , then I do believe there would still be generations, and "death". We just wouldn't see it as separation, our spirit would return to God who would always with us and visible to us. But in the new heavens and earth, I don't think there will be death, because there would be new laws of physics there, as explained in revelation. Notice how when the bible speaks of the new heavens and earth, it doesn't speak of the tree of knowledge of good and evil being there, it speaks only of the tree of life. That's why I see the afterlife as more of a continuation than a starting over. If God created a world that could be fallen, than it shows me a courageous God other than an evil one. Because a cowardly God would create everything fine and dandy and have no risks. But by us knowing evil, we know what is truly good, and that God is truly good, and that the Afterlife will be truly good. I don't know if I'm right about all this, but by this the whole bible makes sense to me. I appreciate if you guys can comment on this, since you all have a lot of knowledge on this subject. Thanks
By the way, when I was talking about "evil" here, I meant natural evil. I believe moral evil is caused by human defiance and pride. Which is what caused eve to eat the fruit, because she wanted to be like God.