Intro to the Tree of Life

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 1, 2015 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous one is here, and the next one is here.]

This week, we’ll be taking a look at the next link in the blog post by Tyler Francke called “10 Theological Questions No Young Earth Creationist Can Answer.” We are in the middle of the paragraph in the introduction to this blog post that contains a large number of links. We’re dismantling each of these links one at a time. This week’s link is a meme (with a small description under it) about the Tree of Life. The first question in the 10 unanswerable questions is about the Tree of Life, so I’m not going to spoil that blog post by answering it here. I will, however, point out a few things I feel are in error in the meme in and in the theistic evolutionist’s thinking on this.

So Tyler’s meme says that, “In the YEC view, the only time [the Tree of Life] could serve any useful purpose was also the only time God forbade its use entirely.” In prefacing this response, I would like to say something that I feel very few of us (by us I mean people in general and especially those in this type of discussion) will say: I’m not really sure, but this is my best guess. I’m open to other ideas being correct and I’d love to hear them. This is because we’re talking about things we just can’t know for sure because it’s not stated specifically for us in the Bible. And I think that’s okay. I feel very comfortable in saying I don’t have all the answers. I do have the answers that actually matter, and those are found in the Bible. There must be speculation on some of these questions because the Bible can’t possibly contain ALL the detailed information on ALL subjects.

We also should keep in mind that although Tyler says “young earth creationists” as though all say and believe exactly the same thing, there is wide variance in some of these matters. I think this is a strong point for the Biblical creationist view. On several subjects within the creation account, we should have 100% agreement essentially because God’s Word is clear and detailed. On other matters, we are free to speculate and hypothesize as long as our speculation or hypothesis doesn’t conflict with God’s Word.

So let us point out that this is not necessarily the “YEC view” but is simply what the Bible says. It is becoming increasingly clear that Tyler doesn’t take much of the Bible seriously. Secondly, I’m not sure why this is worthy of a mocking meme. But he seems to misunderstand the idea in general, which is fairly normal for theistic evolutionists when it comes to theology and Biblical reading. Man was fallen at this point (the point at which man’s access to the Tree of Life was prohibited). God would be cruel, I think, to allow man to forever live in a fallen state, never to shed the shackles of his flesh.

He states the Bible doesn’t “clearly teach anything remotely like” no death prior to the Fall. This is actually a strange one. First, again, there are varying degrees of Biblical creationists who weigh in on this topic. Some suggest NO death by any animals or man. Others will say perhaps that’s too all encompassing. Maybe animals could die under certain circumstances—but old age was not a cause of any sort of death. And since all the needs of the living were supplied without limitation in the Garden of Eden, death would certainly be an oddity if it happened at all. Then there are those who question whether or not the topic is even worth discussing because it is entirely hypothetical. I tend towards this one. The Fall very likely happened rather quickly after creation. I can say this with a fair bit of confidence because 1) I’m human and I know I have a tendency to sin, and 2) God commanded Adam and Eve (as well as all other living things) to be fruitful and multiply, i.e. “Go have some kids.” They didn’t do that before the Fall if we think the chronicity of Genesis is worth anything. So either Adam and Eve’s first sin was not disobeying concerning the Tree of Knowledge but instead was abstinence, OR there wasn’t enough time for them to have a child between creation week and the Fall. So any discussion on this—death of animals before the Fall—is completely a “what if” scenario. But, like many if not all theistic evolutionist arguments against Biblical creation, we’re finding strawman arguments all over the place.

Secondly, in dealing with this comment of the Bible not clearly teaching anything remotely like no death before the Fall, the Bible is pretty clear, actually, that man wouldn’t die before the Fall. I’m not going to get too detailed with this so I have something to offer when I make it to the first unanswerable question, but I’ll say that Tyler’s two Scripture references are of no use to him. If nothing else, it states clearly no human being would die prior to sin entering the world. Depending on the translation, you may include all living things. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned.” Seems a little straightforward. 1 Corinthians 15:21 says, “For since [it was] by a man that death came [into the world], it is also by a Man that the resurrection of the dead has come.” Came into the world? Could that mean animals as well as people? Sure. Does it? I don’t know and I’m okay with that.

God tells Adam if he ate of the Tree of Knowledge, he would die. Why would he say this if Adam was already going to die? Seems rather odd, don’t you think? Something I’ve found very glaring in Tyler’s tactics (and, frankly, with most theistic evolutionists) is they mock and ridicule Biblical creationists and their position or interpretation of Scripture but offer nothing in return. They question a fairly clear meaning in the Bible for something and say it means something else, but they rarely if ever put forth the alternative. I don’t mean some vague “it’s a myth with spiritual truth” thing. I mean they never say what the truth is or what the meaning actually is in their view.

Is it possible the Tree was a type of the coming Christ? Was it something that actually contributed to the body’s ability to live forever? What are we being restored to in heaven if death reigns in the perfect world God created prior to the Fall? If you read Revelation 22:1-21 you’ll find some interesting references to the Tree of Life including being cut off from it in heaven. What could that mean and how is it connected to this topic? I will do my best to get into these things in my blog post answering Tyler’s first unanswerable question. I hope for now I’ve piqued your interest.

Take home point of this writing: There are some things we may not be able to answer and that’s alright. If we can answer them with the Bible, great. If we can’t, we need to make sure if we’re hypothesizing that we’re doing it in line with God’s Word.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.