A Result of the Fall, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 25, 2016 1 comments

by Steve Risner

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

I love animals—well, many of them. There is the occasional pest or threat that I just wish would go away, but for the most part, I really enjoy animals. I’ve been a biology fan since I was a child. Animals in particular are fascinating and a great deal of fun. I’ve had all sorts of pets from fish to chinchillas, lizards to dogs, a variety of birds to rabbits, turtles to felines—and these are just the animals I’ve owned. I’d love to have a great many more, but time and money as well as space are limiting factors here. The sad news is I don’t believe I’ll ever see any of these animals once they’re gone. It makes me sad sometimes to think of the close pets I’ve had over the years that I’ll never have greet me again or that I’ll get to enjoy. But this is just the way it is. The Bible sets man apart from all other living things—including everything in the animal kingdom. What in the world am I talking about this for? This week, I’m looking at a question Tyler Francke, writer for God of Evolution, has posed that he claims is unanswerable if I am a Biblical creationist. The question: If human sin is the reason animals die, why can’t they be saved? You can find that here. Why don’t all dogs go to heaven? The answer is really a simple one: they are not created eternal beings. But that’s not enough for the theistic evolutionist. Let’s just be clear here before we move on: there is really nothing about the theistic evolutionist’s beliefs on origins—of the universe, earth, life and man specifically, sin or death—that is rooted in the Bible. It’s found elsewhere—primarily in the writings of those who hated God or at the very least didn’t want to believe in Him.

Ronald Numbers put it this way: “For creationists, history is based on the Bible and the belief that God created the world 6,000–10,000 ago.... We humans were perfect because we were created in the image of God. And then there was the Fall. Death appears and the whole account [in the Bible] becomes one of deterioration and degeneration. So we then have Jesus in the New Testament, who promises redemption. Evolution completely flips that. With evolution, you don’t start out with anything perfect, you start with primitive little wiggly things, which evolve into apes and, finally, humans. There’s no perfect state from which to fall. This makes the whole plan of salvation silly because there never was a Fall. What you have then is a theory of progress from single-celled animals to humans and a very, very different take on history, and not just human history.” This is the stark difference between Biblical truth and the “theory” of Darwinism and why the two are mutually exclusive.

In Genesis 1:26, we find it written, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” We are, according to this passage, made different from everything else in creation. We have dominion over the earth and that's not just because we're intelligent. We also have the image of God—an eternal spirit as well as some of His characteristics. We have language, creativity, love, holiness, immortality, and freedom, as well as the ability to make judgments on right and wrong. No animal can do these things. We share some physiology and anatomy with animals as we were both formed from the ground. Animals and men alike will return there. But our spirits will rise while the animal will not. Ecclesiastes 3 alludes to this when Solomon questions how we know a man’s spirit ascends while an animal’s descends. I guess something we need to first understand, with this idea of being made in His image, is that we have the capacity to sin. Animals do not. We have the capacity to have a relationship with God. Animals do not. We have a choice to make. Animals do not.

So why all the talk about death? Tyler wants to allege that there is no Scriptural basis for believing animal death began with the Fall. Personally, I don't think it makes a difference in reality because the Fall seems to have happened in a very short time period after creation. But God seems to pronounce death on the serpent (and all livestock at this point). Genesis 3:14 and Genesis 3:21 is the first record of an animal dying. Why did it die? Because of sin. It seems rather connected here that animal death, the death of man, and the sin of man go together. Sin is obviously the cause of death in the world according to Scripture. No, the Bible doesn’t specifically say, “Animals didn’t die until after the Fall,” but we can use our brains to come to that very logical conclusion from a variety of perspectives. The Trinity isn't mentioned in Scripture, either, but we can make a fairly solid case for it from the Bible. Genesis 3:14 contains the first indication that anything would die, and it was because of sin. The Lord sacrificed an animal to cover this sin just a few verses later. It was not enough to take away sin, but merely offered a temporary covering. This shows how much more valuable mankind is than animals, as is indicated by Jesus Himself. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. This makes it sound like death is the direct result of sin. Animals are not immortal—they do not contain the breath of life that God breathed into us. We were both formed from the ground, but we are made in His image while they are not. Once they are gone, I’m sad to say they are gone for good. This is why Jesus had to die, and this is why animals were sacrificed to cover sin. These passages make it clear that animal death has a relationship with human sin as well as the fact that it came after sin. Does it make sense that man would live forever (if, in fact, theistic evolutionists believe this) on earth prior to the Fall but animals would die left and right around them? You can read a little on this here with Charlie Wolcott's first blog post for Worldview Warriors.

Tyler makes the claim that “this creates some pretty problematic theology,” which makes me chuckle a little. His theology is so riddled with holes and so founded on unbiblical ideas, I can’t believe he’s talking about theological problems. Over and over we see he denounces Biblically-based theology while rarely showing us any of what the correct theology is according to him. Many will suggest that “death” is only a spiritual thing here. Dennis Alexander, a theistic evolutionist, tells us of the incompatible nature of evolution and original sin when he states: “On the day that Adam and Eve sin … [they are] alienated from friendship with God, causing spiritual death. Nowhere does the Bible teach that physical death originates with the sin of Adam, nor that sin is inherited from Adam.” Simon Turpin responds to this by saying: “... in order for Alexander to argue this way he has overlooked the plain meaning of Genesis 3:17–19, which is also part of the fulfillment of the threat of Genesis 2:17 and which began to take effect immediately after Adam’s disobedience. Also, the apostolic interpretation of this event is that both physical and spiritual death was brought about through this act of disobedience. Alexander and others who accept evolution have to view Genesis 2:17 as referring to spiritual death because if it does refer to physical death it contradicts the theory of evolution.” It is clear from these passages as well as taking into account other sources in Scripture that both physical and spiritual death were the intended consequence here. Again, the entire sacrificial system was based on death being the result of sin. The word usage in Genesis 2:17 indicates a sentence of death would be pronounced on Adam if he disobeyed. God was not saying Adam and Eve would die immediately but that death would certainly follow disobedience. Otherwise, if physical death was not a result of the Curse, God was pronouncing a judgment on Adam that seems like it was already going to happen. He says in Genesis 3:19, “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This is part of the result of sin if we read it in context. Why would God pronounce this punishment on Adam if, in fact, it was already going to happen whether he disobeyed or not? Was He just wasting His breath?

Tyler connects this to animals dying and tells us, because creationists believe animals die as a result of Adam's sin, then they also can be saved by Jesus' sacrifice. A great example of his misunderstanding of the Biblical position is found in his reference to 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. Now, I don't know about Tyler, but if I'm going to make an argument against something, I try to understand what that something actually is. We've seen many many times that he really doesn't ever get the Biblical creationist position properly explained. I see Biblical creationists using this passage of Scripture to indicate man's death is connected to sin. I rarely find it being used to reference animals. Romans 8:19-22 would be a much better passage to connect animal death to the Fall. It clearly indicates everything is longing for a return to the garden—that creation was subjected to “corruption” as a result of sin. Verse 20 specifically indicates that creation was unwillingly brought into this mess. Sin has consequences, and they often times are not just brought on us but on those around us as well. It's one reason so many of the moral laws given to us by God directly affect other people.

Now, I have not begun to fully respond to this “question no young-earth creationist can answer,” but I'm slowly running out of space. I have more to say on the subject of death in general, human death, the curse of death, and victory in Jesus Christ. Next week we will complete this answer to this question Tyler has apparently never asked a Biblical creationist. If he had, or had he done a little research, he'd find that this is another question that has been thoroughly answered for a very long time by a large number of people.

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.


Anonymous said...

I see you placed theory in scare quotes. Do you know what a scientific theory is and how it is very different from the common usage?

Bret Cantwell - you can find me on Facebook