Does Romans talk about physical or spiritual death?


(sy_garte) #1

I have a question for the Young Earth Creationists here. It is an honest theological question, based on my own ignorance of Christian theology.

I have heard and read many times that evolution goes against the statement in Romans 5 : > Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

This verse appears to say that before the Fall, brought on by Adam’s sin, there was no death, and therefore evolution before Adam’s sin is impossible. I have also heard other interpretations of this passage stating that Paul is not referring to actual death but to spiritual death. Is there any basis for this idea?

I looked at Romans and found so much evidence that Paul is not talking about physical death, that I am truly amazed that anyone could miss it. Of course its entirely possible that I am missing something, since my Biblical background is very poor. That is why I asked the question and would strongly welcome input from YEC commenters.

In other parts of Romans 5 and in Romans 7, Paul mentions death several times, and it clearly doesnt mean physical death. One example is 7:9-11

9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

Is Paul dead when writing this? Clearly not. And yet he says he died, and was put to death.

So help me here. Why is Paul referring to one kind of death in Romans 7 (and also in Romans 5:11) namely spiritual death brought by sin, and instead means actual mortal death only in Romans 5:2?


(Henry Stoddard) #2

@Eddie,@DeborahHaarsma , @Sy_Garte

I believe that the Book of Romans is discussing spiritual death. The wages of sin is death. I believe as the Roman Catholic Church, which accepts a literal Adam and Eve, that Paul was referring to spiritual death. When mankind sinned, he died spiritually at that very moment. Those who do not accept Christ as Lord and Savior are what I call the “Living Dead.” There bodies are alive; however, their spirits are separated from the Triune God. Adam and Eve did not die physically until many years later; however, they died immediately in spirit. I am a Southern Baptist who believes in Theistic Evolution and a literal Adam and Eve. I feel that Al Leo has a good explanation concerning where Cain found his wife. Atheistic or Agnostic Evolutionists will never convince me of their view. I have studied the issues and have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I pray constantly for all those who are spiritually dead. It is worse than physical death. Remember this by the apostle Paul: But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart. That is the word of faith we proclaim; because if we confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says that no one who believes in him will be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek (Gentile); the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved. I feel sorry for those who are blind to the truth. Their future in eternity is bleak. A Christian can also be dead to sin and eternally alive in Christ. I wish to recommend a commentary to you. It is entitled “The Epistle to the Romans by Leon Morris.” I used it in seminary twenty-five years ago. We need to remember that there is a spiritual resurrection when we accept Christ and a physical resurrection at the Second Advent of Christ. I hope this has been helpful.
Charles E. Miller, Jr., BA, Old Dominion University; MAR, Liberty University School of Divinity AKA Henry Wynns

Post Scriptum: Is anyone interested in this topic? It is a shame that no one is. I do enjoy conversation with fellow minds. Please make a comment even if we disagree.


(Marvin Adams) #3

I alluded to this elswhere. The Fall is a poetic description of puberty,e.g. the rejection of authority over the self in eatingfrom the tree of self realization. Thus by becoming a physical self one is separated from the eternal God and automatically lives in conflict with the system that is God. Remember that God says that when you eat from that tree you will certainly die as a logical consequence,not as a threat e.g. if you eat from it I will have to kill you - or let you die… but more like - if you touch that high voltage cable you will certainly die. Physical death / material turnover existed since the beginning of time.

In the passage above Paul died spiritually as being separated from God in sin. Now he could only sin once the commandment was there to disobey. So if God would not have told them that they should not eat from that tree they could not have rejected God’s wisdom,e.g. to reject authority over you requires you to understand the concept of authority. Now did God say I forbid you to eat from this tree - e.g. demand authority which would be a sign that he does not have authority or did he ask them not to eat from that tree. The sin we have upon us is that God does not demand authority over us but to ask us to follow him. A God that demands authority hasn’t got any like a religion that demands those to be shot that want to leave it shows that it has no authority over its followers. It’s complicated but I hope you get the drift of what I want to say


(system) #4

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