No Cosmic Fall?

(Emily) #1

Prior to the Fall there was no physical death. But the fossil record shows that death has been going on for millions of years. If Adam and Eve never existed and there was no literal Fall, how can sin exist? Does that mean Jesus didn’t exist and that He didn’t really die for us? These questions have been brought up by what I am reading (which is good by the way.)

Some of the authors have pointed out how Genesis was read in the ancient times, in a way people back then could understand. That was helpful. How did you guys handle this question?

(George Brooks) #2


I can understand the statement “There wasn’t any death before Adam’s Sin.” After all, there was the Tree of Life… which God himself said could make even the sinner immortal.

But this is not the same as saying that death was not possible. If death was impossible, the Tree of Life would not have been needed.

Your next question, how can sin exist, is even more easily answered: the inevitability of sin is part of the very nature of the flesh. In the context of Evolution, the sinful potential of humanity is part of the creation of humanity. The Flesh is weak, and all come short of the glory of God.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #4

@Jon_Garvey had a great blog that is broadly relevant to this … and I’m remembering the catchy title “Nature fell sometime around the 15th century” (or something like that – hopefully I’m remembering the correct century!). I can’t seem to find it right now. But it may also be one of the chapters in his book “God’s Good Earth” which he has published online, chapter-by-chapter. I remember finding it insightful, and would love to find that again … Jon?

(Jon Garvey) #5

Thanks for the Puff Merv. The page for linking to the whole book is here.

The “catchy title” bit is ch5, which was where the project started, showing that the idea that the cosmos itself was “taken out” by the fall of man was not the mainstream view of Christianity for many centuries, but a relatively recent idea. Animals death had always been assumed - it was death for humans that was thr fruit of the Fall, as George says by reference to the tree of life.

But I’m not sure if that chapter is the best answer to Emily’s question. Emily, the earlier chapters deal with what think the biblical evidence actually shows, so you might want to plow through them first - the whole book isn’t a tome, by any means.

Merv’s link, and the following posts, add some “post publication considerations” if anyone’s interested.