Sin and Death "before" the Fall-the one area that prevents me to believe in "millions of years

Convince me there could be “death” chaos, destruction, in eden, the earth, before sin. Now, if you’d like to convince me God uses evolution you may also. Well, you’d have to believe that in oder to believe in millions of years, because thats needed, right?

Hi Randy,
Welcome to the forum. I’m not sure many of us would have the power to “convince” you of anything on our own, but if you are wrestling with these topics already and discussion and resources would be helpful in that journey, then hopefully I/we can offer something more in that vein.

There are old-earth believers who reject common descent, so no, you do not have to believe in common descent to believe in an old earth – it’s more the other way around.

I and many others would say that animal death is simply a consequence of living in a material world. I’d hate to think what would happen if nothing ever died here – Earth’s resources wouldn’t last very long, that’s for sure!

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Hello, Randy. From the short opening piece you wrote, It seems that perhaps you’re asking your fellow human beings to convince you of something you’ve already made up your mind about.

It’s often the case that when we ask difficult questions about sin and death, we believe God didn’t hear our questions or chose not to answer. But God always hears us and God always answers. God will always guide you, but only you can convince yourself about what’s important in God’s good Creation.

I hope you find some comfort from the discussions here.

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I am not sure about convincing, but it might be valuable to ask you how you define what “death” means. Death of a human? Death of an animal? Death of a plant? Death of a cell or a single-celled organism?

What about animal predation? One animal has to die so that another lives.

Or is death something like separation from God?

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I’ll play devil’s advocate here I guess and try and give an answer.

If you really read Genesis 1-2 closely. It is silent on the issue of death and other stuff. It doesn’t say something like for example “Now in those days before Adam and Eve’s transgression, there were no storms, no hail and no lion chased the lamb. Death was far from them for they did not transgress the LORD and they feared Him in their hearts.” Genesis 1-2 is silent on these things and thus it allows us to believe that death existed long before Adam and Eve. Also, I would look closely between Genesis 1-2:1-3 and Gen. 2:4-25 and see also two different creation stories. Here is a chart to point out the differences in them.


Genesis 1 is a blow by blow view of creation while Gen. 2 is a more close look at early humans making contact with God. The Bible really gives no real date as to how old the universe really is and is silent on the scientific stuff of creation and what it only tells is that God formed the universe for His glory and pleasure. I know I cannot fully change you’re mind on your view of the model of creation but that is a choice for you to decide. Hope I gave you some meat to chew and think on. God bless.

Our forum really doesn’t exist to convince people of things they aren’t really questioning. If you think young earth, literal seven day Creationism is the only way you can take the Bible seriously with integrity and your beliefs motivate you to love God and love and love people, then go in grace and serve the Lord. We aren’t trying to rattle anyone’s faith or violate anyone’s conscience here.

If you would like to understand the perspective of Christians who see this issue differently, then maybe this article will help you out. It looks at how death is dealt with in the Bible and whether or not that is consistent with YEC claims about what the Bible says.

I specifically wonder what you think about this quote:

Jesus heals the sick and raises the dead during his ministry. Yet, he never blames human mortality on Adam and Eve. He doesn’t often address the origins of human death and suffering, but when he does, Jesus explicitly denies that disability, illness, natural disaster, and death are punishment for specific sins. Instead, he explains that God can work through such circumstances and also use them to call people to repentance.

Jesus ultimately was rejected, tortured, and crucified. The sinless Jesus did not atone for sin by passing away in his sleep. Instead, taking our place required accepting the curse of being hung on a tree (Galatians 3). Christ, whom the New Testament repeatedly describes as the agent and organizing principle in the creation of the world, brings life through death. Revelation 13 depicts Jesus as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Christians should not be surprised to see this pattern of life emerging from death reflected in God’s good creation.

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First of all Gen1 says that there was chaos in the Beginning before God said, “Let there be Light” or Logos (Order.) but I know that is not what you are talking about.

You are talking about death. The real question does death equal sin and the answer is nor. If so Jesus could not have died. Jesus did not die because He was sinful, but because He was human and finite.

All that is natural has a beginning and an end. This is the way God made every thing and there is nothing sinful in that, because all that God made is “good.” Sin is separation from God and others. When Jesus died He paid the price of our sin by being separated from God the Father even though He was without sin.

Humans fear death because it separates from those we know and love and our home oh earth that that we know and love, but it does not separate us from God unless we allow our fear of death to overcome our faith.

Darwin and many who follow him believes that survival of the fittest or conflict is the driver of evolution, but that is not true. Symbiosis and ecological change is the driver of evolution, so sin or the Selfish Gene plays no part in evolution, regardless of what Dawkins claims, so you are free to accept real evolution as fact.

    l

Dear Randy,
Jesus says: “Seek and ye shall find”; knock and the door will be opened." He also says to beware of the Pharisees. Discovering the Truth of God requires work on your part, not relying others to tell what is His Truth. There is a logical timeline of events that includes millions of years of evolution after the Fall and after the first sin.
Best Wishes, Shawn

It might help to start by asking if there was any sin before Adam & Eve. Did Satan sin and fall before they did? If you take the serpent literally rather than seeing it as representing Satan, then did this creature also sin before Adam and Eve? If yes to either of these, did that sin bring about any chaos or evil? That could explain why Adam & Eve began in a less than perfect (but still good) situation.

As for death, @MeanderTall raised some good clarifying questions. If you’re speaking about animal death, I don’t see strong biblical grounds for excluding it prior to Adam & Eve’s sin. Romans 5 isn’t talking about death and eternal life for animals. Two other creation texts, Psalm 104 and Job 38–39, describe predation as a good thing from God’s hand. At a time when God swallows up death forever, Isaiah 25 pictures a feast with the best food, including meat.

In Genesis 1, plants growing on dry land are given as food, but that no more limits every creature’s diet to only those plants than the giving of fruit trees for food in Genesis 2 limits the human diet to fruit. (As I’ve raised elsewhere, if you think Genesis 1:29–30 lists the entirety of the allowed diet, one is left with fish not permitted to eat anything.) Abel’s sacrifice of fat portions suggests the rest of the animals were eaten. Yahweh’s instructions to Noah about clean and unclean animals suggests he already knew which ones he could eat. Genesis 9:3 then is not putting meat on the menu, but putting all meat (clean and unclean) on the menu, analogous to how humans were given all plants.

1 Timothy 4:3–4 responds to the view of some early Christians who abstained from meat by saying that what God created is good and should be received with thanksgiving. Eating meat isn’t some accommodation to sin like divorce or slavery. God created animals to be eaten, by humans as well as other animals. That’s why they’re so tasty! :grinning:

Not at all. I held to the gap interpretation for many years which allowed me to accept a 4.6 billion year old earth while not accepting evolution. Since I personally found it harder to dispute the geological evidence for earth’s antiquity than evolution, I camped out there for quite some time. There are several other old-earth views that also don’t include evolution, such as what Reasons to Believe offers.

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Randy:

How do you understand Genesis 1:2? : “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…

If the earth was “formless and empty,” does that not present a picture of chaos? This surely happened before Adam’s sin, for Adam was not even created yet.

Lay the scientific arguments aside. How do you deal with this text of Holy Scripture?

No thank you. I am not interested a Christianity which will not face up to reality but insists on living a fantasy world. I am out of patience with all Flat Earthers and those like them. Such has no value for humanity and the world. Only a Christianity which can embrace the findings of science is one which has a future. I will certainly fight those reactionaries who seek to turn back the clock to the dark ages.

Great observation about the fish, I’ve never seen that before.

One thought came to mind as I read your post, re Gen 1:29-30. I wonder if perhaps God is saying “Humans, animals, the plants are my gift to you, help yourself, eat as much as you like and more will be given (grow).” The unspoken implication being, anything else you want you have to hunt!

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by chaos, i was not referring to anything but what is seen in evolutionary teaching. Gen 1 portraits “heavens and the earth”… prior to land appearing, and vegetation, etc. thats not chaos. I suppose he could have created all at once if he wanted. but instead we have a progression of acts, that only God know the reason behind. Perhaps to create the different theories we have to see how we deal with it… lol.

Might be an interesting thread to devote to “tohu wa bohu.”

Hah; good one. Maybe He doesn’t really care too much–and we focus on his Son and our agreement in the end, eh? :slight_smile:

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In appreciation of your overall conciliatory tone and not just the word by which you ended that sentence, I hereby confer upon you the status of Honourary Canadian.

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That would be an “honour”! (note the correct spelling!)

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Thanks, Randall, for your gentle, forth-right answer.

But that does not address the particular detail of the question. The text describes the earth as “formless and empty”. The ESV renders it as “without form and void.” Is that not a picture of chaos, a state of disorder?

Assuming you are correct: If “formless and empty” is not chaos, then what is it?

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I’ve always taken tohu wa bohu from the perspective of man as “an uninhabited desolate wasteland”.

to be chaos and disorder would first have to be order. but at this state mentioned, is said “, evening and morning and it was the first day”, right? A better translation renders it
“Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep” That is not “chaos”… that is not order into chaos. But its created state at this time.