Hi @Bernie_Addit! Thanks so much for leaving a comment, and welcome to the Forum.
You are absolutely right that language of a "restoration" is ambiguous and potentially confusing. I think in the context of the Big Story, Pastor Len is mostly talking about two things: 1) restoration of human relationships with God, and 2) the healing of God's creation from the negative effects of human sin. But no, he's not talking about a "Paradise Lost" where the death did not exist. As long as life has been around, death has been around too. Death and life exist together in the same way that darkness and light exist together.
Why didn't got create the new creation in the first place? I think we get the following hints from the Bible:
1) The incarnation of Christ (for which all things were made, Col. 1:16) requires that God create a material world in which he can be incarnate.
2) The nature of a material world is dynamic change. We see this even in Genesis 1. Light and darkness, sea and land live in dynamic tension.
3) Another purpose of this world is for God to call a people to himself who will love him and participate in his mission. This requires beings with free choice to follow him or not. So this reality is designed in such a way that people are given real choices to believe in God and follow him.
4) The suffering of creation has some sort of mysterious value in bringing the Kingdom closer. We see hints of this in John 12:24, 1 Corinthians 15:36.
What do you think?