What was it like beyond the Garden?


(David Heddle) #1

Consider this description

It was a paradise. There was no death, no disease, no predators, and no weeds. Nature was in perfect harmony. The lamb feared not the lion, nor the mouse the thunderous footsteps of the elephant.

Is this (more-or-less) a description of:

(a) The Garden of Eden
(b) The entire pre-fall Earth?

I think (correct me if I’m wrong–which is often!) that if you are a Young Earth Creationist (YEC), you would be inclined to pick (b).

But if there was no death–no predator activity anywhere on earth before the fall–if the entire earth was a paradise, then what was so special about Eden? How could you tell Eden from what was over the wall? Yet the YEC view, in my opinion, forces you into this position, for it allows for no death anywhere on earth prior to Adam’s sin. In this view, the whole earth is like a manicured golf course community. Adam and Eve have their designated property lines, called Eden, but just outside are numerous, virtually identical lots awaiting future homeowners born of the first couple.

It makes more sense to me (and this is just pure, for purposes of entertainment only, speculation) that Eden was like an enclave. Sin was already in the world, and outside of Eden the lamb feared the lion. But God supernaturally preserved a niche from the world’s travails. In Eden, and only in Eden, God removed (almost) everything that would tempt man to curse him. No death at the mouths of predators. No childhood leukemia. No leprosy, yellow fever, ALS, or autism. It was God’s biosphere—a laboratory in a certain sense, where the only evil present to tempt man to curse God as unfair was kept as minor as possible–and yet man failed. In this view, the earth didn’t so much change as a result of the fall (although it may have) but rather man was exiled into the cruel, waiting, world beyond the gates. That is not to say that man wasn’t changed—he most certainly changed radically and for the worse–in fact he died on the spot–and his need for a redeemer was absolute at that instant–independent of whether or not carnivorous activity was already occurring outside of Eden.

So to summarize as a question to my YEC friends–what do you think the pre-fall earth outside the Garden was like, and how would it have differed from what was inside the garden?


#2

I’m very interested in your question. I do hope our Young Earth Creationist friends will be explaining their view of this.