I am trying to understand my theistic evolutionist brothers and sisters in Christ. Adam is a tension (I hate that term) point with me. If Adam is not a real historical figure, then how did sin enter into the world? Because through process of elimination: God. Did God bring sin into the world? if not, then what? Make this jive for me; showing scripture would be much appreciated. Thank you
Humans sinned by doing what they knew to be wrong.
Yes, but how did sin enter the world? Did God bring sin into creation?
That’s an interesting question, because I think it goes far beyond the YEC/EC debate. I’m EC but have no problem with Adam as a historical person. And I’ve still wondered about it. I guess my easy answer would be “the devil.” Without his temptation, Adam may never have sinned (possibly?) But Lucifer was originally created by God. So it does seem that if you go back far enough, God is somehow the indirect author of sin. Many answer the problem of evil by simply going back to free will. God did not create sin, but because he gave us free will, it became a possibility (and perhaps an inevitable one?).
Thank you for your response. Although I do agree that Lucifer sinned first. We have a problem in scripture. The bible says that sin brings death, but angels cannot die. They are eternal spiritual beings. So, this is a different realm. Also the bible says that SIN entered the world through one man. If this death the bible is speaking of, is a spiritual death, then why do we have physical deaths today? And why would Christ have to defeat death if it is just a part of normalcy?
That’s puzzled me, because really, if God created every single thing, then nothing is beyond his control. Therefore he is really the only one who truly “cannot die.” If he can create something, you would think he could also “uncreate” it, if he wanted to – so it seems he has simply chosen not to uncreate angels at this point – the lake of fire might change that for the demonic forces – I don’t know.
I think we have physical death because we live in a physical, material realm. If there was no physical death, the earth would have been overrun and stripped bare by now (imagine if rabbits never died??). Perhaps God wanted to allow as many generations as possible to live and die before the end of time?
Interesting, one could assume that God can’t uncreate something that he has made eternal? i.e. energy, but that is a deep rabbit hole I do not want to enter. Let’s go with your view. Uncreate is not synonymous with death, since death is not the end whereas uncreation is.
So then why is our first inclination towards death disdain? Why do see it as unnatural? Why do we not celebrate it? All through the bible, we see death as the enemy
(1 Corinthians 15:26) “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
I’ve often wondered about this too. It would seem the issue of death is not as simple as so many want to make it. You are right that death is referred to as an enemy (the “last one” you note Paul pointing out). But read on in that passage after 26:
For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.
So are these enemies “destroyed” – as in they exist no longer? Or are they subjected? It seems to me that the word “destroyed” here means … totally vanquished and brought into complete subservience. Otherwise we have the awkward development of Christ himself suffering a destructive subjection to God; and we know that Christ cannot die again or be destroyed. … and speaking of Christ …
I come back to the passage of John (12:24) where Jesus teaches us that “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
So simply declaring that [physical] death can’t possibly be part of any good creation seems a bit simplistic, not to mention [possibly] contrary to what Christ actually teaches.
[added edits] and clarifying edits happened as well.
God made sin a possibility by giving us free will. He wanted us to be free and to willingly serve him.
Death is indeed tragic, especially if the deceased is a child. But really, what do we do about overpopulation if we continue to reproduce and never die?
I’ve seen this question about overpopulation on this forum before. What was God’s purpose for reproduction? For man to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Ge 1:28). Once the earth had been filled (reached its maximum capacity), the purpose of reproduction would have been fulfilled and it would not be needed anymore.
So all children on earth grow up, and eventually we have a population of adults and no more new babies. Is that desirable?
I personally do not like the idea of a world without children. Assuming the Fall had never occured, it is possible that God could have taken people up to heaven without them experiencing physical death (like Enoch and Elijah), which would allow room for new people. The Bible does not go into enough detail about the pre-Fall world for us to know for sure.
Well, one possible answer is maybe sin first entered the world when the Torah was given to Moses, followed by when the first person broke the Torah laws which they knew to be from God. According to the NT at least, people who lived before the law was given were unaware of God’s laws, and therefore will not be held accountable on that basis.
Romans 5:13: For sin was in the world before the Law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law.
So, sin was not charged before the Law. So that solves any judgement problems one might think of. But still, sin existed in this period. So where did it originally come from? According to John Walton, God endowed humans at some point with the ‘image of God’. Whether or not you think this was given to a historical Adam, or whoever, there was a ‘first human’ who had the image of God. So, the first time someone with the image of God sinned, that would count, perhaps, as the first sin. So I don’t see a problem if you see Genesis 1 as symbolic. Sin first enterred humanity when the first human sinned, whoever that was. Simple.
Pre-fall people would have had unfallen mega-intelligence. By the time the earth reached it maximum population size, they would have already started populating Mars.
Boom. Case closed.
Warning: Attempted humor
So things we consider sins today (murder, stealing, etc.) were a-okay before Moses received the Torah? If I lived in, say, 2000 BC I could murder all I wanted and God couldn’t punished me for it? Moses’ law was not the first law given to man. Did not God give a law to Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit (Ge 2:17)? Did not God give laws to Noah against eating food that had life (blood) in it, and that a man who murders another man forfeits his own life (Ge 9:4-6)? God’s Law, in some form or another, existed before the Torah. If the Law did not exist until Moses, then how could God be justified in cursing Adam and Eve with hard work and increased pain in childbirth if they were not accountable for their sins since they did not have the Torah?
I had never thought of that. Considering that Mars once had liquid water, maybe it was habitable before the Fall. We’ll never know.
Death is not the enemy; the enemy is unfulfilled potential. If a life is cut short before it has experienced everything it could have, if Adam and Eve died suffering in exile from God and regretting their mistakes, if sinners never learn wisdom or love or righteousness before they perish, all these are the tragedies of death.
But the potential of the world as a whole is greater when death comes to us all than it would be if whatever algae reproduced fastest got to fill most of the world up and then hang around indefinitely.
…Even eating nothing but fruit, you’re still causing the cells of that fruit to die.
Could you give a scripture reference for this? I have never heard this before.
I am sure you have probably heard this before, but plant death is not the same as animal/human death. Even in a unfallen world there is still entropy, but entropy is not always bad (for example, digestion of food). The Bible uses the Hebrew phase nepesh chayyah to refer to living things. Plants are never referred to in this way (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), and thus plant “death” is allowed before the Fall, otherwise Adam and Eve would have nothing to eat.
Nope, no one ever said they were ‘a-okay’, no idea where you read that. It’s simply a world before God engaged and established a law with the world. Similar to a world without a God to establish morality in the first place, so at the very least it is just as coherent as any other worldview. Things all changed when the Law was revealed.