To be sure Gen 3-11 does portray a decline. I am not sure I have read any
theological account from the western tradition which denies that. However,
there is something decisive in Gen 3 to which the NT refers time and again,
which seems to have its effect on the created order. No longer is it very
good. And the curse section of Gen 3 suggests some changes to interactions
in that order. What would those changes look like to a scientist, that is
my question? Or are you saying they would have been undetectable?
> 2) As the adjective "western" in 1 suggests, the eastern church
>has always had a rather different picture. There the original humanity
>is pictured as immature (Irenaeus) or at the _beginning_ of a path to
>union with God (Athanasius), & the Fall was getting off track.
(Does the Fall still not begin with a single defection in the Eastern
tradition? Sorry this question is a bit off ASA's agenda.)
> 3) Athanasius also seems to suggest that humanity would have
>been subject to biological death _even without sin_. The result of sin
>is not just this death but "remaining forever in the corruption of
> 4) The basic meaning of the Fall is that humanity was created
>with the possibility of communion with God & obedience to God, & chose
>to turn from God. & the consequence of that is that all human beings
>are sinners from their conception, with all the implications of that
I agree that this is basic, but there are other effects on the created
order to which Gen 3 & Rom 8 refer.
> 5) The idea that massive changes in natural processes were
>brought about by the Fall really has no strong biblical basis. It is
>subject to the danger I noted earlier - let me call it Manicheanism for
>want of a better term. It denies the basic goodness of the present
>creation, something which Psalms like 96, 104 & 148 reflect.
No, I disagree. The view that creation was subject to some change as
MacKay insists (and note that he is a most significant figure in the
development of an evangelical account of theistic evolution) may qualify,
but does not deny that there is real goodness in the present creation. Man
and woman were made in the image of God. That image was defaced by the
Fall, but not obliterated. Similarly the goodness of creation was defaced,
but not entirely obliterated.
Many thanks for your courteous interaction.