RE: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)

From: Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 12:26:41 EST

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    I have accepted your arguments concerning our coexistence with other living
    beings in heaven, our new "Eden," as hinted at in Romans 8, and imaged at
    Isaiah 11 and 65.

    But I will continue to agree to disagree about your interpretation of
    "things in heaven and on earth" in Colossians and Ephesians. As usual, the
    Bible itself is its own best concordance, and a parallel usage of the phrase
    a few verses earlier in Colossians makes it plain that the term applies
    specifically to "...thrones, or dominions, or rulers or authorities..."
    These are the "things" that He established, and has reconciled to Himself "
    having made peace through the blood of His cross."

    Sure, I will admit that there are large gaps in our understanding of the
    full implications of the Cross. But to ascribe "atonement" and "salvation"
    to beings which, at least according to the consensus I seem to see here, do
    not sin, would seem to demean the purposes and the actions of God.

    I will let you or others have the last word.

    Norm Woodward

    -----Original Message-----
    From: george murphy []
    Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 8:38 AM
    To: Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM
    Cc: Asa@Calvin. Edu
    Subject: Re: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)

    Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM wrote:

    > <snip>
    > As I have already pointed out, there are other things to be saved
    > from
    > besides sin.
    > <snip>
    > Shalom,
    > George
    > George L. Murphy
    > "The Science-Theology Interface"
    > Perhaps, in everyway, everyday, we rely on God's loving kindness.
    > But, as we were talking about Christ on the cross...
    > Why else did He die besides to save us from eternal consequences from our
    > sins?
    > And if one never sinned, why else would Christ die for her/him/it?

            Why can't you simply admit that Col.1:20, Eph.1:10 & Rom.8:18-25 do
    say what they say, that Is.11:6-9 does use the imagery (N.B.) of God's
    involving non-human animals - & THEN
    add that there's a great deal we don't know about the whys & hows of all
            I don't think it terribly helpful to speculate about "dog heaven"
    but it's even less helpful - & frankly just wrong - to suggest that human
    beings are the only part of nature that God finally cares about.
            Theologians for the past 2000 years have discussed various theories
    or models of the Atonement - i.e., how & why Christ's Incarnation, life,
    death & resurrection are effective in bringing about human salvation. There
    is no single model which has been made dogmatically binding. But that
    Christ's Incarnation, life, death & resurrection _are_ effective in bringing
    about human salvation is at the heart of Christian faith. Far less do we
    have any definitive model of the salvation of the rest of creation, _ta
    panta_ - but the texts I've noted & I think the whole thrust of the biblical
    story point in that direction.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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