From: Lucien Carroll (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jun 17 2003 - 08:02:55 EDT
I've largely lost my faith, and for a while I thought it was unrelated to my understanding of creation, but I've recently been thinking that it is actually related. Not in the way that my people tend to think (being "seduced by secularism" or something like that) but rather because it complicates the story of evil. You folks presumably have thought about these things a good deal more than I, so I pose this question:
What does the fall mean in a world that is physically inextricably bound to death and decay?
I can easily see goodness and beauty in a wilted flower, and with some difficulty acknowledge the goodness of an old man finishing his life. Seeing goodness--much less perfection--in destruction and death from natural disasters and diseases is much more difficult. All of these are a part of this creation independent of the spiritual condition of its people. Furthermore, regardless of what constitutes a spiritual being, what changes accompanied a spiritual death, or the timeframe and character of the fall, inhumanity has been an important part of humanity's past. A world where everything was good and we walked with God makes little sense.
I somewhat understand and am appealed to Van Till's approach, saying God's actions are strictly non-coercive, making those seeming evils more like the flower, but I would like to hear some more conventional understandings articulated.
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