Re: The Curse - Upon All Creation or Just Mankind?

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sat Sep 25 2004 - 16:01:35 EDT

On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 10:14:39 -0500 "Charles Carrigan"
<> writes:

I have to disagree with some statements below. Comments are

Charles W. Carrigan
Olivet Nazarene University
Natural Sciences Division
One University Ave.
Bourbonnais, IL 60914
PH: (815) 939-5346
FX: (815) 939-5071

>>> "jack syme"> 9/24/2004 5:26:11 PM >>
The death that resulted from the fall was a SPIRITUAL death. A
from God. A banishment from the Garden with the tree of life. That is
the serpent said "surely you will not die" because the death was
not physical. And what the serpent said came to pass! After Eve ate the
apple she did not die. And Adam did not die.

I am not so convinced that when we read "death" in Gen. 2-4 that it must
be interpreted as spiritual death. Many people seem to want to remove
physical death as part of the curse for various reasons. One is that
clearly there is death in the fossil record and therefore pre-human and
presumably pre-fall, and there are other reasons as well given on
occasion. But I am not convinced that we should try to integrate every
detail of this story with other sources of historical information to make
a coherent picture - rather, it is sometimes better to let the story
simply say what it wants to say. It seems to me especially dangerous to
try and integrate a story that has a walking talking serpent as a main
character with all of what we currently know about natural and
anthropological history. Remember also that two of the other main
characters are named 'Dust' and 'Mother of All the Living'. That being
said, I'm not convined tha! t the ancients who wrote this story were
really separating spiritual and physical death the way many people today
seem to do. Death is the end of life as we know it, and although today
we might say "no it isn't because of eternal spiritual life", there
doesn't appear to have been a concept of life after death in the ancient
hebrew culture. Some of the wisdom writings illustrate this. Even in
Christ's day, there was debate between the leaders of Judaism as to
whether there was a resurrection of the dead. So in the story, Adam ate
the fruit, and he didn't immediately die physically. There are other
possibilities besides "this means that 'death' meant spiritual". Perhaps
God simply changed His mind, and let them contiue to live! He has
certainly been known to and is free to do that.
Whether the ancients recognized spiritual death as we do I cannot say. I
wasn't there. But Genesis 2:17 declares that the _day_ of eating he dies.
This is explicit in the Hebrew text however it is translated. But Adam's
physical life continued for centuries. Seems to me that equating the
death on eating to losing physical life makes the passage nonsense.
But they were changed. Their relationship with the earth, (toiling in
soild to produce food.) and his relationship with God (kicked out of the
Garden, forbidden to eat from the tree of life) was the result.

Death was in creation before the fall. Death of subhuman creation, it
everywhere, except maybe inside the Garden. And Man was supposed to be
immortal, I think, and live eternally in the physical realm, with a close

relationship with God and nourishment from the Tree. But of course that
not happen.

And there was no curse to all of creation, just man's relationship to it.

Except for the serpent who was cursed to crawl on his belly. And man has

since completely messed up creation even more.

But sub human creation is no more in need of redemption now, than it was
before the fall. Christ died to restore Man, not the rocks, trees,

I have to disagree with the statement that there was no curse to all of
creation and that "subhuman" creation is in no need of redemption. Adam,
in fact, was not cursed directly, but rather God said "Cursed is the
ground because of you". Also, Paul states that 'all creation groans' in
anticipation of redemption, and it is worthwhile to remember that Paul
wrote that after Christ's death/resurrection. Additionally, evolution as
a process is driven by the survival of the fittest - and complementary to
that, by the suffering and death of the not fittest. Many animals die
before they even get out of the nest because of competition for food and
mother's attention from siblings that may be only a day older, bigger,
and stronger. The suffering and death of the weakest is the antithesis
of Christ. That is then, in my view, is a fallen process, and
illustrates to me (in addition to the two portions of scripture I alluded
to) that all of cr! eation is in need of redemption.

Best Regards,
Received on Sat Sep 25 16:20:20 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Sep 25 2004 - 16:20:23 EDT