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

From: Charles Carrigan <>
Date: Mon Sep 27 2004 - 14:50:10 EDT

Just a couple of final comments.
1) I fail to see how digging up Adam's bones has anything to do with
whether or not the writer of Gen 2 had any concept of physical vs.
spiritual life/death. I think you are ignoring the evidence from other
portions of the OT (and NT) that seems to indicate that the ancient
Hebrews did have a concept of an afterlife, and that they had no concept
of separation of life and death into physical and spiritual. Why else
would David write in Psalm 6 - "No one remembers You when he is dead.
Who praises You from the grave?"? Just as there is ample evidence that
dinosaurs walked the earth millions of years ago, there is also evidence
that ancient Hebrews had no concept of a separation of physical and
spiritual death. If they did not have these concepts in their belief
system, then it seems wrong for us to read it into their writings.
2) I did not mean to imply that the Almighty has any thoughtless
failings, as I do. But that doesn't mean God can't change His mind.
In His discussions with Moses about the children of Israel, it seems
that Moses actually argues with God and causes God to change His mind
about wiping them all out after their disobedience. If God changed His
mind then, and He relented after initially saying they would all be
destroyed, then I dont' see any reason why God could not have also done
the same thing here with Adam and Eve.
I don't know what "open" theology is - I'm just a simple geologist. So
I can't comment on that.
I'll let you have the last word, if you'd like.
Best Regards,
Charles W. Carrigan
Olivet Nazarene University
Natural Sciences Division
One University Ave.
Bourbonnais, IL 60914
PH: (815) 939-5346
FX: (815) 939-5071
>>> "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <> 9/26/2004 6:24:08 PM

On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 21:43:37 -0500 "Charles Carrigan"
<> writes:
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.

I clearly wasn't around at the time either, but I wasn't around when
dinosaurs walked the earth. That doesn't mean we can't know anything
about what was going on at the time. By looking at other writings of
ancient Hebrews over the centuries, it seems as though the idea of life
after death didn't exist early on in their thinking. David wrote in
Psalm 6 - "No one remembers You when he is dead. Who praises you from
the grave?"
The dinosaurs and the Garden are totally different matters. Though I
claim no expertise in paleontology, I have seen the fossilized bones of
dinosaurs of various sizes, their footprints at the Paluxy river site,
etc. There are adequate reasons to give them an ancient date. In total
contrast, no one has discovered the bones of Adam and, had they been
discovered, I find no way to determine precisely the date of death or
his age at death, let alone what he had been told. This has nothing to
do with a recognition of life after death--Adam's spiritual life was
gone even as his physical life continued. Note that spiritual life, as
Adam had it before the Fall if we take the passage literally, is not the
same as resurrection life, of which we now have a token or foretaste. I
haven't yet been glorified, though God says it's done.
Gen. 2:17 says that "for when you eat of it you will surely die."
(NIV). Most translations are a little more emphatic about it, saying
'on that day' and such. Yes, this is pretty explicit. This was a
warning to Adam (Eve wasn't around yet). However, Adam and Eve didn't
die (physically) on the day they ate the fruit. Is it so nonsensical
that God could have simply changed His mind about the punishment He
would inflict upon them?
I checked the Hebrew text. "Day" is explicit.
At the begining of this semester, I started teaching my first large
college class. I told my students (~100 in the class) that if anyone
missed an exam with an unexcused absence, they would receive a zero for
that exam. It just so happened that a very good student happened to
oversleep his alarm on exam day. I hadn't thought about the policy very
much before I made it. Now I had a chance to really think this through.
 A zero on an exam is twice as bad as a 50% failure. I decided that was
too harsh of a penalty, as it amounted to a student failing two of 5
exams. I know he didn't intentionally oversleep, and I know I've done
exactly what he did in the past. So I changed my mind about the
student's punishment for his wrong actions, and decided to be more
merciful. Is it so obsurd that God could have also decided He really
didnt' want them to die that day, and instead gave a different, less
severe punishment?&n! bsp;

I understand very well that you did not think things through
completely. I'm human too. But can you imply that God is as thoughtless
as we? Why do I think that Romans 3:4--"Let God be true, and every man a
liar"--fits here? On the other hand, there are those who adopt Open
Theology. If they're right, then Romans 8:29f is a lie.
Received on Mon Sep 27 16:32:13 2004

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