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

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Mon Sep 27 2004 - 22:54:16 EDT

On Mon, 27 Sep 2004 13:50:10 -0500 "Charles Carrigan"
<> writes:

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,

Regarding your first paragraph, the problem appears to be that you are
thinking of spiritual life as essentially equivalent to NT eternal life,
especially glorified life. I am merely talking about the direct
fellowship with God which potentially could have become deathless. This
has nothing to do with what the ancient Hebrews might have believed about
a resurrection or afterlife, just what is rather explicit in the record
of command, disobedience and separation.

Regarding God's change of mind, is it a description of God's actual state
or of what it looked like to an observer extrapolating from his humanity?
The language you quote can be interpreted either way. The same divergence
applies to prayer. One view has it that my prayer produces divine action
at the time I pray (and ties to the view that God is restricted in time
and so cannot know the future because it isn't). The other view has it
that the eternal, i.e. timeless, deity took my prayer into account when
he created the universe. There is an interpretation of relativity theory
that the temporal dimension involves going to a when just as the spatial
dimensions involve going to a where, that is, the future already exists.
I understand from George Murphy that this is a possible, not a necessary
view. It fits the notion of a God who views all eternity rather than
being stymied by the future.

Finally, I can't agree that you are a "simple geologist." Any geologist
I've encountered has been far from simple. You may not know some things
about philosophy and theology. Fact is, there are lots of things in those
areas that I don't know despite receiving the title of professor of
philosophy emeritus. Geology puts me in a bigger hole.
Received on Mon Sep 27 23:18:14 2004

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