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

From: Sheila Wilson <>
Date: Tue Sep 28 2004 - 08:38:23 EDT

I also look through the glass darkly and enjoy the conversation. In all this discussion about whether death is good or not, one thing has always bothered me and it is exactly what you said - Christ came to conquer sin and death. He descended into hell and now holds the keys to hell and death in His hands. I haven't been able to reconcile that because that implies that death is bad.

Mike Tharp <> wrote:
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Hello Sheila,


Yes, in some ways death certainly is a good thing, especially for those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). But is this as God had originally intended? We know that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). It is recorded in the Bible that God sometimes uses wicked men, such as Nebuchadnezzar, to fulfill His perfect will. Likewise, death may not have been part of the original perfect creation, but it, like all things, works for good to them that love God. Also, 1 Corinthians 15:26 describes death as an enemy that will be destroyed, and we also know that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).


The promise of seed time and harvest given in Genesis 8:22 was not only after the fall, but after the flood. I would interpret that passage to say that seed time and harvest will never cease as long as the earth endures from this time forward. However, Adam and Eve would have eaten fruits and vegetables, and therefore harvested, prior to the fall. So there is no question that plant life died before the fall. But the Bible makes a distinction between plant life and animal life. It was animal life, or nephesh, to which I was referring.


What is the answer? I, too, am only making guesses based on my imperfect knowledge of the Bible. I assume that your experience as a geologist has led you to different conclusions. You may have evidences for death prior to the fall that I have never had the opportunity to even consider. Someday we will know the answers to these questions, but “for now we see through a glass, darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12) and simply enjoy discussing such topics with fellow believers.


In Christ,




From: [] On Behalf Of Sheila Wilson
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 3:29 PM
To: 'AmericanScientificAffiliation'
Subject: Re: The Curse - Upon All Creation or Just Mankind?


The fall of Adam affected the entire earth as seen in Isaiah 24:5-6a:


"The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt."


The real question is whether death occurred before the fall. The Bible doesn't say. Inferring that death didn't occur because God said His creation was good is probably wrong. Death is often referred to as a good thing; for example, a seed must be buried in the ground and die before a new plant is grown and we must die to self (crucify our flesh) in order to be obedient to God. Inferring that nothing ever died before the fall is also false because God promised seed time and harvest will never cease as long as the earth endures (Genesis 8:22).


What is the answer? Can we even discover the answer in this age?




gordon brown <> wrote:

On Sat, 18 Sep 2004, Mike Tharp wrote:

> In Genesis 3:17, God tells Adam, "cursed is the ground for thy sake". The
> ground would be the earth, so the entire earth is cursed, no? Verse 18 goes
> on to say, "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth." This seems to
> indicate that there was some change in at least plant life after the Fall.
> In Romans 8:22, Paul writes, "For we know that the whole creation groaneth
> and travaileth in pain together until now." This verse seems to indicate
> that the entire creation was cursed, not mankind alone.
> I would have to agree, though, that "nowhere in scripture does it say that
> death, came to all of creation after the fall, only death to man." However,
> I also agree with the argument that, if there were death and suffering
> before the fa ll, it seems strange that God would call such a creation "very
> good." That death and suffering, both of man and animals, are a result of
> the Fall seems to make sense to me.
> In Christ,
> Mike

Before the creation of man it is said that the creation was good rather
than very good. After the creation of man it is said to be very good, not
perfect. (The law of the Lord is perfect.) What God has created is still
said to be good even now (I Tim. 4:4). Prophecies in Revelation and
elsewhere indicate that something better is possible.

We note that the good creation before the Fall contained desert (Gen.
2:5), due to conditions in which plants could not survive. Adam was told
that he would surely die the day he ate from the forbidden tree. What
would that have meant to him if he had never seen a dead animal? What was
the significance of the tree of life? See Gen. 3:22. Indications are that
conditions were very different outside the Garden than they were in it
both before and after the Fall. Thorns and thistles could have been
present outside the Garden before the Fall.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0395

Sheila McGinty Wilson

Sheila McGinty Wilson
Received on Tue Sep 28 09:07:28 2004

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