Re: Natural Evil (was: The Curse - Upon All Creation...?)

From: gordon brown <gbrown@euclid.colorado.edu>
Date: Thu Sep 30 2004 - 17:14:11 EDT

The wording of Rev. 16:18 seems to suggest that the author believed that
there may have been earthquakes before Adam that were larger than any that
have occurred since.

I have another comment below the following quote.

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004, Charles Carrigan wrote:

> "Natural evil" is a category name given for things like earthquakes
> and
> parasites and disease which hurt, destroy, and kill, but which are not
> caused by anyone's specific immoral decision. Is all "natural evil" a
> result of the Fall and the Curse?
> >>>>
>
> Theologically, speaking, I would have to answer "yes" to your question
> here. Otherwise, eveything that occurrs in the garden of eden is
> subject to the same probabilities of disaster striking as everything
> else. Can we honestly imagine that a volcano could have erupted and
> buried the Garden of Eden, and it be just dumb luck associated with the
> earth releasing heat through plate tectonic processes? Or pick some
> other disaster in place of a volcanic eruption - wild fire, tornado,
> hurricane, meteor impact, etc.etc. I have a hard time believing that
> the writer of this story intended the garden to be subject to such
> things in our minds - the garden is written as a perfect paradise where
> God and humanity and nature interact in harmony, and that harmony is
> clearly destroyed after sin occurs. Is anyone on this list from
> Flordia? Can you imagine 4(!) hurricanes coming through and destroying
> the garden of eden?

With the omniscient God there is no such thing as "dumb luck". No volcano
erupted in the Garden because God knew what he was doing. To Him natural
processes are predictable so that, for example, he could have the wind
blow at the right time and with the right velocity to roll back the waters
of the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross on dry ground. We are
confident that when we pray, if it is God's will, he can keep natural
disasters away from us without changing the laws of physics even though
such events happen at other times and places.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395
Received on Thu Sep 30 18:09:22 2004

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