Re: [asa] various questions(Cosmic Fall?)

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Date: Sun Jun 03 2007 - 04:43:47 EDT

This matter is not directly concerned with a old/young earth, but is an
integral part of the typical YEC world view and thus is important.
I strongly recommend to David and his father the paper by John J. Bimson
in Science and Christian Faith (2006), 18, 63-83, titled Reconsidering a
'Cosmic Fall'. In particular, Bimson examines the relevant biblical texts:
Gen 3: 17-19, Isaiah 11: 6-10, OT nature poetry, Romans 5 & 8, Col. 1:20.
Bimson says that his survey suggests that those theologians who have
reduced the scope of the fall from the cosmic to the merely human have
been on the right lines. But 'natural evil' remains a problem. Bimson
discusses alternative approaches, by Ruth Page, John Polkinghorne, and a
certain George L. Murphy who needs no introduction on this list!

In Romans 5:12 Paul is clearly talking about human death (and spiritual
death at that).
Re Romans 8:19-22, Bimson concludes that it seems certain that Paul has
something more (and perhaps something other) in mind than Gen.3:17-19.
Bimson quotes Tom Wright (The Resurrection of the Son of God, p. 249):
"The tragedy of Adam is not just that he introduced sin and hence death
into the world, but that humans were made to be the creator's wise agents
over creation, and if they worship and serve the creature rather than the
creator this purpose goes unfulfilled."
This means that creation itelf does not need to be redeemed because it has
been subject to a fall, but rather needs to be released from the
transitoriness to which it is currently restricted.

> My Dad (who is also interested in age of the earth/evolution questions)
> recently asked the opinion of a friend of his (by email) regarding the age
> of the earth. I'd be interested in hearing your perspectives on some of
> the
> objections to an old earth that were brought up by the friend.
> 1. "Romans 8:19-23 talks about how the whole creation was affected by sin
> and that through sin the creation was subjected to futility (v. 20),
> corruption, and decay (v. 21) – all things that led to death. So, I think
> there is fairly clear Biblical warrant to say that the whole creation
> suffered from Adam's sin and that before that sin there would have been no
> futility, corruption, decay, or death."
> 2. "This also comes from Romans 5:12ff. The issue here is that if Adam
> evolved, then the human race did not just descend from Adam but from the
> entire population of pre-Adamic, pre-human beings. There would have been
> nothing to stop the intermarriage of Adam's descendants with the
> descendants
> of other, non-human beings; or for other humans to evolve apart from Adam.
> So, you would have humans inheriting a sin nature and dying who were not
> exclusive descendants from Adam. Theologically, Romans 5 does not make
> sense
> if Adam evolved. I think these first two issues pretty much rule out
> biological macroevolution."
> In the Tyndale Old Testament commentary on Genesis, Kidner has some
> interesting perspectives on this, and I agree with him (an evolutionary
> creationist). I'd still like to hear what some of you think and share it
> with my Dad.
> Thanks,
> David Buller

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Received on Sun Jun 3 04:44:33 2007

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