RE: [asa] (ancient theodicy, 'ancient theology') Deism, Apologetics, and Neglected Arguments

From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
Date: Mon Aug 24 2009 - 13:07:29 EDT

On Mon, 24 Aug 2009, Dehler, Bernie wrote:

> David said:
> “Explain to us  how  this ancient theology is going to cause millions of
> Christians to lose their faith?”
> Because Christians learn a certain popular apologetics, which state that
> Adam brought sin and death into the world.  That is ancient theology and
> wrong.  When they learn that death was in the world long before Adam, they
> will throw out everything else in Christianity too, because their
> apologetics teacher told them this was foundational to the faith.
> …Bernie

I don't know the history of Christian teaching on the origin of the death
of nonhumans, and so I don't know whether what you describe should be
called ancient theology. Before the discovery of fossil evidence it
probably wasn't a pressing issue. When I was in my teens and twenties, the
Scofield Reference Edition seemed to be the preferred Bible of
evangelicals, and its advocacy of the gap theory was widely accepted as
authoritative. A key feature of this theory was the destruction of the
original creation including animal life in Satan's fall prior to its
restoration and the creation of humans. I was not aware that this raised
an issue for anyone regarding animal death prior to Adam. After all, the
context of the scriptural references to one man bringing death into the
world indicate that this is about death of humans. It is only since the
rise of modern YECism that I have become aware that this was an issue for
many people.

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

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Received on Mon Aug 24 13:08:19 2009

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