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The Facts About Fossils

Thursday, June 24, 2010 | Comments (77)

First, listen to this 5-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Here's the topic for today's discussion:

What are fossils? How were they formed? What clues, if any, do they provide for determining the age of the earth? Today, John MacArthur answers those questions as he explains what the fossil record proves, and maybe more important, what it doesn’t prove.

You’ve probably heard evolutionists use the existence of the fossil record to try and pin an extremely old age on the earth. They talk about radiometric dating, radioactive isotopes, and geologic scales of time, all to convince you the earth is billions of years old. But their research is driven by massive underlying assumptions—one of them involves how living creatures became fossilized in the first place. John explains . . .

Here’s an important question for the comment thread: Fossils didn’t exist before death; death didn’t exist before human sin; human sin didn’t exist before Adam. So, where did much of the fossil record come from? The flood.

If you don’t agree, how do you reconcile the fossil record with those biblical truths?


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#1  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 2:35 AM

God is sovereign superior in all respects. His plans are spread out for everyone's eyes. His secret plans are fully accessible. The strategy has been adopted from before everything was created.

Is it not amazing? - While the enemy in advance knows the whole strategy, he cannot win against God.

God chose the exact opposite of this world's wisdom, which ends in folly, eternal death and Judgment, but God's folly ends in full reconciliation with God, eternal life and grace. The low. The simple. The despised. What no one expected - That was God when He gave His own Son on the cross for our sins.

Satan and his henchmen’s plan to take over domination and become god themselves failed completely. He is disarmed. Faced openly on display as a loser, and forever damned. He has no power whatsoever in those who believe.

The simple plan that is bigger than anything else? – The Cross. (Romans 1:16-17)

Only there can you stop your evil ways and turn around.

I have been a Christian for more than 30 years (I’m Danish), and have as you all seen the advance of technology.

It is only about twenty something years since Windows 3.1, and in this brief amount of time, we have also seen long hold theories change or disappear. Example in 1985 I think, The Nebula Theory fell flat. A major revision was made to the hypothesis.

How is heavy elements created? Is it created at all, or are the universe a closed system. What about the laws of thermodynamics?

We don’t even know for sure how a star forms. It takes a star to form another star. This brings us back to first cause. We are prematurely making wrong conclusions based on knowledge of today, and worst of all – deception from people with a selfish agenda. SIN.

What you think is the truth from science can change in a minute.

But God’s words are sure, pure and true.

Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:1–2).

#2  Posted by Matt Tocco  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 3:50 AM

This audio was very helpful for my purposes (John MacArthur is always very helpful to me for understanding so I can minister). I've tried to keep up with all of the links and writings that everyone has shared but frankly I'm almost to the point of information overload. However, I still do not have all the answers that I need.

If dinosaurs are young earth creatures as John MacArthur points out (no death prior to the fall) why were they not on the ark? And, if they're old earth creatures as others would suggest, what was/is their functionality (they lived during weather, vegetation and presumably time (even if the time wasn't measured by them)?

#3  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 6:26 AM

"If you don’t agree, how do you reconcile the fossil record with those biblical truths?"

Can someone explain to me, preferably without linking to another article, why animal death could not have existed before the fall? Could plant death have existed before the fall? How about apoptosis? If Adam stepped on a plant, could he have killed it? Is there any Biblical evidence for the idea "no animal death before the fall"?

Secondly, if MacArthur thinks that a worldwide flood formed the fossil record, he has some major problems to account for:

The faunal succession in the fossil record - why didn't at least one dinosaur make it to high ground with the elephants?

Why are some groups of animals, mollusks for instance, found throughout the fossil record? While other marine creatures are only found in specific layers?

Why are organisms that are nearly the same shape, size, and weight still distinctly sorted?

How were coral reefs over a mile long and hundreds of feet thick preserved with other fossils below them? Why is there evidence of coral growth in the fossil record (coral can't grow in muddy water)?

Why are there layers created by the evaporation of sea water found in the middle of the geological column?

Examples of faunal succession:

tribolites, rugose, and tabulate corals – Paleozoic strata

placoderm fishes – Devonian and lowest Carboniferous strata

scleractinean corals, sand dollars, neogastropods – post- Paleozoic

plesiosaurs, mosasaurs – Mesozoic

elephants, ground sloths, whales, salmons – Cenezoic

How does a global flood explain elephants being found in the same layer as whales?

#4  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 7:05 AM

Landon,

If you genuinely want a response from biblical creationists to your questions, the answers are there if you would avail yourself of the resources. To read one or two summary internet articles on the subject that doesn't "satisfy" your inquiry and then proclaim YEC can't handle the evidence is a bit of willful ignorance. Creationists have been researching and building their models on this subject for quite a long time so it isn't like your objections and inquiries are anything really new.

That being said, the issue of death is fundamentally a major problem for your position especially if you are going to take the whole of the Bible seriously as inspired of God. Death, and not just human death, is viewed as an intruding enemy upon God's creation. Through out the Bible, disease, famine, dying, are framed as God's curse upon sin and never a positive presence in God's creation. This very fact is seen in 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul casts the old world (the one we currently live in) as being corruptible, and the world to come (the New Heavens and New Earth) as being incorruptible and then contrasts them with Adam's sin and Christ's obedience and the eschatological restoration of all things.

If death was a normal part of God's original creation, then the question you have to answer is why is there any need for an eschatological restoration? Essentially, your position is saying we are currently living on a perfect world now, the only problem being is that men are separated from God spiritually. But the Bible identifies our physical death, the curse of the ground (which by extension impacts all life on the planet, all creation groans as Paul writes in Romans 8:20), and the need, not just for spiritual, but also for physical redemption, all with Adam's sin. The problem of death is the major Achilles heal to the entire apologetic enterprise of theistic evolutionists.

I wrote more here at my personal blog:

http://hipandthigh.blogspot.com/2010/06/hard-truths-for-theistic-evolutionists_20.html

#5  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 7:31 AM

Fred,

Ok, I will just stick with the ice-core data for now. Can you point me to a resource that actually "explains" the data from a YEC perspective? Oard didn't.

I asked about animal death, not human in-the-image-of-God death. I agree that "all creation groans". But how does that translate to "animals die."?

#6  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 7:58 AM

Landon,

Oard's article was a rebuttal to the one you posted. If you really want to get into how Oard handles the ice core data then read his monograph:

"The Frozen Record: Examining the Ice Core History of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets," (ICR Technical Monograph, 2005).

ICR's store has the book on sale right now:

http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BFRRE1

Here's a preview PDF from CMI's store (who does not have it on sale):

http://store.creation.com/common/productpdfs/10-3-111.pdf

#7  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 8:17 AM

Don,

Did you read my response to Oard's article? He didn't "rebut" the one by Seely by any stretch of the imagination.

I will look up the other stuff you linked to though...don't know if I want to purchase a book though if it is like the article.

#8  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 8:18 AM

For Landon and anyone else wondering about the death of animals,

I'm not sure why, maybe it is our modern definition of "death" or our modern environmentalist movement, or something else, but for some reasons people want to put plant death and animal death on the level. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that the death of animals and humans is categorically different than the death of vegetation.

When you read Genesis, God speaks to animals and people giving both the same command, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill..." This is command uniquely given to animals and people, which immediately sets them apart from other "living" things like plants.

Also, God provides food for all animals and people through the vegetation (Genesis 1:29-30). God explicitly provided a food supply which explicitly did not include animals. It isn't until after the flood that animals are permissible for humans to eat under certain conditions (9:3-4), namely, that humans are not to eat animals while they are still alive; why? because the life of an animal is categorically different from the "life" of a plant.

Lastly, when God destroys all living things in the flood, the Bible doesn't meant that He destroys people, animals, plants, trees, etc. No, Scripture teaches that "all living things" refers to "all flesh in which is the breath of life" (6:17), namely, people and animals. Notice that Noah was not to take seeds of all the vegetation on the ark. He was only to take two of "every living thing of all flesh... male and female" (6:19).

So these passages tell us that God views the life of humans and animals categorically different than plants. So it is unbiblical to lump the "death" of plants with the death of animals.

The oft quoted Romans 5:12 is where we get the idea that death to both humans and animals (as part of the world) came at the Fall. Some have tried to say that verse only refers to human death. My question would be, why would Paul say, "sin came into the world... and death through sin..."? Yes, in the context Paul is referring to the death and life of humans, but why would he uses kosmos (world) when he could have used anthropos (mankind) or some other limiting word? I think the answer is because he really meant that sin and death entered the kosmos, not just anthropos.

The further testimony of Romans 8 that the world groans awaiting its redemption obliterates the idea that sin and death merely affected humans at the Fall. If that were the case then God created a groaning world, which of course goes against the "very good" state of the world. But it was not the case, and sin and death came post-complete creation at the Fall.

#9  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 8:31 AM

Landon,

"Did you read my response to Oard's article? He didn't "rebut" the one by Seely by any stretch of the imagination."

Oh pleeeease! The substance of your "response" was to merely complain that Oard did not hold the same philosophical presuppositions as Seely.

"I will look up the other stuff you linked to though...don't know if I want to purchase a book though if it is like the article."

Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

#10  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 8:36 AM

Landon:

You quoted the question from the introduction to this post, but you never actually answered it. Instead, you presented one of your own. But how do YOU reconcile your position on the fossil record with Scripture, especially Genesis 1-3 and Romans 5? I think that will help the readers (and maybe you too) better understand both your view of Scripture in relation to science, as well as the hermeneutic you bring to Genesis 1-3.

#11  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 8:38 AM

Can someone explain to me, preferably without linking to another article, why animal death could not have existed before the fall?

Romans 5:12 says that sin entered the world through Adam and death entered the world through sin. It would be impossible, given the fact that death was not "in the world" prior to Adam's sin and subsequent suffering of judgement, for animals to have suffered death prior to the fall.

"Could plant death have existed before the fall?"

Plants are not "living" in the same sense that man and animals are living accoring to Leviticus 17:11 "For the life of the flesh is in the blood..." Plants do not contain blood therefore should not be considered part of the "living" creation.

Genesis 1:30 further says: "Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so."

This clarifies that there is a separation between animals, birds, reptiles, etc. "in which there is life"...blood...with that of plants. God gave plants and herbs for people and animals to consume as food. Therefore, they cannot be considered to contain "life" or their consumption would be a violation of the clear understanding of Romans 5:12

In terms of apoptosis I can only say that this process is a result of the fall.

#12  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 8:45 AM

Landon,

“Could plant death have existed before the fall?...If Adam stepped on a plant, could he have killed it?”

I find it interesting that you bring up the “death” of plant life. Skeptics like to ridicule sections of the Bible like John 12:24 where Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” They mock it because we all know that the seed is not really dead.

I’ll paraphrase some of the stuff I read on this in the past.

The mistake skeptics make here is taking the modern scientific definition for life and death and assuming it is the same as the biblical definition--they are *not* the same. In science, life is defined in a particular way, but according to Scripture, plants are not alive. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word “nephesh chayyah” (the breath of life) is applied to living souls, but it is not applied to plants. Plants may be thought of as biological machines. They are not alive in a biblical sense, but animals and human beings are. If you look up references to plants in the Old Testament you will see that they “wither,” they “burn,” they “fade” and they are “cut,” but, in general, they are not referred to as being “killed” or “dying.” In the few instances where plants are said to die, it is abundantly clear that it is not applied in the modern biological sense. Take Job 14:7-12, for example:

“For there is hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its shoots will not fail. Though its roots grow old in the ground and its stump dies in the dry soil, at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant. But man dies and lies prostrate. Man expires, and where is he? {As} water evaporates from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dried up, so man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens are no longer, He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep.”

The plant’s “death” here is only temporary while the man’s is permanent—until the resurrection, of course.

So, the short answer to your question is that plants are not considered to be alive in the Biblical sense.

#13  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 8:55 AM

Regarding apoptosis, here's an article from CMI:

"Apoptosis: cell ‘death’ reveals Creation" - http://creation.com/apoptosis-cell-death-reveals-creation

I'm getting tired of spoon-feeding the lazy skeptics we have on these comment sections. Do you guys make any effort on your own to Google the creaionist web sites?

#14  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 9:01 AM

Landon

Answers Research Journal (ARJ) is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework.

From here, I have found a model for explaining the thick chalk beds found all over the world.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v2/n1/chalk-and-upper-cretaceous-deposits

#15  Posted by Millard Lightfoot  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 10:25 AM

Two books you should read that might help clear up most of your questions are:

‘In the Beginning’ By Dr. Walt Brown (available free online)

‘Earth’s Catastrophic Past’ by Dr. Andrew Snelling

I hope this helps.

God Bless

#16  Posted by Michael Peters  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 11:34 AM

Hello, here is what me and my close brethren think about these fossils. We think that God created fossils, not the actual living animals. God created the fossils to confound the ones who think they are wise. There is no way man could have existed with those Tyrannosauruses Rex's and all those huge carnivore dinosaurs. I believe The Holy Spirit, Jesus, and The Father created the dinosaurs to confuse and confound the ones who think they know so much. For in 1 Corinthian 1:19-25 Paul quotes Isaiah 29:14 and talks about how God will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever he will set aside. Also in Luke 3:8 Luke states that We must bear fruits in keeping repentance, for God can raise up from these stones children of Abraham. So if God can raise up from these stones children of Abraham then who is to say he wouldn't create these fossils. Also in Genesis 7:2-4 scripture states that God commanded Noah to take with him 2 of every animal, a male and a female, these dinosaurs were never on the ark. I believe that God created these fossils to confound the wise and destroy them and because of people searching for evolution instead of God, He created the fossils out of jealousy for people worshiping these creatures. I am very curious to hear what you guys think about what I'm saying please let me know what you guys think.

-In Christ

Michael

#17  Posted by Donna Davis  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 11:45 AM

It's called faith, faith in God's word being true, and when science contadicts scripture it is science that is faulty.

#18  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 12:10 PM

Hi folks:Some interesting comments here. What are we presupposing in any of the blogs regarding fossils? Recent research from the Mount St Helen site would seem to support YEC flood model. Quickly changing topography, layers of sediment deposited in short order, with strata already there. Not as one would expect in an evolutionary paradigm. Just a thought,

#19  Posted by Jeremy Gilder  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 12:17 PM

The best explanation I have heard about dinosaurs came from Dr. Ron Carlson, in his lecture "Creation vs Evolution". He made the argument that all Dinosaurs were reptiles. He stated that reptiles are the only classification of species on earth that continues to grow as long as they live. Today, some of the larger reptiles can live about as long as humans live; 50 to 70 years. If the same ratio were true pre flood as it is post flood, then we would have had, for example, alligators living to be 800 to 900 years old. That would be a big alligator. Also, he stated that only about 3 to 5 percent of these dinasour fossils are the really large ones that Hollywood makes movies about. This also happens to be the same percentage we see in the reptile class today (i.e. only about 3 to 5 percent are really large like alligators, the rest average out to be about the size of a chicken or a dog).

So, did Noah take dinasours on the ark? According to Dr. Carlson; Yes, but he likely took babies not full grown adults.

Could man have lived at the same time as these large creatures? Sure, we live today with Lions, Tigers, Bears, Elephants, Komodo Dragons, and other large creatures that could eat you or step on you. But we don't usually hang out where they hang out. Occasionaly one of them steps on us or eats us, but I am sure that after the fall some of the dinasours did eat or step on some people.

I agree with Dr Carlson and Dr MacArthur.

#20  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 12:25 PM

Gabriel,

"When you read Genesis, God speaks to animals and people giving both the same command, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill..." This is command uniquely given to animals and people, which immediately sets them apart from other "living" things like plants."

How quickly do you think overpopulation would result if there was no death and all the animals were multiplying and filling?

How are you defining an animal? Is a cell an animal? An amoeba (single-celled organism)?

"Yes, in the context Paul is referring to the death and life of humans, but why would he uses kosmos (world) when he could have used anthropos (mankind) or some other limiting word? I think the answer is because he really meant that sin and death entered the kosmos, not just anthropos."

So, assuming your distinction between plant and animal death, your idea that animal death could not have existed before the fall comes from your idea that Paul would have used a limiting word if he only meant human death? And you agree that the context is speaking specifically of human death. Isn't that a pretty shaky idea to base your rejection of the fossil record on?

What does the groaning in Rom. 8 mean? I don't think we can just assume it is referring to animal death.

The Bible never states that animal death did not exist before the fall. Or that animal death is intrinsically evil.

Animals are never told by God that they cannot eat other animals. After the flood, God tells humans that they can eat animals. God never tells animals that they can start eating meat.

Was there pain before the fall? God tells Eve that her pain in childbirth will be multiplied, not that she will now have pain in childbirth. Was there work before the fall? Genesis 2:15 says that God put Adam in the garden "to work it and keep it" (ESV).

In Job 39:13-18, God takes credit for causing the ostrich to "deal cruelly with her young" - including the possibility that they will be killed. In verses 26-30 of the same chapter, God takes credit for creating the eagle whose young "suck up blood." There is no mention of this behavior being aberrant or coming about because of the fall. Chapter 38 contains the following passage:

"39 Can you hunt the prey for the lion,

or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

40 when they crouch in their dens

or lie in wait in their thicket?

41 Who provides for the raven its prey,

when its young ones cry to God for help,

and wander about for lack of food?"

Psalm 104:19-21

"19 He made the moon to mark the seasons;

the sun knows its time for setting.

20 You make darkness, and it is night,

when all the beasts of the forest creep about.

21 The young lions roar for their prey,

seeking their food from God."

God does not apologize for creating animals that are carnivorous or say that they are the result of human sin. He instead glorifies Himself by pointing to His creatures, even the dangerous and violent ones.

#21  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 12:31 PM

Don,

"Oh pleeeease! The substance of your "response" was to merely complain that Oard did not hold the same philosophical presuppositions as Seely."

"Ignorance is bliss, I suppose."

"I'm getting tired of spoon-feeding the lazy skeptics we have on these comment sections. Do you guys make any effort on your own to Google the creaionist web sites?"

First of all, that was not the substance of my response. Oard did not rebut Seely's article. If you want to engage in specifics of my response please do so. But don't just write it off as me "complaing that Oard did not hold the same philosophical presupositions."

Secondly, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but I have tried to dialogue respectfully and without trying to insult people. I would appreciate the same in return.

#22  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 12:33 PM

To all,

If you genuinely want a response from [mainstream science] to your questions, the answers are there if you would avail yourself of the resources. To read one or two summary internet articles on the subject that doesn't "satisfy" your inquiry and then proclaim [science] can't handle the evidence is a bit of willful ignorance. [Scientists] have been researching and building their models on this subject for quite a long time so it isn't like your objections and inquiries are anything really new.

#23  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 12:37 PM

#16 No - fossils are real. And God is not a deciever. They were on the Ark.

#24  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 1:35 PM

# 3 - Landon

"If Adam stepped on a plant, could he have killed it?"

I am just waiting for someone to call out "murder"! tsc tsc...

-----------

A question to all TE, I am curious. When you present/share the Gospel with someone (I am assuming that you do), if the person ever asks you any questions about the creation, how do you present God to them? Not the Creator, but the "initiator"?! And if they have a minimal knowledge of Genesis, do you really say that God wrote He was the Creator and that He did it in 6 (24 hour) days but it's not exactly what He meant?

If you say that, how can you tell the same person to believe a God who misleads and lies?

E.

#25  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 3:49 PM

Landon,

How quickly do you think overpopulation would result if there was no death and all the animals were multiplying and filling?

This is a bad question because it forgets that God's plan from before creation included the Fall. So the question attempts to philosophically solve a hypothetical impossibility.

How are you defining an animal? Is a cell an animal? An amoeba (single-celled organism)?

The same way the Bible does. It is flesh with the breath of life, which seems to be limited to organisms with lungs. I can't get any more specific than Scripture.

RE: Romans 5:12

Just because the overall context is referring to one issue, it doesn't mean that other issues cannot be addressed as well. In fact, Paul is known for injecting many side issues into his main points. I stand by my point, unless you have contrary exegesis to discuss.

What does the groaning in Rom. 8 mean? I don't think we can just assume it is referring to animal death.

Nor did I intend to limit it that way. Let me ask you, what does Romans 8 mean? If the processes that we see around us are the same as from the first moment of time and space, did God create a groaning world?

The Bible never states that animal death did not exist before the fall. Or that animal death is intrinsically evil.

If it says that death entered the world through sin, does it need to specify all the different life forms it refers to? Also, animal death isn't evil and more than increased pain in childbirth is evil. It is not ideal and it is a deformation of God's creation. In the New Creation the lion will lie with the lamb, and the young child will sit at the snake's nest. While the Bible doesn't explicitly say that animals will not die in the new creation, it seems to indicate a completely different set of natural principles.

RE: Pain and work.

I'm not sure if pain was there before the Fall, but I know it will not be there after the new creation. Work is not part of the curse, hard work is.

God does not apologize for creating animals that are carnivorous or say that they are the result of human sin.

Why should He? He is talking about His sovereignty in a fallen world. He unapologetically provides meat for the Israelites in the desert even though meat was not part of the pre-fallen diet. He commands Peter to kill and eat, and not call unclean what God has made clean. That doesn't have anything to do with God's original creation.

#26  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 4:03 PM

Landon,

When I first became a Christian, about 30 years ago, the biggest problem I had was the creation/evolution issue. There was no Internet as we know it today, so I spent a lot of time obtaining books on the subject to answer my questions. I have accumulated around 300 books on the subject to date—from both sides of the issue—and a whole lot of periodicals. I even spent the better part of one summer in the 1980’s finding my own copies of most of the original sources Dr. Gish used for his book “Evolution: The fossils say, No!” because I wanted to see for myself if Gish had accurately represented the authors he quoted.

That being said, when I encounter someone such as yourself who wants to “dialog” but at the same time has demonstrated to have made no effort whatsoever on your own behalf to understand the creationist position, I have to ask myself, ‘why bother?’ If we were to “dialog” about ice cores, a subject I am really not very interested in at this time anyway, I would end up reading Oard’s “The Frozen Record” monograph to you. I do own a copy of it, but I am a busy person and I have better things to do with my time than to tutor some semi-anonymous person on creationism. I gave you two links for Oard’s monograph: one to the ICR online bookstore where the book is on sale ($4.95 is a steal), and another to a PDF file with a preview of the book. If you bothered to read through the preview, you would see from the preface that the monograph scrutinizes the 110,000 “annual layers” in the GISP2 core.

Now, if you really wanted to understand a creationist interpretation of the ice cores, then you would spend the $4.95 plus shipping and get the book. On the other hand, if you couldn’t be bothered to spend eight bucks or so educate yourself on the issue, then I can only conclude that you are just another lazy skeptic.

#27  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 5:17 PM

Gabriel,

"Just because the overall context is referring to one issue, it doesn't mean that other issues cannot be addressed as well. In fact, Paul is known for injecting many side issues into his main points. I stand by my point, unless you have contrary exegesis to discuss."

But "your point" just consists of your idea that Paul would have used different language if he wanted to exclude animal death from his statement. You cannot prove that statement. There isn't any evidence that backs it up. It is a possibility, but certainly not the only one.

"If the processes that we see around us are the same as from the first moment of time and space, did God create a groaning world?"

No, I don't believe that God created a groaning world. I believe that creation is groaning because of man's sin. I just am not making a dogmatic statement about what exactly that "groaning" consists of because the Scriptures do not do so. I don't know if the "groaning" is scientifically detectable or not. Again, Scripture is silent on the issue.

"It is not ideal and it is a deformation of God's creation."

The other passages I listed (mostly from Job) do not give any indication that God considers animal death a "deformation of His creation."

"I'm not sure if pain was there before the Fall, but I know it will not be there after the new creation. Work is not part of the curse, hard work is."

So, if I can summarize your position - pain may have existed before the Fall, work existed before the fall, and organisms with lungs did not die before the fall because of your speculation that Paul would have used different language in Romans 5 if this was not the case, correct?

I don't think you can be sure about the statement "meat was not part of the pre-fall diet." Again, Scripture seems ambiguous on this issue.

My position is that Scripture does not state that animal death was absent pre-Fall, and that taking the position that animal death did occur pre-Fall does not contradict any parts of Scripture. I think that I am well within the bounds of accurate interpretation of Scripture when I say this.

#28  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 6:37 PM

In #14, Rudi mentioned that ARI has an article on "a model for explaining the thick chalk beds found all over the world." Before I get to that, could I ask the moderators of this blog if it is their consensus that the fossils are a result of the catastrophe of Noah's flood? John's audio blog clearly stated that fossils came after creation, and that they were a result of the global cataclysm, but some previous postings in other threads here suggested that the fossil-bearing rock layers were created that way with appearance of age.

#29  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 6:52 PM

Tim, #28,

The position we take at GTY is that the fossil record was a primary result of Noah's global flood. I would add, speaking for my self, that other cataclysmic events happened after the flood, even after the wild life had dispersed across the world and re-establish themselves, which would explain a lot of your objections about fossil under coral beds, and so on. These events would be such things as volcanic eruptions, ice age conditions, tidal surges, etc. that would be the left overs from what happened to the break up of the earth during and after Noah's flood. For example, there are at least 5 or more major volcanic events that happened on the North American continent that spread ash over several million square miles. Rather than being events that take hundreds of thousands of years to happen and to impact the planet, I believe the recovery time was much quicker rather than gradual as uniformatarian ideas allow.

As for the person posting about fossils being "created" in rock to confuse people, I am not sure what that comment was. I would imagine it was a crank from the BioLogos camp messing around trying to be funny. That's just me.

#30  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Thursday, June 24, 2010at 9:07 PM

Tim,

John does believe God created the earth with the appearance of age, but that position is perfectly compatible with what you heard John teach on the formation of fossils. Here's what he said in one of his sermons from Genesis:

"When God created the earth, He created it as it is. He created it mature. He created it with the appearance of age.

What do I mean by that? Well on the first day He made light and darkness. On the second day He made the heavens. On the third day He made the earth. On the fourth day He made the heavenly bodies that provide light. On the fifth day He made fish and birds. And on the sixth day He made land creatures and man. And He made them all mature, fully developed. He didn't create seeds and cells, He didn't send out one little cell, programmed to split itself over and over again over millions of years. There were no seeds, no embryos and there was no egg. There was a chicken full grown. He didn't start with partial light and partial gas and partial electromagnetic field and partial nuclear energy. He created a fully-mature universe with the appearance of age. When Adam was made, he wasn't an embryo, he wasn't a newborn, he was a full-grown man. Everything was full grown, fully developed. The cataclysmic creation of the universe yielded a mature creation with the appearance and the reality of age."

#31  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 12:10 AM

to # 16

"There is no way man could have existed with those Tyrannosauruses Rex's and all those huge carnivore dinosaurs"

And why not?. I believe everything was created in that first week of creation, then God rested.

I'm just curious. What do you base your statement on?

I believe when Adam named all the animals, it included dinosaurs. They must not have been the terrifying beasts we know them as now, because Adam had dominion over all the animals at the time.

As to God making fossils to confound the "wise", I don't know how long you've been a christian, but I sure hope you don't think that our God would resort to such underhanded tactics that serve him no purpose. Only some people "plant" evidence to mislead and divert others away from the truth.

#32  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 4:58 AM

Landon,

I think you are demonstrating willful ignorance with regards to the topic at hand. Of course, however, when one decides to deconstruct what one is reading in order to be justified in believing other than what is obvious from a straight forward approach I suppose willful ignorance is foundational.

The straight forward reading of Romans 5:12 indicates that death was not "in the world" prior to Adam's fall. If the Holy Spirit had meant that only human death was in view I am sure the He would have instructed Paul to record that meaning in plain enough language for His people to understand. He did, however, provide plain language that teaches that prior to the fall God's creation was "very good"...it was cosmos not chaos. He also provides clear language that emphatically states that sin brought death "into the world"...into the cosmos (which created the chaotic world we now see). If you reject that notion you are left with all sorts of deviancy...which is obvious from your attempted arguments.

Here are a couple of noted commentators on this particular subject for further clarification:

Barnhouse comments that...

Some who read these words may react against the truth that we set forth. But we remind them that we do not originate truth, we reflect it. We teach only what is in the Word of God. If you quarrel with us, you must first prove that we are teaching what the Bible does not teach.

Note that again the definite article is before "death", so we could read it as "the sin of Adam affected the death" which was the consequence God had warned Adam that "in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." (Ge 2:17). And so it happened that Adam ate and so entered...

"THE death through THE sin, and so THE death spread to all men."

Through ONE MAN (Adam) "the SIN" entered at a specific point in time and it passed through or went through (out) the entire world. Notice that the verb entered implies that before that time the death was outside the world.

Morris agrees adding that...

there was no death before sin entered the world. The finished creation was "very good" (Genesis 1:31), with an abundance of food and all other provisions for man and animals. There was certainly no struggle for existence, or survival of the fittest, for every creature was created fit for its own environment. When Adam sinned, God brought the curse of decay and death not only upon Adam but also upon all His dominion (Ge 3:17, 18, 19, 20; 1Co 15:21,22; Romans 8:20, 21, 22). (Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)

Further, Your highly selective definition of Kosmos only referring to the human race is suspect with regards to your intentions. Here is how Kosmos is actually viewed in its entirety. Note specifically that Kosmos is primarily a distinction between order and chaos with Kosmos representing order. With specific regards to Romans 5:12 the proper rendering would indicate that death came by sin and entered God's originally ordered universe which was not chaotic but "very good" and orderly:

(kosmos related to the verb kosmeo = to order or adorn, to put in order [Mt 25:7 = "trimmed"], to adorn literally [1Ti 2:9], to adorn figuratively [Titus 2:9-note]) means essentially something that is well-arranged, that which has order or something arranged harmoniously. Kosmos refers to an ordered system or a system where order prevails. As explained below however, kosmos as used here in James 4:4 and many places in the NT, takes on a considerably more negative shade of meaning. In this sense kosmos is much like the Greek word for flesh (sarx), which can be a neutral word, but which many times in the NT takes on an evil connotation.

Related Resource: An Out-of-this-World Experience A Look at Kosmos in the Johannine Literature

The basic meaning of order leads to the two main uses...

(1) Adornment, decoration, eternal adorning (used this way in NT only in 1Pe 3:3-note, where kosmos speaks of the woman wearing that which is fitting with her character as a believer and not incongruous or "out of order". In the context of Jas 4:4 she should not be a believer who seeks external adornment that mimics that of the world [cp "friendship with the world"]! Beloved, a believing woman's attire should always be so "ordered" as to draw attention to her face, not her form! Compare God's desired "adornment" in 1Pe 3:4-note)

(2) The world, which has in turn a variety of nuances which must be determined by examining the context in which it is used.

Kosmos/kosmeo give us our English words cosmos (the ordered universe), cosmopolitan (literally a citizen of the world!) and cosmetics (those things we put on in order to bring order out of "chaos"!) English terms. A matter of "cosmic" significance, is something which is important for the whole world. When one speaks of a "cosmopolitan" city, it means a city which has citizens from many parts of the world.

Kosmos is the absolute antithesis of chaos (a Greek word meaning a rude, unformed mass), chaos being the fantasized condition with which the theory of evolution begins! The Bible on the other hand uses kosmos to describe the original condition of the universe (cp kosmos in 2Pe 3:6-note) as one of perfection ("it was very good" Ge 1:31, not very chaotic! Kosmos is used the first time in LXX of Ge 2:1 all their hosts = "and the whole world". The sons of God (the angels) did not shout for joy over chaos, but kosmos when they saw this universe come into existence by the creative fiat of God (Job 38:4, 5, 6, 7)!

Mounce writes that...

In classical Greek and the LXX, kosmos communicated the idea of order and adornment, and from this it developed into the basic term for the cosmos or the universe. The OT conception of the created world or kosmos was very different from the Greek notion, however. There, creation is never seen as a separate entity controlled by an all-embracing order (kosmos) as in Greek thought. Instead, the universe, usually described with the phrase "heaven and earth," is always understood in its relationship to its Creator, God.

The following nuances of kosmos are mentioned in various Greek lexicons (adapted primarily from Thayer, with additions from a variety of our resources - note also that is some subjectively involved in determining the specific nuance of meaning of kosmos, so that the reader may not agree with all of the Scriptural examples below. As always "Be a Berean" - Acts 17:11-note)...

1. Kosmos is found in Greek writings from Homer down with the basic meaning of "an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution". A condition of orderliness, orderly arrangement, order. It denotes what is well assembled or constructed from its individual parts.

In early Greek literature the word kosmos spoke of building or establishing a culture or city. Anything which was made up of parts was called a kosmos as, for instance, a group of rowers or a troop of soldiers.

By the time of Plato, the kosmos had taken on the meaning of a world or universal viewpoint. It was the universe, inhabited by people. Aristotle felt that this world was eternal, and that it had neither beginning nor end.

2. Ornament, decoration, adornment: 1Pe 3:3-note - In classical Greek kosmos was used to refer to the adornment or the ornaments worn by women. In a related use of the derivative word kosmios in 1Ti 2:9 Paul emphasizes that the adornment of the Christian woman should be one of order, not disorder, a trait that is translated as modest or modesty. This orderliness is not to be just external, but also is to affect her Christian character and testimony so that her apparel is congruous with, fitting to, and consistent with her status as a child of God.

In the Septuagint (LXX) kosmos is used of the arrangement of the stars, `the heavenly hosts,' as the ornament of the heavens Ge 21, Dt 4:19, 17:8, Isa 24:21, 40:26

3. The world, i.e. the created universe - Acts 17:24, Ro 4:13, Jn 1:10, 1Jn 3:17, 4:17 - The sum total of everything here and now, the orderly universe. It is notable that the future redeemed world is never called kosmos.

4. The world as the sphere or place of human life. The circle of the earth, the earth, as a place of inhabitation - Mk 8:36, Mt 4:8, Jn 1:10, 3:19, 2Co 1:12

5. Kosmos can stand for humanity, mankind, the inhabitants of the world, the sum total of all created beings above the level of the animals; humanity in general; the human race. Especially in Paul and John, it designates the place and object of God’s saving activity - Jn 3:16, 1Jn 2:2, 1Co 4:9; 2Co 5:19, Mt 13:38, 18:7

#33  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 6:00 AM

"Everything was full grown, fully developed. The cataclysmic creation of the universe yielded a mature creation with the appearance and the reality of age."

Does that sound a little funny to you all? - "the appearance and the reality of age"

Don,

I don't really see the point in buying Oard's monograph. The arguments he made in his response to Seely didn't stand up. I would assume he used his best arguments for that rebuttal. Why would he have something drastically different in his monograph on the subject?

Also, if I would buy Oard's book and again fail to be convinced by his arguments, would you then agree that ice cores are a huge problem for YEC? I somehow doubt you would.

#34  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 7:43 AM

Landon

Would you be convinced if you saw a miracle?

Don't you even realize you are living in the midst of the greatest?

When a blind man leads a blind.

Select your sources with care.

#35  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 7:44 AM

Keith,

Of course, however, when one decides to deconstruct what one is reading in order to be justified in believing other than what is obvious from a straight forward approach I suppose willful ignorance is foundational.

I am believing what is obvious from a straight forward approach to Romans 5. I think you are reading too much into the passage. The verse says, "and so death spread to all men" - it says nothing about animals being involved.

You quote Barnhouse as saying, "We teach only what is in the Word of God. If you quarrel with us, you must first prove that we are teaching what the Bible does not teach. "

That's what I'm saying. I'm saying that you are "teaching what the Bible does not teach, i.e. reading something into the text that is not there.

The resource you quote from says the following about a meaning of cosmos (#2):

"The world, which has in turn a variety of nuances which must be determined by examining the context in which it is used."

and further on...

(#5): "Kosmos can stand for humanity, mankind, the inhabitants of the world, the sum total of all created beings above the level of the animals; humanity in general; the human race."

Wouldn't you agree that the context in Romans 5 is clearly speaking of humans, and that therefore the most likely meaning of kosmos in this passage is "humanity in general; the human race"?

I feel like I am taking the obvious reading of the text. You seem to thing that I am being "willfully ignorant".

#36  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:00 AM

Fred #29,

Thanks for the answer. It lines up well with what I'm reading in the young earth literature - e.g., Austin and Snelling's classification of the Cenozoic layers as "post Flood" deposits formed through various events (e.g., volcanic eruptions, local floods).

#37  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:01 AM

Keith,

The following resource is informative: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/rom5.pdf (an interlinear Bible).

If you look up Romans 5:12, a very literal (and clumsy) reading would go something like the following: "Because-of this even-as through one human the sin into the world [kosmon] entered and through the sin the death and thus into all humans [anthropos] the death passed-through on which all sinned."

This makes my interpretation of the passage even more clear.

#38  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:04 AM

Keith,

Here is another link to something similar if the pdf file does not work for you: http://interlinearbible.org/romans/5.htm

#39  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:12 AM

Landon states,

This makes my interpretation of the passage even more clear.

So, are you saying then that God made death to be a part of His perfect creation when he created (when ever that was in the TE view of things)?

Which makes me then wonder why there is any need for a restoration of all things or a New Heaven and a New Earth.

#40  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:21 AM

Fred,

Before I answer your question, let's finish up on Romans 5:12. Do you agree that saying that the passage is referring to human death is a valid interpretation?

#41  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:24 AM

What part of "entering the world" do you not understand Landon. I fully get that Paul was demonstrating that through Adam ALL men are tainted with sin and death...that speaks to the doctrine of original sin. What you are willfully omitting is the fact that death, in and of itself as a happening...or even a possibility outside of divine judgement, was not "in the world" prior to Adam's fall.

In no way is that reading too much into the text. In fact, I would argue that you are "taking away" from the text to fit your agenda.

Your efforts are much like the universalist's efforts to use such passages as I Tim. 2:3-4 to promote their agenda. By disregarding the totality of scriptural teaching you are propping up a falsehood here that does not fit with all we know about the total picture.

#42  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:36 AM

FYI...

Here is Wesley's notes from an interlinear bible regarding the text of Romans 5:12. Note that Wesley uses the term "entered into being" with regards to death. Being is a state of having existence. If, as Wesley puts it, death "entered into being" upon Adam's sin (which is what I am agreeing with) that would clearly indicate that death had no being prior to the fall...it did not exist.

5:12 Therefore - This refers to all the preceding discourse; from which the apostle infers what follows. He does not therefore properly make a digression, but returns to speak again of sin and of righteousness. As by one man - Adam; who is mentioned, and not Eve, as being the representative of mankind. Sin entered into the world - Actual sin, and its consequence, a sinful nature. And death - With all its attendants. It entered into the world when it entered into being; for till then it did not exist. By sin - Therefore it could not enter before sin. Even so - Namely, by one man. In that - So the word is used also, 2Cor 5:4. All sinned - In Adam. These words assign the reason why death came upon all men; infants themselves not excepted, in that all sinned.

#43  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:43 AM

Landon writes,

Before I answer your question, let's finish up on Romans 5:12. Do you agree that saying that the passage is referring to human death is a valid interpretation?

Of course. But the theology of death as it intrudes into God's created realm is not merely limited to Romans 5:12. The entire Bible speaks to it as an enemy. Paul expounds on this in 1 Corinthians 15. Again, you need to work out how you understand the entire teaching of scripture on the subject of death, dying, and suffering, as it pertains to your particular cosmological worldview.

#44  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:44 AM

Keith,

Did I fail to make it clear that I am talking about animal death - not human death? Human death did not exist before sin - that is the clear meaning of Romans 5:12. The passage says nothing about animal death.

#45  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:44 AM

"What are fossils? How were they formed? What clues, if any, do they provide for determining the age of the earth? Today, John MacArthur answers those questions as he explains what the fossil record proves, and maybe more important, what it doesn’t prove."

This is interesting. And John MacArthur's qualifications as a paleontologist are.....? We should listen to what he has to say about fossils because....??

#46  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:50 AM

Fred,

Human death entered the world through sin. That is the clear message of Scripture. Scripture never presents animal death as being intrinsically evil (see passages in Job I referred to earlier). Scripture also never states that animal death entered the world through sin.

#47  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:55 AM

Landon,

According to your logic, the Bible also never says that human death entered the world through sin.

The Bible says, "sin entered the world, and death through sin." That's it. It doesn't say if that death is human death or animal death.

Paul's argument is that since death entered the world, death then spread to all men. He doesn't extrapolate all the implications regarding animal death because that is a completely different issue. But his conclusion that all men die is based on the very general premise that death entered the world.

#48  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:58 AM

Landon,

You are just being infantile now. You are not so dim as to think that death could exist (have being) and not exist (not have being) at the same time. That nonsense would be a violation of the law of non-contradiction. If death had no "being" prior to the fall it had no being for any creature...humans and animals alike.

Don't play childish games with semantics. Look at the text and what it is saying in a clear, concise fashion: that sin did not exist (it had no being) in this world or anywhere prior to the fall.

#49  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:58 AM

Gabriel,

"He doesn't extrapolate all the implications regarding animal death because that is a completely different issue."

I agree. I think you understand my position. I agree that "death entered the world" and that "death spread to all men because all sinned". The passage is silent on the topic of animal death. It doesn't say "death did not affect animals" but neither does it say "death affected animals".

#50  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:58 AM

Landon states,

Human death entered the world through sin. That is the clear message of Scripture. Scripture never presents animal death as being intrinsically evil (see passages in Job I referred to earlier). Scripture also never states that animal death entered the world through sin.

If this is your position, I am not sure you are seeing the consequences of your theology as it relates to the necessity of a Redeemed and Restored earth in the eschaton. If what your saying here, that animal death, cataclysmic destruction, the misery of disease is true, then we are essentially living on the original world God created. The only negative being that human beings die now and have to pull weeds and giving birth to babies really hurts. Both of which the technology of science has helped tremendously with solving.

If that is your position, what is the need for the New Heaven and New Earth? Moreover, if Adam's sin was merely a spiritual death, separation from the fellowship with God, why then do Christians still die physically? Jesus has removed that penalty from us, has it not? It may be helpful for you to explain 1 Corinthians 15 in light of your position.

#51  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 9:02 AM

Landon, no, Paul does not specify that death came to animals specifically, but he does explicitly say that death came into the world generally. So you cannot say that death only came to humans specifically.

Death came into the world because of sin. Period. You cannot limit it to human death alone.

Paul's interest is not to limit the entrance death to humans alone, rather it is to discuss the implications of death's impact on humans.

#52  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 9:12 AM

Fred, Gabriel,

(I almost accidently wrote Gred, Fabriel :)

"If what your saying here, that animal death, cataclysmic destruction, the misery of disease is true, then we are essentially living on the original world God created. The only negative being that human beings die now and have to pull weeds and giving birth to babies really hurts."

Well, Romans 8 talks about creation groaning and being in bondage to corruption. I am not sure what exactly the "groaning" involves. I assume that it means that we are not "essentially living on the original world God created." Scripture does not clarify further.

"Moreover, if Adam's sin was merely a spiritual death, separation from the fellowship with God, why then do Christians still die physically?"

Adam's sin did not just lead to a spiritual death, it led to a physical death as well. I could have been clearer on this point, sorry.

Romans 5:14 "Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come."

Gabriel, the context is clearly specifically speaking of death as human death.

#53  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 9:15 AM

I Corinthians 15:21-22

"21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

The distinction is a bit clearer here. If you think Paul includes "animal death" when he says "death", then you also must say that animals can experience resurrection.

"Resurrection of the dead" is the solution to "death" (v 21). Animal death would not make sense in this passage.

#54  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 9:59 AM

Landon,

I Corinthians 15 does not end at verse 21. Paul goes on to contrast the old order, the corruptible world (our world now), with that world that is incorruptible (the new world to come). This is not just humans in view here, but the entire created order. Death is described as being the last enemy to be destroyed. Hence, the removal of death is the solution to death. John affirms this in Revelation 21:4. Again, coming back to Romans 8:21, the whole of creation, everything in the world, is not only said to be subjected to futility, but also to be "in bondage to corruption," the word for corruption or perishable being the same one used throughout 1 Corinthians 15 as it relates to Adam's sin.

#55  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 10:10 AM

Fred,

In the rest of I Corinthians 15 it is even more clear that "death" is being used in the context of human death. Verse 26, "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." is only the 5th verse after verse 21. The "death" being discussed by Paul is clearly human death. As I said before, the concept of animal death does not make sense if you try to put it in the passage.

"Again, coming back to Romans 8:21, the whole of creation, everything in the world, is not only said to be subjected to futility, but also to be "in bondage to corruption," the word for corruption or perishable being the same one used throughout 1 Corinthians 15 as it relates to Adam's sin."

I don't think we can then equate the "corruption" with the physical death of organisms with lungs (same with the "groaning"). We don't know exactly what these things mean or how they work out in the natural world. Scripture is silent about what exactly they mean.

#56  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 10:23 AM

#50 Fred: "then we are essentially living on the original world God created."

Human sin has GREATLY damaged God's creation, especially in the last 100 years. Extinction has skyrocketed, and millions of acres of land are raped for greedy gain. Israel was punished for not letting the land rest, and we do that with a vengeance. Do I really need to give you an example of poor stewardship on our part leading to ecological disaster (think BP). We are not subduing and tending, and the creation is frustrated because it can't do what it was meant to do, thanks to our rebellion. Question though: if God commanded A&E to subdue the animal kingdom, what, precisely, would that have entailed pre-fall, if, according to Ken Ham, they were already riding on docile triceratops (see: http://www.creationbible.ca/images/store/b23.jpg)??? What's to subdue?

"If that is your position, what is the need for the New Heaven and New Earth? Moreover, if Adam's sin was merely a spiritual death, separation from the fellowship with God, why then do Christians still die physically?"

Fred, you mentioned this in your last T.E. blog post (I'll respond soon, probably on my blog), but didn't Adam lose immortality by being barred access to the tree of life? To put it another way, if Adam had partaken of the tree of life before he sinned, what would it have granted him that he didn't already have? I say, along with Waltke in an OTTheology, that Adam could have died pre-fall, but by a continual, sacramental partaking of the tree of life (what that meant precisely, I do not know) he would have been bestowed immortality, a quality of life beyond that which he was created with. If God told them that in the day they ate of the fruit, they would surely die, but they didn't die physically until much later, in what sense did they die on that day? Did God mean, "On the day you eat you will surely begin to die physically"? Doesn't it make more sense, in light of the ANE tree of life motif, that God meant "In the day you eat, you will spiritually die instantly, and to get that message home to you, you'll lose your shot at immortality too by losing access to the tree of life that would have granted it to you." Doesn't God seem to indicate that when He kicks them out of Eden and blocks entrance to the tree of life, "lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever"? Isn't that referring to physically living forever, since they clearly had already died spiritually? In your mind, wouldn't they have live forever merely by not sinning? What are your thoughts, given that the tree of life theme is carried into the eternal state?

As for your tie ins with eschatology, I would just say that (future 1000 years aside) the eternal state will not be a mere restoration of Edenic conditions; it will be 10,000x's better, since we will worship Christ in light of being redeemed sinners and our bodies then will not be subject to corruption (or even the possibility of becoming corruptible), unlike our first parents. We won't be able to fall again since we'll never want to sin against God, so this isn't a second period of probation, but the consummation of all things that the former heavens and earth were made to prepare us for. The first creation was "very good" but that doesn't mean "as good as it gets" or "perfect in every way imaginable" as most people take it. In context, I think "very good" refers to "functioning as I set it up to function," since God said "it is NOT good for man to be alone." So "good" in context refers to functional and teleological wholeness. I see no reason why this rules out ALL animal death. At the very least, that's an inferential leap, not a direct teaching.

#51 Gabriel: "Death came into the world because of sin. Period. You cannot limit it to human death alone."

But Paul qualifies it. He doesn't say "Death came into the world because of sin. Period." He said "Death spread to ALL MEN" as a judgement on their sin. Why should that be extended to animals when Paul's comments clearly have human death in mind?

All YECs admit that plants "died" before sin (since they claim plants aren't "alive" in the biblical sense, it's no biggie, even though MacArthur seemed to indicate a few posts back that no plants died before sin) as well as body cells, microorganisms, and at least some insects/crustaceans, etc. since these too don't fall under the living category in Hebrew thought. So, at least on some level, God made a world in which some animate creatures would become a part of the food chain. Factor in the fossil record and limiting death to humans only becomes the most problematic. The fact is, your admission that " no, Paul does not specify that death came to animals specifically" demonstrates that your inference, though possible, isn't necessary. Check out this article by Norm Geisler and John Ankerberg on why the bible doesn't rule out animal death before man's sin: http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/science/SC0707W2B.htm

#57  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 10:58 AM

#29 Fred,

It is widely known that about 75% of the Earth's land surface and practically all of the ocean bottom is covered by sediment or sedimentary rock. From your understanding, not considering the post-Flood layers, what was the source of the sediment which formed the layers deposited by the Flood in which we find fossils today?

#58  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 11:24 AM

Garrett,

What is your blog?

#59  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 11:36 AM

Ok, I'd like to take this discussion to another level. The whole issue of animal death is really a sub-issue. In fact, if one takes Genesis literally then animal death and the fossil record isn't even an issue at all.

As I think about it, animals death before the Fall does not help the TE/OEC position at all. What the TE/OEC positions need to demonstrate biblically is that billions of animals died between day five and the Fall, which at most is around 80 years or so, but more likely less.

Of course no TE/OEC would even think to demonstrate that because they don't believe that there was such a thing as a fifth and sixth day, nor do they believe the Bible historically explains the creation of animals and humans (though OEC might inconsistently believe in special human creation, though not anything like Genesis describes).

It is also interesting that TE would even care to argue about Romans 5:12 to begin with because Adam could not have been any different than a mortal animal. Since, according them, there was a first human that evolved from an animal, even human death existed prior to the Fall since humans are just another animal species. Am I misrepresenting what you, Landon and Garrett, believe?

Do you believe Adam was a historical person whose historical sin brought death into the world at a historical point in time as explained by Scripture in Genesis 1-3 and repeated in Romans 5?

#60  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 11:48 AM

Garrett,

Paul does not qualify and limit death, he speaks about how the new death principle in the world impacted the human race.

It Paul wanted to quality or limit death to humans, there are a number of grammatical or linguistic things he could have done, but he didn't. He just said, "death came into the world, and here is how it affected mankind."

#61  Posted by Peter Heffner  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 2:09 PM

A Non-Westminster Really Short Catechism

Before the Fall we read:

And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Gen 1:30)

At the Fall we read:

But God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Gen 3:3)

When doth death first enter the world?

At the fall.

Where is the first possible mention of death indeed happening?

Gen 3:21:

And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

At this first possible death, which be dead, man or animals?

Animals.

How did it enter?

Through man's sin; Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit. They felt so ashamed that they covered their bodies with leaves. But God changed their leaves for skins.

And the next death?

Abel's sheep, an acceptable sacrifice to God.

And the next?

Abel. So the spiritual death of man led to the physical death of animals and thence to the physical death of man.

#63  Posted by Don Jordan  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 4:35 PM

Landon,

"I don't really see the point in buying Oard's monograph. The arguments he made in his response to Seely didn't stand up. I would assume he used his best arguments for that rebuttal. Why would he have something drastically different in his monograph on the subject?"

Because his monograph goes into all the facts and figures; which is something you would know if you bothered to look at the book preview. Oard rebutted Seely at a presuppositional level--which undermines the particulars you wanted to “dialog” over. This is something you apparently refuse to grasp.

“Also, if I would buy Oard's book and again fail to be convinced by his arguments, would you then agree that ice cores are a huge problem for YEC? I somehow doubt you would.”

Your failure to be personally convinced of something does not necessitate a de-facto judgment on what is objectively true. I would agree that ice cores are a problem if you or anyone else could actually refute Oard's analysis by demonstrating that the uniformitarian interpretation is the only one which squares with all of the empirical evidence. Oard’s monograph goes into the gory details. I can only bring you to the water, but I can’t make you drink.

#64  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 7:26 PM

to # 45, DP wrote..

"This is interesting. And John MacArthur's qualifications as a paleontologist are.....? We should listen to what he has to say about fossils because....?? "

Hi, DP, McArthur, as he explained in the sermon this post is about, put a lot of time into reading the works of some scientists with knowledge on the subject. Please hear the sermons if you get a chance.

He himself says he's not a scientist. But I'm willing to say he put more time into learning something about the topic than a lot of people did, and that gives him a lot of credibility in what he had to say (in my opinion).

To get to the point, it would be up to you to discredit what he had to say. It boils down to who are you going to believe. So called science, which has a poor record on the subject. ( I understand the theory of evolution has gone through a lot of revisions itself, all pointing away from proving anything as fact), or the Bible.

As christians, we must go with the Bible. I think McArthur did a fantastic job on the subject. The Bible is inerrant. What it says is true.

#65  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 7:27 PM

Gabriel #59: "Do you believe Adam was a historical person whose historical sin brought death into the world at a historical point in time as explained by Scripture in Genesis 1-3 and repeated in Romans 5?"

Yes, but of course with a few caveats. I covered this a long time back, when and where, I'm not sure, but if you remember I presented a federal headship view analogous to Abraham's role regarding Israel and the true Israel. Does that ring a bell? I don't think Adam was the genetic ancestor of every modern human, but I also don't think that's a problem for original sin and his representative role in scripture. The options that TE's make use of are actually pretty diverse, some more compelling than others, each with it's own setbacks. Frankly, I'm not fully decided where I fall regarding all the details yet, only that I find an historical Adam necessary for a lot of good reasons. For a good summary of the different options and opinions, maybe you'd like to check these out (they're presented by Denis Alexander):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J87o-c1Br-0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaidl7Hcaw4&feature=related

Dennis Lamoureux and Loren Haarsma also have interesting talks on this topic, which you can find on this channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JT898

#60 "Paul does not qualify and limit death, he speaks about how the new death principle in the world impacted the human race.

It Paul wanted to quality or limit death to humans, there are a number of grammatical or linguistic things he could have done, but he didn't. He just said, "death came into the world, and here is how it affected mankind."

Yes, I agree, "here is how it affected mankind," not animals. I was careful to say simply that Paul's statements there were about human, not animal death, not that they absolutely rule out human sin causing animal death, only that that is not what he's talking about. So, based on that verse alone, your conclusion is a possible, but not a necessary inference. It's not ruled out, but its not directly addressed, so its an argument from silence at that point.

#66  Posted by Landon Lehman  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 7:36 PM

Gabriel,

"The whole issue of animal death is really a sub-issue."

I think so. But I was discussing it because some people pointed it out as a major theological problem with my position and wanted me to respond.

Humans are not just another species of animal. That is clear from Scripture. God breathed into the first humans the "breath of life" - that which set them apart.

"Do you believe Adam was a historical person whose historical sin brought death into the world at a historical point in time as explained by Scripture in Genesis 1-3 and repeated in Romans 5?"

Don't know about Garrett, but my answer at this point in time is yes. I see no reason not to do so.

#67  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 7:59 PM

Garrett,

My position is definitely not an argument from silence. Paul said that death entered the world, not humans. With regard to humans Paul said that death spread to all humans, not entered humanity. My position recognizes Paul's general statement from which he makes particular application. Your position limits Paul only to the particular application and ignores Paul's flow of thought.

Your position on Adam not being the sole ancestor of the human race is not just an argument from silence, but completely neglects Scripture's clear teaching (see Acts 17:26 for an example outside Genesis). It seems as though you have two inerrant scriptures in your mind: evolutionary theory and the Bible. You are attempting to mesh both together and in doing so both are disfigured beyond recognition.

I also don't think that's a problem for original sin and his representative role in scripture.

Have you considered the implications? Let's just look at one implication. If there were other humans besides Adam and Eve Scripture would be errant and untrustworthy. There is no escaping this. You cannot believe that Scripture is accurate in its account of Adam and Even but inaccurate when it claims they were the first and only humans alive at the time. That would be a completely arbitrary and unfounded decision.

#68  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:06 PM

Landon,

Ok, so humans are an animal species, just a special one, right?

So if Adam is a historical person, how do you partition Genesis 1-3 that describes Adam as being a separate and unique creation apart from animals, and Eve as a special creation from Adam's rib, and Adam talking to God, naming animals, and eventually eating the fruit of the tree that plunged us all into sin?

How do you partition the text to know what is historical and what is not?

Here is my end game: I don't think you can hold to a literal Adam and believe in evolution at the same time while maintaining a consistent hermeneutic from Genesis 1-5, Romans 5:12, Acts 17:26, and many other passages.

#69  Posted by Garrett League  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 8:48 PM

#67 Gabriel: "Your position limits Paul only to the particular application and ignores Paul's flow of thought."

Well, I think yours is reading between the lines. I think Ankerberg captures the flow of thought well, maybe check out the article I linked if you haven't already.

"Your position on Adam not being the sole ancestor of the human race is not just an argument from silence, but completely neglects Scripture's clear teaching (see Acts 17:26 for an example outside Genesis)"

Again, I don't go with a concordist view of Genesis, so Acts 17:26 isn't a problem, since it, in context, has an ancient referent. When Paul said that God made "every nation of men" from one man, he wasn't referring to the Native American nations, since he had no clue they even existed. Reading it as you do imputes foreign, modern meanings to Paul's words; how is that any different from Hugh Ross saying that Genesis 1:1 teaches the big bang? They thought the known world was the whole world, and Adam in their mind was the progenitor of all of them. When the antipodes controversy broke out, there was tons of debate as to whether or not they were descendants of Adam. Some concluded they were soulless pre-Adamites and therefore didn't need the gospel. Read "Adam's Ancestors" by David N. Livingstone for more on that topic.

#68: "How do you partition the text to know what is historical and what is not?"

That's the wrong question. It's all historical, but history ***guess what comes next?*** creatively and rhetorically re-told using ANE motifs/phenomenological language. This explains the referents to the Hebrew cosmos and other elements shared with the "Babylonian Genesis" and a few other ANE cosmologies. It's not as if we use science to pick and choose what parts are allegory and what parts "actually happened." THAT is scientific concordism, which all YECs and OECs subscribe to. Accomodationist readings do no such thing. It all happened, but what we get in Genesis is a retelling of what happened accommodated to the original audience. Calvin held to a form of this. I just carry out his principles, which he applied to aspects of astronomy, to biology.

#58 Landon: "Garrett,

What is your blog?"

It's nothing special; Fred's is better than mine :) though his content is a bit off on this subject. It's http://faceofdeep.blogspot.com/ I tried to start it earlier in the year (then named 4004bc), but didn't have the time until now. I've just posted a response to Gabriel there and my response to Travis' helpful advice from earlier today on the "Dying in the Middle" post.

#70  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 9:46 PM

Garrett,

When Paul said that God made "every nation of men" from one man, he wasn't referring to the Native American nations...

One question: how do you know? How do you know that "every nation" is necessarily limited to the nations he knew about? Furthermore, Paul didn't say "every nation." He said "every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth." How can you possibly limit that to not mean every nation on the planet?

They thought the known world was the whole world, and Adam in their mind was the progenitor of all of them.

Again, how do you know? What were the limits of the known world?

Accomodationist readings do no such thing.

If you don't use science to pick and choose, what do you use? Why do you pick Adam as a real historical person, but not how he or Eve were created? By which hermeneutical principles or objective reasoning do you determine what actually happened in space and time and what was a creative re-telling? How do you determine what God changed to accommodate, and what He kept as actual history? It seems to me, based on all our previous exchanges, that the accommodationist grid is the most subjective interpretation of all because it has zero grounds in exegesis and makes arbitrary decisions from one verse to another.

I believe you have previously acknowledged the utter uniqueness of Genesis to any other creation myth. To me this completely does away with the accommodationist concept because God is telling them things they don't yet know and are unfamiliar with.

From what I recall you haven't responded to the idea that all the other creation myths were demonic distortions of the truth, which easily explains both the many creation myths and the multitude of flood myths. This isn't an argument from silence, this is an argument from the nature of Satan to say, "Did God really say?" Satan was the master distorter of truth. God did not accommodate to satanic myths, He set the record straight.

#71  Posted by Josefina Davis  |  Friday, June 25, 2010at 10:07 PM

from an engineering standpoint, we have the Genesis account saying that the water rose above mount ararat by six fathoms which is 36 feet. If mount Ararat is 12,000 feet above sea level today, that meant the entire earth was under at least 12,000 feet of water. The deapest part of the ocean today is 9,800 feet in the Marianas Trench of the coast of the Phillipine Islands (BTW, I am open to correction on the numbers). If fossilization is the sedimentary accretion into what was living tissue, what is the necessary weightof the sediment for this to occur? Would the weight at the bottom of hte ocean be sufficient? Because the tissue must have been living, the burial in the silty sediment needed to be rapid and under the weight of a great deal of water. inotherwords, whatever was fossilized had to have drowned. Check out the petrified forest in Arizona and New Mexico. Check out the Grand Canyon against photos of areas where hydraulic mining took place and then come back and discuss it with me.

#72  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 4:46 AM

Garrett,

Paul may not have had a clue about the existence of native Americans but God did and He was the author of Paul's writing. As a teenager I worked as a secretary to my grandfather, a patent attorney. His clients were not limited in the representation of their claims to my understanding of chemistry or engineering. I could type accurately what my grandfather dictated whether I understood it all or not.

God was not limited what His human scribes understood. The writer of Isaiah wrote of Cyrus by name before Cyrus was born. The writers of God's Word wrote as God moved them.

#73  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 8:32 AM

Josefina - #71,

The depth of Marianas Trench is about 10,900 meters - more than 3 times your number. We have to be careful not to misrepresent the young earth view by setting up incorrect strawmen on what we think they believe - the current thinking of YECs is that the mountains weren't pushed up to their present elevations until the massive tectonic upheavals occurred during the Flood (I think towards the end).

Re your point, I don't think it's the weight of the sediment that determines whether fossilization occurs or not. I think the great weakness of the Flood interpretation is the volume of sediment that would have to be transported laterally to form each sedimentary formation "in a matter of days." I've never seen that quantitatively modeled by a young earth scientist.

#74  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 10:52 AM

#64,

"Hi, DP, McArthur, as he explained in the sermon this post is about, put a lot of time into reading the works of some scientists with knowledge on the subject. Please hear the sermons if you get a chance.

He himself says he's not a scientist. But I'm willing to say he put more time into learning something about the topic than a lot of people did, and that gives him a lot of credibility in what he had to say (in my opinion)."

No matter how much time he may have put into it, and even ignoring the strong possibility that he does the typical creationist thing of "learning" about it for the express purpose of misrepresenting it, he doesn't have nearly as much credibility as the actual scientists when it comes to a topic like fossils.

"To get to the point, it would be up to you to discredit what he had to say. It boils down to who are you going to believe. So called science, which has a poor record on the subject. ( I understand the theory of evolution has gone through a lot of revisions itself, all pointing away from proving anything as fact), or the Bible."

Science has a poor record on the subject of science? Not sure what you're saying here.

[i] "The Bible is inerrant. What it says is true. " [/i]

What is the warrant for that massive assumption?

#75  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, June 26, 2010at 11:27 AM

(#56) Garrett writes,

Human sin has GREATLY damaged God's creation, especially in the last 100 years. Extinction has skyrocketed, and millions of acres of land are raped for greedy gain.

Extinction and land use, even for what you perceive as "greedy gain," is part of ordinary evolutionary development on the earth, is it not? Considering where you are coming from as an evolutionary proponent, I don't understand how these things are indications of sin GREATLY damaging God's creation as you say. In fact, I find it odd you would mention extinction as being a negative thing. Especially in light of the fact evolutionary "deep time" history teaches mass extinctions through out the world. I mean, the dinosaurs allegedly being wiped out by a comet as taught by evolutionists would had been a much greater planetary extinction than any thing we are seeing now.

I am curious as to how you reconcile what you are saying here with natural catastrophes. For example the tsunamis in 2004 that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Asia. Was that an event caused by human sin that is GREATLY damaging God's creation? Why or why not?

continuing,

Israel was punished for not letting the land rest,

But this punishment was for a specific theocratic people living under a specific theocratic covenant with God in which the promised land was at the center. I don't understand how this relates to what you would accept as normal, evolutionary processes of catastrophism that happen on the earth like comet bombardment, volcanoes, mass extinctions, etc.

continuing,

We are not subduing and tending, and the creation is frustrated because it can't do what it was meant to do, thanks to our rebellion. Question though: if God commanded A&E to subdue the animal kingdom, what, precisely, would that have entailed pre-fall, if, according to Ken Ham, they were already riding on docile triceratops?

I guess I don't see oil exploration and extraction, mining, building, manufacturing, and other things environmentalists decry as ruining the world, as a sinful, rebellious thing. The original command by God was to subdue the earth. In the context of what the Lord was saying in that passage in Genesis 1, the basic idea is that men were granted the sovereign dominion over the created earth to develop it as they saw fit. In other words, subdue it. Plant grass where you like, grow specific crops, cut down trees, dig basements for homes, build structures, and so on. The domestication of animals for the use of men in these processes would had been what God had in mind here.

continuing,

... didn't Adam lose immortality by being barred access to the tree of life? To put it another way, if Adam had partaken of the tree of life before he sinned, what would it have granted him that he didn't already have?

The implication, at least from Genesis 3:22, 23, is that continual partaking of the tree of life would had placed Adam, and all men if they had access to it, in a place of unredeemability. I don't see the "tree of life" as being some ANE metaphor for merely "the presence of God" and eternal life. It imparted some intrinsic value that had some effect on humanity, and I would even say all of creation.

continuing,

If God told them that in the day they ate of the fruit, they would surely die, but they didn't die physically until much later, in what sense did they die on that day? Did God mean, "On the day you eat you will surely begin to die physically"?

The literal Hebrew reads something like, "dying you shall die" which is to say, "certainly die." Death has the idea of separation from God and physical death is the closure of that separation in this life. But as the theology of separation, cursing, and death is worked out in the whole of scripture, this separation from God is more than just a spiritual principle, but a physical principle that impacts the entirety of God's creation.

continuing,

In your mind, wouldn't they have live forever merely by not sinning? What are your thoughts, given that the tree of life theme is carried into the eternal state?

By not sinning Adam would have kept the curse from impacting the whole of creation. In the eternal state, the presence of the tree of life is connected to the curse upon the earth being removed (Rev. 22:3). It is the concept of the curse that is instrumental to this discussion, because it is said to have been laid upon the entire world, and from the whole teaching of scripture, that curse is associated with dying, death, pain, disease, famine, and judgment. Something that didn't exist before Adam sinned.

continuing,

...the eternal state will not be a mere restoration of Edenic conditions; it will be 10,000x's better, since we will worship Christ in light of being redeemed sinners and our bodies then will not be subject to corruption (or even the possibility of becoming corruptible), unlike our first parents .... So "good" in context refers to functional and teleological wholeness. I see no reason why this rules out ALL animal death. At the very least, that's an inferential leap, not a direct teaching.

But this is what I am missing: Your position - the entire position of pretty much every old earth person - is that physical death is a normal part of God's creation; what you describe as functional and teleological wholeness. Some OE folks attempt to make it just limited to "animal death" but that is primarily just progressive creationists. Your position as an advocate for evolution is that all death, including that of our alleged ape-men ancestors, is a good thing. It has to be because by dying and death, the evolutionary work is supposedly driven by such processes. But with this comment you seem to be arguing that corruption is a bad thing. Why was it a good thing before Adam and Eve evolved and continuing on our earth now, but then in the eternal state, death is eliminated? Why would death as a principle even need to be eliminated if it was used by God in His acts of ordinary providence as you have argued previously?

#76  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 8:10 AM

Hi Folks:

As a slight correction to a previous post by a blogger who used Lk 2:1 as a defense for his position on "whole world". The word for world there most probably is referring to "managed" verses wild,unconquered, lands. All the words that I looked at with the particular spellings related to the word "world" used in Luke's Gospel may refer to the "round" sphere we call earth, but can refer to smaller units such as "civilized" area, meaning the Roman Empire. Context will tell you which it means. Other words in this word group refer to dwellings, stewardships, etc.

For instance the admonition of our Lord that "no servant can serve two masters..."(Lk. 16:13) is in this group and refers to a "household servant", one "who holds a closer relation to the family then other servants."(Thayer) He/she is to serve the one he is bonded to by more then simple ownership. He has a responsibility of being loyal to his master's household. House or dwelling,and prison are all part of this words "group" as are stewardship, etc. Just a thought.

#77  Posted by Janet Young  |  Sunday, June 27, 2010at 7:56 PM

Landon,

Concerning Romans 5:12, I don't understand why you think that an interpretation of the verse that applies the death that entered the world to animals as well as humans is reading too much into the text. After all, animals are a part of the world aren't they? It is true that often in Scripture, when the word for "world" is used, it doesn't always apply to the whole world, same with the word used for "all" or "every." Whether words such as these are meant to be all-inclusive or not depends on the context, as well as on what other places in Scripture have to say about a matter. But neither context nor other verses in Scripture validate your claim that kosmos isn't all-inclusive. You should see that for your interpretation to be right, it is actually you that has to read something into the text, or out of it rather, in this case. To understand animal death as being part of the death described in this verse is well within the bounds of remaining faithful to the text, and is in no way "risky." Rather, the risk is in assuming that kosmos here does not refer, in part, to animals.

#78  Posted by Peter Heffner  |  Monday, June 28, 2010at 9:53 PM

Janet-

Landon doesn't know Greek, but he got an interlinear and made up his own translation anyways. He stripped the words of their declensions, which one cannot do in a heavily inflected language like Greek. Without knowing the grammar, he could not tell that death entered into the created order (kosmos) on one hand and into all mankind on the other.

But the evolutionists' claim that animal death is good is disturbing whether they know Greek or not. Remember animals in the wild do not die a quick death like domestic chicken. Life in the wild is brutal and death is worse. Ever gone hiking and seen a mangy coyote? I have. How about a feral cat with AIDS that you take to the vet to put down? This is what happens ever since man failed to obey God as his vice-gerent and put the earth under lordship.

And the claim here is that the carnage went on for on eons and wasn't God nice that he arranged that so many animals could become stronger and more vicious than the previous generation? Watch dogs fight, watch cocks fight, watch horses fight (I just did today). Now kick it up a notch so that they kill each other in a bloody mess. Now multiply that by the billions.

That's progressive evolution.

And they call it "good."