Kurieuo wrote:As for your own view, let me ensure that I understand you correctly. According to what you believe, humanity existed for around 193,000 years prior to Adam and Eve. They would have been committing all sorts of would-be "sin", say killing, murdering, raping, all sorts of sexual immoral stuff, stealing, hating on each other, but because they didn't know such was "sin", then they weren't really "sinning". It was therefore alright with God for humanity, who bore His image, to be doing such things for over a 100,000 years?
What you are mentioning here is not necessarily a view that I hold with anything approaching certainty. I would call it speculative theology at the most.
I am simply trying to work through the implication of what it would mean to have 100,000 years of God's image bearers who are not in relationship with God and who do not know good and evil.
The closest model that I can think of is the moral and spiritual situation of an infant or a toddler prior to becoming aware of right and wrong.
I'm just throwing out speculations here to see what responses and opinions others have on this issue.
This specific issue is definitely a work in progress for me and I have yet to come to any solid opinions regarding the moral and spiritual status of pre Fall mankind.
It sounds to me like God should have left us in our state of "sin" (in quotes, because such isn't really sin since we didn't know), and never ever brought onto the scene Adam and Eve.
If God had left humanity in a permanent state of not knowing good and evil then mankind would have never been able to take the spiritual step of relationship with God.
And mankind would have just been a more advanced animal with no spiritual nature.
But God desires relationship with his image bearers.
Once God entered into relationship with man then good and evil and obedience and disobedience became a necessary component of that relationship.
Genuine relationship with God requires the potential for good and evil and obedience and disobedience.
As for "spiritualising" the death in Romans 5:12, the death that happened during Genesis, theologians generally say was "spiritual" and then "physical" followed. Most take a conjoined view of the "death" promised by God in Genesis 2:7. Understand, the words "in the day", like Heiser says of it found in Genesis 2:4, is like an idiom for what will come after -- it does not mean on the very same day.
Many respectable commentators on Genesis say of Adam and Eve when they sinned, that they lost their spiritual relationship with God and realising their nakedness and the like (thus suffering a spiritual death of sorts), and then they were also no longer protected from the effects of the physical world, the "Tree of Life" was removed from their presence allowing physical death to eventually follow. There is no room as I see it, especially with the "Tree of Life" metaphor, to limit the "death" promised of Adam and Eve (and humanity as such) to purely a spiritual death. And virtually no one does this, you might be the first I've come across. Rather it is generally a conjoined view of spiritual+physical death of humanity.
Actually I do accept the conjoined view of spiritual+physical death of humanity.
However, since I believe that mankind was mortal prior to the Fall, I believe that the death that is specifically referred to in Romans 5:12 is the spiritual component that resulted from the sin of Adam. The physical component was not something that came into being due to the sin of Adam. Rather the physical component involved the removal of the antidote (the tree of life) for a condition (physical mortality) that already existed prior to the Fall.
So I do accept the conjoined view of death, I just think Romans 5:12 is referring to the spiritual component of death. And that belief predates any consideration of the possibility of pre-Adamic humans on my part.