Carnivorous animals before the fall...

Discussions on creation beliefs within Christianity, and topics related to creation.
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#16

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:44 am

On the topic of carnivores, specifically eating... there is another question I'd like to pose to those who don't believe death existed pre-fall. Why did animals and humanity have to eat anything before the fall, unless eating was required to survive?

Kurieuo.

PS. If anyone is wondering, I was listening to this topic recently on a radio show, and so just thought it would be interesting to bring up.
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#17

Post by RGeeB » Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:44 am

Felgar wrote:
RGeeB wrote:God threatened Adam with death, so it follows that he knew what it was.
Well a rabbit could still fall off a cliff or whatever - you don't need to be killed in order to die, so maybe Adam knew death from that.
Bunny still died. Animals could not eat of the tree of life. The decomposing bacteria were carnivores.(?)..or did lions only eat dead animals?
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#18

Post by Felgar » Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:24 am

First I don't agree with your take that Satan initially had the infuence to corrupt the Earth. The Earth was Adam and Eve's, and it wasn't until they sinned that the ground was cursed. So yes Satan was in the world, but the world as a whole did not know sin. Also, I don't see a distinction between the garden and the rest of the Earth. If they hadn't sinned, don't you think they and their offsping could have ventured out into the rest of the world and had perfect land there too? I see the garden as Adam and Eve's initial home, along with it being the trees/choices which were important. Plus, if the rest of the Earth already was cursed, then God could simply have kicked them out of the only blessed land (which He did) and didn't need to actually go about cursing the garden too. So I think the curse must have been the whole land.
Kurieuo wrote:As for death, yes I'd agree that a consequence of sin is death (I don't know what you mean by sin is death?). Genesis 2:17 says: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Now if Adam and Eve did not "die" on the day they ate from the tree, in what way did death come to them due to their sin?
God is life -> sin is seperation from God -> sin is death.

Two possibilities... One would be a non-literal meaning of day to which you seem so fond. (Thousand years for instance)... So God was saying that they would die within 1000 years of eating, or within some 'age' after eating the fruit. More reasonable is that they never died physically; but rather they died spiritually. They spiritually became seperate from God, and could no longer exist with Him for eternity. It was only through grace that the fallen man could re-attain the righteousness that is necessary to be in God's presence.

I'm not sure where you're going with this...

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#19

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:16 pm

I think they died both physically and spiritually. We are all born with Original sin (thanks to Adam and Eve), so we're born spiritually dead (they were created spiritually alive, but that's one of the deaths He warned them about). And, as you know, those two eventually died, statistically speaking, Eve living 5-7 years longer.... :P
First I don't agree with your take that Satan initially had the infuence to corrupt the Earth.
He could tempt, that was the power he employed...but it was sin that corrupted the earth. It was after the two sinned that nature became hostile, plants had thorns, they had to work to get plants to produce....etc...and nature is affected by sin...lazy, so I might not look up the verse
Ro 8:22
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#20

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:18 pm

Felgar wrote:First I don't agree with your take that Satan initially had the infuence to corrupt the Earth. The Earth was Adam and Eve's, and it wasn't until they sinned that the ground was cursed. So yes Satan was in the world, but the world as a whole did not know sin.
But surely you don't believe God intended things to be perfect, if He allowed Satan into His apparently "perfect" creation? And if Satan did not have the influence to corrupt the Earth (or creation), then how is it Satan successfully did so? Anyway, my essential point is that if the creation could have been made more perfect, then the creation wasn't perfect. I'm more inclined to believe that perfection is what comes through refinement and by Christ who is perfect. And this is what God always intended for His creation, rather then it being created perfect and loosing perfection. Additionally, if God intend perfection, then how could "sin" overpower God's desire and destroy His creation. Such seems a bit odd doesn't it?
Felgar wrote:Also, I don't see a distinction between the garden and the rest of the Earth. If they hadn't sinned, don't you think they and their offsping could have ventured out into the rest of the world and had perfect land there too?
"What if they did not sin?" is not something that can be asked, as God always created the world knowing they would sin. And if God knows Adam and Eve would sin, then He would have obviously created to world to be finite. And if God knew Adam and Eve would have remained faithful, then God perhaps would have made the entire Earth a natural paradise, and not just the Garden of Eden.
Felgar wrote:I see the garden as Adam and Eve's initial home, along with it being the trees/choices which were important. Plus, if the rest of the Earth already was cursed, then God could simply have kicked them out of the only blessed land (which He did) and didn't need to actually go about cursing the garden too. So I think the curse must have been the whole land.
So you are saying the rest of Earth was already cursed before Adam and Eve? I'm not really sure what you are trying to say here, or whether even we may be in agreement? But I think the curse upon the ground likely only applied to the Garden of Eden, as 1) that was where Adam and Eve were, and 2) for God to have kicked them out, obviously the Garden was much nicer then the "already cursed" (your words) land outside, therefore how could the curse apply elsewhere?
Felgar wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:As for death, yes I'd agree that a consequence of sin is death (I don't know what you mean by sin is death?). Genesis 2:17 says: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Now if Adam and Eve did not "die" on the day they ate from the tree, in what way did death come to them due to their sin?
God is life -> sin is seperation from God -> sin is death.
Sin isn't really separation from God, sin "causes" separation from God as sin is an act commited against God.

It is also wrong to transfer the concept of death from sin, as a spiritual death which separates us from God, to a physical death. Yet, before the fall, I do believe God had been sustaining Adam and Eve's lives, but once their close relationship became severed through sin, God's sustaining was also severed. Thus, sin separated us from God and a close personal relationship with Him, and separation from God meant Adam and Eve were no longer sustained physically. This sin indirectly caused physical death, but the death sin causes is spiritual death, and spiritual death severs our relationship with God (hence we must be born again—spiritually).
Felgar wrote:Two possibilities... One would be a non-literal meaning of day to which you seem so fond.
Haven't we been over this... Please tell me the three different "literal" means of day as used in Genesis 1? It is a deceptive tactic to continually say my interpretation of day (yom) is non-literal when infact an unspecified amount of time is one literal definition of yom.
Felgar wrote:So God was saying that they would die within 1000 years of eating, or within some 'age' after eating the fruit. More reasonable is that they never died physically; but rather they died spiritually. They spiritually became seperate from God, and could no longer exist with Him for eternity. It was only through grace that the fallen man could re-attain the righteousness that is necessary to be in God's presence.
Well, we seem to be in agreement with the kind of death that sin causes, which is spiritual death. Therefore, your belief becomes misplaced when you try to associate sin with "all" death. For example, you wrote earlier, "I'm not convinced that God caused all the animals to change, but I wouldn't rule out that sin itself caused the change. Sin causes (and actually IS death) Kurieuo..." The kind of death you believe sin caused here is obviously physical death. But it does not necessarily follow that because sin caused spiritual death, sin therefore causes physical death. Infact if God gives the lion its prey, what does the thought that sin is responsible for death suggest about God?
Felgar wrote:I'm not sure where you're going with this...
My main point is that God evidently did not intend a perfect creation in this world. Perhaps we could agree that whether God created things to be finite in the beginning, or whether God brought about some change later on which made things finite, God always knew and intended our world to be finite? Now whether this means God's original creation was perfect, I suppose it comes down to ones idea of perfect and what one means by such as concept.

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#21

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:01 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:I think they died both physically and spiritually. We are all born with Original sin (thanks to Adam and Eve), so we're born spiritually dead (they were created spiritually alive, but that's one of the deaths He warned them about). And, as you know, those two eventually died, statistically speaking, Eve living 5-7 years longer.... :P
I agree entirely with you here. However, when God said in the day you eat of the tree you will die, the only death God meant was spiritual death. Satan plays on what God intended when he says to Eve: "You will not surely die" (Genesis 3:4). Satan knew God only meant their spiritual death. So although I believe physical death would have been conveyed to Adam and Eve, according to my knowledge it was never something God directly warned them about in Scripture.
Attention wrote:Ro 8:22
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
Just thought you might be interested to read Rich's article about this full Romans passage at http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/romans8.html.

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#22

Post by Felgar » Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:27 am

Kurieuo wrote:But surely you don't believe God intended things to be perfect, if He allowed Satan into His apparently "perfect" creation? And if Satan did not have the influence to corrupt the Earth (or creation), then how is it Satan successfully did so?
I do agree here - Earth was not created perfect. I'm tempted to argue that we might not even be able to define perfection, but in comparison to God's plan for eternity I'd say that the eternal existance is perfect and therefore the earth was not. But really all I'm arguing is that it's possible for animals to only have eaten plants before the fall. That's all I'm arguing here.
Kurieuo wrote:
Felgar wrote:I see the garden as Adam and Eve's initial home, along with it being the trees/choices which were important. Plus, if the rest of the Earth already was cursed, then God could simply have kicked them out of the only blessed land (which He did) and didn't need to actually go about cursing the garden too. So I think the curse must have been the whole land.
So you are saying the rest of Earth was already cursed before Adam and Eve? I'm not really sure what you are trying to say here, or whether even we may be in agreement? But I think the curse upon the ground likely only applied to the Garden of Eden, as 1) that was where Adam and Eve were, and 2) for God to have kicked them out, obviously the Garden was much nicer then the "already cursed" (your words) land outside, therefore how could the curse apply elsewhere?
What I'm saying is that the outside was NOT already cursed before the fall. Because why would God curse the garden and then kick them out? Simply kicking them out of the garden would have been sufficient if it were true that the outside was already cursed - no extra curses would have been necessary. My interpretation is that the whole earth including the garden was blessed, and at the fall God (or Adam's actions) cursed everything.
Kurieuo wrote: Haven't we been over this... Please tell me the three different "literal" means of day as used in Genesis 1? It is a deceptive tactic to continually say my interpretation of day (yom) is non-literal when infact an unspecified amount of time is one literal definition of yom.
Fair enough. I should have said "one option is an age intepretation of day."
Kurieuo wrote:The kind of death you believe sin caused here is obviously physical death. But it does not necessarily follow that because sin caused spiritual death, sin therefore causes physical death. Infact if God gives the lion its prey, what does the thought that sin is responsible for death suggest about God?
I do believe sin causes both physical and spiritual death. Romans 9: "hand him over to Satan so that the flesh may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord." About the lion, that was my initial point - they had no prey before sin entered the world.
Kurieuo wrote: My main point is that God evidently did not intend a perfect creation in this world. ... Now whether this means God's original creation was perfect, I suppose it comes down to ones idea of perfect and what one means by such as concept.
Nope I have no problem with the statement that the Earth was not perfect. But whether it was perfect or not does not speak strongly to whether or not there were predatory animals before the fall.

So whats left to resolve is why you think that the earth being only "very good" would strongly indicate to you that animals ate each other at the start. And also we could branch off into a discussion of the effects of sin, and how our spiritual world impacts our physical one (i.e. a discussion about whether sin necessitates physical death as well as spiritual death)
Last edited by Felgar on Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#23

Post by Felgar » Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:31 am

RGeeB wrote:Bunny still died. Animals could not eat of the tree of life. The decomposing bacteria were carnivores.(?)..or did lions only eat dead animals?
I would buy that as a possible alternative... Cat's do seem to scavage by nature.

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#24

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:14 pm

Hi Felgar,
Felgar wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:But surely you don't believe God intended things to be perfect, if He allowed Satan into His apparently "perfect" creation? And if Satan did not have the influence to corrupt the Earth (or creation), then how is it Satan successfully did so?
I do agree here - Earth was not created perfect. I'm tempted to argue that we might not even be able to define perfection, but in comparison to God's plan for eternity I'd say that the eternal existance is perfect and therefore the earth was not. But really all I'm arguing is that it's possible for animals to only have eaten plants before the fall. That's all I'm arguing here.
I agree it is hard to define perfection, infact I also don't think it can be defined apart from God. The reason why I keep trying to tackle a "perfect" creation, is that apart of the YEC general belief is that pre-fall the creation was perfect. As carnivorous activity implies suffering of an animal, such suffering is seen as incompatible with the "perfect" creation an all-good God would make. I suppose an underlying premise is that because God is perfect, God would only create perfection (?). Yet, this is unsound, as it does not follow if God is perfect, that everything He does has to necessarily always be perfect. An analogy I'd provide is to think of the perfect runner, the fastest in the world. Yet, just because such a person may be a perfect runner, it does not mean they can't choose to run slower, or jog, rather than always running at their fastest pace. Anyway, it seems I have been arguing a strawman with you somewhat, as we appear to agree that the creation was not created to be "perfect" (whatever may be meant by that).

Yet, one reason why I've focused so much attention on this belief, is because the belief that the original creation was perfect is heavily engrained in much of Western theology. Augustine appears to be the first to have developed the doctrine of sin being totally responsible for pain and suffering in his theodicy (i.e., response to God and evil). His view is that everything created was entirely good or perfect, and from there things only become less good. Bad is essentially what we'd call an absense of good, like the professor story on this website (see http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/professor.html). While I'd agree with bad or evil being an absense of good, one flaw in his reasoning which has been pointed out by many is that something entirely good or perfect could never "not" be entirely good or perfect. ;) Despite this, Augustine's theodicy appears to have become firmly planted in much of Western Christianity, however I tend to be more onside with the theodicy of Irenaeus, an Eastern Church father.
Felgar wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:So you are saying the rest of Earth was already cursed before Adam and Eve? I'm not really sure what you are trying to say here, or whether even we may be in agreement? But I think the curse upon the ground likely only applied to the Garden of Eden, as 1) that was where Adam and Eve were, and 2) for God to have kicked them out, obviously the Garden was much nicer then the "already cursed" (your words) land outside, therefore how could the curse apply elsewhere?
What I'm saying is that the outside was NOT already cursed before the fall. Because why would God curse the garden and then kick them out? Simply kicking them out of the garden would have been sufficient if it were true that the outside was already cursed - no extra curses would have been necessary. My interpretation is that the whole earth including the garden was blessed, and at the fall God (or Adam's actions) cursed everything.
Ok, I'd agree outside was never cursed pre-fall, however I also don't believe outside was cursed after. I believe outside the Garden pre-fall was wild vegetation and animals. Inside the Garden on the other hand had God's providence, and within Adam and Eve never had to work for their food. So when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden, what was to stop them from returning to the easy food Eden provided to them? I believe it was the curse God placed on the ground there, which changed the Garden into wild vegetation. So Adam and Eve wouldn't have even been able to think about returning. I personally see it as a hard push within the context, to try apply the curse to "all the ground" on the entire Earth. But, let's not get hung up with this side issue...
Felgar wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:The kind of death you believe sin caused here is obviously physical death. But it does not necessarily follow that because sin caused spiritual death, sin therefore causes physical death. Infact if God gives the lion its prey, what does the thought that sin is responsible for death suggest about God?
I do believe sin causes both physical and spiritual death. Romans 9: "hand him over to Satan so that the flesh may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord." About the lion, that was my initial point - they had no prey before sin entered the world.
You do know that Psalm 104, wherein God gives the lion its prey, is known as the "Creation Psalm"? Therefore the relevant passage is actual support for carnivorous activity before the fall. A page I'd recommend reading further on this is http://www.answersincreation.org/psalm104.htm (highly recommend!). Clearly God does not see anything wrong with carnivorous predatory activity within nature, and so there is no reason I see to exclude it from the original creation. Psalm 104 exposes it as a marvellous act of God's providence and care for His creation.

Now I do also believe sin caused physical death to mankind, as I believe God sustained Adam and Eve within the Garden before the fall. Yet, I do not believe sin is responsible for causing all physical death, or even "creating" physical death.
Felgar wrote:Nope I have no problem with the statement that the Earth was not perfect. But whether it was perfect or not does not speak strongly to whether or not there were predatory animals before the fall.

So whats left to resolve is why you think that the earth being only "very good" would strongly indicate to you that animals ate each other at the start. And also we could branch off into a discussion of the effects of sin, and how our spiritual world impacts our physical one (i.e. a discussion about whether sin necessitates physical death as well as spiritual death)
Hopefully my previous responses in this post help you to understand why I focused upon the belief of a "perfect" creation. Such a belief goes hand-in-hand with the reason why many Christians believe there was no death before the fall. However, if you accept God never intended to create things "perfect" (in whatever way "perfect" may be defined), then the door is open to the possibility that God actually created our world with physical death as a natural part its workings for some purpose. Thus, God never intended our world to be everlasting, but only a stepping stone to what He has for us hereafter.

Kurieuo.
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#25

Post by Felgar » Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:05 am

In response to the cursing of the garden, it doesn't make sense to me that God would even need to curse the garden by itself. Kicking them out would have been enough; Adam and Eve weren't getting past the flaming sword. :) Just to remove the temptation of trying to get back in? Mmmm; I don't buy that.

And about the Psalm 104 link, at the very most I could see that it supports RGeeB's suggestion that there were scavengers before the fall. After all, they depend on God for their food and then 'gather' it. If they were just hunting on their own, is that dependence on God? In other words, what scenario indicates greater dependence on God? Also consider that the passage says how God takes their breath; rather than enabling the actual lions to take the breath of their prey.

And the second thing is that I'm not 100% convinced that the entire passage referenced only pre-fall creation. For one, why mention ships on the ocean? Certainly Adam and Eve had not built any ships before the fall.

I think what this whole thing gets down to is one fundamental difference that we have: Our individual pre-conceived notion of what a sinnless and very good world would be. We can probably agree that our only example of 'perfect' is God's plan for our eternity, and also agree that the Earth was never perfect. But it certainly was good and sinnless. So we have a corrupted and evil world now, and a perfect one in the future. Where on the spectrum is the original creation? You argue that it's closer to our current world (mainly because of the governance of nature, which certainly falls inline with OEC concepts) and I argue that it's closer to our eternity (mainly because of my impression of the far-reaching consequences of sin on the entire world)... And that brings us back to my very first point, that of the prophecy of the lion laying with the lamb, and how I take that to be an indication of what a sinnless world would be like.

As a final note I will concede (and always have) the possiblity of animals hunting each other pre-fall. But I only concede this because the death of an animal is not sin; obviously God never intended for animals to be immortal, nor were we ever directed by God not to kill them. But this is balanced by the arguments I've already made and also by the fact that God initially gave us vegetation and not animals to eat - so perhaps death was not rampant like it is now.

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#26

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:18 am

Felgar wrote:In response to the cursing of the garden, it doesn't make sense to me that God would even need to curse the garden by itself. Kicking them out would have been enough; Adam and Eve weren't getting past the flaming sword. :) Just to remove the temptation of trying to get back in? Mmmm; I don't buy that.
Firstly, the Cherubims and flaming sword were to guard the way to the tree of life, and not necessarily the Garden. ;) Secondly, guess what "fire" and "swords" do? They consume and destroy. It isn't uncommon to find such symbolism within Scripture. And so it is not a big leap to suggest that the Cherubims and flaming sword (which turned every which way), laid waste to Eden, and in this way kept the path to the tree of life from being found.

Now with my belief that the curse upon the ground only pertains to the Garden, I admit I'm reading into the words something not clearly exposed; however, such an exegesis is in no way unfounded. But whether the curse applies to the Garden or ground in general, if the former is ruled out then the "curse" still does not mean all YECs read it to be. Which essentially is that the curse brought about thorns and thistles for the first time, earthquakes began occuring and what have you. Most of all, it certainly says nothing about the animals receiving any kind of curse to change them into predators. To be as conservative as possible, the most we can perhaps draw is that Adam would now have to work a wild land for his food, and the "curse" upon the ground should be interpreted within the context of man's punishment.

Yet, there is another option I also lean towards with the cursed ground. That is, whereas pre-fall in the Garden everything was provided for Adam and Eve, afterwards they had to work the ground for their food. Thus, the natural state of the ground would be destroyed into order to cultivate food. Such cultivation can cause much destruction to the ground, which is one reason why God instituted with Israel a sabbath for the land (to give it rest).
Felgar wrote:And about the Psalm 104 link, at the very most I could see that it supports RGeeB's suggestion that there were scavengers before the fall. After all, they depend on God for their food and then 'gather' it. If they were just hunting on their own, is that dependence on God? In other words, what scenario indicates greater dependence on God? Also consider that the passage says how God takes their breath; rather than enabling the actual lions to take the breath of their prey.
I'm not sure I understand. You're referring to the comments on Psalm 104:21 where "The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God"? In what way does this verse imply lions hunted on their own? The passage is quite explicit that the lions look to God for their food.
Felgar wrote:And the second thing is that I'm not 100% convinced that the entire passage referenced only pre-fall creation. For one, why mention ships on the ocean? Certainly Adam and Eve had not built any ships before the fall.
Let's read the passage in question (Pslam 104:25-26):
  • 25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number-
    living things both large and small.
    26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
I find it hard to accept that simply because "ships" are referred to, that this chapter stops continuing to parallel the Genesis creation. In light of the much evident parallelism between Genesis 1 and Psalm 104 (e.g., see http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/psalm104.html), I see no reason to change the context. However, let's also read the rest of the following verses:
  • 27 These all look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
    28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
    when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
    29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
    when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.

    30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the earth.
The page I linked to comments on this passage:
  • "Here we have an even clearer case for carnivorous activity. It is clear that God provides food for His creatures. It is also clear that His creatures die. But most compelling is verse 30, where God creates them, and renews the ground. God's creative acts ended at the end of Day 6, with the creation of man. Thus, here we have God creating animals AFTER previous animals had died and returned to dust! The renewing of the ground is a clear indication of the renewing nature of God's creation, i.e. the food chain. As animals die, they decay and feed the plants, which in turn are eaten by plant-eating animals, who in turn are eaten by meat-eating animals, and the process starts all over. God's self-renewing creation is perfect for a system which maintains itself, and is indeed "very good" as God states in Genesis 1:31." (http://www.answersincreation.org/psalm104.htm)
I think Scripture (particularly in Psalm 104) is clear that God (not sin) is responsible for the "natural" process of death and revitalisation. God created such a cyclic process for a purpose, and Scripture appears to represent such a process as good. Therefore there is essentially nothing wrong or sinful about natural death, which is an intended part of God's design for our world.
Felgar wrote:I think what this whole thing gets down to is one fundamental difference that we have: Our individual pre-conceived notion of what a sinnless and very good world would be. We can probably agree that our only example of 'perfect' is God's plan for our eternity, and also agree that the Earth was never perfect. But it certainly was good and sinnless.
I agree God's creation was (and still is!) very good. However, sinlessness is something I don't believe existed at the beginning of God's creation, and basically not since God's creation of angels. Sure humanity were sinless before the fall, but Satan was in the world, and as mentioned previously Satan wasn't sinless! It also makes no sense to say inanimate matter such as Earth, or that the original creation was sinless apart from humanity (and similar intelligent moral beings). Sin is not something that can be applied to animals who lack moral understand, nor inanimate matter. Therefore when it is said the "world" was sinless, it has to refer to those creatures apart of the world where sin applies (namely moral intelligent beings). My position is that our world has never been devoid of sin. So unless I misunderstand you, or you now agree with my reasoning, this is one major difference between your belief and mine. In addition, I still see God's creation as good and very good even today, which I'm not sure whether you would agree with?
Felgar wrote:As a final note I will concede (and always have) the possiblity of animals hunting each other pre-fall. But I only concede this because the death of an animal is not sin; obviously God never intended for animals to be immortal, nor were we ever directed by God not to kill them.
If animal death is not sin, and animals eating other animals is not sin, and Scripture even supports the natural process of life and death as a good thing, then I fail to see any Scriptural reason for why one would continue to consider that no death (including no death amongst animals!) existed before the fall. The only reason I can see for accepting such a thing, is because one traditional belief (Augustine's) gained popularity and somewhere along the way became an engrained dogma within much of Western Christianity. Yet, I see other traditional views which better support what I see in Scripture.
Felgar wrote:But this is balanced by the arguments I've already made and also by the fact that God initially gave us vegetation and not animals to eat - so perhaps death was not rampant like it is now.
Please provide Scripture where God says not to eat animals? As for the verse you'd quote for Adam and Eve being vegitarians is only supports the idea they might have been, and is not proof they were. Yet given they were vegetarians (as God provided for them), it has been suggested that there would have been good dietry reasons why someone living about 1000 years might be vegetarian, as eating meat could dramatically affect one's lifespan.

Yet, in relation to the creation of animals on day six, a careful consideration of the text suggests that wild animals would also include carnivorous animals (e.g., see http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/carnivores.html). You may admit that Genesis 1:24-25 does support that carnivorous animals existed, and then diminish the emphasis by saying such isn't conclusive (at least no more conclusive than Adam and Eve being vegetarians ;))? To this I'd respond what good reason exists to believe they weren't created from the beginning beyond the reasons I've already dealt with? I see none except perhaps a prior commitment to a dogma which may have been passed down and ingrained unaware through one's church.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#27

Post by Felgar » Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:39 am

Oh boy, a lot to go over here. You and I both have a propensity to 'dive in' and after a few iterations we're both certainly in deep. :) So I'll just have to ignore some of the lesser points in order to maintain our theme.
Kurieuo wrote: 27 These all look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

If animal death is not sin, and animals eating other animals is not sin, and Scripture even supports the natural process of life and death as a good thing, then I fail to see any Scriptural reason for why one would continue to consider that no death (including no death amongst animals!) existed before the fall.
I can address your earlier point about gathering and this point all in one. Now clearly there was animal death pre-fall (verse 29). But what I've been arguing against is animal killing - whether animals actually hunted and killed other animals. Since the start of the conversation I've moved off the fence on whether there were meat-eating animals, and now agree that there probably were. I reference verse 28 in that God provides their food, which also understanding that God 'takes their breath' I can reasonably conclude that God could give a dead animal as food for a carnivore. But my last point about them taking it on their own; I think still stands. My interpretation would be that if a wolf hunts and kills a rabbit, that is neither simply 'gathering' what God gives, nor God taking the rabbits breath - so predatory animals were not God's original design (though you have convinced me that carniverous animals probably were). And please don't forget my very first point which was that the Isaiah prophecy explains what a world without sin will be like; one where animals don't kill each other or people.
Kurieuo wrote:Therefore when it is said the "world" was sinless, it has to refer to those creatures apart of the world where sin applies (namely moral intelligent beings). My position is that our world has never been devoid of sin.
Ah ha! I see. Yes we certainly do differ on this point. I think that before the fall the world certainly was devoid of sin. Satan was in the world, but not given the authority to actually affect the world. That's why he had to manipulate us in order to bring sin in - in order that God's original system could be ruined to the point that he could start causing destruction, death, and chaos. See, since we were given authority over the earth and animals, it was ours to ruin and not Satan's. I would argue it's that authority given by God which made Adam and Eve's impact on the world so dramatic and far-reaching. Obviously a rock and even an animal cannot sin, but spiritual realities DO affect our physical reality in ways that we may never understand, and it's in these ways that I believe Adam and Eve's sin caused our entire world to become 'cursed' - to no longer be safe for humans or animals alike. And then once sin entered the world, it was given over to Satan - prior to that the world and its inhabitants stood with God, unable to be affected by Satan.
Kurieuo wrote: So unless I misunderstand you, or you now agree with my reasoning, this is one major difference between your belief and mine. In addition, I still see God's creation as good and very good even today, which I'm not sure whether you would agree with?
Following up on the prior point, we do disagree here. The world is no longer good - because we've ruined it. I believe God keeps our world just 'good' enough' that it might sustain our lives so that we can become children of God. Just quickly comparing the original world with our current one (and you'll disagree on some of these points):
- We originally needed not fear animals because they would not hunt us; now we have poisonous and vicious creatures throughout the world which necessitate a certain way of life that takes us from nature. Technology has helped here though, esspecially recently. :)
- We were free of disease and genetic problems; now most will inevitably be killed by cancer or some other sickness.
- The earth provided plenty of food to sustain life indefinately and without work; now many starve because they are unable to work with the productivity required to feed themselves.
- Prior to fall we were likely immortal; after the fall we still lived up to 1000 years; now we can't quite even hit 120.
- Mankind was free of war; a hundred of million killed by war in the 1900's?

Just think what the world would be like if *everyone* lived perfectly according to Jesus' 2 commandments... In comparison, our world is no longer 'good' and it's mainly because of us and our sin.

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#28

Post by bizzt » Fri Mar 11, 2005 11:42 am

Talk about Diving in with both Feet!!! :wink: :D

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#29

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:30 am

Hi Felgar, I've been enjoying the discussion so far so thanks. :) Here's another post...
Felgar wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:27 These all look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

If animal death is not sin, and animals eating other animals is not sin, and Scripture even supports the natural process of life and death as a good thing, then I fail to see any Scriptural reason for why one would continue to consider that no death (including no death amongst animals!) existed before the fall.
I can address your earlier point about gathering and this point all in one. Now clearly there was animal death pre-fall (verse 29). But what I've been arguing against is animal killing - whether animals actually hunted and killed other animals. Since the start of the conversation I've moved off the fence on whether there were meat-eating animals, and now agree that there probably were.
I do find it little strange that you would take the interpretation that animals died pre-fall, and that carnivorous animals may have only been scavengers (only eating dead animals), but that they never hunted and "preyed" upon another animal to kill them for food. Such is not really the most obvious reading, and although it says nothing about its validity, I've never really heard of such an interpretation until now.
Felgar wrote:I reference verse 28 in that God provides their food, which also understanding that God 'takes their breath' I can reasonably conclude that God could give a dead animal as food for a carnivore.
...
Ok, let's dig into an earlier relevant passage in Psalm 104 (v. 20-22). I'd encourage reading slowly through what I say to understand, and even read various translations for yourself, and/or look up words in e-Sword, to test whether what I write is true and accurate.

In verse 20 we have: "You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl." KJV renders "prowl" as "creep," but the meaning is the same. What is the point of roaming around stealthily (and at night), if their food is simply given to them by God in a similar way a zookeeper might give slabs of meat to carnivorous animals within a zoo?

Let us look to see what verse 21 says: "The young lions roar after their prey (tereph) And seek their food (okel) from God." (NASB) Here we see the point of roaming around stealthily (v. 20) appears to be so beasts such as lions can capture their "prey" (prey means "an animal caught or hunted for food"). The word translated "prey" (tereph), has the meaning of something being torn. It could be translated as "food" also, but such doesn't capture all that is meant by this word. If all this word implied was "food" (which it doesn't), then there would be a needless repetition of the word "food." For example: "The young lions roar after their [food] and seek their food from God." Clearly this doesn't make too much sense unless the word intended in the first case is "prey," which is also found in every translation I've read. Thus, the picture presented is one of lions hunting their prey, which means they hunt to capture, kill and eat other animals. And it is by the natural food chain and order that God setup, and/or even perhaps say a more personal providence by God bringing a stray deer across the lions path, that God provides food for the lion.

Now you likely noticed I used NASB when quoting verse 21. NIV looses some translation by simply stating "lions," rather than "young lions." KJV also translates more precisely. Young lions would be more fit and healthy than older ones in their sport of hunting down other animals for their food. The fact "young lions" is used, is further support that God doesn't merely provide an already dead animal for the lion. Otherwise why make reference to younger lions which would be more fit to hunt? Therefore, it becomes even more clear that the picture being developed here is one of a fit and fearsome lion sporting for its prey.

Then we reach verse 22: "The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens." After the hunt is over, and they've eaten, they return back to their dens to rest. These three verses (v. 20-22) capture the exact same predatory process we expect today of certain wild carnivorous beasts. There is no reason to take them differently here.
Felgar wrote:And please don't forget my very first point which was that the Isaiah prophecy explains what a world without sin will be like; one where animals don't kill each other or people.
I've actually tackled this in two ways, which I'll highlight more clearly. The first way, was through my offering the position that our world was never really without sin. You respond to this further by reasoning Satan's sin is somehow irrelevant to it impacting creation, but I don't buy into your position as Scripture notes Satan has power in, and is even ruler of, our world (Luke 4:5; John 14:20). Yet, one can opt out by taking the position that Satan only sinned after God's creation. Therefore pre-Satan's fall, one could still argue the world was sinless. I won't bother trying to push further that sin had always existing within God's creation, but it is certainly an option worth noting.

The second way I began to deal with this was by reasoning that "sin" is not responsible for "ALL death." Now based on Scriptural evidence, you accept that death occurred pre-fall amongst animals. Continuing our discussion here, you interpret the prophecy of the future kingdom in Isaiah 11:6; 65:25 (i.e., the wolf eating along side the lamb, leopard lying down with the goat, etc) very literally, rather than this prophecy presenting a symbolic picture of the peace and harmony that will exist in the future kingdom under Christ. You then appear to believe that the future kingdom will contain harmony between predators and their prey because there will be no more sin. And so you reason that 1) any world without sin would therefore be without predatory activity; 2) that the original creation was devoid of sin; and 3) therefore the original creation must not have had any predatory activity. I'd like you to observe the many inferences you have made here.

The main inference you draw which I'd disagree with, is that there is peace and harmony amongst animals in the future kingdom because it is a place without sin. The Isaiah prophecy does not explain what "a world without sin" would be like. The Isaiah prophecy explains what the future kingdom will be like. I'm sure you can see there is a big difference between these two!

Now in Revelation 21:4 we read that there "will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Note that the difference between the old and new is one of "order" not one of "sin"! Additionally, as you read the Isaiah prophecy literally back into the original creation, why not also read the new kingdom containing no death back into the original creation? There seems to be an inconsistency here. I think it is wrong to infer based on the future kingdom, that any world that is devoid of sin will be the same as the future kingdom. Certainly there will be no sin within the new kingdom, but it doesn't follow that sin is the reason, or only reason, why the new kingdom will be the way it is!
Felgar wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:So unless I misunderstand you, or you now agree with my reasoning, this is one major difference between your belief and mine. In addition, I still see God's creation as good and very good even today, which I'm not sure whether you would agree with?
Following up on the prior point, we do disagree here. The world is no longer good - because we've ruined it.... Just quickly comparing the original world with our current one (and you'll disagree on some of these points):
[1] - We originally needed not fear animals because they would not hunt us; now we have poisonous and vicious creatures throughout the world which necessitate a certain way of life that takes us from nature. Technology has helped here though, esspecially recently. :)
[2] - We were free of disease and genetic problems; now most will inevitably be killed by cancer or some other sickness.
[3] - The earth provided plenty of food to sustain life indefinately and without work; now many starve because they are unable to work with the productivity required to feed themselves.
[4] - Prior to fall we were likely immortal; after the fall we still lived up to 1000 years; now we can't quite even hit 120.
[5] - Mankind was free of war; a hundred of million killed by war in the 1900's?
I personally still see a good creation around me, despite seeing how the future kingdom will be much better, but then the difference between the two is one of order in God's plan. As might be expected, I also don't think we ruined God's creation, and I would consider it as very un-Godlike to allow our sin to "punish" animals and the rest of creation which are innocent. It would be like saying the consequences of Satan's sin came onto us (God's creation) which is why we are now carnivorous. It just doesn't make sense of a God who is fair and righteous! On the other hand, I believe we ruined something much more important and of everlasting value—our relationship with God.

With regards to your points. I would generally agree with points 1, 2, 4 & 5 as I think God looked after and sustained Adam and Eve. Yet, when they sinned their relationship with God became broken and God's providence was taken away. With God no longer looking after them, Adam and Eve would have fell under the natural order of things including death. It is in this way, physical death came to mankind as written in Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 5:12), but Scripture never mentions God's relationship to animals being similar to that of humanities.

With point 3, I don't think it can be thought of what would have happened if Adam and Eve didn't sin. As God had already known they would sin, since Christ was already planned before creation. Therefore God may not have (and I believe would not have) created the world as He did if they wouldn't sin.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#30

Post by Felgar » Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:47 am

In the interest of expediency, I think it would be best for you to focus on the actual questions that are given back to you.. Just a suggestion though; of course respond to whatever you will.
Kurieuo wrote:I'd encourage reading slowly through what I say to understand, and even read various translations for yourself, and/or look up words in e-Sword, to test whether what I write is true and accurate.
Please; just because I choose not to respond to every point does not mean I haven't read and comprehended it - have I taken anything you've said out of context yet? And besides, I'll ask for clarification if it's necessary.
Kurieuo wrote:
Felgar wrote:And please don't forget my very first point which was that the Isaiah prophecy explains what a world without sin will be like; one where animals don't kill each other or people.
I've actually tackled this in two ways, which I'll highlight more clearly. The first way, was through my offering the position that our world was never really without sin. You respond to this further by reasoning Satan's sin is somehow irrelevant to it impacting creation, but I don't buy into your position as Scripture notes Satan has power in, and is even ruler of, our world (Luke 4:5; John 14:20).
I explained this by the fact that our sin is what allowed Satan to be ordained as ruler of the world. Prior to sin Satan had no hold on us, as we walked with God.
Kurieuo wrote:You then appear to believe that the future kingdom will contain harmony between predators and their prey because there will be no more sin. And so you reason that 1) any world without sin would therefore be without predatory activity; 2) that the original creation was devoid of sin; and 3) therefore the original creation must not have had any predatory activity. I'd like you to observe the many inferences you have made here.

The main inference you draw which I'd disagree with, is that there is peace and harmony amongst animals in the future kingdom because it is a place without sin. The Isaiah prophecy does not explain what "a world without sin" would be like. The Isaiah prophecy explains what the future kingdom will be like. I'm sure you can see there is a big difference between these two!
I view the future kingdom as being fundamentally defined by the absence of sin - a return to our full relationship with God. I see everything flowing from that - and although I agree with your statement of my inferences, I disagree with your rejection of its validity. Again, it gets back to our larger notions of what sin can do in terms of what are the ways that it can impact us and creation as a whole.
Kurieuo wrote:Now in Revelation 21:4 we read that there "will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Note that the difference between the old and new is one of "order" not one of "sin"!
Again, why don't you see the absence of sin as being the defining characteristic of the future kingdom? Let's get into that...
Kurieuo wrote:I personally still see a good creation around me, despite seeing how the future kingdom will be much better, but then the difference between the two is one of order in God's plan.
Well I'd like to point out that you see the creation through rose-colored glasses. In part because you're blessed to live freely and richly (as we all are on this board) and probably more importantly because you walk with the Lord. He is our sheppard after all. But ask someone in the Dafur region how good this creation is...
Kurieuo wrote:With God no longer looking after them, Adam and Eve would have fell under the natural order of things including death. It is in this way, physical death came to mankind as written in Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 5:12), but Scripture never mentions God's relationship to animals being similar to that of humanities.
Hey at least we agree on something - the manner in which physical death came to mankind. Seems to me that you just don't agree with my point that because we were given authority over the Earth and animals in it, our relationship (or lack theroef) with God extends consequences onto them? Why not? Because it simpy seems unjust as you mentioned? I don't really see the injustice; animals still don't fall under the judgement of God.

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