Relationship of Sin and Death

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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Jac3510
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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#31

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:36 pm

You are correct. Constable agrees with you, as do most evangelical theologians. The idea of "spiritual death" is presented without critical examination in seminaries across the nation. It is, then, the traditional position and you're in good company in holding to it (even if there's no basis in Scripture or reason and only one from tradition to accept it).
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#32

Post by RickD » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:49 pm

Jac3510 wrote:You are correct. Constable agrees with you, as do most evangelical theologians. The idea of "spiritual death" is presented without critical examination in seminaries across the nation. It is, then, the traditional position and you're in good company in holding to it (even if there's no basis in Scripture or reason and only one from tradition to accept it).
Jac,

If you read my post here, you won't find me making an argument for "spiritual death". I don't even know if Dr. Constable makes an argument for spiritual death.

In fact, I'm agreeing with you that as far as human death, I don't see a distinction between physical death and spiritual death. That's what I meant by "death is death". As I told DBowling, someone being spiritually dead, isn't the same as spiritual death.

So, if you want to disagree with me for agreeing with you on this point, then I guess you're just arguing for the sake of arguing. y)>-
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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#33

Post by DBowling » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:58 pm

RickD wrote:
RickD wrote:
Just thinking out loud...

For humans who are both spiritual and physical, death is death. One can die physically, yet live spiritually(John 11:25).

DBowling wrote:
Correct...
And that is precisely the distinction that Jesus, Paul, Augustine, Calvin, and many many others throughout the 2000 year history of the church are talking about.

And the reverse is true as well.
It is also possible to be dead spiritually and physically alive.
Sure. But I don't think being dead spiritually, is the same as spiritual death.
Why not?
I am unaware of any distinction in Scripture or historical Christianity between being dead spiritually and spiritual death.
They both refer to a spirit that is separated from God.
RickD wrote:
But when one who does not have eternal life in Christ, dies he's just dead.

DBowling wrote:
Yes... he is dead both physically and spiritually...
But even for this 'spiritually and physically dead' person, his immortal soul is not annihilated.
His spiritually dead immortal soul continues to exist, but it continues to exist in a state of separation from God.

There are a number of Scriptures that deal with sin resulting in separation from God, but Isaiah 59:1-2 is a good example.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear.
2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His [a]face from you so that He does not hear.
Is the separation you're talking about, a separation from fellowship with God?
Yes... I think that is a big part of it.

Let me address one K's points.
The distinction between spirit and body, that Jesus and Paul teach is very consistent with the make up of man described in Genesis 2:7
"dirt" = body
"breath" = spirit
A human being is made up of a material physical mortal body and an immaterial non-physical immortal spirit.

When the body of a believer faces physical death, their immortal spirit which has been made alive through faith in Christ enters into the presence of God (2 Corinthians 5:8).
But this is not the final state for a human, this is an intermediate state for a human spirit without a body.
The final state for a living human spirit is when it is joined to its immortal physical resurrection body and dwells forever as a complete human being (physical and spiritual) in the New Heaven/New Earth.

In Christ
Last edited by DBowling on Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#34

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:01 pm

RickD wrote:If you read my post here, you won't find me making an argument for "spiritual death". I don't even know if Dr. Constable makes an argument for spiritual death.

In fact, I'm agreeing with you that as far as human death, I don't see a distinction between physical death and spiritual death. That's what I meant by "death is death". As I told DBowling, someone being spiritually dead, isn't the same as spiritual death.

So, if you want to disagree with me for agreeing with you on this point, then I guess you're just arguing for the sake of arguing. y)>-
I said to DB that one shouldn't say you are in agreement or disagreement with a position you don't understand. So I'll confess, then, that I am at a loss concerning your position. I didn't read the post you just cited as agreeing with me at all. You said that "one can die physically, yet live spiritually." That's the very point we've been discussing that I am saying is not true. Although I'm glad you don't buy the argument that spiritual death is separation of the spirit from God. And your last post I replied to noted that Constable disagrees with me, and he certainly seems to be making use of the physical/spiritual death distinction. I took your approving quote from him to show that you were in good company in disagreeing with me--that is, in affirming the distinction (consistent with your quoted statement that we can die physically and live spiritually). So if you DON'T accept the distinction (as I don't), then fantastic! I have no idea what your others mean. And if you do accept the distinction, then I don't see how we are, in fact, agreeing at all. :?
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#35

Post by RickD » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:10 pm

RickD wrote:
But I don't think being dead spiritually, is the same as spiritual death.

DBowling wrote:
Why not?
I am unaware of any distinction in Scripture or historical Christianity between being dead spiritually and spiritual death.
They both refer to a spirit that is separated from God.
I guess I understand "spiritual death" in the context we're discussing, to mean what happens to the spirit sometime after death, as some argue.

Where being "dead spiritually", in the context we're discussing, is when an unbeliever is alive.
DBowling wrote:
The distinction between spirit and body, that Jesus and Paul teach is very consistent with the make up of man described in Genesis 2:7
"dirt" = body
"breath" = spirit
A human being is made up of a material physical mortal body and an immaterial non-physical immortal spirit.

When the body of a believer faces physical death, their immortal spirit which has been made alive through faith in Christ enters into the presence of God (2 Corinthians 5:8).
But this is not the final state for a human, this is an intermediate state for a human spirit without a body.
The final state for a living human spirit is when it is joined to its immortal physical resurrection body and dwells forever as a complete human being (physical and spiritual) in the New Heaven/New Earth.
I don't disagree with that. :D
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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#36

Post by RickD » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:20 pm

Jac3510 wrote:
RickD wrote:If you read my post here, you won't find me making an argument for "spiritual death". I don't even know if Dr. Constable makes an argument for spiritual death.

In fact, I'm agreeing with you that as far as human death, I don't see a distinction between physical death and spiritual death. That's what I meant by "death is death". As I told DBowling, someone being spiritually dead, isn't the same as spiritual death.

So, if you want to disagree with me for agreeing with you on this point, then I guess you're just arguing for the sake of arguing. y)>-
I said to DB that one shouldn't say you are in agreement or disagreement with a position you don't understand. So I'll confess, then, that I am at a loss concerning your position. I didn't read the post you just cited as agreeing with me at all. You said that "one can die physically, yet live spiritually." That's the very point we've been discussing that I am saying is not true. Although I'm glad you don't buy the argument that spiritual death is separation of the spirit from God. And your last post I replied to noted that Constable disagrees with me, and he certainly seems to be making use of the physical/spiritual death distinction. I took your approving quote from him to show that you were in good company in disagreeing with me--that is, in affirming the distinction (consistent with your quoted statement that we can die physically and live spiritually). So if you DON'T accept the distinction (as I don't), then fantastic! I have no idea what your others mean. And if you do accept the distinction, then I don't see how we are, in fact, agreeing at all. :?
Jac,

To me, "one can die physically, yet live spiritually" is just another way of saying the underlined in John 11:25:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
It may be just how I'm seeing that, but I don't see that as making physical death and spiritual death, in humans, two separate things. Death is death. But if you're saying that Dr. Constable believes in two distinct kinds of death, physical and spiritual, then maybe I'm agreeing with him on something that I actually disagree with him on! :shock:

The part I seem to be agreeing with you on, is that I don't think there's a distinction between spiritual death, and physical death, when it comes to human death. Now, maybe that's not exactly what you're saying.

As for the other stuff, we may or may not be in agreement.

I'm sure that completely cleared up what I'm trying to say. :lol:
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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#37

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:30 pm

I think it gets us closer, Rick. My only real point of disagreement with you is your still using John 11:25 in supporting some ethereal (or at least undefined) idea of "living spiritually." I addressed that verse in some detail. It's a translation problem. To your point, Jesus isn't addressing some "spiritual life" but rather the promise that, in the event you die, you are guaranteed resurrection--that even if you die you will live again. You certainly won't die forever (so, die eternally/unto the ages). And perhaps I am misreading Constable, but he seems to be taking the passage in the same sense DB is--as if we resolve the apparent contradiction between v25 and v26 by suggesting that even if you die physically you will still never die spiritually. Again, that's just a distinction theologians invented to try to explain away some text they otherwise would have had a problem with, and then it became such a popular position nobody bothered really examining it.

So I'll leave it to you as to whether or not we agree or disagree. The disagreement really could be nothing more than how we're using a verse rather than in what we are saying is actually true or not. :)
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#38

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:59 pm

DBowling wrote:Let me address one K's points.
The distinction between spirit and body, that Jesus and Paul teach is very consistent with the make up of man described in Genesis 2:7
"dirt" = body
"breath" = spirit
A human being is made up of a material physical mortal body and an immaterial non-physical immortal spirit.
That, is generally how many Christians (including myself once) interpret Genesis 2:7, but note we're colouring the words in this passage with a Dualist position that "breath of life" is "spirit" and not simply the physical breathing we see of all living creatures. When physical breath leaves their body; when we stop breathing, the breath of life has left us = no longer a living soul = we're dead.

Understand, then, that Genesis 2:7 can really only positively support "breath of life" being physical, and not "spirit" as many desire it to be. At the same time though, Gen 2:7 doesn't preclude a spirit, or that there is something more to "God's breathing", however alone we can't really reach this conclusion in this verse without reading something more into the text.

We should always be careful to realise what positions we are influenced by, and to try stop where Scripture stops. Otherwise we'll end up with "flat earth" interpretations, oorr..... :P AiG interpretations of God being the source of light on days 1-3 and RTB interpretations that Scripture tells the story of a "Big Bang" cosmology. ;) ;)
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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#39

Post by DBowling » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:26 am

Kurieuo wrote:
DBowling wrote:Let me address one K's points.
The distinction between spirit and body, that Jesus and Paul teach is very consistent with the make up of man described in Genesis 2:7
"dirt" = body
"breath" = spirit
A human being is made up of a material physical mortal body and an immaterial non-physical immortal spirit.
That, is generally how many Christians (including myself once) interpret Genesis 2:7, but note we're colouring the words in this passage with a Dualist position that "breath of life" is "spirit" and not simply the physical breathing we see of all living creatures. When physical breath leaves their body; when we stop breathing, the breath of life has left us = no longer a living soul = we're dead.

Understand, then, that Genesis 2:7 can really only positively support "breath of life" being physical, and not "spirit" as many desire it to be. At the same time though, Gen 2:7 doesn't preclude a spirit, or that there is something more to "God's breathing", however alone we can't really reach this conclusion in this verse without reading something more into the text.

We should always be careful to realise what positions we are influenced by, and to try stop where Scripture stops.
Notice that I didn't claim that Genesis 2:7 in and of itself explicitly teaches that a human is made up of both a physical body and an immaterial spirit.
I said that it is consistent with the teachings of Jesus and Paul who multiple times distinguish between the physical body and the immaterial spirit.

That is why my starting point for understanding what Scripture teaches about physical death and spiritual death are the teachings of Jesus and Paul in the New Testament.

In Christ

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#40

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:31 am

That's fine DBowling, even if you did, since I have no issue with justifying a passage in Genesis with additional thought even in Revelations. ;) To be clear, I'm not taking sides here really myself, nor criticising anything you've said as Jac took a stick to.

In your last post though, I think "immaterial spirit" at least on an onlogical level, is a contradiction in terms. And such is just me wanting to be tight with language. I feel, some of Jac's complaint though, is in relation to such. For example, if spirit is being employed to mean some ethereal bodily form that rises up out of our physical bodies when we die, then we actually have a "material spirit", right? On the other hand, Jac would say, no our spirit is literally immaterial (as I understand) and will be raised again in eternal bodies. What then of being spiritually dead? Well, it's perhaps something more like RickD I think is trying say, which I also think is consitent with teachings of Jesus and Paul.

In any case, I've made much progress. New post I expect will be ready in a day or two. I've had to really think through and structure my thoughts towards a logical conclusion, and it'll start with an exploration on "death" which I hope will be something to unite thoughts around. I really don't see anyone necessarily disagreeing with the first post, and it might prove helpful to the discussions that unfolded here, I hope.
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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death - Part 2

#41

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:24 am

I’d love to just dive in to try to give my take on reconciling OECs, which, as I’ve thought about it, is really to bring them (or should I say “us” since I too believe in an old Earth) more into line with YECs over death being a consequence of sin.

Sadly, many OECs often recoil from death being caused by sin, because well, the immediate implication drawn is that death didn’t happen pre-Fall. Simply put, saying death didn’t happen until humanity arrived on the scene, well such doesn’t align well with our scientific knowledge of the world.

While YECs often challenge OECs on death pre-Fall, it was Jac who challenged me when I argued for physical death bringing about certain good. Then he threw at me that death being the last enemy Jesus will conquer. We also really dug into Romans 5:12+ some time ago, and then well, “sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin ”, then you start reading more passages here and there, and there appears no escaping in Scripture that death is in the world due to sin, physical death exists as a consequence of our sin.

So, if I’m honest, while I might be able to rationalise good reasons for death to exist, there’s just, for me, no getting away from Scripture saying death is a consequence of our sin, Adam’s sin, humanity’s sin. What of the animals? Yes, even the animals as unfair as that might seem. But, it’s not that they’re being judged, it just is the way things are in the world due to our sin.

Nonetheless, I do believe, as mentioned in my opening post, that physical death isn’t all bad and there are good things to it. Such, are kind of irrelevant though, once one accepts that death indeed exists due to sin. To hear an OEC saying such might seem strange, and once I finish here, I hope to have moved both sides closer to each other. So enough of an introduction, let me start…

___________________

As seems apparent in posts by DBowling, Jac and others here, exploring the question of what death is, is very relevant. A close second question to that, is why God even allows it in the natural world that we physically live within? Even if death is the consequence of our sin, which I’m assuming here as a given, why “death” rather than choosing some other consequence? These are two main questions I hope to address in my post here.

What is “Death”?
Much has been said of “death” already, while Scripture might talk of death which people often interpret in spiritual and physical forms, one of my interests here is more centrally to do with the ontology of death. Ontology is about the “nature of being” something has.

Now there are some passages in Scripture that would appear to personalise death. Should Death be understood as a person with a capital ‘D’? While I see such as merely a literary style when we find death in Scripture being personalised, the question itself is a valid ontological question.

To be clear on this question, no, I do not believe Death is a person, spiritual being, fallen angel or something like the Grim Reaper. While I believe fallen angels desire as much death and destruction as possible, to pull as many of us down with them, given their limited time and absolute enmity towards God, none of them are death itself.

Other valid ontological questions would be whether “death” has a substance, is death made of something? If so, what is this something? Does it have a certain smell, a certain colour? Now we might associate “death” with blackness because that’s what nothingness conjures up for us (my wife actually thought of whiteness, I guess she’s quite assured of being with God ;)). We may associate the rotting smell of flesh with death, because well, when organic matter decomposes it gives off a pungent odour. Yet, the smell is something that happens after death, namely physical organic death. And the “blackness” some might assign equally is something we conceive of death after the fact, provided we don’t wake up in some ghostly form. Now again, we have here valid ontological questions about “death”, but I hope we all can see that death is not a substance, unlike say plants that are made of organic matter.

Death, as it turns out, is therefore not something that can be directly created, yet death can be setup as part of fuller system wherein life and certain rules exist. For example, consider virtual worlds, such as role playing games (RPGs), the goal is often to be a hero and kill this or that monster in order to fulfil certain quests and increase your character’s level. You know when monsters are dead, because you see their health bar drops to zero. They stop attacking, fall down dead and the game moves on with the story. Right? What we have here is “death” created in a virtual make-believe world that the game developers have coded in.

Now consider death in our physical world. We have life, organic life, different forms of life from plants and bacteria to insects, various animals and then us rational human beings. We’re all born in a physical world that contains certain laws. And these laws, they allow us to die a physical death. Our physical life, if certain requirements are met such as being decapitated or the like, well, we stop physically moving, decompose and turn to dust. Clearly this is “death” right? Therefore, death is when a life ceases to be, something stops animating itself, stops being, life comes to an end. Such a life could be of this or that type, it really doesn’t matter, it is when a particular life ends that a particular death is had.

So then, an important point to glean here, is that “death” can’t be had unless there is life that can be taken . Death can’t be directly created in and of itself, but requires life of some type that can be taken in order to exist. Furthermore, death isn’t only contingent upon life existing, but once life does exist it isn’t logically necessary that death must happen.

To again use my RPG gaming example, what if the life of your character is made invulnerable? That is, there is no way you can die. Some people love to use cheats that give them immense power and prevents them from dying. Or, what if the coders made it so a particular monster, no matter how much you keep hacking away at it, its health never falls and so it never dies. The game developers perhaps don’t want that particular monster killed, in order to fulfil the story they’re trying to tell, and so they code their game accordingly.

Like in the virtual game world, similarly there is no necessity for us to experience death, except that our physical world allows us to die, perhaps for whatever story our Creator wants to tell. There is here a very important question to consider, in light of the fact that God created the world we live in, a world where there is pain and suffering, and death. That question is, “Why does death exist in our world?

Many Christians quickly respond it is due to sin. No offence to those who answer this way, but while true (so I’m assuming herein), such an answer is a really shallow surface-level response. Could God not have created an alternative punishment for sin? Of course God could! Maybe instead we could slither on our bellies and eat dust all the days of our life. Or perhaps, God could assign us the task of pushing a large boulder up a hill, to have it fall down, and pushing it back up again for the rest of eternity like the story of Sisyphus.

There is no reason for “death” to be in the physical world, except that God intended it to be the punishment of sin. Death isn’t a necessary part of any world, though it is found in ours. So why did God install “death” in our world as the consequence for our sin, indeed even Adam's one sin? The answer, in a simple statement, is because “death” is a natural consequence of what “sin” in fact represents.

___________________

Let me break it down now, and this came as a light-bulb moment to myself…

What is sin? Many responses could be given, but in a nutshell, sin is turning away from God. When we sin, we do actions that God would not approve of, which are anti-God, we reject God. Sin, therefore, separates us from God.

Who is God? God who is the thing, the Person, who has always existed. Like I often say, something has always had to exist otherwise nothing would exist! God, we believe, is an eternal self-existing being, such is the aseity of God. Aseity is derived from old Latin, ‘a se’ = “from oneself”. So then, given God is the source of everything, even His own self-existence (as something must in order for anything to exist!). Given this, guess who is the source of all life? Evidently, God is.

NOW, what do you think is a logical natural outcome of rejecting the source of your life? Death! Hence why the wages of sin is death. Quite logically so, quite naturally so. What does this mean about death? It means death, on the most foundational ontological level, is indeed separation from God who is the source of life. I see that God built upon this spiritual truth in making physical death the consequent of sin.

I’ll end here, but I’m not done and obviously still have more to follow up with. Sadly, especially when I’m concerned, you’re never going to get everything detailed in a couple of sentences, or even paragraphs. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know. It’s just me.
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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death - Part 2

#42

Post by DBowling » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:51 pm

Kurieuo wrote:We also really dug into Romans 5:12+ some time ago, and then well, “sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin ”, then you start reading more passages here and there, and there appears no escaping in Scripture that death is in the world due to sin, physical death exists as a consequence of our sin.
Some comments...
You didn't finish the Romans 5:12 quote. Paul says that the death that entered the world due to the sin of Adam "spread to all men". Asserting that anything other than human death entered the world through the sin of man is extrapolating beyond what the text of Romans 5:12 says.

I think is legitimate to claim that physical death for all creation still exists due to the sin of man. But that is very different from asserting that physical death for all creation entered the world as a result of the sin of man.

Here's what Romans 8 says about the bondage of creation to death.
Romans 8:19-22
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.


According to Romans 8:20 creation was subjected to futility because God made it that way. Not because of sin entering the world.
And Romans 8:22 equates the groaning of creation to the "pains of childbirth". Again not as a result of sin entering the world.

So asserting that the bondage and groaning of creation began as a result of sin entering the world is an extrapolation beyond what Scripture claims.

Now it is legitimate to assert that the sin of man delayed the coming of the Rev 21-22 state. And Romans 8 does claim that creation has to wait until the redemption of mankind is complete before the Heaven and Earth come together and all death is annihilated. So it is legitimate to assert that creation is currently groaning because of the sin of man. But that is very different from asserting that creation's bondage began as a result of sin entering the world. Again, that claim is an extraScriptural extrapolation.

And then there is always 1 Cor 15 that describes Adam's pre-Fall body as perishable, and Genesis 2 where we see that God invites Adam to partake of his antidote to mortality in the Garden before the Fall.

So from Scripture we can say the following
1. A death that spread to all humanity entered the world due to the sin of man.
2. Man existed in a mortal body prior to the Fall, and God provided an antidote to mankind's mortality in the Garden prior to the Fall.
3. Creation's bondage to death is a function of how God designed creation, and Paul describes it as the "pains of childbirth".
4. Creation will be released from its bondage to death after the redemption of mankind is complete. Creation will then become perfect and complete when heaven (the spiritual world) and earth (the physical world) join together and creation is completed and perfected and death is abolished.

In Christ

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death

#43

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:38 pm

An exegesis of Rom 5:12ff, which I wrote near the end of my MDiv. (Technical)

edit:

And this is a paper I wrote early in the MDiv studies that provides some helpful linguistic and theological background to the paper linked just above. (Non-technical)
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death - Part 2

#44

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:18 pm

DBowling wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:We also really dug into Romans 5:12+ some time ago, and then well, “sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin ”, then you start reading more passages here and there, and there appears no escaping in Scripture that death is in the world due to sin, physical death exists as a consequence of our sin.
Some comments...
You didn't finish the Romans 5:12 quote. Paul says that the death that entered the world due to the sin of Adam "spread to all men". Asserting that anything other than human death entered the world through the sin of man is extrapolating beyond what the text of Romans 5:12 says.
Try convincing YECs DBowling. My aim is to move the two sides closer together, and so I'm assuming that they're right, and going with the flow. I see nothing wrong with admitting into the discussion, passages that are used to support such. Indeed, as will hopefully become apparent, such can be accepted without threat, and I intend to elaborate upon this in future posts.

But for now, I'd point out to you, that your sympathy towards viewing "death" as "separation from God" is supported in the concluding paragraphs of my last post detailing what "death" ultimately is:
K wrote:What is sin? Many responses could be given, but in a nutshell, sin is turning away from God. When we sin, we do actions that God would not approve of, which are anti-God, we reject God. Sin, therefore, separates us from God.

Who is God? God who is the thing, the Person, who has always existed. Like I often say, something has always had to exist otherwise nothing would exist! God, we believe, is an eternal self-existing being, such is the aseity of God. Aseity is derived from old Latin, ‘a se’ = “from oneself”. So then, given God is the source of everything, even His own self-existence (as something must in order for anything to exist!). Given this, guess who is the source of all life? Evidently, God is.

NOW, what do you think is a logical natural outcome of rejecting the source of your life? Death! Hence why the wages of sin is death. Quite logically so, quite naturally so. What does this mean about death? It means death, on the most foundational ontological level, is indeed separation from God who is the source of life. I see that God built upon this spiritual truth in making physical death the consequent of sin.
Viewing death, on the spiritual plain as separation from God, as you discussed earlier in this thread with Jac -- and we understand that the spiritual first existed, upon/from which the physical world was built -- the logical conclusion (not Scriptural conclusion) of such thought then is that "death" in any form is ultimately derived from the root spiritual understanding of death, namely, "separation from God."

So if one argues that "death is separation from God", spiritual separation, then death in the physical world which is derived from the spiritual is an exemplar if you will of what death truly is. The irony here is that, theologians embracing "spiritual death" in order to perhaps try distance themselves from the idea that physical death is a consequence of sin, a consequence of our turning away from God, they're actually making a case for ALL death being the outworking of sin.

Hopefully you're seeing what I'm saying here, it is this logic I find most forceful and Scripture does appear to lend support to such over and over again. Of course, OECs have their general ways of responding and interpreting many of those passages "no death pre-Fall" supporters use, but what I'm doing here again, is accepting as a given that death is ultimately all due to sin.

For now, I'd say please trust where I'm going, not to be yet concerned by this logical conclusion... but to go with the flow until my further posts are written (I see at least two more coming).


Responding specifically to your comments re: Romans 5:12, Jac mentioned his paper that I'd semi-endorse ;). The extensive discussion I had with Jac several years ago can be read here. You'll see my fuller views there, though I'd perhaps add revisions to my final post in that thread.

For here though, I'd essentially agree with you DBowling, in the instance of Romans 5:12 that "sin entered into the world" (not death, or even "sin and death" entering the world which I see a tad significance to!), and then we have added, "and death through sin" -- "sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin" then you're correct that we have on the other side a parallel statement, "[even] so death spread to all men, because all sinned" ("even" added for Jac's sake, which I think he makes a good argument for).

Note that the comparison the Apostle Paul draws, especially in the later verses that follow, always has "Adam" in mind in the first comparative. For example, "the transgression of one [Adam]" v.15, judgement arising form Adam's sin resulting in condemnation (v.16), the transgression of one and death reigning through Adam's sin (v.17), one transgression (Adam's) resulting in condemnation to all men (v.18), one man's disobedience resulting in the many made sinners (v.19). So then, the full weight of all verses is suggestive, as you say, that mankind is intended. Nonetheless, there do appear to be general statements too I feel, mixed in, of death in the world.

Let's all be clear though, that Paul is attempting to justify how it is possible that Christ can die for our sins and we be saved via faith in Christ's work. To do this, he draws parallel comparisons with all receiving the consequences of sin due to Adam's transgression. If such was true of Adam, that we've all sinned in Adam and receive condemnation and death (even those who have not sinned in Adam's likeness [Rom 5:14]), then it is equally true that by one man's act (our Lord Jesus Christ's) that we receive righteousness and are justified on His account. (as also reasoned in 1 Cor 15:21-22)
DBowling wrote:I think is legitimate to claim that physical death for all creation still exists due to the sin of man. But that is very different from asserting that physical death for all creation entered the world as a result of the sin of man.
You are here onto a similar path I'm heading down. Read Romans 5:12 more carefully though. Paul never says that death came into the world, but rather separates death out from sin's entering as ", death through sin". Further I'll add here, that while timing might be important to Christians today, in light of what we know via modern science, the timing of when sin entered or death for that matter, is just never Paul's concern or intention. Rather, his intention is to argue for the cross being able to save which is considered foolishness (1 Cor 1:18), except to those who believe and place their hope in it's truth.

Happy to discuss bits and pieces as I go, but hopefully, as I get to my main writings here, concerns both sides (YEC and OEC) will receive a little more relief. I definitely don't intend to go, "ah-hah! gotchya!" to either side.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Relationship of Sin and Death - Part 2

#45

Post by DBowling » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:55 pm

Kurieuo wrote: For now, I'd say please trust where I'm going, not to be yet concerned by this logical conclusion... but to go with the flow until my further posts are written (I see at least two more coming).
OK... I'll behave :D
Looking forward to your thoughts.

In Christ

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