« Only One Thing Will Keep You Going | Main | Challenge: Use the Leftover Embryos for Research »

September 29, 2014

Comments

Maybe atheists don't have true human souls made in the image of God. That would explain why they can't make sense of the Gospel. So maybe atheists are like modern Neanderthals, sort of.

With all due respect, John, what in the world are you talking about?

How is this not assuming the conclusion? It seems that the process Greg is describing is, "OK, here we have Neanderthals, we can't deny they existed, they obviously had some form of sophistication and culture, this is a problem, how can we make this fit so we can still believe in our theology?" Then comes the bashing of the square peg into the round hole.

Even the title of the post says it: "While we hold this view, how can we fit Neanderthals into it?" It's back to front, it should be, "What does the evidence that we find about early hominids tell us about our history and origins?"

I wonder what Greg thinks of this article, by Dr. Bill Barrick, providing what appears to be solid exegesis of Gen. 1...

Is there a gap in Genesis 1:2?

With all due respect Francis, "evidence" or "data" cannot tell one about anything. It is your interpretation of the data, and that cannot begin without a priori assumptions. All scientists begin with some assumptions which direct their interpretation of the data. That is why naturalists and creationists can look at the same data and come to different interpretations.

For example, what if I told you that I have examined all the anatomical and genetic evidence regarding ancient and modern humans, and the evidence tells me that humans and neanderthals must have been designed by a common creator. One might say that the bones do not speak directly for or against a creator. I would agree. So one cannot say with any certainty that the similarities are derived from a creator or not. The only way I get there is based on my a prior assumptions about the world and the universe. The only way a naturalist gets to macroevolution is based on the a priori assumption that a creator does not exist.

The difference is that evolution is a theory about the observed data, whereas creationism is about God, for whom the evidence is of a different nature. When you talk about souls, you can make up anything you like. Why not have animal souls that are different from human souls? How could you tell which souls are made in the image of God and which aren't?

John:

Not sure you understood his video. All life has a metaphysical component. That's just clear using your brain a little. It is also taught in scripture so scripture supports this most logical view. Since neanderthals are living creatures, they also would have a soul/metaphysical component. But no one is saying that the metaphysical component is created in God's image. We are saying that whole creatures are made in God's image, namely human beings. Therefore Greg's point is that he does not think neanderthals are creatures that were created in God's image. Not all Christians agree with this observation.

When we talk about metaphysics, no you cannot make up anything you like. This is basic philosophy John. Most philosophers throughout history have studied metaphysics and very few hold a naturalistic worldview. If you are willing to cling to such a nonsensical view, so be it, but don't come in here claiming that he is making stuff up. You may not agree with his view, but if you are a theist and are correct then his argument is possible.

I don't think I have a soul. I'm alive, but I don't have any metaphysical component - that's what I'm saying. So when I saw this video, I suddenly felt a sort of kinship with those Neanderthals.

But I admit I don't really know what a soul is, and I don't know what it would mean to be created in God's image. It's not that I haven't tried; it's just that these concepts seem so vague and ill-defined.

Maybe there are two kinds of people: Some have a sensus divinitatis and others don't. I guess you can perceive God in a way that I just can't. Similar to how Cro-Magnons could make projectile weapons and Neanderthals couldn't.

Please help! Where in the bible does it say that animals have "souls"?

John,

>> But I admit I don't really know what a soul is, and I don't know what it would mean to be created in God's image. It's not that I haven't tried; it's just that these concepts seem so vague and ill-defined.

Here's my meager effort to explain soul. Soul is best defined as "life principle." (Roobbie L, this leads into your query about animals having souls. As they are living beings, they have this principle, though one apart from the "image of God." This distinction is made by the despairing writer of Ecclesiastes (Eccl. 3: 21).

Back to John. Imagine the construction of an automaton. We can arrange the parts and plan a complete assembly of the whole mechanism. But we need a moment of power-up, the introduction of battery or issuance of electrical power to cause movement of the automaton.

Now, before we begin talking about the materialistic/molecular structures of the electric current, I want to point out that this is not what I'm driving at. It is the nature of the ZAP, and why at all it should initiate animation. Scriptures does the same. Other than NePHeSH (Hebrew word for soul), we have the term RUaCH (usually translated "spirit," though it comes out as wind or breath). It is the ability of allowing for the bad air to go out, the good air to go in, that marks the difference between having a sentient being or potential fertilizer.

In this light, we can decide whether life is an entity or a gift. But the matter of viewing life as a gift, we have the issue of obligation to a life-source. This is where you mention soul as metaphysical. There is no foundation why the admixture of cerebral chemicals to be the core of life and living.

As to the sensus divinitatis, there is much to be noted in the Ravi Zacharias quote from Sunday's posting on Apologetics 315, it's not the lack of evidence of God, but the suppression of same. We all have it, some of us are just uncomfortable with it.

Must bolt. An enjoyable day to you.

brianhunt,

"evidence" ... cannot tell one about anything

A piece of evidence gives a reason to believe some proposition.

So it's reasonable to say that evidence tells us things.

The only way I can [come to believe creationism] is based on my a prior assumptions about the world and the universe. The only way a naturalist gets to macroevolution is based on the a priori assumption that a creator does not exist.

The only way?

Is this principle you are offering limited to evolution and creationism?

Or, is it general?

That is, do yoo you mean NOBODY can EVER be dissuaded by ANY evidence of ANY of their a priori assmptions?

Hi John Moore, it isnt a matter of you cant perceive God, it is more a matter of you will not perceive God. You dont perceive when you continue to choose a metric that cannot perceive Him.

If you a priori rule out metaphysical proofs and question beg while doing it, you guarantee the result that you want. It is like saying "in order to establish that love exists, I will whip out my ruler to measure it. Since it cannot be measured, therefore it doesnt exist".

However crude my example is, this is how you are trying to perceive God.

You're right that I can't see metaphysical things because of my "a priori" stance. So it's like my thinking is on a totally different plane of existence.

For me there's no difference between "can't" and "won't" because I don't have free will.

On the other hand, I could measure love, in principle. If we had some brain-scanning technology that was sensitive enough, we could measure the number and strength of neuronal connections leading toward outputs we would categorize as expressing love. And that's all love is! It's a tendency in your brain.

Sorry if I'm sounding outrageous and getting off-topic, but it's just interesting how our ways of thinking are so different.

This is interesting.

So what are the properties of souls? Is this a question that can be answered?

My understanding is that one cant cut open a living organism and find a soul (as a side note Im not clear on whether all living organisms have souls or not and if they dont, where the line is drawn)

However, back to the point - souls are, presumably, massless, colourless, odourless, volumeless, and lack thermal and electrical conductivity? We cant ascribe physical properties to them. Is that correct?

Therefore, if that isnt the right way to understand souls, whats the right way? How would one seek to study souls?

Im not ruling out 'metaphysical proofs' here (tho an explanation of what that means would be helpful, and Im not sure what question is being begged, BradB)

This isnt such a dumb line of enquiry - godists have postulated that souls have mass before have they not?

Remember that a soul is simply a metaphysical component of human beings. It would be at the bare minimum human consciousness plus memories (although I think there is something more to a soul than that). We can say that those are simply electrical impulses in the brain. However, we can think about those things in the abstract. I can think about my memory abstractly apart from the impulses. I can then think about the thought about the thought about my memory. There is an abstract part to human existence without which we would not be humans. Christianity teaches that without physicality, this part of reality cannot exist fully without a human body. It's like saying software can just exist on its own without a computer. There are plenty of books written on human metaphysical components by plenty of philosophers. A metaphysical component does not have mass; that's absurd.

Robbie: Genesis chapter 1 and 2 in scripture talk about creation. Unfortunately, you kind of have to read it in Hebrew to get the idea that animals are animated with a soul (animals also have a certain sort of consciousness and memories, although of course they are different and not nearly as sophisticated as human beings'). First of all, please understand that the word/idea soul as we understand it in Greek philosophy does not really show up in the bible even in the New Testament. In Genesis 1 and 2, we see that God creates nephesh (living beings, both humans and animals are nephesh). In each case, God breathes the breath of life into them (God breathes a spirit, a ruach, into them). The word spirit in both Hebrew and Greek can mean either spirit, breath, or wind. These are all unseen and they represent the metaphysical component. You can't see wind but it is there, thus ancient people used this as an analogy for that concept. So God animates both human beings and all living creatures with a ruach. The word psyche does in fact appear in the Greek New Testament, however, it's clear from context that its use is referring to the word nephesh in Hebrew (living being), based on context. Ancient Israelites in the Septuagint translated nephesh with psyche, and it's clear to me and most scholars that this is what it means in context in the New Testament.

Finally, John, to answer your question about what it means to be in the image of God: yes, there is some debate about what this includes, however, if you just read through Genesis 1 to 3 you get an idea of what Christians believe about that (I make these comments remembering that you do not believe that we are created in the image of God). A) It's the idea that human beings rule over creation and are destined to shape the fate of the world. Humans are the main authority over creation and are also the most sophisticated beings on the planet. In that way we are like God: authority. We can actually shape what happens to our planet if we exercise our will, but animals cannot do this. B) Humans have the ability to think about abstract areas, especially in the areas of objective morality. C) Animals and creation basically are bound by instinct and have deterministic lives. Humans can make decisions and are not totally bound by determinism because of their ability to think rationally and about higher order abstract concepts. Humans are far more complex than animals because of their ability to reason. I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. All that can be seen in Chapters 1 to 3 of Genesis.

Hope my comments were helpful to at least communicate well what the Bible teaches about all of these things. You may not agree, but I thought they might be valuable when having discussions here on this forum.

Some thoughts on Body Soul and Spirit;

In the Psalms, David says that God created us “a little lower than the Angels” Ps 8:4-5. So I think it’s safe to say that we are closer in likeness to the Angels than we are to the Neanderthals and animals.

So if we can use Angels for an analogy for our spiritual make-up, it might help us understand the nature of the “soul or Spirit”. The terms in Scripture appear to be equal or interchangeable.

We know Jude says that some Angels sinned and left their own habitation (Greek for bodies) and that Paul uses the same word when he describes our being clothed upon with new bodies in Heaven. Jude 1:6 cf 2 Co 2:5.

Since the souls of unbelievers go to Hell upon death, and the souls of Believers go to Heaven, I assume that Jude’s fallen angels are Demons or disembodied dead Angels that roam the Earth.

In Matthew 12:43 ff Jesus describes these lost souls who wander the Earth looking for bodies to inhabit.

“43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

So it appears that the Soul is everything that a person or an Angel thinks, says, and does, only separate from the physical body.

Paul also said that he visited Heaven and could not tell whether he was in his body or not. 2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

So, I believe the part of us that says “Me” or “I” is of a spiritual substance we call the Soul, and that it is everlasting, ultimately to reside in either Heaven by Grace or Hell by works under the Law.

"Remember that a soul is simply a metaphysical component of human beings"

What is simple about this?

How do we arrive at the conclusion that humans (or any living thing - discuss) has a soul?

You say above "All life has a metaphysical component. That's just clear using your brain a little." so it should be very easy to explain how the conclusion is arrived at.

Thanks!

Just look at the post TGS. Greg uses this analogy. Put a pencil on a table. Now pick up the pencil. Now think about the action of the pencil you are picking up. You just thought about the action of picking up the pencil in the abstract. That is a "thought" that by itself is metaphysical. You consciousness reflected on the thought of you picking up the pencil. The thought is metaphysical, and so is your ability to reflect on the thought. Go read some books on this--it's been written on plenty. Your memories themselves, which are able to be thought about, even thought about by another person if you describe them, are not just neural impulses. They are stored in your brain as a neural network, but the memories themselves and their contents are not physical. How about if your brain starts to break down? Do your memories cease to exist because they are no longer stored in your brain? No they do not. Those memories and impressions still exist. They're capable of being stored on paper in story, or recorded in some other way. I really don't see what the big deal is about this and why anyone would want to deny this. It's quite simple.

That's what a soul is at the barest (at least according to the Bible).

"That is a "thought" that by itself is metaphysical."

Why could thoughts not be neurons firing in way that is ultimately understandable? How did you identify this metaphysical part?

"They are stored in your brain as a neural network, but the memories themselves and their contents are not physical"

How does this point of view relate to MRI scans?

"Those memories and impressions still exist. They're capable of being stored on paper in story, or recorded in some other way" These sound like physical storage media to me - where's the metaphysical part?

"I really don't see what the big deal is about this and why anyone would want to deny this. Its quite simple."

The big deal is that you think there is some mysterious metaphysical aspect to life and I'm asking you to justify that. You keep saying how simple it is - but brains and how they generate thoughts, store memories and allow us feelings like love are far from being simple.

Meanwhile - and this is really the key point - how are we able to investigate this metaphysical aspect?

>> Meanwhile - and this is really the key point - how are we able to investigate this metaphysical aspect?

TGS,

You simply have offered a blockade to an understanding of soul due to a deficit in scientific verification. If the MRI/CAT scan can't spot it, it is not real.

What if it is detectable, but the present approaches set up a bypass, accepting another theory based only on materialistic bias? Is it the narrowness of the methodology in research, determining whether neuron activity is adequate in accessing all mental activity. Up to this point, science has predicted brain activity under influence of factors induced or denied, mapping electrical impulses as each stimuli/lack of stimuli is presented. So much research, so many findings, yet no room for a "soul."

Yet, something in missing. Verification that this research is all-entailing. An analogy. Recently, our TV remote was dropped, exposing the main parts of the system. At its basic, a remote is a shall, its circuitry board, and an elastic touch-pad portion that separates fingers from direct contact. Most cerebral study has been much like experimenting with a remote. Touch this button, note the result. But we merely touch the key, without understanding the inner-workings of the circuitry board beneath. But we claim we have mastered the remote at the button level. Science can't claim to dismiss the soul; it must only offer that the workings of brain is under examination. Brain yes, but the mind is technically off the radar.

If soul is too metaphysical for an MRI, what about the concept of health? Such an intangible is under consideration when the MRI whirs into action. Health is a noble effort of science, but it is not some happy hormone that the scientist spots under the microscope. Health per se is not materialistic, but it is sought passionately by your physician. As it should be.

So whatever you claim to discount "soul"ness, MRI, CAT scan, stethoscope on the forehead, otoscopes, et. al., they become so many blind men groping at the elephant of "soul." They can make conflicting observations that would discredit whether the elephant even exists, yet the elephant is obvious. It is perhaps that work of a scientist that could realize that all the evidence of MRI, CAT scans and all other diagnostics that confirm the soul. This means a scientist that would disclose that the foundations of naturalistic materialism is almost-encompassing instead of all-encompassing.

Perhaps.

souls are, presumably, massless, colourless, odourless, volumeless, and lack thermal and electrical conductivity? We cant ascribe physical properties to them...How would one seek to study souls?
Please tell me what mass, color, volume, heat, temperature, charge or any 'physical' property is. But don't reference what I understand by experience...which is a mental phenomenon. Matter is supposed to be mind-independent, so don't depend on the mind to tell me what it is.

On the Twelfth of Never, when you manage to do that, you will be in a position to tell me that my mental experiences are really just consequences or compounds of these wonderful 'physical' properties. Until then, all I have is the stuff I already understand...my experiences.

It is really on proponents of these strange 'physical' properties to say how they will go about studying them without first assuming that they have minds with which to experience the world. What do they even mean by the term 'physical'?

The soul is the same thing as the mind that has these experiences. Two words for the same thing.

I don't know what matter is apart from the soul. But I have a pretty good idea what a soul is apart from matter...it's the thing I have pretty good ideas with (and sometimes bad ideas too).

As for the Neandrathals, I'm not sure what problems are supposed to arise from the idea that they had souls. I'm not sure what problems are supposed to arise from the idea that they had souls that were in the Image of God. I don't think the Bible is committed to the claim that only humans are created in the Image of God. It is only committed to the view that humans are, in fact, created in the Image of God.

To me the bigger problem is how you fit the particular fall of Adam from a state of grace in a world of deathless innocence into the same universe that holds the big-fish-eats-little-fish competition implicit in evolutionary theory, not to mention the we-all-eat-it-in-the-end doomsday of entropy. My own view is that the only way you get there is if all those natural forces that lead to death were put in place after the Fall.

"The only way a naturalist gets to macroevolution is based on the a priori assumption that a creator does not exist."

No, not at all. I started out happily believing in a creator but, when presented with overwhelming evidence of evolution sufficient for explaining the diversity of all species including man I accepted that I had been wrong to deny it and gave up my a priori belief in a divine creator.

horse...then cart.

@ Wl;

Something worth considering is the Reformed position that Adam existed in the "Covenant of "works" before the Fall. God then placed him in the "Covenant of Grace" after the Fall. So, Adam didn't fall from Grace when he sinned, in that view.

I believe that God created Adam as sinless, only because God didn't expose him to the Law until later, at which time he fell.

One more time - Im told this is all simple so should be easy to answer.

How do we arrive at the conclusion that humans (or any living thing - discuss) have a soul?

I really dont understand what evidence you can use to support that position. Please help!

@ TGS;

Concerning the Soul, this might interest you; (copy & paste)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2225190/Can-quantum-physics-explain-bizarre-experiences-patients-brought-brink-death.html

From my standpoint, the existence of the soul a revealed teaching in Scripture received by faith, but the above link seems to show more of a physical understanding.

Personally, I believe dreams are our souls at play while our brains are resting. Not debatable but just a personal opinion.

"Soul" = "Mind"

Thus, "How do we arrive at the conclusion that humans have a soul?" = "How do we arrive at the conclusion that humans have a mind?"

Now, a mind is a thing that thinks. It has ideas, beliefs, desires, choices, internal debates, sensations and so on.

I have not the least doubt that minds exist and that at least one human (me) has a mind. Why? To even have the doubt is to think and therefore, to have a mind.

The question to ask is whether there is anything else...something that is not at all dependent on minds?

Matter you say? Describe it apart from mind or minds, if you think that's a reasonable possibility.

Dave-

The world was deathless before the Fall and death-filled after. Covenant of Grace or no.

Deathlessness is impossible given the laws of nature that prevail in our world. Certainly, evolution requires death. If evolution happened (and I actually think that's probable...though I also think that evolutionary processes are designed processes), it happened after the Fall.

WisdomLover,

If evolution happened (and I actually think that's probable...though I also think that evolutionary processes are designed processes), it happened after the Fall.

We know the Fall was a historical event. So in your view, we have a bunch of big things happening before evolution even gets the ball rolling (i.e. Adam and Eve, serpents are on the scene, etc.). On the macroevolutionary front, what would be the mechanics of creation from the starting point of Adam and Eve’s roaming around the perfect environment of Eden? That’s one heck of a starting point I must say.

Would it be accurate to say you believe macroevolution would just entail the creation of all animals not on the scene? That man walked parallel to all macroevolutionary action from the word go? The question often comes back to - is macroevolution still occurring in the world? (especially as it relates to humans)

I think the world fundamentally changed...physics changed when the Fall happened.

I take the Bible seriously when it says that death entered the world through Adam's Sin. How do you have that when the universe is already under a death sentence, whether in heat death, or in a big crunch, the entire universe will receive the wages of sin.

I think the best way to see it is that the laws of physics we currently recognize simply were not in place before the Fall...different laws were in place then.

I know I've used this one before, but Adam might as well have walked into Narnia when he left the Garden.

Of course there are many Paradigms. Pleural.


Then comes all the affairs of our current Paradigm – entirely foreign in landscape to whatever Eden was. The Door of Paradigms stands ever intact there within Eden’s juxtaposed actualities. Doors. Paradigms. Man will, either way, see, behold, discover. It matters not – Man’s choice. As if Man’s will could thwart His Will. Man will behold love’s eternal sacrifice of all that is the self there within the immutable contours of the triune’s ceaseless reciprocity.


Our current Paradigm of Knowledge is found ever laced – through and through – with all the stuff of cost and expense, of payment and recompense. Everything costs – that is to say – everything is of the contingent – that is to say – nothing is in any sense free. Of all things, from the highest to the lowest, if it will be this then it must be by that. The stuff of See. The stuff of Become. He pours out. We are filled. It cannot be otherwise.


Paradigms come. Paradigms go.


All of Mankind’s brutal moral experience is found not in genomic shifts but rather in Man within this Paradigm of Knowledge ever in motion atop genomic stasis. Neurobiology takes us into the deepest contours of personality, of thought, of instinct, and every evolutionist knows that the stuff of genomic shift there in those ancient maps are in millennial terms utterly fixed as the stuff of Man’s moral experience as far back as we can trace it finds just no shift there that is genomic shifting this way and that way claiming Man’s Nadirs/Peaks ever repeating up/down – for as far back as we can see such peaks/nadirs. Whatever Man is, he has carried such depths with him from of old, from before Man Then was Man Now – and we are utterly assured that this is the case by evolutionists. How odd that such just is the Theist’s claim. Genesis, Sociology, and the Facts tell us such of Man’s moral experience. Modernity claims that “empathy” and so on are its own grand – “new” – discovery and that such is the means to peace, to calm and that therefore we don’t need God. How odd that the very Means/Ends described by Genesis be claimed as “news” by Modernity. Eden’s triune landscape has always described such lines. Hawking’s Timeless/Immaterial and Modernity’s appeal to love’s motions amid Self/Other are all – bit by bit – catching up to Scripture’s contours.


All of Man’s brutal Moral Reality of Nadirs and Peaks ever swaying up/down as far back as we can trace Man is beholden to just no genomic evolution at all – to just no biological evolution at all – Lamarkian frauds need not apply here – and is instead comprised solely of the stuff of Sight, of Knowledge, of Moral Insight there amid love’s reciprocity in wholeness and of such reciprocity in fragmentation. Of our current moral paradigm it just is the state of affairs that nothing is free, that all that will be this must be by that, that all is of awareness, of sight and the lack thereof, and that nothing is of genomic shift.


Paradigms come. Paradigms go.


There are whole forests of Trees, of Paradigms, of Possibilities, which are, utterly, Free. Perhaps countless. Of all such freedom Man is told he may freely eat. There is one Tree of which the word “free” is alien. Of such a Tree Man is told he may not eat – that is to say, he may eat, but he may not freely eat thereof. We cannot imagine paradigms void of cost, void of the stuff of “This must come by That”. But it is in such heights where Man is first spied, and, also, oddly, it is out there in such peculiar, foreign, heights which Man’s current brutal experience is ever striving for, reaching for, tasting, and, also, it is into such heights where Man is – on all accounts – once again to enter into. Paradigms are ever plural – there in God. Enter Man. Laws come. Laws change. Laws go. In more ways than one. Eden’s triune landscape houses much. It is unfortunate such thinking is ever forbidden by all the stuff of our rush to eat of law’s cost. That rushing, of course, is, even still, our fall.


The lines of God it seems await Man in all directions. Illusion – after all – never stands a chance. Truth – after all – is all there ever was, is, will be. The stuff of time has not always been, is now, will not always be. It seems the lines of Grace are there in all of that – again – as in other lines – in more ways than one.


Emancipation:


Chesterton notes that whatever Man is, whatever we call Man is, he arrives on scene fully Man. Laden with the stuff of words.


All the OT’s assessment of means and ends across all those millennia just always were those same means and ends assessed in the NT which all these millennia just always have been all these affairs of His Love enunciating across all that just is the history of man that it is the case that in fact – actually, finally – no person shall need to be taught of love by man ever again – as it will be Immutable Love Himself Who fills us, Who we spy face to face. The Necessary Means here becomes the Necessary Being Himself as – it is self-evident – nothing less houses the reach required to tie up all such metaphysical ends in Actuality’s Paradigm. All-Sufficiency emerges as what must be the contingent’s hope: God Himself pouring Himself out for – pouring Himself into – we the contingent in all that just is the affairs of Amalgamation, all that just is Timelessness/Time, Immaterial/Material, Incorporeal/Corporeal, Word/Flesh, in all that just is the affairs of God-In-Man, of Man-In-God – of incarnation. By such All-Sufficient Means an unspeakable liberty will emerge in our Ends as wherever we shall there freely motion within Actuality’s Triune, whether into what lay beneath our feet, or into what sails above our heads, or into those possible worlds within our chests, we will find that beautiful freedom called Permanence.

Well, yes - plural - and so it goes on the keyboard ~ and so on with the remainder......

@WL,

I agree, death entered the world on account of Adam's sin. But as I see it, Adam's sin occurred in the plan of God before the creation, that is, in His eternal decree. It later played out in time after the creation, in the garden, just as in Genesis. Just as Jesus' atonement accounts for salvation before Calvary, Adam's sin accounts for death before, and subsequent to creation, before the actual Fall in time.

Even in this case, God could consider His creation as good, in that everything, even sin works for His glory.

God created Carnivorous Dinosaurs and sharks, etc. as death agents on account of Adam's sin. God created Neanderthals and everything else that's fallen, accordingly.

Just as Jesus' atonement accounts for salvation before Calvary, Adam's sin accounts for death before, and subsequent to creation, before the actual Fall in time.
That's an interesting point. I'll have to think on that one.

@WL;

Thanks, I'd like to hear your input. This is purely theory on my part.

An Attempt:


Paradigms, possibilities, conceivable worlds, and so on, clearly exist inside of God’s creative means and ends. And, of course, God's motions within Himself in choices are just that, choices. In all possible worlds Man (given his peculiar image) in volition’s triune landscape cannot choose to evade reality. That is to say, Man cannot choose to evade the means/ends which "just are", which, of course, are no more and no less than God Himself. Illusion never stands a chance. Man will run face first into all the stuff of Self/Privation, or, Man will run face first into all the stuff of Other, of God/Man there in what is a (peculiar) singular Us, but nowhere does man evade Reality’s final means, final ends. God decrees of Man that Man is free to eat of all sorts of Paradigms, and, it seems that whichever world actualizes, Man, in the peculiar situation of being fashioned in His Image, will Behold, See, Become, every bit of the whole show. Man will know – as God knows – those means/ends of all that is the pure Self, of Privation, which in God yield God, and which in Man yield, on necessity, Lack, Want, Need. But make no mistake: In all worlds – should Power Will man in His Image, man cannot “not-know” such Means, such Ends. The Last Adam, who never sins, not once, discovers such Ends as Eden yields to Gethsemane and Gethsemane yields to Felicity. Volitional motions within Trinity – it turns out – necessitate the extrication of a flaw both in Universalism and in (hyper)-Calvinism over inside an inescapable – necessary – contour of reality. That He decrees we eat of those other Trees hints that there are higher orders of knowing, higher orders of discovery, than here in the stuff of material, of time, though, this world too is fully prepared, as are all worlds there in Eden, to do the work, or to allow the motions, wherein and whereby Man collides with Actuality Himself.


And of course we already know that there are higher orders of knowing, of discovery – which themselves will one day finish the work – reach the distances – which our souls never will reach here in these lower orders. The Theist finds no stumbling block at all (here) inside of such paradigms nor is he troubled by the language of Eden. From those other, much farther, distances over those horizons which Scripture promises await our knowing, our becoming, which these lower, lesser orders can never grant, to the “Prepare for Me a Body” enunciated within Trinity, to the metaphysical ends of All-Things, of all possible worlds, there in Him we (seamlessly) find the singular Actuality Who is that A and that Z of Whom Scripture so often speaks.


WL and Dave and Greg and others each bring something to the table here. Some of us spy those contours both of other Paradigms along with Hawking’s Timeless/Immaterial and of God’s Own Interior as all such fabrics converge in possible worlds. Some of us spy those contours of this current Paradigm of Knowledge wherein it has been, as far back as we can trace, purely a matter of Knowledge/Awareness rather than a matter of genomic evolution which has accounted for Man’s brutal moral experience in all of his cyclic Nadirs/Peaks as we find Man in motion atop genomic stasis (as alluded to in earlier posts) here inside of his fall, inside of his privation. Some of us spy the merging of all these lines – after all – there is only One Actuality. Theism digests and subsumes the unthinking assertions that old earth and/or evolution (Etc.) are somehow “mysteriously” incompatible with Theism, just like it digests and subsumes the unthinking assertion that Timeless and Immaterial Ends are “mysteriously” incompatible with the sight of ultimate Truth. Theism, it turns out, is happy to follow the evidence into young or old, into this or that micro or macro lens of evidence, into Time, out of Time, into Material, out of Material, whichever may apply.


That’s the beauty of Theism – it is intrinsically more accessible to more paradigms – plural – than the stuff of material and time – just as it is intrinsically more accessible to more paradigms – plural – than the stuff of Sin. Time, Material, Sin – all of it – we are assured – are both preceded by and transcended by far, far more textured vectors in His Designs. Given the Timeless and Immaterial which we all know precedes and outreaches time, space, and material, whatever is out there the Theist need never fear. Methodological naturalism can go as far and as wide as we can take her. The theist stands with arms wide open ready for any new data – physicalism easily embraced to all its natural ends whither they may go, ever happy to readjust definitions as more data comes in, whereas, the naturalist – should he stumble upon some shadow of some whiff of God – well he must then and there readjust, fudge, evade, hedge – because he already knows stuff cannot be over there. He’s got it all figured out already and thus – he will go wherever data will take him – but only “until”.


This is especially true given what we know and how we perceive anything at all. Theism’s logical lucidity grants a critical mass of plausibility which metaphysical naturalism’s nihilism inside of ontological pluralism is forever conceding. Even further, such lines are easily extricated by the following essays from William Lane Craig, available on his webpage: Evolutionary Theory and Theism Q&A #253, and also, Skepticism about Neo-Darwinism Re-Visited Q&A #84, and also, the full-bodied twenty two part series of “The Doctrine of Creation and Evolution (parts 1 – 22 are separate essays/links), and also, The Limits Of Reason Q&A # 272. One of these houses the familiar, “C’mon Man!” You know better than that. You can be a theist and a Christian and accept the documentary hypothesis of the Pentateuch as well as a Darwinian theory of evolution, if you think that’s where the evidence leads.”


Atheism – ever indebted to delusion’s nihilism – is ever unable to assess Man’s current state of affairs, a state of affairs wherein Man’s Means/Ends cannot – in all possible worlds – be otherwise. In all the stuff of Logic, of Knowing, of Love, of Agency, and of Personhood, all lines merge – ultimately – in the metaphysics of the Theist. We find in personhood, in love, all the business of “the other” and here Man finds his privation within his own contingent, insufficient, self. Man ever moves to that location – to the self – in search of Hope, in search of that “it” in which he may place his Faith, and there, by those moves inward to all that is Man’s own self, Man finds what just is – at bottom – the Isolated-I ever void of I-You, or, Man ever finds the privatized self ever void of Self-Other, or, simply, Man ceaselessly finds that state of affairs which just is love-less-ness.


Faith and hope are means to love, to Man’s final good, Man’s true felicity, and – on Naturalism – such just is Man’s own Self, the Self, the I, and there in that Paradigm faith and hope necessarily dead-end in that which is wholly unworthy of faith, unworthy of hope, that which is – ceaselessly – insufficient, fragmented. Man there begins and ends in that which is at bottom – being void of Other – the very topography of love-less-ness.


Faith and hope must find their natural ends in God’s, love’s, triune topography: God - Immutable Love - Trinity - articulates, "Let Us make man in Our Image" and Genesis' Actuality is the OT's Actuality, is the NT's Actuality, as Actuality finds Man in the lap of Personhood's inescapably triune milieu of Self-Other-Us within the ceaseless reciprocity of the immutable love of the Necessary Being. Therein - in Trinity - love's timeless Sacrifice, pouring out, of all which we call Self - amid and among the timeless Filling of all which we call the Beloved/Other forever begets within such living waters all which just is the singular Us - and this ad infinitum void of what we call First, void of what we call Last, void of what we call Thirst. Such triune contours within the immutable love of the Necessary Being bring us to the ends of what Man can call sight as he peers into He Who first precedes, then endures, and finally outreaches, outdistances, all possible worlds. The exegesis of filiation, of the eternally begotten as a proper and orthodox semantic paradigm is there forever housed within the Triune, that is to say, within those motions which both the intellectual and existential affirm as comprising love, Who Scripture affirms is Himself God. A key that unlocks: Man is by necessity the Contingent Self, fashioned in His Image – in God's, the Triune's, Image – and therein Man's Means and Man's Ends just are those motions found within Trinity by which all his (man's) hope – all his (man's) means and ends – are reduced to one, very lovely, word: Other.


As noted earlier, emancipation awaits: All-Sufficiency emerges as what must be the contingent’s only hope: God Himself pouring Himself out for – pouring Himself into – we the contingent in all that just is the affairs of Amalgamation, all that just is Timelessness/Time, Immaterial/Material, Incorporeal/Corporeal, Word/Flesh, in all that just is the affairs of God-In-Man, of Man-In-God – of incarnation. By such All-Sufficient Means an unspeakable liberty will emerge in our final good, our true felicity, as wherever we shall there freely motion within Actuality’s Triune, whether into what lay beneath our feet, or into what sails above our heads, or into those possible worlds within our chests, we will find that beautiful freedom called Permanence.

For more speculation on Neanderthal mentality and souls, see The Silk Code http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091W43JW

While I think that we can at best indirectly infer some of these speculations, there are scriptural guideposts to help from straying too far afield. I dont think the scriptures allow for any form of what is called macro evolution...in man, plant, or animal. Even the most reliable physical scientists see major, even insurmountable obstacles re: Darwinism.

Since the scriptures are the story of Jesus, from the first words of Gen to the last words of Revelation, we would not be unreasonable to try to understand passages in that light. Here's what I mean: The story of Adam is the special revelation to men that men could not get from natural revelation. It is not to be construed to be a biology text, or geology text or even necessarily a historical accounting of the creation, it is an accounting of the objects of Jesus' concern...the lineage and story of those He'd redeem at the right time.

Can we definately say that death in the animal and plant kingdom didn't happen prior to Adam's fall? Admittedly, I haven't searched the scriptures on this topic enough to say categorically, but I say no, we cannot rule it out even on pain of infidelity re: biblical interpretation.

In fact, there are clues in Genesis that seem to demand wild, unrestrained, havoc, etc...outside the Garden.

Did Adams fall affect the creation negatively? It groans waiting for it's redemption, but I think it was groaning since the time of Adam where he was charged with enlarging the Garden to endless boundries.

He failed in the Garden, lost his authority and skills of dominion as God's minister, and now all man struggle to responsibly rule an unfriendly, unruly outside the Garden.

The outside was always going to be a challenge, the difference is that man has lost the backing of the Creator, and on top of that his original abilities are diminished such that we have had to deal with a deficit skill set to accomplish the mandate God gave man--to take dominion of the earth. Of course none of what occurred suprised God, He uses nature for His ends, but graciously gives men measures of skill and deeper knowledge for His ends, not mans.

It might be a fruitful conversation to discuss this further, but I suspect that the whole Bible will come into play and interpretations will be challenged. Nothing wrong with investigating the soundness of long held traditions, at minimum, it would drive us to the scriptures.

It might be a fruitful conversation to discuss this further, but I suspect that the whole Bible will come into play and interpretations will be challenged.

On this subject, I could fire off numerous questions (that an average 16 year old could ask) that could give a Christian fits trying to answer (not excluding myself).

This is to say nothing of the validity of macroevolution as defined, but rather the mystery of creation.

That said, if you press a hardcore evolutionist atheist on what they really know, you quickly find out that it’s not that much. They generally refer you to books they themselves haven’t read. They're famous for that : )

There is no fact of evolution which an evolutionist can present which we cannot also point to in pan-world electrical / combustion components. The boxy thingy behind the steering wheel has N-X components in it, and, such in part or in whole are in the round-y thingy in some other item - and so on. Wires and little plastic thing'ys (and whatever the "part" is) can be - all day long - ever analogous to the building of machines. There is nothing anyone can point to inside of living systems by the evolving-things-paradigm which will fail here to be equally point-able-to to by the machine-building-paradigm.

This is the whole show:

Tracing parts from here to there and then this bit of that part there is shuffled and readjusted a bit to do this other function-thing-y in this other system.

Hard stop.

That is all each paradigm, evolving-things or building-machine-things, has to present to our eyes, that is all anyone, a-n-y-o-n-e, has to bring to the table.

That's it.

There isn't any other permutation or combination either side can point to.

Now, the evolutionist just assumes such is "proof" of evolution. He just assumes that the wires in the box thingy in the jet should be different or in less number on in more numbers if it is found in the television.

And yet - as always - there are such partial and/or total and or nano-adjustments all-the-day-long in all of man's built items, from car to jet to microchip to jet to television, and so on.

God made us to live inside of the physical world - beholden to the stuff of dirt.

Nothing which the evolutionist points to is a "thing" which the creationist cannot equally point to in equal analogy.

None of this is an argument.

All of this is an observation of a fact, a reality, about combinations / permutations as they occur in the real world of built things and of living things.

God is under no restraints, no constraints. He can plug and play for the sake of a mere fraction of function, or, He can wholly re-fashion, or, He can do any of the countless contours in between. It's all good. It's all perfectly analogous to countless built things. And, even more, it's all "living" - and to just assume that God has to build a billion kinds of living pathways when a few streaming lines will carry the whole show is just the mind of a child expressing its yet childish "this sandbox is the whole world" impressions of things.


Again, no arguments here. Only an observation of a rather simple fact.

Naturalism assumes that wires shared and not shared in this or that fraction are ALL evidence of its chosen paradigm. Of course it does. Just like things man builds ALL have wires shared and not shared in this or that fraction ALL leave evidence equally "analogous". Sometimes we just use the black box even though we only need it for that fifth function, and not the eighth function. Why bother rebuilding the whole thing over there when this thing over here will do? And so on all the day long with a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g in this or that fractionation within living/built systems can ever bring to the table here.


Reality is a funny thing.

It's funny how much we all just "assume" based on prior commitments.

The data tells us nothing here - because the analogous crossover is just so all inclusive across both systems.

Again, no arguments here..... just observations....

This is the whole show - all that our eyes will ever see in either paradigm:


Tracing parts from here to there and then this bit of that part there is shuffled and readjusted a bit to do this other function-thing-y in this other system.

Hard stop.

That is all each paradigm, evolving-things or building-machine-things, has to present to our eyes in this or that fraction.


That is all anyone, a-n-y-o-n-e, has to bring to the table. Evolution or Creation.

Either way.

That's it.


There isn't any other permutation or combination either side can point to.

Once we realize this fact and pile it atop materialism's ultimate hopelessness, well, the walls begin closing in......

Can we definately say that death in the animal and plant kingdom didn't happen prior to Adam's fall? Admittedly, I haven't searched the scriptures on this topic enough to say categorically, but I say no, we cannot rule it out even on pain of infidelity re: biblical interpretation.
The problem is deeper than plant and animal death.

Let's say that animal and plant death is OK in Eden, or at least in the world outside of Eden. I do not believe that's the case, but let's grant it for the sake of argument.

What about human death? Is that OK?

If you look at the laws of physics, human death is baked in the cake. Either there is sufficient mass in the universe to allow gravity ever regather the matter scattered into space by the Big Bang, or there isn't. If there is sufficient mass, then the Universe will eventually contract into a Big Crunch (perhaps to bang back out again). If there is not sufficient mass, then the universe will just keep expanding forever approaching the temperature of absolute zero.

Either way, you think man survives...even granting that he masters inter-stellar or inter-galactic flight?

No, in the end, Man can run, but he can't hide.

But the Bible seems to say that in the beginning, the situation I just described wasn't the case. Man at least, was not under a sentence of death.

I think this also counts as a response to Dave above.

If you say that Adam's sin is the retroactive cause for all this, I think what you have is God not creating an unfallen world at all. Instead, God has created a fallen world, prone to death from the very beginning.

I guess that my greatest question with Scripture is the well behaved predatory animals and sea life existing before Adam fulfilled his wickedness in the Garden. Maybe they were a subsequent creation?

I believe that the Flood explains the fossil record. Also, the young Earth by other supportive evidence besides Scripture.

I can't accept Macro Evolution. If it were true, it seems there would be a lot of strange in-between creatures running around, like in the bar room scene in the first release of Star Wars.

The Big Bang seems plausible since Peter describes this as occurring at the end of the world, when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat. And a new heavens and Earth will take it's place 2 Peter 3:12ff.

I recently read where "science" is predicting another "Big Bang" resulting in the same as Peter describes.

With a bit more clarity this time:


Proof of Evolution is actually proof of Creation, and, for the same reasons, proof of Creation is actually proof of Evolution.


As in:

Stuff Is Made of Parts. Big deal.

This is not an argument, as all of this is merely an observation of a fact, a reality, about combinations and permutations and fractionations as they really occur in the real worlds of real built things and of real living things.

There is no fact of evolution which an evolutionist can present which we cannot also point to in pan-world built things, from nano-processors to electron bridges to laptops to radios to cars to jets and so on in just all thingies, widgets, and whatsits. The boxy thingy over there has N-X components in it, and, such in part or in whole are in the round thingies, widgets, and whatsits in some other item - and so on. Wires and little thingies, widgets, and whatsits (and whatever the "part" is) can be - all day long - ever analogous to the building of machines, thingies, and whatsits.

There is nothing anyone can point to inside of living systems by the evolving-things-paradigm which will fail here to be equally point-able-to to by the machine-building-paradigm.

This is the whole show: Tracing parts from here to there and then this bit of that part there is shuffled and readjusted a bit to do this other function-thing-y in this other system as various fractionations of observed parts are over here in these thingies, widgets, and whatsits and are also, in some other fractionation, permutation, and combination, also over in those other thingies, widgets, and whatsits

Hard stop.

That is all each paradigm, evolving-things or building-machine-things, has to present to our eyes, that is all anyone, a-n-y-o-n-e, has to bring to the table.

That's it.

There isn't any other “set”, no other permutation or combination or fractionation either side can point to.

Now, the evolutionist just assumes such is "proof" of evolution. He just assumes that the wires and thingies, widgets, and whatsits in the jet should be mysteriously different than the various fractionations of thingies, widgets, and whatsits in, say, a radio. And so he points to an array of thingies, widgets, and whatsits in living systems and says that because there is crossover between leaf and skin then evolution just must be true. Well, of course, such crossover of such fractionations, permutations, and combinations of thingies, widgets, and whatsits also fill up just all created, built, thingies, widgets, and whatsits as well.

It is rather simple. The evolutionist is pointing out the very same paradigm as is the Creationist. There are such partial and/or total and or nano-adjustments all-the-day-long in all of man's built items, from car to jet to microchip to jet to television, and so on. Nobody is pointing to a different set than “that set” of fractionations.

There are no other SETS.

Stuff is made of parts. Fractionations of parts, permutations of parts, combinations of parts, are all-the-day-long crisscrossing amid thingies, widgets, and whatsits.

That’s the whole show for the evolutionist and the creationist. It’s almost absurd how much we just assume based not on the “raw unspeaking data at hand” but rather on our prior commitments which are actually doing the speaking for the data.

God made us to live inside of the physical world - beholden to the stuff of dirt. Think about that, and what that means for cells and life.

Nothing which the evolutionist points to is “a set” which the creationist cannot equally point to in equal analogy. Again, none of this is an argument. Rather, all of this is an observation of a fact, a reality, about combinations / permutations as they occur in the real world of real built things and of real living things.

God is under no restraints, no constraints. He can plug and play for the sake of a mere fraction of function, or, He can wholly re-fashion, or, He can do any of the countless contours that are found between those two extremes. It's all good. It's all perfectly analogous to countless built things. And, even more, it's all "living" - and to just assume that God has to build a billion kinds of living pathways when a few streaming lines will carry the whole show is just the mind of a child expressing its yet childish "this sandbox is the whole world" impressions of things.

Again, no arguments here. Only an observation of a rather simple observation of a fact, a reality, about combinations and permutations and fractionations as they really occur in the real worlds of real built things and of real living things.

Naturalism assumes that wires shared and not shared in this or that fraction are ALL evidence of its chosen paradigm. Of course it does. Just like things man builds also, all, have wires shared and not shared in this or that fraction and so also, all, leave evidence within that the very same SET. Sometimes we just use the black box even though we only need it for that fifth function, and not the eighth function. Why bother rebuilding the whole list of thingies, widgets, and whatsits over there when this bit of it over here will do? And so on all the day long with anything, yes, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g in this or that fractionation within living/built systems as that is all either assertion can ever bring to the table.

Reality is a funny thing. It's funny how much we all just "assume" based on prior commitments. The “raw, unspeaking data” tells us nothing here - because the analogous SET of crossover thingies, widgets, and whatsits is just so all inclusive across both systems. Again, no arguments here – just observations of a fact, a reality, about combinations and permutations and fractionations as they really occur in the real worlds of real built things and of real living things.


This is the whole show: Tracing parts from here to there and then this bit of that part there is shuffled and readjusted a bit to do this other function-thing-y in this other system as various fractionations of observed parts are over here in these thingies, widgets, and whatsits and are also, in some other fractionation, permutation, and combination, also over in those other thingies, widgets, and whatsits

Hard stop.

That is all each paradigm, evolving-things or building-machine-things, has to present to our eyes, that is all anyone, a-n-y-o-n-e, has to bring to the table.

That's it.

There isn't any other “set”, no other permutation or combination or fractionation either side can point to. Evolution or Creation. Either way. That's it. There isn't any other “set” either side can point to. Once we realize this fact and pile it atop materialism's ultimate hopelessness, well, the walls begin closing in.

Eden and Evolution:


Paradigms are quite easily accounted for there in Eden. Plural. Possible Worlds and the substrate thereof are all housed quite coherently there in Eden's, in Being's, triune topography. Other sets of laws is an assessment that is entirely probable given scripture's accounting of things.


If, however, we head off in another, different, direction we can suggest, perhaps, another interpretation or analysis and that is looking at the concept that Man was not yet (in Eden) one with God in the sense of Man-In-God, God-In-Man. Juxtaposition is not, cannot be, amalgamation in the sense which Man/God are heading towards.


Well, what of that?


That brings in some interesting lines where Time and Eternity are concerned.


If we just grant (only for this analysis) that death outside of Man's Soul existed, or, that there were such lines outside of Eden, or even that man became man from the dirt up in whatever lines anyone wants to draw there then perhaps we find no need for a universe of another sort, that is to say, we find no need for an eternal universe, for Man was yet to enter into a Wedding, into an as of yet not actualized I-You, or, instead, into his own Self, his own Isolated-I. Time becomes a means to an end there in the business of God creating beings with the same volitional motions amid Self-Other as God Himself houses in His Own Image. Within Trinity we come to – in the One True God – in the Great I AM, that ceaseless reciprocity within the immutable love of the Necessary Being. Man, and in fact Man’s entire reality, is fashioned in “that” image, or in “that topography”.


Well then, Time seems but a temporary means for the beloved to co-create there within the affairs of, business of, motion amid the stuff of Self/Other. The only way out of Eden's volitional sets of motions is through those same volitional motions in Gethsemane's sets of motions - there where Man – insufficiency – runs face first into God, into All-Sufficiency. No sin is needed for those motions of Man, as the Last Adam proved, demonstrated, live-out, and as God’s language to Man in Genesis establishes from the start. However, Man - that is to say - Mankind - is there destined to run face first into all that business of his own Self, and that uncreated Other. Or, if it helps, these lines: God and Man. Man and God. Self and Other. Privation and Amalgamation. Just like that which is housed in that ceaseless reciprocity within the immutable love of the Necessary Being. (In case anyone fears such lines, is the Pure-I, the Great I-AM, there in Trinity? Well of course. And such just is, well, God. Not so with Man, with contingency. Hence necessary differences in outcomes should one dive into privation, and Etc.)


A key observation on Eden/Gethsemane: Man is not given “forever” to so motion. Grooms and Brides do not have an everlasting engagement, an everlasting courtship. Or do they? No. They do not. Sooner or later it will be Marriage, Amalgamation, or, it will be some lesser something.


All of Man's possible outcomes or possible worlds are there inside God’s triune landscape embedded in Eden's possibilities - and whatever world actualizes will be wholly the stuff of that landscape - as there is no other any-thing in Mind, or in Being, or in Person, or in Perceiving, than the stuff of Self (if it helps, the “in-here”), and the stuff of Other (if it helps, the “out-there”), and the stuff of the singular Self-Other (if it helps, the In/Out, that singularity that is the whole show). All such lines are no more and no less than the singular "Us" there within the love of the One True God of Genesis - that is to say - the stuff of that ceaseless reciprocity within the immutable love of the Necessary Being. No one, no one at all, can point to any other component or contour of existence, of being, of person, of morality, of perception, or of love, than those three contours.


That is just the nature of Man's reality.

There are no other options.

So what about the stuff of Time?


Well: Should Man dive into God and die that odd sort of death of love's self-sacrifice – which is that eternal self-sacrifice which God Himself within Himself ever pours there within Trinity's ceaseless reciprocity – Man then and there does that which he must do in all possible worlds (given that man is made in God’s Image). All-Sufficient Means must be swallowed down, man must drink the cup, as all that is Insufficiency is surrendered, acquiesced. There, then inside of God, Man cannot not-know the Whole-Show, for to know Him as He knows us is to know the whole show, and hence the Last Adam needs no sin to become perfect. In very, very “simplistic terms” (to save word-counts) Adam must – in all worlds – go through those pains which God Himself ceaselessly knows within Himself. There is no man alive who can escape coming to the end of all the stuff of Self. There are no such worlds for Man.


Time here becomes a tool, even a part of man's co-creation with God in that inside of Time the Groom pours out, and His beloved answers, chooses, motions. Whichever world actualizes it seems that, for such motions to transpire, an eternal universe is not necessarily needed "at that point in time" in Eden just as it is not necessarily needed in this point in time outside of Eden. We are not given an eternity here (nor in Eden) to choose between Unity or Privation, between Love or Lovelessness, between God’s Nature of Self/Other/Us or man’s Isolated-Self. We are given Time, and, whether such is with sin our without sin just makes no difference on Time’s role.


Again, Man is not given “forever” to so motion. Grooms and Brides do not have an everlasting engagement. Or do they? No. They do not.

Having said that, Adam living 900 years in the current set of physical laws opens up some doors of what is not really out of the question given what we already know in part about the merely physical. Then, having said THAT, there is in scripture a kind of sustaining (by God) and a kind of letting go (by God) of the elements themselves - and a ceaseless sustaining even in this mere universe is utterly possible, utterly coherent given the nature of necessity and contingency.


Chaos outside of Eden just makes no difference if we take this stuff of Time/Material as no more and no less than Two Gardens, Eden and Gethsemane, which are both preceded by and then replaced by the stuff of Timeless/Immaterial as Hawking and Genesis clearly agree on. Man’s moral dance atop genomic stasis just is the affair of a Paradigm of Knowledge/Awareness and not genomic shifting (such deeply embedded structures don’t Nadir/Peak every 100 years or so the way Man’s civilizations do). The stuff that is “in-play” for all of Man’s Nadir’s/Peaks as far back as we can trace is the stuff of Knowledge, Light, Dark, Awareness, Blindness, and so on – and then a Hard Stop there atop genomic stasis which is merely the observer of Knowledge in its (man’s / knowledge) futile dance as it seeks those All-Sufficient Ends. In all possible worlds Man will run face first into all available options/means, those insufficient means of his own contingent self, or, those All-Sufficient Means of Necessity Himself.


We can speculate about prior-to and afterwards, but the stuff of biology, of time, of material, of knowledge, of man becoming man from the dirt up, of man’s moral actualizations in Eden/Gethsemane dancing atop genomic stasis, and so on, and so on, are all casually, seamlessly subsumed by the Christian’s metaphysics.

I guess that my greatest question with Scripture is the well behaved predatory animals and sea life existing before Adam fulfilled his wickedness in the Garden. Maybe they were a subsequent creation?
Don't think you need to go that far. Man had a different nature after the Fall. Why not animals too?

But the big question remains. If the world had no death for Man, how do you escape the dilemma that gravity poses? The universe will end either in heat death, or in a big crunch...both of them fatal to man, plants and animals.

"But the big question remains. If the world had no death for Man, how do you escape the dilemma that gravity poses? The universe will end either in heat death, or in a big crunch...both of them fatal to man, plants and animals."

This brings me back to creation of a fallen universe based on the sin of Adam, as one solution.

Another thought might be that weeds, predatory animals, and the temporal nature of the universe were adjustments to the created order.

As you say,man had a different nature after the Fall, as did possibly the animals, and the universe too?

Another thought might be that weeds, predatory animals, and the temporal nature of the universe were adjustments to the created order.

As you say,man had a different nature after the Fall, as did possibly the animals, and the universe too?

That's one heck of an adjustment. Gravity worked one way before the Fall and another after?

That's not just an adjustment, it's a complete overturning of the natural order.

And that's what I've been saying happened all along.

The comments to this entry are closed.