Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thanks for the responses.

I'm always interested in what people feel passionately about.  Lots of responses to the last post.  Thanks!


  1. Happy to oblige.

    The question is fairly well-trodden ground among conservative Christians because of its implications for theistic evolution/old-earth/young-earth creation. The idea that "God used evolution" to achieve creation implies that death is just a part of life, in fact death is part of God's good plan which brings forth new life.

    Of course, said that way, it sounds very anti-Christian, doesn't it?

  2. Yes, certainly.

    I was interested in the question because I'm thinking of writing an article on the subject. Namely, from my reading, I've uncovered that prior to the whole debate about Darwinism, Christian theologians had very little problem positing death in animals prior to the Fall. Like I noted, Luther and Aquinas, as well as Gerhard assume that such took place. Afterwards, since the idea of death of animals prior to the Fall becomes associated with evolution, I've found that Christians tend to reject the idea. I'm looking into doing research as to when the attitude changed. In any case, whether or not the attitude changed, the position that most people on here expressed seems to be more exegetically defensible.

  3. Now my interest is piqued from an historical point of view. Why would a Christian suggest that animals died before the fall? Did they simply assign immortality to the imagio dei (which I don't really see in Scripture)? Did they have any theological interest, or was it more a passing thought?

    Seems to me a little like Augustine suggesting that the days of Genesis are figurative because it wasn't fitting for God to take so long. I've never really been fond of discussing what's fitting for God, unless of course God said it was fitting for Him.