Death before Adam?

Discussion in 'Natural Revelation and God's Creation' started by BG, Dec 4, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Nate

    Nate Puritan Board Junior

    This passage agrees with WCF 5 that God upholds all things--even creatures as great as the whole earth--by His providence. Everything, including the earth itself, is held in and controlled by His hand.
  2. Nate

    Nate Puritan Board Junior

  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Back towards the OP: one can hold in a literal Adam and allowing for at least animal death. The two aren't logically contradictory. I'm not saying that's the case, though.

    Therefore, one can hold to a literal Adam and still hold to Old Earth.

    That wins quote of the day.
  4. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    Technically speaking, birds are reptiles, or, according to their phylogenetic classification they are theropods. However, going back to your initial quip on evolution, no one believes that there is ever single-generation evolution. As humorous as some might have found it, it is a gross mis-understanding of what evolution is teaching.

    At this point I am not defending evolution. I am however, trying to work hard to get a proper, working, and agreeable definition and understanding of evolution, to move this discussion forward. Based on what I've read from this thread so far, there seems to be a complete lack of understanding of the most basic elements of evolution.

    Going back to the OP, I know of no direct explicit passage in scripture that states that if you believe in death (human) prior to the fall that you cannot be a christian, but I do know of explicit passages that state that Christian's are not to bear false witness, so it is incumbent upon us to make sure we are properly portraying the beliefs of those we disagree with.
  5. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    For the record, there are many within the reformed faith, and even some here on the puritan boards, that wholeheartedly believe that the Sun, does in fact, revolve around the Earth. They derive this understanding from scripture.
  6. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't believe in an old earth or evolution because of the weekly Sabbath. God created all things in 6 days and on the seventh day he rested establishing the Sabbath. If it were any more than 24 hours for each day ( one day not equally a million years or so), we wouldn't have a creational commandment for the Sabbath and the 4th Commandment would have no reference. To me, the Sabbath is clear evidence of a young earth and of God creating all things within those six days.
    • Like Like x 4
    • Amen Amen x 1
    • List
  7. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    If there was death before Adam then our theology/ the confession of faith are wrong. There is no way around that conclusion. Not to mention we will need to reevaluate our hermeneutical principles. How the original audience understood A passage would no longer have any bearing on the way we interpret scripture. Unless, you believe that the ancient Israelites read the book of Genesis and immediately thought millions of years.

    Douglas do you believe in a world wide flood?

  8. Free Christian

    Free Christian Puritan Board Sophomore

    I found this interesting.
    How can birds be reptile when they were created on different days. They may be the same to non Genesis/creation believer's, but not to those who believe what the Lord has told us.
  9. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    :rofl::rofl::rofl: Thanks, Bill, I needed that..........
  10. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    This is actually what really started me down the path of shifting my views from YEC to Old Earth to where I am at today. The more I studied how the ancients would have understood the text in it original context the more difficultly I had taking a "Ken Ham-YEC" view of Scripture.

    There is no reason to believe, based on all the archaeological and anthropological evidence we have today, that any of the ancients would have understood the world as anything but a flat disk of sorts with the sun and moon and stars embedded in the dome above the earth. This is a literal reading of the text and such a view has precedent even dating to as late as Luther.

    Here is a quote from Luther in his commentary on Genesis, and a picture of the cover of his Bible, clearly illustrating this reality.


    God has given us two forms of revelation, Special and General. Both of which are true and inerrant, so they cannot contradict. God has also given us reason to interpret both, so when one seems to be contradicting the other we should we should press ourselves to equally look at our understandings of both special and general revelation. As I see it, the case for an old round globe orbiting the Sun nearly 93 million miles away makes more sense than a circle with a dome with stars and the sun fastened to that dome.

    If by global flood you mean something like what AIG would teach it to be: than no, I do not think there is any reason to believe this happened.
  11. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Douglas, thanks for the discussion.
  12. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    Wait... Is this because you disagree with AIG's theatrical liberty of the account in Genesis or because you disagree with the worldwide flood as taught in Scripture?

    Genesis 6:17-20
    For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.
    I don't understand, are you proposing this is to be understood as only a local flood? A tranquil worldwide flood?

    Genesis 7:11-12
    ...on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
    Genesis 7:19-24
    And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.
    I ask because, as has been mentioned above regarding death before Adam, there are implications downstream of such views. Such as God's covenant after the flood. (Genesis 9:11-15)

    "...I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
    If God was promising not to use local floods to bring death... well, I'd say at this point we could probably count the Rainbow as a useless sign.

    See also Peter's brief account in 2nd Peter 2:5: "...if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly..."

    Would you maintain your statement that you "do not think there is any reason to believe this happened", in regards to a worldwide flood?

    If I have misunderstood you, and you only meant that you disagreed with AIG's video in the details of how a worldwide flood occurred, then I apologize in advance for wasting your time.
  13. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    Do you believe that

    1) it took God millions of years to create all things (1 day actually meaning 1 million years or so) or

    2) that God created basic forms of all things in 6 days which developed through evolution over millions of years or

    3) something entirely different

    If it be number 1, how do you account for the weekly Sabbath command? How do you account for God creating man in his image if what he first created wasn't a human that we all now are but had to evolve into a human? Did this "potential human" have a soul? One wonders how he could have a soul if he wasn't yet human. What was the thing that God created which millions of years later became a man?

    If it be number 2, would nearly be the same questions.
  14. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior


    Regarding your question about the weekly Sabbath: I never found this particularly challenging or helpful regarding the question of the length of the days.

    I see the days in Genesis 1-2 as being extraordinary rather than ordinary. One clue to this would be that it was not until day four that the sun, moon, and stars were created, one purpose of which was "to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days." Before the division of day from night and the marking of "days" I'm not constrained to view the 7 days of the creation week in Genesis 1-2 as days as 24 hour periods of time.

    Finally, when we get to the 7th day, there is an absence of the refrain present on the other days: "And the evening and the morning were the xth day."

    In fact, you will notice the word "day" is actually used in at least 3 ways just in the context of Genesis 1 and 2: it is used as the period of each act of creation (day 1-6), it is used to refer to the entire week of creation ("in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens", 2:4), and it is used as the daylight period of each period of creation ("to divide the day from the night"). I'd argue that the "day" that most readily maps to our understanding of an ordinary day is when we read that the sun, moon, and stars were to "be...for days."

    The Sabbath is used as a metaphorical pattern in other parts of Scripture. An example would be the Sabbath year, where the 7th year was a year of rest in the agricultural cycle.

    I believe the importance of the 7 days of the creation week are important, but I do not think that it is necessary to understand that they are ordinary, 24 hours periods to understand the weekly Sabbath or other Sabbaths.
  15. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    It’s all just a myth! Adam in the garden, Noah and the flood, Jonah and the Big fish, David and Goliath, none of it really happened, next you will tell me a guy raised the dead, walked on water and died for our sins only to be resurrected on the third day. How can any modern scientific person believe any of this stuff. Virgin birth huh.

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  16. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    For the record, I affirm the existence of Adam, Noah, Jonah, David, and Goliath and affirm that Jesus was born of a virgin, raised from the dead, walked on water, died for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day regardless of what modern science says.

    At the same time, I recognize that there are differences in interpretation in the first two chapters of Genesis. Nothing I said in that post necessarily speaks to the age of the heavens or the Earth. Others have recognized similar interpretative difficulties who believe the Earth is thousands of years old; other Godly, Reformed men believe that they might point to an older Earth.

    I also recognize that God speaks infallibly in Scripture, but that we can still learn from study of God's creation as the "heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps. 19). The study of God's creation will not contradict God's infallible Scriptures if done well, but just as our study of God's creation can err, so can our study and interpretation of God's Word err. I believe we as Christians can look to both for answers on certain questions as they should never contradict, even though present interpretations may contradict.
  17. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I've started a new thread on this because I feel we are derailing this thread.
  18. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I appreciate Douglas's clarity and transparency on this topic. I think he provides a clear statement and a good example of the typical moves that undergird the kind of conclusions he reaches.

    1. The idea of "natural revelation" is extended to include matters beyond a knowledge of God and his will available through nature to include whatever we know about the cosmos.
    2. This knowledge is often considered quite certain.
    (Of course, the certainty of what we know about the cosmos is called into question by the philosophy of science. Furthermore, if it isn't elevated to the level of divine speech, then it is entirely susceptible to correction by divine faith, which is the surest form of knowledge we have.)
    3. Scripture is interpreted not just by "general revelation" but in fact in dialogue with current scientific consensus.
    (That hasn't worked out terribly well in the past, and since that consensus changes over time, in principle it leads to continual re-interpretation of Scripture.)

    All this may lead to rather unfortunate re-interpretations of Scripture, as we attempt to salvage some credibility for it at the bar of "general revelation."
  19. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Ruben, great point, Science is ever changing with new discoveries every day. I believe that scientists are abandoning evolution while christians are embracing it.
  20. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    This is a bit of a loaded question setting up quite the false dichotomy. But I'll try and answer your question to the best of my ability.

    First, part one, yes, I do disagree with the "theatrical liberty" of AIG because it completely distorts what is actually said in Scripture. Which leads me into part two; being that the ancients would have likely thought the earth to be a flat circle of sorts setting above a "deep" covered by a dome which holds back the waters above, (where those waters that would ultimately cover the earth during the flood came from), I am to conclude that God was accommodating the knowledge and understanding of the hearers at the time, that is that there was a worldwide flood as they would have understood it, but that no global flood has every occurred.

    God has taken 13.82 billion years to create everything we can see.

    As I've stated above, I believe God was accommodating the cosmological views of the day. So incorporating the Sabbath command is not terribly difficult.

    As to the other part of your question, at this point, I still haven't argued for common ancestry of humans to other primates. But, genetic discoveries of the past two decades certainly do make an almost undeniable case that modern humans do share common ancestry with other primates.

    The implications of this does raise some very good questions, like those you have brought up.

    At this point, I do not have every answer, but I am persuaded that, at some point, mankind, and Adam as the first of mankind, was in some sense covenantaly created in God's image, just as we are created as new creatures in Christ.


    I am either not following what you're saying or you're not following what I am saying, but I'll take another shot at explaining myself.

    I do not think that scripture should be interpreted by general revelation or even in dialog with scientific consensus. My point is that both our understanding of God's special revelation and God's general revelation require the human mind, infallible as it is, to use reason and our other mental faculties to come to some sort of understanding of both.

    In other words, all things being equal, there is no reason to assume that we would be any more fallible or infallible with our understanding of either general or special revelation.

    Bill, you've thrown out a couple of lofty, but unsubstantiated claims, in this thread so far. You may believe that scientists are abandoning evolution, but do you have any proof of this? I follow this stuff pretty closely and am not seeing anything like this.

    If anything, the trend seems to be the YEC are trying to synthesize evolution with their 6000 year old earth world view.
  21. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    My "loaded question" was an attempt to be charitable, understanding that I could have misunderstood your statement. My thought was surely you didn't really mean you were against a global flood, you must taike issue with the way AIG described it. Also, there was no false dichotomy. I front loaded my proofs from scripture that demand a real global flood with what God said about the account, the animals being needed to procreate (Why not just allow them to migrate back?), the issue regarding God's covenant with Noah (There have been many local floods since, has God broken his covenant with Noah?), as well as Peter's account of what happened (Or was Peter also just as dull of what really happened as the original readers?). You believe it was a false dichotomy because you read into scripture a third option that does not actually exist.
  22. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Douglas, what do you call it when our understanding of "general revelation" causes us to take another look at our interpretation of Scripture?

    There are actually two reasons to believe that our understanding of special revelation will be better (though not infallible) than our understanding of general revelation. The first is the nature of special revelation: Scripture is verbal and propositional, capable therefore of more exactitude than non-verbal revelation. Second, the Holy Spirit gives wisdom through reading Scripture, and for reading Scripture.

    ETA: I see from that Douglas is further away from my own views than I had estimated. On that basis, certainly he is right that it is not so much that Scripture is reinterpreted to accord with "general revelation", as that "general revelation" tells us which parts of Scripture intend to make affirmations about the world and which do not. This is formally distinct from a concern for harmonistic interpretation which some OEC and AiG take up (though in a mirror-image kind of way).
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page