In my previous post I examined the question of whether or not animals died before the fall of Adam. Young-earth creationism proponents consistently answer “no,” while old-earth creationism and evolutionary creationism advocates answer “yes” in a variety of ways. The respective answers given lead naturally to the question of this post: What, then, were the effects of Adam’s fall? As noted earlier, these two questions provide the crux of the debate concerning creation and evolution.
Four representative answers can be noted:
Answer One: Adam’s Fall Introduced Death and Corruption. Paul Garner and Kurt Wise argue the young-earth position that Adam’s fall introduced death and corruption into the world. They believe that the curse placed upon the serpent (Gen 3:14-15) was applied to all animals.
Answer Two: Adam’s Fall Changed the Nature of Death. David Snoke and Mark Whorton argue the old-earth creationist position when they contend that Adam’s fall changed the nature of death. That is, they argue that animal death existed before the Garden events, but the Fall extended the reach of death to now include humans.
Answer Three: Adam’s Fall Was a Transcendent Federal Event. William Dembski provides another old-earth creationist view. On the one hand he agrees with young-earth advocates that Adam’s rebellion is the cause of all death. But on the other hand he argues, like other old-earth proponents, that animals died prior to the time of Adam and Eve. He sees Adam’s sin as a cosmic event with retroactive effects.
Answer Four: Nature Affected Man, Not the Other Way Around. Evolutionary creationist Denis Lamoureux argues that nature affected man, not the other way around. Lamoureux sees the account of the Fall as a mythical retelling of a very real condition: humans are sinners, estranged from God. Though we may not know the details of how humanity came to be this way, explains Lamoureux, our predicament is undeniable.
Proponents of all three views agree that something is wrong with Creation. Each position has its respective strengths and weaknesses. Over the next few posts we will examine the four answers in greater detail. Clearly, evangelicalism has not reached a consensus on this question.
(Adapted from 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution)
This blog was cross-posted at www.theologyforthechurch.com