Futility, What Futility?

by Reed DePace

Let’s label it D3. The Bible teaches that in some manner the historical Fall of Adam brought about the introduction of three things as a curse-judgment on Adam and Eve’s sin: death, decay and destruction – D3.

If you believe in a historical Adam and a historical Fall, what does it mean for God to judicially administer these as judgment for sin? (If you do not believe in a historical Adam or a historical Fall, no disrespect, but this post is not addressed to you.)

If you think the death, decay and destruction existed before the fall:

Do you believe these things were in some manner also introduced in response to sin? If so, how are pre-fall forms of D3 different from post-fall forms of D3?

Do you think there is no difference between the pre-fall and post-fall forms of D3? If so, then what does God’s judicial administration of these on sin actually consist of?

If you want to limit the extent of God’s judicial administration of D3 on sin to just man, then what is the nature of the futility that the created order has been subjected to on account of sin (Rom 8:20)?

Do you believe God uses actual physical things to both picture and apply the gospel? If so, did God actually use a rainbow as a physical picture for a story that didn’t happen? Did God provide a real tree for a mythical test in a mythical garden? Etc., how do you determine where history ends and myth begins?

Sincerely, it does not appear that we are thinking through the necessary ramifications of affirming some sort of theistic evolution position.

by Reed DePace

POSTSCRIPT: these and the last two posts on this topic were written at the same time, last week. Nothing I’ve said in these may be construed ad specific responses to any discussion on these previous threads.

My focus in these posts has not been to make a positive argument for a specific pre-fall death scheme. Instead my focus has been ask my theistic evolution persuaded brothers to think about what this position does to the reality of a historic fall and God’s curse-judgment response to it. I do not believe theistic evolution enables an adequate explanation of sin and death. Please disagree. Please do not take personal offense.

POST-POSTSCRIPT: here is a good starting article to consider problems evolution: What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution? This is a scientific perspective, not a biblical perspective. For those interested in an informed and reasonable critique of evolution from a science perspective, I recommend this site.


  1. Jim said,

    July 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm


    This may not be the best place for this question, but I do think it’s related. Can you flesh out for me a little bit about the life in the pre-fall garden. What did Adam and Eve eat? Was death limited to the non-animal world? How long could this pre-fall system have lasted? By what rules was the garden administered, providential (natural), supernatural, or both? What was going on outside of the garden?

    Thank you.

  2. Reed Here said,

    July 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Jim: very good questions indeed. Please do not be offended by my not answering them. I’ve engaged substantially with these questions in the past with others here at GB. As well, I’ve been engaging in such questions since before my seminary days. So far, I’ve not seen a profitable outcome to such discussions, even where good will is maintained straight through to the end. When two brothers of good will make no headway, it leads me to ask if we’re dealing with the wrong questions first.

    This is why I’ve been pressing on the nature of the reign of death. More specifically I’ve been pressing on the nature of the fall and God’s curse-judgment response to it. It seems we do not truly have those things actually nailed down in our discussions. Hence, no headway.

    I.O.W., let’s first clarify exactly what changed in the fall/curse and how it changed. Then we can answer these kinds of questions with a bit more simplicity.

    Let me be clear, as I’ve stated in the past I am not opposed to a position that argues for analogical days. I am opposed to this being used as an interpretive “out” for allowing evolutionary thinking to then rule. If we’re talking millions of subjective human years in which God perfectly created a perfect (probationary perfection, not final perfection) cosmos without D3, s.o.k.

    I’m even flexible enough to consider the possibilty of a pre-fall form of evolution, provided it does not include those things which God added to the cosmos as a part of his curse-judgment on sin. That is, I suppose we could conceive of a form of evolution that did not involve the futility of D3.

    But until we agree upon the nature of the reign of death, such hypothesizing seems pointless to this intramural debate.

  3. Dan said,

    July 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm


    Are your previous interactions with the general kinds of questions that Jim is asking available here? I agree that a pre-Fall condition that includes D3 makes the imposition of D3 as punishment for sin essentially meaningless, but I would be interested in reading a more detailed discussion on that topic.

  4. Joel Norris said,

    July 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm


    Could you more specifically explain what you mean by “decay” and “destruction”? Thanks.


  5. Reed Here said,

    July 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Postscript: these and the last two posts on this topic were written at the same time, last week. Nothing I’ve said in these may be construed ad specific responses to any discussion on these previous threads.

    My focus in these posts has not been to make a positive argument for a specific pre-fall death scheme. Instead my focus has been ask my theistic evolution persuaded brothers to think about what this position does to the reality of a historic fall and God’s curse-judgment response to it. I do not believe theistic evolution enables an adequate explanation of sin and death. Please disagree. Please do not take personal offense.

  6. Reed Here said,

    July 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Dan: I’m sorry, but these are scattered through a multitude of posts. You will find some of these by clicking on the category links. Relevant ones will be Creation, Inerrancy, OT-Genesis, and Ph-Science. Not all of these are posts made by me. Yet my comments will be scattered throughout. Hope that helps.

  7. Reed Here said,

    July 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Joel: I specifically have in mind the Bible’s uses of these words. Romans 8:20ff. is a good place to start. Beyond this on must build a position via the ordinary process of Bible study.

    In the context of these discussions, I’ve concluded (as the end of Contending for Creation discussion) that at least I do not have a good handle on these words. I hear arguments from theistic evolution minded brothers that cause me to pause and realize I’ve been assuming a lot more common ground than I thought. So, if we’re going to talk about this topic together, we need to find out where we agree and don’t agree.

  8. Joel Norris said,

    July 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Reed @ 7

    Fair enough. I’ll make a general comment.

    My 8-year-old proclaims, “God can do anything!” While her heart is in the right place, I think we would agree that such a statement needs to have careful qualification.

    Similarly, I think we need to carefully qualify what we mean by “decay” and “destruction” when applied to the cosmos since the Bible speaks much about the impact of the Fall on Man but little about the impact on the rest of creation. I’ve seen some YEC folks make scientifically nonsensical statements, not just in terms of biology or geology, but basic physics (e.g., entropy).

    My underlying assumption is that the basic physical laws governing the universe are fundamentally continuous from before to after the Fall, and I think there is substantial scriptural support for that (e.g., Gen. 1:14). When the Fall happened, the first creation was corrupted, but it did not fundamentally change. The fundamental change will occur when the fullness of the second creation comes, and I wouldn’t venture to guess what the laws of physics will be in the new heavens and earth.

    It seems that some YEC folks envision that a much more radical discontinuity (in terms of the physical world, not morally) happened at the Fall, but I don’t see strong scriptural support for that.


  9. Jim said,

    July 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Reed @2:

    I take no offense at your decision not to engage my questions here. However, your question is premised on a change; my questions essentially ask: change from what?

    If you want to make a positive case for a pre-fall death scheme you might have to address questions like mine which, I believe, are on point. No sense is discussing change if we don’t have a reference.

  10. Jim said,

    July 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm


    You reference Romans 8:20. For my part, I’m willing to consider that we need to think about the passage in a different way. However, given your interpretation of 8:20, what does Paul mean in vs. 21 when he says “that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Paul seems to subscribe feelings and emotions to creation. Can the creation obtain freedom and glory like God’s children? I might begin by suggesting that Paul is taking some liberties in discussing creation to emphasize the human condition and the redemption we have in Christ.

  11. Reed Here said,

    July 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Jim, yes I understand change from what. I’m just saying that we don’t seem to be able to articulate the “from what” without first looking at the “change” as biblically described. I realize we will get back to your kinds of questions and agree we must.

    On Rom 8:20, my first stab at this is to look up similar passages, one’s that speak to either the current slavery (subjection to futility) of creation or that speak to the expected transformation (eschatological).

    Here is a silly one from the latter direction. In the South where I live there are thousands of different crawly things – and they all bite. For some reason I respond negatively to any bite. The mosquitoes leave me alone, but ants find me a juicy, tender morsel. It is so bad that “sugar”, the tiny little ones that supposedly don’t bite – bite me. Right now I’ve got three different healing ant bites (over a month old) and two active ant bites (three weeks, pustules, still itching).

    Will I have this problem in the New Heavens/New Earth? If I won’t, is this change in ant behavior a perfection from imperfection? If so, is this imperfection an aspect of the curse-judgment on the Fall or an imperfection in the original created order?

    And then finally, how do we defend our opinions (however they go) from Scripture?

    Thanks for the conversation Jim.

  12. BillH said,

    July 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Reed, I have to sympathise with you, as I’ve been nursing my wife’s bites for the past month. Like you she has ant bites 3 weeks old that heal so very slowly, but she is a mosquito treat too and has multiple welts… she is miserable right now.

    When we work in the garden we often have this discussion. In the new Creation will the mosquitos and ants no longer bite? Or will they not be there? My wife argues from the “won’t be there” side and also includes earwigs and slugs, weeds, hardpack clay, and brainfreeze from ice cream. I argue all those creatures will still be, just perfect rather than plagues. And the physiology of brain freezes will also still be there, but our self control will be perfected as well and it will no longer be an issue.

    I hope my digression hasn’t offended anyone. You know what is said about too many books and too much learnin’.

  13. July 18, 2012 at 8:28 am


    Thanks for keeping up the profile of this issue.

    I can’t help think that due to the difference in hermeneutic between those who take the biblical account literally and those of a TE persuasion, this discussion is in some ways limited. I do believe there are some TEs out there who take Scripture seriously – others, in spite of what they argue, demonstrate that their particular reading of general revelation trumps everything and anything special revelation says.

    However for those who do take Scripture seriously, I think the best way forward is to engage with Scriptural texts. That is where the battle is lost or won. To that end, I think in your post you need to interact more fully with the D3 ideas from Scripture – citing Rom 8:20 is a good start, but a more thorough approach to these issues is certainly possible. I’m not asking for a thesis on the matter ;) but I do think that if we stand on Scripture and individual Scriptures, there becomes less and less room for maneuver from the TE camp.

    Let me try and answer in some way your first question, regarding the curse/judgment. There are three separate curse/judgments in Gen 3: 3:14 to the serpent “… cursed are you…”; 3.16 to the woman “I will surely multiply your pain in child bearing…” and 3:17 which in some ways is very interesting, to the man “because you have listened to the voice of your wife… CURSED IS THE GROUND because of you…”

    The curse placed upon the man is already alluded to in 2:16-17 where God tells them that they will die. Yet in addition to this, and substantiating you main thesis, there was a curse placed on the creation itself. Why should the ground (creation) be cursed? Because it was, in a sense, covenantaly united to Adam by virtue of the common substance and common blessing of both. Moreover, I think it reasonable to include the animal kingdom in this curse also, based on the common substance of earth/dust, man and animals.

    Furthermore, part of the package / terms of the covenant of works / creation was the environment in which Adam was placed, not just the splendour of the garden, but the extension of the garden (with its inhabitants God, Man and animals) across the world. Thus when the covenant was broken, all the terms of the covenant became affected by the sin-cause and the D3 effects. If the environment is part of the package (and it clearly was given the expulsion from it in Gen 3:24) then it too fell under the dominion of sin and was cursed.

    Some attempt to limit the curse on creation as referring to man’s relationship with it – “by the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread”, as if all that changed was man’s attitude towards creation. But that is not born out in the text: first, the ground itself is cursed by God, not man’s attitude; it will bring forth thorns and thistles, and man’s food is somehow limited to the plants of the field. Moreover as we look at the all the other curses pronounced: death on man, destruction of the serpent and his seed, the multiplication of pain in childbearing (including death in childbearing undoubtedly), are we to believe that God did not then also include death in his curse on creation? While the Genesis account is overtly silent on the matter, all the SCRIPTURAL pointers are in one direction: sin and the fall introduced your D3 paradigm – across the board.



  14. klompenmaker said,

    July 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

    After having said this:
    “(If you do not believe in a historical Adam or a historical Fall, no disrespect, but this post is not addressed to you.)”

    You end your post with this:
    “My focus in these posts has not been to make a positive argument for a specific pre-fall death scheme. Instead my focus has been ask my theistic evolution persuaded brothers to think about what this position does to the reality of a historic fall and God’s curse-judgment response to it. I do not believe theistic evolution enables an adequate explanation of sin and death. Please disagree. Please do not take personal offense.”

    Could you clarify whether or not you are inviting theistic evolutionists to respond with comments?

  15. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Dale: deal with the facts of the fall/curse-judgement. Evolution leaves no room for this, as it is beholden to a universal uniformitarianism. The Fall/curse-judgment is completely opposite, teaching that there was a radical transformation, a fracturing involving creation wide subjection to D3 that was not a part of the original creation. To be sure the same creation and the same phenomenological systems were in place pre-fall/post-fall. Yet they functioned radically differrent. Pre-fall the creation was given over to moving from one state of perfection to a final state of perfection. The fall changed this, subjecting all creation to futility in terms of this movement.


    • Evolution: uniformity in all phenomenological systems, from creation to present.
    • Bible: radical discontinuity in all phenomenological systems, at the fall.

    Those holding to theistic evolution need to address this conflict. Both positions cannot be true. Theistic evolutionists (Evolutionary Creationists, etc.) need to explore exactly what they think the Bible teaches with regards to the fall. Otherwise, in a culture increasingly given over to a consciously applied evolutionary mindset words like sin and Savior at least become meaningless.

  16. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Bill: as I sit here trying not to itch, tell your wife I’m on her side. ;-P

  17. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Matthew: exactly! Thank you for the foray into the exegetical woods. As I have time thinking and pondering I will join in. In the meantime, please, continue.

  18. July 18, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Reed at 15:

    “Theistic evolutionists (Evolutionary Creationists, etc.) need to explore exactly what they think the Bible teaches with regards to the fall.”

    Sorry to interrupt, but…

    I believe that brothers of a young earth persuasion are not excused from this sober command you issue. We must all evaluate who and what we are before a Holy God. I know you know this. Just to be sure, the scientist that walks into church is not the only one who must wrestle with the fact that he/she is a sinner.


  19. July 18, 2012 at 11:39 am

    klompenmaker @ 14:

    Forgive my ignorance – but do you know if a theistic evolutionist position necessarily negates a historical adam and eve? Please know, for those of us who’ve been reading along (at least as much as we can!) for the last month or so, we’re all convinced by verses in Romans 5 and 1 Cor 15 (refer to Lane’s original post about Biologos and the PCA GA, where he alludes to these references, it’s a real stimulating and exciting post and set of comments, fyi, May 2012…) that adam and eve were real. So the hisoricity of what we read in Genesis is crucial to us.

    Just sharing my mind on the matter,

  20. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Andrew: yes, of course. This issue however, is particularly relevant to a theistic evolution position as evolution denies a fall. Other creation positions do not inherently deny a fall.

  21. July 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Right, so maybe we have a good question to ask the evolutionary researcher we meet for the first time next Sunday (in my hypothetical scenario). Let’s just not forget to ask this hypothetical research scientist about their family, their hobbies, etc etc.

    Enjoying all ya’ll’s comments and fellowship,


  22. Jim said,

    July 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Matt @13:

    Don’t mistake someone not agreeing with your my interpretation of Scripture with them not taking the Scriptures seriously.

    Reed @11:

    I’m not sure what the new creation looks like. We’re only giving hints. I really don’t think the Scriptures give us a clear guide. Your bug questions is a good one. I don’t know the answer. However, I don’t view bug bites as evil or bad. They are uncomfortable and annoying. I guess I would start there.

  23. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Jim: thanks for the response.

    O.k., go with uncomfortable/annoying for now. The ant’s bite injects matter into my body that seeks to break my body down, to turn it into soup for ants if you will.

    Will that be found in the New Heaven’s New Earth? Or will ants still bite, but it will tickle (i.e., at least no longer be uncomfortable/annoying)?


  24. RN said,

    July 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    It is an interesting puzzler, if one subscribes to the YEC viewpoint, of how death and destruction would apply in the unfolding of the universe prior to the fall.

    BTW – a number of your left sidebar links are completely dead. The ‘Calvin 500’ one caught my attention, and I found that it, and the subsequent one’s below it, give dreary dead sites:

    The Calvin 500 Blog
    The Calvinist Vent
    The Cellar Door
    The Confessional Historian
    The Continuing Story

  25. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Folks: as I’ve said previously for a number of reasons I’ve intentionally not focused on science questions in this series of posts on theistic-evolution.

    Recognizing that this focus is an important one, I thought I might direct you to one resource I’ve found that appears to do a good job of addressing this subject from a scientific perspective: evolutionnews.org. Here is a good starting article to consider the scientific problems evolution: What Are the Top Ten Problems with Darwinian Evolution? (h/t: Wes White.)

    This is a scientific perspective, not a biblical perspective. For those interested in an informed and reasonable critique of evolution from a science perspective, I recommend this site.

  26. July 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Jim @ 23 – right, I understand your point – that is why I made allowances for two types of TE’s. My point is this, and this is really a repetition of earlier points in Reed’s other threads, that those who subjugate special revelation to general revelation (and there are many) do not take the authority of Scripture seriously. That was my point in dealing with Satan’s temptations regarding the Tree of knowledge of good and evil in an earlier thread. That is what goes into my earlier comment.


  27. July 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Andrew, if the historicity of Genesis is crucial to us, as you rightly say, where does that leave you on length of days? Why would that not be historical also (question based on your comments on the other threads – if I’ve misunderstood you just write “IGNORE” – lol).


  28. July 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Matthew at 26 – I think that’s a fair question.

    It’s why when they asked me in my ordination interview, I told them, “I don’t know” how long the days are.

    I do have a problem, as I perceive, with people making the length of days issue a test of orthodoxy.

    I watched what Tim Keller said, on wes white blog. Tim says the creation issue is not a part of “mere Christianity,” or as he said it, it’s not in the Apostles Creed.

    Here’s the thing – you are asking my personal opinion on the matter. And I’ve thought about it. Maybe not productively, but I have spent a lot of time thinking.

    I just don’t know Hebrew. But I do know, “yom” doesn’t always mean a solar day.

    I’m a firmly committed agnostic on the length of the days.

    But I’m happy to engage on dialogue over the matter.

    A few years ago, I asked one of my elders, and was having this discussion, he said, “no body was there to witness these amazing days – so we don’t know.”

    I got involved here because the owner of the blog, Mr. Keister, was saying that wolves were coming to the PCA general assembly, in the form of Biologos. I admittedly over-reacted to his rhetoric.

    But since I do like the discussion, and I have learned a lot from so many of you, I see the discussion as being fruitful and not in vain.

    And, Matt, you have to admit, our OPC creation report encourages further education and dialogue.

    Have I even begun to answer your question about exegesis of Genesis 1.

    No, I have not.

    But I would instead ask you or other people who have been to seminary or who are familiar with Semitic language.

    I hear the arguments. And I have been reading that what was recommended.

    I’m just an agnostic.

    And I spend too much time on the golf course. Today was fun at the driving range, during my lunch break.

    I do know I am trying to bring golf into a forum where there is a higher proportion of people who, perhaps, prefer books over such things.

    Not bad, just, that’s a little about me.

    Thanks for asking,

  29. July 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Andrew – Keller’s problem relates to my earlier posting about the relationship between general revelation and special revelation.

    Remaining agnostic, and firmly committed to such, on the days of creation is an interesting stance, but I can’t help think that you (and I) are called to more than that, notwithstanding “all things are not equally clear in Scripture”.

    For the rest – email sent. Glad you enjoyed the golf – I prefer fishing ;)

  30. July 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I would add my “firm commitment” is more a reaction to personal experience over the issue. I have read some people’s exegesis of ‘yom’ and other things. But I am not seminary trained.

    So I look forward to learning more from you, others, and people here on GB.

    But there are many topics I like. Many hobbies. Fishing…I need to take that up someday ;)

  31. Jim said,

    July 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Reed @15:

    Why does sin become meaningless without a fall?

  32. Joel Norris said,

    July 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Reed @ 15

    I agree that YEC tends to hold the view of “radical discontinuity in all phenomenological systems, at the fall”, but I don’t see that the Bible teaches that view (here I specifically have *radical* and *all* in mind). As I alluded to in my comment #8, you really need to fill out exactly what you mean by “radical” and “all” and not just leave us with a general assertion that the Bible teaches this. Otherwise you may be making a “sounds good” statement that is problematic when examined in greater detail. But I can’t determine whether it is problematic because you haven’t really explained what you specfically mean.


  33. July 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Jim @ 31 –

    without a fall we simply behave as God created us to – which in the evolutionary scheme is subject to and participant in death, decay and destruction. Sin cannot therefore be a lack of conformity to the will of God, rather it is simply an accurate expression of the evolutionay state of all things including mankind. Therefore, sin and salvation are meaningless.

    Yet Scripture teaches that we were not created that way. Sin is a lack of conformity (and an infinitely offensive one at that) to God’s revealed will and created order, which can only be resolved by an infinitely valuable sacrifice by a perfect Saviour.

    So we have two inherently contradictory positions – TE and the Creation account as read plainly in Scripture. If I’ve read Reed’s work correctly – that is the crux of what he is trying to get people to see. How do TE’s account for sin if his three Ds were always present? If God, as Reed asks, judicially administered death, decay and destruction as a response to sin, it stands to reason that they were not part of the created order. It is even more illogical and contrary to the character of God might I add, to judicially punish with death, destruction and decay something that was created in a state of death, destruction and decay (the TE scheme), as if that which was created was behaving in a manner contrary to its created order!

    No, the fall was such an awful disaster (remedied only by the greater disaster of the cross) precisely because man and creation were created in such a pristine and blessed fashion and rebelled against such created order.

    Hope I’m not putting words into Reed’s mouth here.


  34. klompenmaker said,

    July 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Andrew @ 19
    In response to your question, evolutionary creation or theistic evolution does not necessarily connote denial of a historical Adam and Eve and a historical Fall. Some embrace biological evolution and God’s choosing of Adam and Eve from a population of neolithic hunter-gatherers as the first recipients of the covenant, setting up the federal headship of Adam. Others will say no, Adam and Eve are parabolic figures like the characters in the parables of Jesus.
    As to my own view, I’m not settled on the issue. I accept biological evolution because the scientific evidence for it is overwhelming, and among the many evidences that speak specifically to the account of Adam and Eve is the genomic data that shows no sign of a genetic bottleneck 6,000 years ago or 4,500 years ago. I this poses great difficulty for anyone who would want to believe in both evolution and Adam and Eve as the biological parents of all human beings, though perhaps not for someone who embraces Adam and Eve as historical figures even though they necessarily would have had ancestors and relatives, according to biological evolution.
    I’m more inclined to see Genesis 1-11 as figurative, though I would refrain from being dogmatic about it. I’m equally inclined to see the account of the Fall as depicted in Genesis as figurative as well. Along with that, since I believe that death, disease, thorns, meat-eating, parasites, accidents, (near-planetary extinction level events for goodness sake!) preceded humanity by millions of years, I don’t see these things as the consequence of a historical event involving a serpent and a piece of fruit.
    That said, not embracing the historicity of the Fall doesn’t mean denial of the reality of sin, the universality of fallen-ness and our need of redemption as fallen human beings.
    One of my systematics profs at seminary later became a PCA pastor – he was called to the ministry from his Ph.D. program in ceramics science at a northwestern school – I can’t recall if it was MIT or Cornell or another one. He knew his science, but in his case he modified his views and embraced Six-Day Creationism. For him Creation, The Fall, and the Flood all constituted epistemological veils beyond which we cannot peer because each of them changed the ontology of Creation.
    His views are interesting, but in the end I did not find them compelling or convincing.
    For my own part I do believe in the reality of human fallen-ness and sin, but have sincere doubts about the Fall as a historical event. In another comment on this blog I think I also made it clear that I doubt the Fall had cosmic dimensions. Nevertheless, one needs only look around to see the reality of the futility human sin has subjected the creation to. The futility is very real.

  35. July 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm


    Thanks for sharing your perspective. I like hearing other people’s views, but am not in a place to analyze much of what you said.

    I’m thinking about your words in relation to what I believe Romans 5 and 1 cor 15 say. That’s not saying anything, other than, I wanto read those a little more closely.

    I’m not formally trained, but that’s not stopping me from asking questions ;-)

    Thanks again,

  36. July 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm


    I remembered partially where I find support for my firm committment, and I would urge readers to read the entire link beneath this quote, as there’s more to be said on this:

    ” the length of the days of Genesis 1 may be an issue which cannot be, and therefore is not intended by God to be, answered in dogmatic terms. To insist that it must comes dangerously close to demanding from God revelation which he has not been pleased to bestow upon us, and responding to a threat to the biblical world view with weapons that are not crafted from the words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God.”


  37. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Jim: respectfully, what? No fall, no sin. Right?

    Also, what about my ant follow up in no. 23.

  38. Reed Here said,

    July 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Joel, no. 32: while I do not have a fully developed answer to your question, in a number of previous comments on prior threads I have begun mapping out an answer. Matthew Holst’s comment here, no. 13 helps move this forward.

    Rom 8:20 is a critical starting point. The whole of creation was subjected to the futility of death. Notice the extent in view – all created things. Notice the transformative factor in view – subjection to the futility of death.

    These need to be explored more fully to determine the boundary lines and contours.

    What other word than “radical” would you use? The created order was on track for movement from an initial state of perfection to a final state of perfection. The fall knocked it off that track. Only the sacrifice of God’s Son could redeem it from this fundamental mega-shift in its destiny.

    Is this not why the earth now mourns? (Jer 12:4; Hos 4:3) Is this not why creation eagerly waits for the completion of our redemption? (Rom 8:19-23) Is not the creation awaiting our renewal to be complete so that it can share via its own renewal? (Isa 65:17; Rev 21:1-5)

    I agree that the nature of the radical transformation must be carefully considered. But to maintain that there is even some part of creation that has not been touched in some fundamental transformative manner seems to me to make meaningless the idea of universal subjection to the futility of death.

  39. Joel Norris said,

    July 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm


    I think I have a good idea what you have in mind in terms of death, but I’m not clear on what you mean by “decay” and “destruction”. Are you suggesting that if Adam had not sinned, there would be no trees falling over in the forest and rotting (decay) and there would be no landslides an erosion in the mountains (destruction)?


  40. Reed here said,

    July 19, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Joel: and you are asking the right questions. These words are used in Scripture as in some manner descriptive of the fall’s consequences. The exact boundaries/details of their usage needs to be examined in Scripture.

    At present I’m not making any opinions without giving sometime to thinking about relevant Scripture texts. I’ve none to offer at present. If you or anyone else does, I’m ears.

  41. July 19, 2012 at 11:52 am


    Does our lack of Scripture reference on the subject speak to something?

    I would argue that, along with the article from my post #36 (see link) that this is the proper way forward:

    “Here we must follow Calvin’s great motto that where God makes an end of teaching, we should make an end of trying to be wise”

    But I know not all agree with my opinions. Nor would I want it that way. Enough of my opinions are out there already ;-)


  42. Jim said,

    July 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

    FYI: Casy Luskin is an attorney; he is not a scientist. His opinions are often flayed on sites such as The Pandas Thumb.

  43. Reed Here said,

    July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Jim: take a look at Luskin’s full background. Let’s not fall into a fallacy that ends up refusing to listen to relevant and valid questions.

  44. klompenmaker said,

    July 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    andrew@35 Thanks for asking. I think in another comment here I mentioned that at one time in my walk as a Christian I tried hard to accept the YEC view, but with some scientific background I very quickly became horrified at the paucity (or worse) of most creation science writers.
    By way of analogy let me use an illustration that will be well known to those here – seminary training. I can’t speak for others, but at least my first semester and arguably my first year of seminary I felt like I was in over my head. I didn’t understand much of the terminology that was used. Fortunately one of the first courses I took introduced me to the concept of theological prolegomena – meaning the terminology and taxonomy of theological studies and enough background to be able to understand lectures, discussion, and scholarly works and to be able to interact with them – it took some time before I could even participate in conversations. Who were the Cappadocians, for instance. What does filioque mean and why is it important? What’s perichoresis and why should I care? How did the Reformation develop in the English Speaking world – who were the primary movers and what church movements resulted? Closer to home here in the Reformed tradition, What is Lapsarianism and what positions have been taken in relation to it? What does Old Light and New Light mean, and from what period of history? Do they have anything to do with Old School and New School? Why or why not?
    If you haven’t been to seminary or at least engaged in some long term serious theological study, many of the topics mentioned in the previous paragraph will be meaningless or confusing to you.
    The same thing is true regarding scientific background – it’s difficult to have meaningful conversation with someone who lacks any scientific background. Bringing them up to speed so they understand the terminology and background information requires so much time that there isn’t really time or energy left over to engage in debate.
    I have seen debates (live and video) in which there are awkward pauses by on speaker during which the other assumes a smug expression, thinking he has put his opponent back on his heels. What he doesn’t realize is that the question that he thinks has been a brilliant debate point in reality is forcing his interlocutor to pause and think through carefully how he can dumb down his response sufficiently to be comprehensible to his opponent (and I’ve seen this phenomenon on both sides of the debate – it’s not just Creationists who are often ignorant of science – Scientists can be just as thick when it comes to theology.
    The real problem is that dilettantes end up talking past one another, unaware or at the very least unconcerned by their ignorance of the other position. We tend to develop parochialism, only reading material that comports with the party line we already embrace, associating only with like-minded people. Internet forums where everyone is of the same opinion end up being intellectual circle jerks.
    I hope those last two words don’t get me tossed from the forum here – because I can’t think of another phrase which so succinctly and viscerally expresses the phenomenon.

  45. July 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm


    I hear ya, bro.


    PS do you golf? no need to answer ;-)

  46. Jon said,

    July 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Reed @ 23, 37, 43:

    @23: I don’t know the answer the your bug question. I don’t think the Bible provides that level of detail. I admit it’s a good question. I believe that we ought to begin by readjusting our expectations of the new heaven and new earth. The church in which I was raised taught that the streets in heaven would be gold. I’ve adjusted, I think correctly, my view since then. I’m willing to do so again.

    @37: Not sure about your response on the fall question. But I do believe that sin can exist without the fall as the fall is typically understood in our tradition.

    @43: Luskin is a good advocate but he’s not a practicing scientist in the field and his opinion ought to be considered in that light. It’s kind of like when I hear a young pastor that’s had 2 years for Biblical Hebrew questioning the translation of someone who has dedicated their life to the study of Hebrew. The pastor could be right and the expert wrong, but his opinion ought to be given its proper weight.

  47. Brad B said,

    July 20, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Hi Reed, thanks for clarifying “effected”/”affected” earlier.

    I hope not to come off as rambling too much, so bear with me while I take a few minutes to offer some thoughts for inspection.

    Not being inclined to start with science, but I cant help but wonder a little about a few things. One is spurred by Jim’s questions at #39 to wit, many creatures seem to have as their main or maybe only purpose to dispose/convert of dead things by living off of them as they decay. I guess I could also think of a few scenarios where they could possibly feed/exist without attaching a futile-ness to this process.

    Scripture seems to indicate and I’ve been told by learned PCA men that Adams role as Priest, Prophet, and King was established in the Garden, and that he was charged with keeping the Garden, then extending his dominion to the whole earth as Gods prophet, priest, and king. What was the threat? We know Satan had already fallen, was he loose outside of the Garden even if only as an interloper on the earth? The serpent episode in the Garden exposing Adams lack as king didn’t protect his wife when he allowed the interloper to be there in the first place.

    What was the difference between Eden and the external world that needed taming? Prior to the fall, Adam’s authority was intact. Is it reasonable to consider that within Eden where God walked with Adam pre-fall that is where proverbial LIFE , was alive and well while outside the rest of the earth was proverbially dead, and unfit for the Holy until Adam extended his dominion? Not saying that there was death decay and destruction, the scriptures seem to indicate that nothing was growing outside the Garden.

    Again, I’m just wonderinng. Covenantally, Israel was to inhabit a holy land, a land where God dwelled with man in a temple…again. Israel’s priests, prophets, and kings were to ensure the holy state–obedience. Some of the benefits of obedience were that the wild beasts would leave men alone, the early and latter rains would come, natural clamities would cease, successful husbandry etc….this in a fallen world.

    Covenantally, Jesus Is the second Adam, the Godman, the Prophet, Priest, and King, He will extend the Garden wont He? What does that look like? Is it revealed in the book of Revelation?

    This may only be peripherally topical, I dont know.

  48. rfwhite said,

    July 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Reed: in your lead post, you asked, If you believe in a historical Adam and a historical Fall, what does it mean for God to judicially administer these as judgment for sin? I’ll take a stab at this, along the lines suggested by Brad B in #47.

    It seems to me that, in a biblical context, an answer to this question must take into account the analogy between Adam and Israel. Basically, I would say that for God to administer D3 as judgment for sin, it means reversing the original state of blessing, in which everything fostered the life-fruitfulness and dominion-victory of man male and female, for a state of curse, in which everything furthered the death-fruitlessness and subjugation-defeat of man male and female. Broadening these concepts to include considerations of setting in which these things happen, I would say that, in the context in which we’re talking, it involves withholding from man the lasting, incorruptible pleasures of the garden and giving man over to the passing (corruptible), corrupting pleasures of the wilderness/field (anti-garden).

    Though there were ways in which Israel was unlike Adam, there were important ways in which Israel was like Adam. Having been created in God’s image and placed in the garden of beauty and purity for community with his Creator and his bride, Adam was blessed to be fruitful and to rule the earth (Gen 1:28) as well as to serve the LORD his God and to keep His commandments (Gen 2:15). Likewise, Israel, the national son of God, was blessed to be fruitful and multiplied according to the blessing of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and, as a result, the land of Egypt was filled with them (Exod 1:7 with Gen 1:28). Similarly, Israel’s king, also the son of God (2 Sam 7:14; Ps 2:7), was appointed to rule the nations of the earth, again according to the blessing of the God of the fathers (Gen 49:10 with Gen 1:28). Yet the similarities between Israel and Adam don’t end there.

    In Rom 5 the Apostle constructs a correspondence between Adam and Israel that involves sin and judgment, on the one hand, and righteousness and justification, on the other. The historical frame of the correspondence is set by the phrases “until (the) Law” (Rom 5:13) and “from Adam until Moses” (Rom 5:14) and “the Law came in alongside” (Rom 5:20). So he brings the eras before and after the Law’s introduction into view. A pointed indicator of the Adam-Israel analogy is the apostle’s use of the same terms to describe both “the transgression of the one man,” referring to Adam, and “the transgression” multiplied in “the many,” a reference that must at least include Israel under the Law (Rom 5:20 with 5:15-16, 18). For our understanding of what it means for God to administer D3 as judgment for sin, it’s valuable to recall that, from Israel’s entrance into the land forward, Mounts Ebal and Gerizim stood as perpetual reminders of the alternatives before Israel and their king: the curses of God would be the consequence of man’s disobedience (Deut 28:15-68); conversely, the blessings of God would be the consequence of man’s obedience (Deut 28:1-14). It’s interesting to notice how in the context of Deut 28 cursing by God involves his withholding from the nation the lasting, incorruptible pleasures of the garden-land and giving them over to the passing, corrupting pleasures of the wilderness/field (anti-garden).

    Having formed Israel as a new creation (Deut 32:11-14 with Gen 1:2; 2:1-3) and having promised to place the nation in the garden-land of Canaan (e.g., Num 24:5-6), the LORD gave to Israel, as He had given to Adam, a special commission in the form of commandments. In His commandments, the LORD set before Israel what it meant to administer D3 as judgment for sin: it meant giving the failed nation over to death, adversity, defeat, and dispossession from the garden-land and withholding from them life, prosperity, victory, and possession of the garden-land.

    The state of affairs described for Adam and applied to Israel is applicable to Israel’s king. Having established the son of David as Israel’s king and having appointed him to inherit the nations, the LORD also commanded him to rule His people and their enemies according to His law (Deut 17:18-20; 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 89:30-32). In His commandments, God commanded the king to imitate His holiness and set before him what it meant to administer D3 as judgment for sin: it meant giving the failed king over to deposition, defeat, adversity, and death outside the garden-land and withholding from him accession, victory, prosperity, and life in the garden-land.

    In all of this, it is striking to notice that when Scripture portrays God as the Divine Warrior-Judge, it often describes nature as the weaponry of His warfare-judgment.

  49. Reed Here said,

    July 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Dr. White: good stuff. Now let’s complete the picture by bringing into view the fulfillment to be experienced under the True Israel, Jesus Christ. As you’ve got time, thanks!

  50. Reed Here said,

    July 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Jon: regarding Luskin I do note he has some science background in both his studies and his work history. I agree with your caution, just want to make sure we assess the man’s qualifications accurately.

    Regarding sin outside the fall, I can only think of one: the sin of Satan and his minions (before the fall?). What else might you have in mind? Ongoing sins of demons? Don’t they function in the context of the curse-judgment now

  51. rfwhite said,

    July 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    49 Reed: to complete the picture by bringing into view the fulfillment to be experienced under the True Israel, Jesus Christ, I’d say that the story of Israel under the Law ended where Paul says it did in Rom 5: with the nation in a state like that of Adam after the fall.

    Israel had received the blessings of exodus from the wilderness/field that was Egypt and entry into the garden-land that was Canaan, despite their sin and solely on account of their fathers. The nation remained, however, morally incompetent to serve God and to keep His commandments. Israel was disqualified from being that righteous seed who would render to God the obedience that He required in His Law. In the face of Israel’s sin, the Mosaic Covenant proved to be a covenant of condemnation, bondage, and death (2 Cor 3:6-14; Rom 7:10-11) that shut the nation up under sin (Gal 3:22) and curse (Gal 3:10). As a result of national, official, and individual disobedience, God had to show Israel what it meant for Him to administer D3 as judgment for sin: He applied the principles of Deut 28 and expelled the nation from their residence in the garden-land and gave them over to exile outside the garden-land. The Law, then, as God’s pedagogue, revealed the people’s spiritual inability, though it could not relieve it (Gal 3:21-24).

    Yet the Law also did something else as God’s pedagogue: it shut the people up to faith (Gal 3:22-24) in the redemptive work (Gal 3:13) of the one true Seed of Abraham (Gal 3:19). The Mosaic Covenant witnessed to that Heir especially through the promises, prophecies, ordinances, and types (“shadows”) related to the offices of prophet, priest, and king. Together these testified to the person and work of the true Seed who would come from the tribe of Judah and the order of Melchizedek. Most importantly, He would be the one Seed who would present to God the obedience that satisfied His Law.

    In time, Jesus came as the Prophet greater than Moses, leading God’s people to spiritual liberty and, according to the promise of a better covenant, writing His laws on their hearts. He came as the Melchizedekal Priest greater than Levi: sinless and immortal, He took away sins, brought an end to the ceaseless cycle of sacrifices, purified the sons of Levi, and constituted the true nation of priests. He came as the Judahite King greater than David: born under the Law yet without the sin that plagued the nation, He conquered sin and death and made His subjects secure and pure for fellowship with God. He came as the true Israel who, though tempted, rendered to God the obedience that satisfied His Law. He came as the one Seed of Abraham who was justified by the Law before God and became a curse for the transgressors of the Law to redeem them from its curse.

    At the beginning of history, God designed the probation in the garden to enable Adam to move from his first, natural, earthly, temporal state of blessing to his second and last, spiritual, heavenly, eternal state of blessing. Later, in a similar way, by giving Israel the Law, God placed the nation, blessed but sinful, on probation in the garden-land, and their successful standing of that probation would have enabled them to learn obedience and to pass from the minority status of children into the majority status of sons (Deut 5:1; 6:1-2). Yet, from the failure of both Adam and Israel, we can learn the common lesson from their respective (pedagogical) probations that, if man is ever to claim deliverance from D3 and find the everlasting delights of community with God, he must find them in the Last Adam and Seed of Abraham who bore the reproach of man’s exile from the garden and by His sinlessness and immortality qualified man to enjoy the glory of eternal life in fellowship with God.

    That’s one way to expound the fulfillment in the True Israel, Jesus Christ.

  52. paigebritton said,

    July 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Dr. White,
    Am I correct to understand that you see the importance of D3 in its application of God’s judgment on people (contingent on disobedience), but not in its more generalized corruption of earth/nature/non-human creatures (even if the natural world becomes the agent of D3 to the disobedient people)? Or is the latter (the corruption of the physical world) assumed in your Israel-Adam parallel, just not brought out?
    Paige B.

  53. July 21, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Dr White

    Thanks for your marvelous insights. If I may piggy-back (I hate that that has become a verb) on Paige’s comments…

    If I understood you correctly in earlier posts, you have some reticence about being dogmatic on Reed’s D3 scenarios in relation to animals / non-human created order, prior to the fall. Two questions: a. what is the exegetical basis for your reticence, and b. in your view, would the natural order (animals etc) have also been “promoted” on Adam’s passing his probation to a deathless existence? – In relation to that what is the nature of the new order of creation in the New Heavens and New Earth?

    many thanks

  54. rfwhite said,

    July 21, 2012 at 11:16 am

    52 paigebritton: I don’t think it’s an either-or. I’m thinking that God’s cursing of nature is a consequence and means of his judging of humans. Am I understanding your question?

    53 Matthew Holst: thanks. On question 1, the reticence I remember expressing was in relation to plants, not animals. Maybe my memory is failing me; let me know. Bear in mind too that, as I mentioned earlier, the basis of this working hypothesis is only suggestive and far from conclusive: I had in mind such details as the pre-fall provision of plants as food, the fact that sowing seed was described as seed death, the pre-fall absence of carnivores, and the absence of carnivores from the new earth. Again, suggestive, not conclusive. On question 2, I would say, yes, the natural order would have benefited from the first Adam’s success in probation, as it will benefit from the last Adam’s success.

  55. July 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Dr. White,

    Your answer to question #2 in comment 53 is very interesting.

    I’ll read this entire thread more later.


  56. Reed Here said,

    July 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Dr. White: piggy backing me too! You said

    “I don’t think it’s an either-or. I’m thinking that God’s cursing of nature is a consequence and means of his judging of humans.”


  57. paigebritton said,

    July 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Yes, thanks, you understood me. The application of D3 to humans, then, is in a covenantal context — which you brought out very clearly above — and includes the changing of nature for the worse (which is assumed in your model but was not emphasized in your words).

  58. rfwhite said,

    July 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    57 paigebritton: Good! Yes, I’m thinking that God’s application of D3 takes place in a covenantal context and includes changes to nature. In thinking this through with you and everybody else, it seems likely, as others have pointed out, that because man has his origin from the earth, the latter changes when the former changes. Not only do we see it in Deut 28, but also in Gen 6.13, Lev 18.24-28. Both man and land must observe sabbath rest, Lev 25.1-22. It’s interesting too how fruit or thorns and thistles are analogies for the works of man (Gal 5.22; Heb 6.7-8), and types of soils are analogies for his nature (the parable of the sower).

  59. rfwhite said,

    July 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    FWIW … In #51, 2nd full paragraph, the next-to-last sentence should read: “As a result of national, official, and individual disobedience, God had to show Israel what it meant for Him to administer D3 as judgment for sin … “

  60. paigebritton said,

    July 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Dr. White —
    Fixed #51 for you.
    So, if this is not too much of a rabbit trail, what do you make of Gen. 8:20-9:7, in which God speaks to Noah after the flood? Interesting that ESV reads (v.21), “I will never again curse the ground because of man…” Probably shouldn’t read too much into that. But there is also the reiteration of the blessing/command of Gen. 1:28-29, of fruitfulness and the provision of food (from the good pattern of seedtime and harvest, which is as much God’s intention for humanity as the cursed thorns and thistles).

    So is there meant to be a hint, here, of a return to prelapsarian created goodness? Can we see any mitigation of the curse in these verses, which might speak proleptically of future blessings on Israel for covenant obedience and the ultimate healing of the created order in Christ?

  61. rfwhite said,

    July 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    60 paigebritton – You asked, what do you make of Gen. 8:20-9:7, in which God speaks to Noah after the flood? I take Gen 8.20-9.17 as the account of God instituting His post-flood covenant of common grace. In that account, the section 9.8-17 puts the promise God made in 8.21-22 into the form of a covenant, which preserves the order of common grace.

    Though it may have been inadvertent on your part, I think your words – the good pattern of seedtime and harvest, which is as much God’s intention for humanity as the cursed thorns and thistles capture the context and content of the common grace covenant well: there is temporal blessing and curse here that relates to those both in and out of the household of faith. In that covenantal context, I would say, yes, there is a mitigation of the curse at least to the degree that God has hung up “the bow of rain” in the clouds – aka floodwaters – and has taken it out of the arsenal of weaponry that He uses in universal judgment.

    Beyond that, I do think that Moses presents Noah as an example faith and good works for Israel and as a shadow of Christ. I’d say that Noah’s role as example and shadow is the point of depicting Noah one who “brings us relief from our work and the painful toil of our hands” (5.29), who, by distinguishing grace, “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (6.8), who “was a righteous man, blameless in his generation, … [and] walked with God” (6.9), who “did all that God commanded him” (6.22; 7.5, 9, 16), whom “God remembered” (8.1), and who “built an altar to the Lord … and offered burnt offerings [of which God] smelled the pleasing aroma” (8.20-21).

    And, yes, within that common grace covenant there is a republication with modifications of the original commission to Adam – the point being (at least in part) that, though there had been an attempt to frustrate the Creator’s original mandate for man, that Creator God is no frustrated deity. Rather He is One who reaffirms man’s dominion even after the fall and the flood and, in that divine reaffirmation, reasserts His design to have the weak rule the strong, sin and D3 notwithstanding.

  62. paigebritton said,

    July 22, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Nice! Thanks. And no, not inadvertent. I saw the common grace piece, too. :)

  63. rfwhite said,

    July 22, 2012 at 8:50 am

    62 paigebritton: “not inadvertent” — cool. We’re tracking each other’s thinking.

    I wonder too if there isn’t also a mitigation of curse in the promise of Gen 8.22, complementary to hanging up “the bow of rain.” At the same time, the introduction of fear-dread into man’s relationship with animals (Gen 9.2), apparently contrary to Gen 2.19-20 (also 7.13-16?), would be an increase of curse in that particular area, right? By the way, I wonder if the words of 9.2 aren’t meant to tell us that that fear is only post-flood and not pre-flood.

  64. Trent said,

    July 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Nice post-post-script! Evolutionists rarely come out about it’s weaknesses. Also evolution isn’t even a unified theory, you have Dawkins pioneering individual selection and genetic mutations as the drive force, others it’s group selection and Carl Sagan’s wife was adamant for symbiosis.

  65. Brad B said,

    July 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Dr. White, [or any other who’d care to] I would like to ask you a pretty speculative question, not necessarily asking for theological justification, but relying on scripture to inform an answer to some reasonable extent. During the second Adams’, aka Jesus’ time on earth prior to being resurrected, He displayed a mastery over the creation, do you think the first Adam was able [if only by communion with the creator] to command the wind and waves as a man?

    New Testament treatment of futility seems to be regarding mans moral failings i.e. Eph.4, not so much his command over the creation as a master would show. Jesus commanded the physical world and the spiritual world [I am really not sure there is a difference in the created order, but that the miraculous seem supernatural to fallen man because of the futility imposed by sin.] The natural world is uncooperative because it doesn’t recognize it’s master, because it’s master is significantly marred–marred enough that without common grace, nature would be uninhabitably hostile to man.

    However, [maybe my post mil. leanings show through] Jesus’ sitting at the right hand of the Father [a man sits at the right hand of the Father] is bringing all things under subjection to the glory of God.

  66. Brad B said,

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Was just reading my post and it sure seems like I’ve sort of discounted the providential acts of God in everyday events. Not really meaning to discount the reliance that the creation has to Him in Whom “we live and breathe and have our being”, but I kinda think God’s image in man will be found to be more marvelous than we expect in light of our fallen state. This in part because we underestimate sin.

  67. rfwhite said,

    July 23, 2012 at 9:18 am

    65 Brad B: You asked, do you think the first Adam was able [if only by communion with the creator] to command the wind and waves as a man? I’ve mulled that question too, and I’m inclined to say that that ability belonged to the God-man only. As I understand it, the episode of Jesus commanding wind and wave pointed to His identity as the God of creation, the flood, the exodus, the Jordan crossing, the God with whom Jonah had to deal.

    That said, I agree with you about the significance of Jesus’ ascension and present session. His ascension to the heavenly throne returns man to the world’s mountain summit (Zion, Heb 12.22-24). Whereas man had been driven from Eden’s earthly mountain summit, now man, through the incarnate Son of Man, has been restored to Zion’s heavenly mountain summit.

    I also agree with you when you say, God’s image in man will be found to be more marvelous than we expect in light of our fallen state. I think that is reflected in the Apostle’s words in 1 Cor 15.47, 49 about our receiving a spiritual body after having a natural body and about our bearing the image of the man of heaven after having borne the image of the man of dust.

  68. Reed Here said,

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Just as long as ants don’t bite.

  69. rfwhite said,

    July 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    68 Reed: sounds like quasi-carnivorous behavior to me! :-)

  70. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

    RF @ 63,

    At the same time, the introduction of fear-dread into man’s relationship with animals (Gen 9.2), apparently contrary to Gen 2.19-20 (also 7.13-16?), would be an increase of curse in that particular area, right?

    Yes, I think so, for man would now be a meat-eater (Gen.9:3).

  71. rfwhite said,

    July 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

    70 Steve D: would you think that it’s likely that man didn’t become a meat-eater until after the flood? I’ve not thought or seen much on that point. We do know of that animals were sacrificed (Gen 3.21; 4.4) and herded (4.2, 20). Any other thoughts?

  72. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

    RF @ 71,

    would you think that it’s likely that man didn’t become a meat-eater until after the flood?

    Yes, I think that is the most consistent understanding of Gen. 9:3, that ‘every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you, I give all to you, as I gave the green plant’, especially as it is paired with Gen. 9:2 that the fear of man and terror of man shall now be on the animals. This also must be seen in light of Gen. 1:29-30 and contrasted with this command here in Gen. 9:3. God gave every green plant for food to both man and animals in Gen. 1:29-30, now he also gives every moving thing that is alive as food to man. Animals would now fear man and be in terror of man, for he would now be eating them.

    We do know of that animals were sacrificed (Gen 3.21; 4.4) and herded (4.2, 20). Any other thoughts?

    God Himself instituted animal sacrifice as a remission for sin with the skins He provided Adam and Eve as you rightly note (Gen. 3:21), and Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable in that it was the firstlings of his flock (animal husbandry is inferred here already), while Cain’s sacrifice of the fruit of the ground was not acceptable. A clear indication to me, that Cain tried to approach God in an incorrect manner. Abel’s sacrifice of an animal was the correct approach, especially as it relates to the remission of sin (Heb. 9:22). God’s words to Cain in Gen. 3:6-7 concerning ‘sin crouching at the door’, also seem indicative that this was the way for proper atonement for sin.

    Some might claim that Abel after his sacrifice of the firstlings of his flock, would surely then have consumed the meat, but this an argument from silence, as God in Scripture does not give permission until ‘after’ Noah came off the Ark in Gen. 9:3. In other words, God’s command in Gen. 1:29-30 was not rescinded or altered until His further command in Gen. 9:3.

    Your thoughts?

  73. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Might I clarify one other thing in regards to my above #72. We know that before the Flood sin was in the world, and we are told by God in Gen. 6:5 that this wickedness was great, with continual evil from the intents and thoughts of man’s heart. Is it possible, that man in his sinless, wicked state before the Flood was eating meat? This would only be conjecture, as Scripture is silent on the matter.

  74. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Whoops, My #73 above should read:

    “Is it possible, that man in his sinful, not sinless, wicked state before the Flood was eating meat?” This would only be conjecture, as Scripture is silent on the matter.

  75. sean said,

    July 24, 2012 at 11:23 am


    Another way to view the Gen 9 stipulations as regards food is that God is creating a context for cultic particularity as it would be practiced in Israel. So, you have a general bounding of ‘all’ food is given unto you…and then in verse 5, we get the first introduction of cultic particularity set against the backdrop of a common practice amongst humanity. So, God is setting the stage for the uniqueness of Israel amongst the other nations, which of course is done to provide a context/backdrop for the coming messiah, ‘born under the law.’

  76. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Sean @ 75,
    Interesting insight.

    1) Can you put Noah on an historical timeline for me and the start of the nation of Israel and tell me how many years between the two?

    2) Do you believe that the Flood of Noah was a universal, global, judgment of God on all except Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives, and all the land dwelling animals except what Noah took on the Ark, or was it local in extent?

  77. sean said,

    July 24, 2012 at 11:59 am


    I don’t really see the relevance to the discussion of your questions, I’m not YEC if that answers what you’re trying to get at.

    Another way to see the food sanctions is to see the Lord’s declaration to Peter about how all foods were clean. That also sheds light on the cultic particularity that pertained in Israel as regarded diet, that had no traction outside that context. So God is purposely introducing a particularity that has cultic relevance in the Israelite situation as type and shadow but once the reality/anti-type appears the types are terminated.

  78. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Sean @ 77,
    As it relates to theistic evolution, the Flood of Noah, whether you believe it was global and universal, or local in extent, has profound implications, but in saying this, I realize I might be going far afield of Reed’s topic for this post, so I will leave it at that and refrain from commenting further on the Flood so we can get back to D3 and it’s implications for millions and millions of years before Adam sinned.

  79. sean said,

    July 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    If one wants to maintain that animal death, in this case for food, is part of D3, it seems they would have to overcome Acts 10:15, Rom 14:14, and 1Tim 4:4.

    It’s likely that the green plant sanction in Eden was not a statement of universality but again a limited disclosure of sanction in revelation so as to provide context and give sensibility to the eventual transgression of the sanction tied to eating of the forbidden tree. Particularly, if we regard Eden as Garden/Sanctuary and Adam’s specific priestly and judicial role in rendering judgement against the apostate(Satan) creature and keeping fealty to the covenant himself by NOT eating the forbidden fruit.

    Again I worry about stretching the scriptures too far in order to fit modern questions and concerns.

  80. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Sean :),

    If one wants to maintain that animal death, in this case for food, is part of D3, it seems they would have to overcome Acts 10:15, Rom 14:14, and 1Tim 4:4.

    We’re back to animal death again, a proviso, that I thought Reed warned us not to talk about. But isn’t the question about animal death pre-Fall vs. post-Fall, and if we’re talking about animal death as food as part of D3, don’t we need to make this distinction? Or am I not understanding you correctly?

    Again I worry about stretching the scriptures too far in order to fit modern questions and concerns.

    But who’s really trying to fit modern concerns into Scripture and trying to stretch them to fit? The concern goes both ways I think.

  81. rfwhite said,

    July 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    72-74 Steve D: I think it’s most plausible to read Gen 1.29-30 with Gen 9.3 as you do. That said, I do think we want to remain alert to the concerns that Sean mentions in 75, 77, 79. It’s an interesting project that can open up perspectives on texts, particularly seeing texts in the light of the history of revelation and redemption.

  82. sean said,

    July 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm


    It seemed Reed was entertaining the question as it related to D3. The question of whether carnivorous activity is a consequence of the fall or existed pre-fall and thus not part of D3. If I’m wrong about that assumption, I apologize. I was trying to follow the discussion as it related to Gen 9 and how it was similar/different to Gen 1.

    I agree the concern certainly can go both ways. I’m no fan of making the scriptures capitulate to every new twist and turn coming from T.E.

    We have to have an ability to exegete the scriptures within their historical context as much as possible while not being taken captive to every new scientific development but also not setting up a false dichotomy between NR and SR. NR at it’s best should give us tools and context for our work.

  83. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    RF @ 81,
    That’s fine, but relate it to real history and put it on a timeline. Make no mistake, theistic evolutionists cry foul when asked to do this, thereby bankrupting their position and the ‘real’ questions that people have. Any discussion of D3 must take into consideration the real history as evidenced in the fossil record with it’s concomitant death, destruction, and decay over millions and millions of years according to the theistic evolutionary timeline. Is this a result of Adam’s sin, or not?

  84. rfwhite said,

    July 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    83 Steve D: I think I’ve answered your last question in my earlier posts, right? Perhaps that was, partly, a rhetorical flourish. Just checking.

  85. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    RF @ 84,
    Yes, :) but an important question nonetheless to those who ‘do not’ hold to the traditional, classical, time-honored YEC view. Whatever system they want to adopt, real history and a real timeline must be discussed, otherwise, we’re just playing games. I go back to Jim’s question in #9, ‘change from what?’, and Reed’s response in #11 that we will get back to those type of questions. Have we answered the ‘change’ as biblically described, from the ‘from what’ yet, or are we still trying to get a grapple on the ‘change’ part? My comment in #83 should be seen in light of the ‘from what’ aspect I think and maybe we’re not there yet.

  86. July 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Steve at 85:

    “Whatever system they want to adopt, real history and a real timeline must be discussed, otherwise, we’re just playing games.”

    Yeah, talking about reality (real history and a real timeline) is indeed in everyone’s best interest. I’m glad you state, “whatever system they want to adopt,” because it means you are open to people like me who allow for elasticity on the length of the Genesis days. I think we are making progress, from when it was supposed that a position on the agnosticism of the length of the creation days indicates some kind of attack on the person and work of Christ.

    Good work all around, everyone, if I can be so bold to state.


  87. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Andrew @ 86,
    Please don’t take my ‘whatever system they want to adopt’, as an acquiescence to the false theology of theistic evolution. But I think you probably knew that, right?

  88. July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Yes. Steve, I want to humbly thank you for all your efforts here. I don’t think I am using your words as a license for extra-biblical freedom. But please understand, some of us are not exactly sure just how long the days mentioned in Genesis were. Please remember, that science seems to suggest that days’ length are changing every day, and even the earthquake in Japan was big enough to make a noticeable change in the length of our earth solar days. Granted, that change is several microns, or whatever, of a second (basically, don’t worry folks, we’re not about to have only 23 hours in a day…24 already seems like not enough sometimes!!). All I am saying is, let’s keep this discussion about science and Bible matters going, or move to other topics, as we see fit. I for one am in a great deal of debt for all your hard work. Consider me thankful and humble.

    Peace. And thank you again, Steve. I have appreciated getting to you know your views and more about you.

  89. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Andrew @86,
    Please also don’t take my ‘whatever system they want to adopt’, as acquiescence that I am open to elasticity on the length of days. You are reading me incorrectly, but I think you probably knew this as well.

  90. July 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I know you are not elastic. You are free to hold that view. I am only asking that we remain friends and be golf buddies, if that ever is to come to pass ;-)

  91. Steve Drake said,

    July 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Andrew :),
    If you knew that, then why would you say it in #86? BFF Andrew, and make sure your golf does not interfere with your responsibilities as a husband and father. Blessings.

  92. July 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    And at the risk of sounding crass, I can only wonder if Adam’s golf course was free of sand traps and poorly maintained greens. Well, he was meant to tend the garden. Maybe his golf course had roughs with grass too high, but that was his fault. He was too busy golfing and not tending to the grass that needing mowing? Oh wow, now I’m really doing rhetorical flourishing. That’s a great phrase by the way, I had never heard it before. It’s nice to know God’s grace extends not only to my poor golf swing, but also to my mis-use of such pious places like these blogs ;-)

  93. July 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Well, Steve, I’m just making sure you are open to someone as me, who’s too silly to really read all 1000 comments since we started on this topic, and instead, is just trying to find that ever elusive 4th golfer for my foursome I’m planning on Friday.

    Speaking of which, any takers?

    I had to try…


  94. Brad B said,

    July 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Andrew, I think the reason you might be reading some elasticity in Steve’s position, is that you might be missing that there are serious negative consequences to the coherency of biblical revelation to allow for the coherency of the current natural revelation paradigm to have anything more weighty to supplant the biblical revelation’s paradigm. I understand you believe you have reason to be agnostic about it, but….

    If, or until, the biblical revelation is not compromised in any way in its interconnectedness of the whole biblical revelation, can we then take a listen at what natural revelation is saying. Right now, most have natural revelation as saying 6/24 is improbable but to do that they ignore….

    Fall, what Fall?, Futility what Futility? Unless I missed it, there has been not one TE attempt to biblically defend TE and coherently incorporate the curse and its effects with orthodox historic Christianity. To be agnostic on length of days is to be agnostic on the curse….

    Until a TE steps up and answers some important questions without dismissing core content of the Christian faith once delivered.

  95. July 25, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Hi Brad et al,

    I’m willing to engage in thoughtful dialogue and not bring up golf. Or at least I will try… :-)

    My question about the entire 1000 or so (I think I actually added it to be 860 comments, so, I’m sorry for my exaggeration) comments, or said another way, this entire conversation, is this: why are we putting God in a box?

    Let me explain.

    I think we need to seriously grapple with the question from the OPC Q&A that I posted several times. Can general revelation and special revelation contradict one another? That’s the OPC Q&A question. And the answer, obviously, is no.

    Ok, so they are in agreement. Let’s consider that our first baby step.

    We also must state on the outset, that the Bible is over and above science. This is another form of stating what the OPC Q&A states, which is that special revelation is over general revelation.

    I ask that all readers take what follows with all grace. It is not meant as a criticism. But these are my honest feelings on the matter, and I have thus far been unwilling to be so open.

    I fear that no one in this forum has really grappled with the scientific data that is pouring forth, about geology. To be honest, this type of forum is very poor for this type of topic. It’s a serious topic, folks. I mean, who is Andrew Buckingham, anyway? Why should anyone listen to what pours forth from my fingers.

    I do not see an honest grappling with the fact that a prominent PCA pastor, Dr. Tim Keller, is in stark contrast to everything that is being presented by the majority position here at green baggins, amongst the blog writers and commenters.

    I want to make this very clear – I am a huge huge Bible fan. I almost started writing, “I love the Bible.” Well, I feel that way. Really, it’s my Heavenly Father, that I love. But I encountered the Gospel through His Word written, Scripture, so I have a very very deep personal attachment to Holy Writ. My Bible has been at my side for as long as I can remember, as a child.

    Ok, so why all these personal anecdotes? Why the soliloquy? I’m not really sure. But I do feel that more work needs to be done. And thanks be for Dr. Tim Keller. Look, I can’t just simply turn my brain of and say that I’m with Dr. Keller, and be done with it. But I appreciate the fact that he is trying to take an honest look and stab and this tension between Christianity and Science.

    I really do think God wants us to ask good and honest questions. God is not so small that our scientific positions and hypotheses put His existence in jeopardy. From my simple vantage point, I appreciate the person who goes to school and becomes a researcher of evolutionary thought. I don’t view evolutionists, necessarily, as wolves. I’ve not arrived where some of you have.

    Brad, you are telling my that my agnosticism means I am agnostic about the fall. I mean, come on. I KNOW that mankind is fallen. I KNOW I AM FALLEN. Remember, as I have been saying, Plantinga’s critcism rocks – our fallen nature dictates that our supposed naturalistically concocted brain CAN’T figure out evolution as the strict natrualistic evolutionist says it can. I mean, Plantinga’s so smart to point that out, I wish more people appreciated how he is saying that evolution is not the source of the problem here, but it is “natrualism.”

    sorry for the caps. But you are all making connections that to me, just don’t make sense. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, so, I am sorry for bringing it up again. But I got into a flurry because it was being said that an old earth position ends up being an attack on the person and work of Christ. This to me, just is not common sense. I understand the logical connections to get there. But to me, I can’t in good conscience make the connections. I’m willing to dialogue more on that or anything I’ve said here.

    At the end of the day, I am not a professional theologian. And truthfully, for all my ‘love’ of my Bible, I don’t know it nearly as well as I should. But I have spent a lot of time considering my doctrine of Scripture.

    I really do feel that there are some on the “hunt” to bring people who are more open on these matters, to bring them up on charges. At least those of us who have taken confessional vows. Or something. I feel there is a lot of fear for people in the church who have honest questions here about how science and religion relate. So instead of being open about feelings and opinions, someone like me sits quiet in the corner. Because I love Christ and serving his church. But am made to feel less than those who hold to YEC. As though I have something wrong with me, that simply needs to be rooted out, or maybe, I need to be rooted out.

    From here on out, my points will be shorter and more direct. As Pascal said, “I’m sorry, I would have written a shorter letter, if I had the time.”

    Please consider my words as exactly what they are – an honest attempt to show you all where I am at, and why I must continue to affirm my strong feelings that agnosticism over how long the days of Genesis 1 really are.


  96. July 25, 2012 at 12:14 am

    PS I am not a theistic evolutionist. But I am willing to hear arguments for how “evolutionary creationism” and historic orthodox Christianity might be made to fit together. Remember, Tim Keller ain’t no TE either…

    If you are out there reading, Tim, I could use some help!! :-)

  97. Steve Drake said,

    July 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Andrew @ 95,

    I fear that no one in this forum has really grappled with the scientific data that is pouring forth, about geology.

    I have consistently referred to several resources for your and others interest on this topic, on this blog. You simply are not paying attention or dismiss outright anything that comes from creation scientists. In other words, you have prejudiced your views and card-stacked your statements in favor of your prejudiced views. For your edification once again, may you find just a small amount of the available literature on this topic at http://www.icr.org/rate.

    What would be of interest Andrew, is to see you address the original post as it relates to your view of geology. Was there D3 before Adam’s sin? Don’t mention the word ‘golf’ in your reply.

  98. July 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I mention golf only to mention that I won’t mention golf. That’s fair.

    “You simply are not paying attention or dismiss outright anything that comes from creation scientists.”

    Do you believe that creation scientists have zeroed in on the answers to all of our issues here? Are you the one not paying attention to the PCA and OPC creation reports? Who are you and what eclessiastical authority do you fall under? I am not attacking you. But your questions are direct – and I will not feel comfortable answering the type of questions you ask, of just anyone. I actually need to know who I am talking to before I start sharing my opinions. And forums like this are good for asking provacative questions, for a “rhetorical flourish.” But I think you are being to strong in your rhetoric, and I would kindly ask that going forward, while I read the literature of ICR, you please read the literature of my denomination, the OPC.

    Kindest regards, my friend,

  99. Steve Drake said,

    July 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Andrew @ 98,
    I have read the whole of the PCA Creation Report, but not the OPC Creation Report, but it matters not to our discussion. We are arguing the claims of Scripture, not what a denominational study has agreed to allow regarding creation. I’m sure you see the difference. That you have continued to try and justify your position behind the ‘allowances’ of the OPC Creation Report ameliorates your conscience I’m sure, but does no justice to the actual arguments that Reed has presented in these series of posts to which you have not begun to answer. I urge you as my fellow brother in Christ, to address the questions and arguments that have been laid out here.

  100. July 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm


    “Sincerely, it does not appear that we are thinking through the necessary ramifications of affirming some sort of theistic evolution position.”

    That’s Reed’s final word.

    I’m not a theistic evolutionist.

    So tell me – what have I not thought through? I grant you the point.

    Show me the way, brother. I don’t have time to read ICR reports, unfortunately. As you know, I am a father of three young ones.


  101. July 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    PS if your point is, that I have not achieved any rebuttal against a YEC position, that’s fair too. I was simply trying to defend against some people here who appeared to take Reed’s words farther than he himself took them. Let’s analyze Reed’s words if need be. I think my reaction since I started out here was not against the actual blog posts (although that wolf thing did kind get to me, I will admit..) but rather the comments section. I’m just trying to be peaceful and have a good discussion amongst brothers.

  102. July 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    By affirming a position of agnosticism, I am in good standing within my denomination. YEC may be correct. My position is a strong, “I don’t know.” I don’t see myself changing from agnosticism anytime soon.

  103. Steve Drake said,

    July 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Andrew @ 100,

    So tell me – what have I not thought through? I grant you the point.

    Try to begin by answering my earlier question. Within your adopted view of geology, was there D3 before Adam’s sin?

  104. July 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Steve at 103:

    I’ll answer that by stating that I have not yet figured out the proper Biblical definition of what we are calling, “death.”

    You may say, “oh Andrew – of course you know what death is…”

    Actually, I don’t.

    And I’ve stated much earlier in the string, that’s where I am at.

    Now, I have on my “to-read” list some things that John Owen wrote, “death of death in the death of …” or something or other. Some people reading this comment likely have heard of it.

    So I’m curious, in a sense about what “death” is. And I’ve lately (only maybe 1 year ago?) figured out how valuable the puritans are.

    Are you into the puritan’s, Steve? No worries if not – consider this tangent my last and final post. Because we should share notes about the things we like. The theologians we like. I know almost nothing about you, this person who is asking me questions.

    But I want to know you more, Steve, and answer your questions over e-mail. What do you think of that? Private coresspondence instead? Don’t take me to be a coward (at least don’t attribute cowardice alone for my reqeust to take this to the e-mail waves, and out of blogospheric space). andrew (dot) d (dot) buckingham (at) gmail (dot) com


  105. July 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    PS I have been told in this forum that maybe only 1/3 of what I state has much value. I’m really sorry to have clogged these air-waves. Understood if interested individuals don’t reach out to me via e-mail. I realize I may not always be coherent. Just, I don’t want others to feel that since they are not YEC, that they are second class citizens, or don’t have other doctrines straight. Please, folks, we must consider these questions about ant bites, etc. are the test for orthodoxy. I think I understand why some are so adamant. But I think this conversation can quickly, I hate to say it, “devolve.” I’m actually quite pleased with how it all went, all 900 or so comments.

    Consider that my last and final rhetorical flourish.

    You word-smiths rock!

  106. July 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    *why these questions

  107. July 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    But just so as to leave us both with some homework, Steve…

    “Within your adopted view of geology, was there D3 before Adam’s sin?”

    Here’s my question to you:

    Within your adopted view of death, do questions about ant bites matter on the day after my brain wave functions will undoubtedly cease?

    Or, is what ultimately matters, is whether right now, I love my Father and my neighbor as myself…

    Speaking of my neighbor, it’s time I focus on the people around me.

    I appreciate the show of love you have shown me, Steve, in your willingness to ask me questions and dialogue with me.

    I hate to say it, but I would really enjoy golfing with you someday.

    I said I wouldn’t. But seriously, do you know the endorphin rush of sinking a long putt?!?

  108. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Andrew @ 104,

    and answer your questions over e-mail. What do you think of that? Private coresspondence instead?

    We tried that and you deflected, much like you’re deflecting now, brother. This is not meant to be harsh, but we’ve been down that road. I’m seeking your answers to what you are willing to own up to publicly.

    ’ll answer that by stating that I have not yet figured out the proper Biblical definition of what we are calling, “death.”

    Scripture speaks of physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death. Beginning with your adopted view of geology, what kind of death do you see in the Cambrian, for example, 550 million years ago according to your adopted geological timeline? Who, or what died?

  109. July 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm


    I didn’t deflect. I was explaining to you a very personal experience, the death of my younger brother when I was a kid. I can tell you more about that. But I am struggling to have communication with you. It’s going to take more time and energy. I can offer you that, just let’s go about it, as we have time to give to this endeavor here at GB.

    I understand you feel that I am deflecting. I’m willing to continue our dialogue.

    I’m just trying to find out more about your theological leanings more broadly. I am not purposefully trying to pry. I actually want to learn. Please count me a sincere questioner. And not just a goof ball golfer.

    But I do like to keep these matters light, when I can.


  110. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Brother Andrew @ 109,
    Yes, so if you’re honestly seeking answers, then please honestly try to answer the question according to your adopted geological timeline. That you continue to refuse to do so, personal issues aside, is deflection. If you aren’t willing to honestly engage the question then you’re only deceiving yourself and we’ll never get to the bottom of this issue. Please know I am praying for your personal issues Andrew, and have been since the day we first engaged each other, but if you truly seek answers, truly want to learn, then an honest acknowledgment of your position is essential. Otherwise, we’re just blowing hot air.

  111. July 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    “your adopted geological timeline”


    “If you aren’t willing to honestly engage the question then you’re only deceiving yourself and we’ll never get to the bottom of this issue.”


    All I have told you is that like the elders who interviewed me for ordination, you want me to answer on how long the genesis days are.

    Why are you upset that I don’t know the answer to that question?

    I’m done here.

  112. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Andrew @ 111,
    You’re twisting my words again. I simply asked you to explain who or what died in the Cambrian 550 million years ago according to your statement in #95 that you fear no one is grappling with the scientific data pouring forth from geology.

  113. July 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    “you fear no one is grappling with the scientific data pouring forth from geology.”

    How do you explain the devolution of this discussion to be one about ant bites? Yes, the tenor of this conversation is not asking the questions that are accepted by science. Don’t read between my lines. The ant bite stuff can’t be simply be a coincidence. Am I really the only goofball out here that uses more than literal language to try to make a point?

    Why do you think part of this discussion went that way Steve?

    It’s because the conversation is off the rails.

    Can you tell me exactly how many micro-seconds the 1st genesis day was? How precise must we be, in order to be Orthodox, in your view?

    I am at peace and am calm – but yes, there is not a sincere wrestling going on here. That’s just my opinion, which I am entitled to. My opinions should pose no threat to you, nor anyone.

    Which is why I don’t understand why those elders, and you, seem upset by my opinions.

    Really done,

  114. July 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm


    In all sense of grace and peace:

    You and I have not yet had an honest discussion on how you link the length of the creation days to Christology. I believe you may have had hints at retraction, or something. I’m not upset. But I really think the way you were formulating the argument in the beginning about how it is an attack on the person and work of Christ, is actually a bit manipulative. I am really trying to just be peaceful, and point out a log, brother. Please, understand. This comment may be deleted. That’s OK. You need to ask yourself why you really feel the way you do about the length of the creation days, being linked to the person and work of Christ. I did feel threat, from your arguments. And we never really addressed how I felt as you formulated that thought. If you want to e-mail me, please address this concern of mine. But I am done until we talk along those lines. I have nothing further to say here.

    Your friend,

  115. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Andrew @ 113,
    There’s no need for false umbrage here, brother.. Since you stated ‘you’re done’, we need not continue.

  116. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Andrew @ 114,
    Since you’re ‘not done’, may I continue?

    But I really think the way you were formulating the argument in the beginning about how it is an attack on the person and work of Christ, is actually a bit manipulative.

    My conviction here still stands Andrew. The work of Christ in creation is part of the doctrine of Christology. I have not retracted anything. To say that Christ’s work in creation included D3 before Adam sinned, is a false and mistaken Christology. Have I stated it clearly?

  117. July 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    We’re cool, Steve. If you want my opinions, you can send me an e-mail. And what you do with those e-mails, is up to you. But I would rather not keep the discussion going here. They are important matters, which is why I can’t just so easily stop. As you care for me, I care for you.


  118. July 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    It’s hard to fault me for not being done all the time. Things are exciting here. Who would have thought Jason Stellman would show up? All theological questions about Rome and Geneva aside, I felt like I was talking to a celebrity ;-)

  119. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    If you’re ‘not done’ on this thread, may we continue our discussion?

  120. July 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Yes. On e-mail. If you want my opinions.

    I’ll leave you all to discuss.

    Sorry. If that’s what you mean.

  121. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Andrew @ 120,
    As I stated above, we’ve been down the private email path, and you deflected in the same way you are deflecting here. Why is the question about who or what died in the Cambrian 550 million years ago such a threat to you?

  122. July 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    No it’s not.


    Why are you asking “why?”

    There is another very interesting thread going on here, about Papal authority and church history.

    Why do you think I feel threatened?

    I told you – it was when you were claiming I had problems with my doctrines of Christology and the Trinity.

    But we are at a disagreement. Are you able to agree to disagree?

  123. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Andrew @ 122,
    If the question is not a threat, then would you consider answering it? Your salient answer might possibly win others to your position and do away with the traditional, classical and time-honored YEC view once and for all.

  124. July 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Why would I want to do away with YEC? I will answer you offline. Steve, I have no idea of your background, your motives here on GB, or why you keep asking questions. I am your friend, for my part. But you and I really should talk offline. Take care. I’ll go post one more on the other thread, and check back in a few weeks or months. Peace.

  125. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Andrew @ 124,
    I have no desire to engage you privately again. This is a public blog. My background, motives, etc., are irrelevant. That you continue to deflect and unwillingly in a public forum debate this issue seriously, is a serious malady.

  126. July 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Disagree. Peace.

  127. July 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    It’s not wrong to leave a discussion where one side feels it is no longer fruitful. And as I have said repeatedly, I need to focus on people around me. Steve, I would implore you to consider that as well. As your friend. If I truly have a log in my eye that you can see, will you please give e-mail another chance? Otherwise, your motives seem not to be one of helpfulness, but something else that I do not know. Peace.

  128. Steve Drake said,

    July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Andrew @ 127,
    I have found your offer to be disingenuous brother. Your plea for help was answered once, but I discovered you have no interest in engaging this topic seriously. If you truly desire help, then this public forum can serve that end. Please know I am continuing to pray for your personal issues Andrew. Peace.

  129. July 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you, Steve. You should know that I have sought the counsel of my pastor. He’s proven invaluable. If you know anything about reformed theology or the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, or any churches that are members of NAPARC, I can only say wonderful things about such! I may have checked out, on the creation questions, but I enjoy friendly dialogue.

    Now, to the parties who want to talk creation issues: You may resume.

  130. Steve Drake said,

    August 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

    The above are visual depictions of what we’re speaking of here concerning D3 before Adam’s sin. Rose fossils in the Miocene (5-23 million years ago), cactus fossils in the Eocene (35-55 million years ago), and spiny plant fossils in the Devonian (360-410 million years ago).

    Reed or Paige, please feel free to delete this comment if images cannot be posted in blog comments at Green Baggins or inappropriate for this discussion.

  131. August 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Hey – look who showed up on Green Baggins, to revive this string. Mr Drake. How are you, kind sir?

    I’ve been going over some of the comments. Here’s one I’m pondering:

    “I have found your offer to be disingenuous brother. Your plea for help was answered once, but I discovered you have no interest in engaging this topic seriously. If you truly desire help, then this public forum can serve that end. ”

    I started off engaging in matters on creation by pointing to the creation report in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I actually disagree with you. I think this is a horrible forum for us to discuss these matters of serious important. I am sorry you find me disingenuous. But I am willing and able to dialogue with you and answer any questions you have about me, my ordination, my family, my history with this topic, or anything you want to ask. I have a passion for it, hence, why I post. Yes, I probably grew weary, and made myself to look like a fool at many times. But just FYI, I’ve kind of moved on (I won’t use the word, “evolved”) from Golf and am trying to learn to Run. So maybe increased overall stamina is something I will find developing within myself?

    Point is, let’s talk, Steve. But it may take me several days to respond at at time.

    Do you have any questions for me? I want to prove to you how wrong you are about me being disingenuous. Not for my sake. But for the sake of the one that I love. Jesus Christ.


  132. Steve Drake said,

    August 16, 2012 at 11:30 am

    My only interest is in dialoging publicly. I was trying to post a couple images but must not have gotten the html string correct, or width was too much or something. I’m going to try again just to see if possible, but it may be that the groundrules for posting here prevent this.

    If you don’t see anything, it’s because it didn’t work once again, but I remember an image you posted on one of the threads of a book cover I think.

    At any rate, not interested in the OPC Creation Report, your ordination, your family, your history with this topic, or anything else. Those are all superfluous to this topic. If we are to discuss anything moving forward Andrew, perhaps you can try to answer my question about who or what died in the Cambrian 550 million years ago. Or try to explain the fossils of thorns and thorny plants per my #130, as it relates to Gen. 3:18 and God’s curse.

  133. August 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

    “answer my question about who or what died in the Cambrian 550 million years ago”

    is this question related to my agnosticism on how long the days in genesis 1 are?

    “fossils of thorns and thorny plants per my #130”

    yeah, that’s a good question. i’m not sure why i would be the one to answer. i’m just a golfer who got ordained as a 25 year old man, probably partially on the basis of my profession as an accountant would help that church ease into a new “administration” for running the finances (I think the pastor actually called me and my new way of accounting, after the outgoing treasurer, a new, “administration.).

    I understand you don’t care about anything in my personal life. But I can’t understand why these questions dog you so…


  134. August 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

    let me step back a second…Steve.

    Let me look around on the internet, read some YEC books, and some Hebrew translations. I’ll get to the bottom of your concern on thistles. Here in california, we eat “artichokes.” It’s actually quite a nice thistle.

    My goal is to come back in one week with some answers for you. I really do want to help.

    God’s peace, brother Steve.

  135. August 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Have you read the OPC Creation report, Steve? We can ask the authors, whether their work truly is superflous to what you are asking. I wouldn’t mind asking them for you. I think one of the main authors of that is a relatively regular commenter here, so we can bet he’s reading yours and my words. Just FYI…

  136. August 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    The only other thing I would ask is: With all these questions about Cambrian and what happened 550 MYA (striking, since I thought you were YEC), is:

    Are you a geologist?

    For my part, I took four geology classes at UCSB. They were pretty interesting, one was devoted entirely to ‘evolution’ (the class was called “history of life.”) I took another one entirely devoted to geologic catastrophes. The movies we got to watch were neato!

    Not necessarily meaningful, I know. And you don’t want me asking any questions about you. But if you are a geologist, I want to hear your thoughts on these things. Please elaborate for us, as you are able.

    Kind regards.


  137. Steve Drake said,

    August 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Please see my posts under the thread on Tim Keller by Dr. Adrian Keister (Jan. 17, 2012, ‘A Critique….’) I go into the whole history of modern geology, it’s dating game, and where ‘deep time’ came from. The issue of D3 in the fossil record millions and millions of years before Adam entered the scene and sinned is the question you must address as an old earth adherent. The young earth view has no problem with fossils in the geologic record since we take God’s statements in Gen. 6-9 as factually true that there was indeed a worldwide, cataclysmic, global and universal Flood in the time of Noah which wiped out everything except Noah and his family and produced these fossils.This happened thousands of years ago, no need for millions of years. Most old earth adherents deny a global Flood, they have to in order to hold on to the millions and millions of years of geological evolution.

    No, I am not a geologist. Does this discount the extensive geological reading I have done by both secular and Christian authors on the subject? You are hinting at a fallacy of argument: that no one who is not a geologist can speak with any authority on the subject. I hope that is not what you are implying, but it sure sounds that way. I have repeatedly referred you to links and resources of those who are geologists. You have indicated elsewhere that you don’t have time to read them, especially if they are creation scientists.

  138. August 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    all I know is i read something in michael horton’s publication “modern reformation” about pca geologists or something.

    i don’t understand why you think your personal history is irrelevant. it’s very relevant.

    i’m going to leave you alone, steve. but i implore you to ask people employed as geologists, and particularly, oil exploration specialists. you might learn something.

    peace my brother. see you in a month, perhaps.

  139. Steve Drake said,

    August 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Thanks Andrew,
    At some point, I hope you can provide a reasoned, cogent argument(s) for the denial of the 6/24 position, and in support of your old earth position consistent with Scripture, one that actually addresses the topic. To date, I have not seen you do this in any of your public comments.

    it is a failure of our education system, that young people, have not been taught the skills to defend their position with logical reasoned arguments and presentation of evidence; instead using deflection and distraction tactics, huffing and bluffing with more fervor than light.

  140. August 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Steve, your criticisms of me, my upbringing, age, demeanor, and general overall analysis of what I and you have been up to is certainly worthy of consideration. Why do you hope in my abilities to meet your standard? What makes you care so much about this argument you want me to put forth? Ego? Peace.

  141. August 18, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I feel like almost a moth to flame since finding the puritans. Ant bites aren’t on my radar at the moment. What age did you start caring? Maybe I will provide when I am 40. I could give you a monologue about “time” but my thoughts on that before were heavily criticised. Quieting down, Andrew

  142. August 18, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I mean, this forum is horrible, and you make assumptions. What if I am truly 90 and have thought about evolution since the great depression. Who are we all, huffing and puffing out here? I honestly try to reveal truthful things about me, and I try to build an argument. You continue to pay batman, and just attack my honest attempt at questions. Its offensive, really. But I’m cool. Peace.

  143. August 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

    *play batman. Show yourself. Like the bat, face your fears. Enjoy your Saturday and Lord’s day, brother. Peace, Andrew

  144. August 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Maybe someone who’s been around blogs for a while (Steve?) can explain why we blog theology. To me, this all looks like a cruel joke. Are there any adults in the room? Goodbye, blogs. Peace, Andrew

  145. August 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    My pastor says my internet friends are my “imaginary friends.’ I cracked up! We are all each other’s imaginary friends. I will turn this off until August 30. Its like a staring contest. When I check back here, my guess, is 3000 or more comments, even after my words. Smile :-)

  146. August 19, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Hi Steve et al,

    I want to apologize for this latest comment flourish on this string. I really mean it – I’m checking out of GB for at least the rest of August, if not forever. On a personal note, I have found really edifying and God glorifying relationships using the e-mail and internet forums. Yes, that sounds a little strange. But just about me – I think I have been using the evolution debate to get all ya’ll’s attention. I’ve thought about if for several years, as I am sure Steve and all ya’ll’s have done, as well.

    Any thoughts on the matter will be shared privately with Rev. Reed DePace or any other interested party.

    There’s a reason why I kept at this topic for so long. But I fear most of my comments were more emotion driven than actual fact and logic based reasoning.

    I want to thank Steve for putting the question of myself in front of me. I wish you all a very happy debate, over evolution, Romanism, or whatever other “theological handgrenade” the writers here at GB wish to throw out to all of us unsuspective victims.

    But that’s not meant to be a dig. That’s just me, being me.

    God’s peace,

  147. August 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    PS, thanks for that reference, Steve Drake. There is interesting stuff there. I stopped reading at comment 319 on that January thread here, because, Mark Malone in a sentence expresses my feeling to a tee. Peace.

  148. Steve Drake said,

    August 20, 2012 at 9:12 am

    You’re welcome. Hope it was helpful to you. Reed’s comment at #320 following the #319 comment sums up those who just like to play at this, never offering valid arguments for their position.

  149. August 20, 2012 at 11:27 am


    Why do you think I am OE? Have you not been reading my comments, where I say I am a firm agnostic?

    Do you think I am playing a game? I’m not sure if you are implying something….

    No new thoughts from me…but I will respond to things directed my way. Especially from you, BFF Steve.

    Grace and Peace,

  150. August 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Here’s my assesment:

    You believe the Bible requires that I affirm a YEC position.

    I think that the Bible doesn’t speak on the topic of when fiat creation.

    But you don’t like my nomenclature. And we are at an impasse.

    I was afraid from you earlier comments, that my Christology was out of whack. I think you still have reservations about my Christology.

    And I find comfort in the PCA and OPC creation reports.

    And I think I know nothing about you or your motives or why you feel I must become dogmatic on when fiat creation in order to meet your standard.

    I’m willing to listen, but that’s where I believe we are at.

    Not playing,

  151. August 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Steve, I am very very very (can not underscore enough) concerned about your criticisms of me and my education. I have three small children, 5, 3, and 1, and my oldest daughter starts 1st grade today.

    Can you pinpoint exactly where my education failed to produce the kind of person that you think I should be?

    Help please!!


  152. August 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Also, I would like you to e-mail me your pictures, of 500MYA, or whatever. Clearly an artists rendering. Only if you care to e-mail me anymore. I understand you only are concerned about public dialog. Tell me that’s not for your ego…and that’s why you refuse to continue to e-mail me.

    Peace my brother.

  153. August 20, 2012 at 11:46 am

    As for Reed’s 320:

    “This discussion does not rest on geology, but on Biblical interpretation. Feel free to back up your opinion, preferably without sarcasm masquerading as condescension.”

    To which I wholeheartedly agree. I can continue to explain where I think the problem really lies – sinful humans don’t interpret the “book of nature” or the “book of Scripture” rightly. I’ll leave Bavinck here to make the point I am getting at:

    “Herman Bavinck made similar points. When dealing with the issue of harmonizing Scripture with science, he claimed that there is the book of nature and there is the book of Scripture. When conflicts arise, it is usually due to our own misunderstandings. “Conflict arises only because both the text of the book of Scripture and the text of the book of nature are often so badly read and poorly misunderstood.”[15] It may sound somewhat striking to our ears, but that same theologian said, “No one has any objection, no one can have any objection, to the facts advanced by geology. These facts are just as much words of God as the content of Holy Scripture and must therefore be believingly accepted by everyone. But these facts must be rigorously distinguished from the exegesis of these facts that geologists present.”[16] These are striking statements advanced by a Reformed theologian of the highest caliber.”



    I’m curious, are you “reformed?”


  154. August 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Sorry, Steve, I know you don’t want me asking. It’s just, this is the blog of a reformed pastor, Lane Keister. And in the reformed tradition, we have a history of being “elastic” on the creation questions you raise. Sure, post all the comments you want. Just recognize, you may be kind of a lone wolf – to get back to Lane’s comment.

    No biggee. Just keep reading Reed’s words. He understands, I’m sure, the reformed heritage, and why it’s important to bring up, and why people’s personal circumstances are important.

    Keep reading, good friend and brother,

  155. August 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm


    It seems there is an argument about whether the question about “animal death before the fall” has some bearing on how old the earth is.

    I would like to bring the discussion to this topic, if it’s to happen, going forward.

    Because the OPC creation report lays out a view called, “day’s of unspecified length,” whereby it is argued (by scholars, i might add, and not a yahoo internet apologist like yours truly, who just likes combox’s to make grandiose theological claims) that animal death before the fall is not the issue here.

    I’ll pull the words out again, if I need to.

    If you simply don’t like the work of the OPC scholars, that’s cool. Just, I hope the argument going forward is done within the confines of our presbyteries and general assemblies.

    I’m very worried that our church is being litigates as it is on the internet here.

    We should all be afraid, presbyterians,


  156. August 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm


    i mean, imagine the SCOTUS has a blog, where people hash out the important issues.


    we are talking the church here, people! This is no mere exercise or game in civic affairs.

    Who’s the adult that says all this commenting, etc is OK?

    Are we really ok with what we are doing on the internet?

    Help me understand what you all have been doing these past 10+ years (you wordpress people, puritain board, etc…).

    Are we just lonely, looking for people to golf with?

  157. August 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    OPC Creation report, 2004, lines 1532-1534:

    As for the question of death before the fall, the following should be noted (1) this issue is no obstacle,
    exegetically speaking, to many of the views of the days of Genesis and (2) perhaps not problematic for
    any of the views.

  158. August 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I’m only worried that presbyterians are allowing this kind of litigating. I’m not genuinely worried. I still rest in the everlasting arms of Jesus.



  159. August 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I am genuinely worried, just there’s bigger fish to fry, than letting you all know the angst that you may be causing, with all this litigating. God’s bigger than our blogs. Adios muchachos.

  160. August 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I was going to say, “let’s ask the pope,” but given the 1200 comments on just one string, that may not be in good taste at the moment. Some might construe that as a joke.

    Because ultimately, the RCC position is interesting, but bears no relevance for us reformed folk.

    Back to the Rome/Geneva diaologue, I’ll not talk creation matters until 2013.


  161. Steve Drake said,

    August 22, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Wow, 12 comments (#149 -160), since my last in #148. You’re all over the map here brother. This has not been a fruitful discussion with you. You claim agnosticism on the ‘age’ issue, but offer no rebuttals or counterarguments to the thrust of the original post. This is simply obfuscation and deflection. I think all you’ve been saying all along is that the OPC Creation Study Report allows you to hang on to your agnosticism here. In other words, you seek to justify your position by claiming the OPC Creation Study Report allows you to do exactly that. I’m sure you see that agnosticism on this is a denial of the 6/24 traditional position of a recent creation. You’ve taken a position: denial, but offer no support Scripturally for that position, and fill up the combox with post after post of absolutely nothing except deflection and distraction. There is much to learn, Andrew, if only you would engage in fruitful dialog. One answer-comment to one question-comment, or vice-versa, not a string of comments that make no logical sense.

    You are obviously not unbiased on this topic as your frequent commenting and apparent counters to my support of the traditional 6/24 position has shown. In fact, what you have shown, is a strong distaste for the 6/24 position. You frequently comment that ‘you’re done’, ‘won’t talk about creation matters until 2013’, etc., yet you belie these comments by continuing to string together multiple comments for every one I make, but again offering no answers or support for your position. Vacuous sophistry?

  162. andrew said,

    August 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

    so what?

  163. andrew said,

    August 22, 2012 at 11:47 am

    i get it, SD. you and RDP think ol’ planet earth os young because of the thistle and ant bite issue. i get it. soory, man, i still love ya, christian brother, and want to find a time to golf. also, your passion is impressive. gb could use your talents with the romanists. you think my argumentation is bad. you oughtta check the pope’s twitter feed. last o checked, he hadnt posted to twitter since may. all: ‘where is the love’ (thats a song, fyi, check youtube). peace -ab ps just pretend i never found you gb people…and all will be well. goodbyr muchachos ;-)

  164. August 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Sorry for the typos. Yes, those message were from me, whilst I waited for the dentist to call me in for a checkup (which, gasp, didn’t happen! what a morning, my densist appt went awry, I’m a vacuous sophist, what next…)

    Oh yeah, I’ll tell you what’s next. The pope still hasn’t updated his twitter feed:


    How much do you know about Romanism? If you know as much about them as you do about all this creation stuff, the war that has been raging for over 500 years may start to balance in our favor…that’s just a prediction.

    Gone for good,

  165. August 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    So I looked up “vacuous” – that means “lacks intelligence.” Sophism is a criticism that seems to suggest I am trying to deceive.


    You need to understand.

    You are the one imposing your geologist dogma on me. Not the other way around. I think you need to read each of these comments from #1 again. Pay special attention to the ant bite stuff. Ask the question, when you read those: “why.”

    And let’s wait for Reed, the man in charge, to chime in.

    Gut says, he’s out on vacay, sipping a mai-tai.


  166. August 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    and with my appeals to be more loving, please refer to 1 cor 8:2

  167. August 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm


    There is a real discussion about science and religion and how they inter-relate. I’m a vacuous sophist, so please, read no more of my words. I wish your studies in this vein continue to bear fruit in your life, as you seek to share the love of Christ with those who do not yet know.


  168. August 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    PS Stellman may be your man. Some guys around here don’t seem to like him all that much…but he’s writing a book up your alley, check his blog. Peace.

  169. August 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    PPS back to the point at ol’ comment 319, we should really have a gentleman’s discussion over a good stout. This is a discussion for a face to face. Not for comboxes. Just look how silly I look. And I’m just a guy who likes to golf, who happens to have an internet connection.

    Consider that my sincere invitation. Until then, you may consider me a lurker only.

    Bottoms up,

  170. August 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Wow, 12 comments (#149 -160), since my last in #148.

    (what does my number of comments have to do with anything? when i find the time to start blogging about golf and cars and butterflies, you can post all day if you want. Did I do something wrong?)

    You’re all over the map here brother.

    (well, I have to get your attention somehow. you refuse to e-mail me. so far, you keep responding, even to my “all over the map” comments. and Reed hasn’t deleted any comments yet. nor chimed in. probably because this is a stale blog post, so really, all we are doing here, is chatting, brother. just stop reading my words. but something keeps you coming back….hmm…..)

    This has not been a fruitful discussion with you.

    (I think you are saying this because I remain an agnostic)

    You claim agnosticism on the ‘age’ issue, but offer no rebuttals or counterarguments to the thrust of the original post.

    (but there’s nothing in the original post about my current lostness on how to answer the presbyter’s question: “how long are the days?” I just re-read Reed’s words in the post. They are about theistic evolution. I am not TE. But I may be an evolutionary creationist…)

    This is simply obfuscation and deflection.

    (perhaps, but i have your attention, no?)

    I think all you’ve been saying all along is that the OPC Creation Study Report allows you to hang on to your agnosticism here. In other words, you seek to justify your position by claiming the OPC Creation Study Report allows you to do exactly that.

    (you are wrong. I am saying that my comments and all the stuff put out here on GB about creation seems nonsensical to me. including your reasons for posting what you do out here. the work is done, the pca and opc highest courts have given assent, in the form of receiving those documents. so what’s the beef? you want to change our churches? please use the means set up for that purpose. mainly the appeals process and overtures, etc. I am ignorant here, but there are proper means. i believe it improper to blog on a topic which the church courts have already spoken. I can only think that Lane is the one who is out of line, because he bemoaned biologos’ presence at GA. yes, i over-reacted at his rhetoric. Look, I’ve got issues with biologos as well. but as far as I am concerned, the YEC folks fired the first shot. I just want to know if the biologos guy really was a wolf. Am I a wolf? grrrrrr :-) :-)

    I’m sure you see that agnosticism on this is a denial of the 6/24 traditional position of a recent creation.

    (no – i actually don’t know what the 6/24 view is. so I am agnostic agnostic agnostic. Now, one of the books tried to explain how Jesus was a 6/24 guy. I actually didn’t pick up on this, about Jesus, when i read my gospel, lately. Just give me more time to read and learn, brother)

    You’ve taken a position: denial, but offer no support Scripturally for that position,

    (no, I don’t deny – you are making an assumption)

    and fill up the combox with post after post of absolutely nothing except deflection and distraction.

    (um, actually, you were the one who, I’m not sure, if you realize, how hurtful your words that anything but your strict view is an attack on Jesus. I mean, my words may be illogical, but i’m actually afraid if you are this public at GB about these matters, you may be doing this elsewhere. my words may seem stupid, but your words, I believe, may do harm, and i want to see a more fully fleshed apology for your words about anything but a 6/24 is an attack on the person and work of Jesus. You need to know your words hurt.)

    There is much to learn, Andrew, if only you would engage in fruitful dialog. One answer-comment to one question-comment, or vice-versa, not a string of comments that make no logical sense.

    (well sure. but maybe i am bitter about being accused of attacking Jesus, the one that I love. Yes, I think maybe you tried to get out of actually saying that. or something. I would need to read those comments again. Sure, I may be illogical. But I think the only “harm” i cause is in forcing people to wade through my thought. I actually think you could be doing harm to people’s souls. I wouldn’t be saying this if I didn’t think it were true)

    You are obviously not unbiased on this topic as your frequent commenting and apparent counters to my support of the traditional 6/24 position has shown.

    (whatever. we are all biased. that’s like saying we are all “human.” of course i have an opinion about things. my commenting so much should reveal nothing about my feelings, except that maybe i appreciate your friendship and willingness to talk with me. whatever)

    In fact, what you have shown, is a strong distaste for the 6/24 position.

    (not true)

    You frequently comment that ‘you’re done’, ‘won’t talk about creation matters until 2013′,

    (well, i’m not talking about creation matters with this post. I am talking only about you and your words)

    etc., yet you belie these comments by continuing to string together multiple comments for every one I make, but again offering no answers or support for your position.

    (you have the position. i simply want to know why you keep posting yourself)

    Vacuous sophistry?

    (how about dead sinner (see eph 2.). Luther called himself a worm. you can cut to the chase, and just call me what i am. a worm.

    oh wait a minute, God loves me. Made me alive, in fact. so nevermind. attack my character all you want. God is my judge. I really don’t get these blogs and all that people are doing out here. it seems so “arminian” or “works righteousness” or “something.” if you are a blogger or a commenter on blogs, you need to read this: why are you doing what you do? are you just looking for someone to golf with? well, then, LET’S GO!)

  171. August 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

    And Steve, I understand you have your motives for defending the existence of the 6/24 hypothesis. I want to point out, that is one of the several options available to people in the OPC. So you and your views on creation are most welcome amongst me and my homies. Your hypothesis is interesting, regarding the length of those most extraordinary days. I was reading an article that the days on mars are 24 hours and 39 minutes (see my google+ post for that article). My first thought was, “how is it that martian days are so close in length to ours.’ I would have thought the lenght of the Martian’s days wouldn’t be so close to our length of days. Maybe that speaks to your 6/24, that other planets in our solar system mirror our current, 21st century solar days. I’m coming up with this on the fly. So consider this simply more vacuous sophistry. I didn’t know people were writing their PhD dissertations out here in comboxes – is that what you are up to, Steve? Are you coming out with a book, soon? I will certainly buy your published material (and I don’t mean internet combox published…that’s cheating, and for yahoos like me, who just can’t stop for some reason).

    Also, interesting, Mars does not have plate tectonics like we do here on earth.

    Golf on mars would indeed be a sorry affair. Thanks be that I was placed on the planet WITH plate tectonics! If not for those annoying earthquakes, etc. Trust me, Loma Prieta 1989 was a DOOZY. As they say, it took an act of God for the Giants to lose the W.S. to the A’s.

    Now I am off the rails. But what’s to prevent me from hitting post?

    Oh yeah, back to the topic…

    Death is a big deal. I appreciate RDP taking a good stab at it. I’ll try to help, as my time allows, on the “death” topic.


  172. Steve Drake said,

    August 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The problem I see, Andrew, in keeping with the topic of the original post concerning death, disease, decay, and destruction before Adam’s sin is multi-faceted. It is a multi-faceted problem for any view holding to a billions of years old earth with it’s biodiversity of life laid down in death, disease, decay, and destruction within the fossil record, and for those who reject the traditional and historical view of a 6/24 recent creation claiming the ‘I don’t know’, agnostic card. Here are some of the problems:

    1) a denial of the world-wide, global and catastrophic judgment of God in the time of Noah that destroyed all flesh in which is the breath of life except Noah, his family, their wives, and those animals he took on the Ark (Gen. 6:17, Gen. 7:4, Gen. 7:21-22).

    2) a denial of the sin-death causality in Adam ((Rom. 5:12-21, 1 Cor. 15:21-22).

    3) a denial of the universality of the curse upon the whole of the created order (Gen. 3:14-19, Rom. 8:18-22).

    4) an attack on the work and person of Christ. Millions and billions of years of death, disease, decay and destruction as evidenced in the fossil record become the work of Christ in creation, the outflow of His very being (John 1:3, Col. 1:16).

    5) a rendering meaningless the shedding of blood; the biblical concept and why of bloodshed required for the remission of sin (Heb. 9:22, Gen. 3:21, Lev. 17:11). The whole concept of atonement: the innocent for the guilty, the pure and spotless for the tarnished and dirty.

    6) an attack on the doctrine of one flesh and marriage. The Biblical doctrine of one man – one woman – one flesh (Gen.2:21-24, Matt. 19:4-5, 1 Cor. 11:8).

    I have specifically laid down a charge to you with these points above. These points are by no means exhaustive. If you wish to engage, then please address your comments to any or all of my points, and only to these points, and not to golf, the OPC Creation Study Report, the Giants, the Loma Prieta earthquake, beer, or any other thing of a distracting and superfluous nature. To continue to tell me that you fall within the bounds of orthodoxy by holding to an acceptable view within the OPC Creation Study Report is intellectually immature without offering ‘specific‘ rebuttals or counterarguments to the points I raise above, or to the points in the original post. Man up. The issue is too important to let your obfuscation and distraction rule the day here.

    If you put together another string of comments, one after another, like you have done throughout this thread and others, without attempting to address the points I list above, then I will conclude that you are not serious about discussing and dialogging these things in a spirit of seeking to understand, and your pleas for help; ‘I’m listening’, ‘I’m trying to learn’, etc., etc., are nothing more than false attempts at humility and disingenuous in nature. We will then have nothing more to say to one another on this topic.

  173. August 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm


    Fair indeed.

    I want to thank you for laying out your views on a very serious topic.

    I will ponder all these matters seriously, and reach out to you, via e-mail, with anything more I have to add or feel may be of help.

    I do sincerely apologize for the manner in which I have conducted myself. You are precisely right. This will indeed be my last post. If I do pop my head up again, you’ll see a different side. The matters were discuss are indeed real and important.


  174. August 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    PS I do mean it…do you know about Romanism? It’s a new thing, for me, to look into. Any help you want to offer, is more than welcome! You clearly are a reader!

  175. August 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    PPS Sorry, last one. REALLY.

    What’s so funny about internet communication, is that, literally, I feel like sometimes I am talking to a machine. I don’t get much response over on the romanism discussion. But I do get one here. So, SD, is kind of the “mechanistic” response to all my keyboard vomit. Hey, trim this comment all you want. It’s just an observation about all this internet communication.

    Because, to my physical senses, I have no idea who all these people typing are. What they represent. All I know is someone named Steve one day, then Turretin the Puritan, and sometimes, a surfer named Jason responds.

    It’s all a bit comical, no?

    Trim the fat mods! Or just let this one go, and smile. Peace.

  176. August 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    PPPS Sorry Steve, you and I need to talk creation, and ASAP. Forget everything I wrote.

    Oh, and go read Carl Trueman’s “Theater of the Absurd” in his book, “Minority Report.”

    Are you familiar with Trueman?

    Go read reformation21.org,

    just for fun, bff,


    ps how ’bout them yankees? hair cut is coming i can feel the blades!

  177. Steve Drake said,

    August 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Andrew B,
    If you want to talk creation asap, then you know how to begin; respond to my comments or ask questions about my comments in #172.

    As to Trueman, yes, I am familiar with reformation21.org. Richard Belcher’s review of C. John Collins ‘Did Adam and Eve Really Exist’ in the February 2012 blog archives is worth the read:


    You can also follow Collins’ response to Belcher’s review of his book and then Belcher’s response to Collins’ response.

  178. August 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Do you blog? If you won’t email me, start a blog, and write a post. I’m willing to go that route. Not going to respond to your comment tho…its just a ‘me’ thing. Someone said ‘h’ ‘e’ double hockey stick is the comment section of a theological blog.

    I sent you that trueman essay…did you get it and read yet? Peace, bro. -ab

  179. August 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Oh, and you bet Adam and eve did really exist! You better believe when I get past the pearly gates, (do romanists think peter is guarding it?) I’m going to talk to Mr. Adam. That guy really messed things up! If he blogs, you bet I’m going to pay a visit and post some comments…:-)

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