May 06, 2011

Answering Difficult Theological Questions

Question: Why would God use millions and billions of years to make life?
Answer: [1.] I believe that God has delighted to show man his smallness and to keep him humble by making a vast universe that spans vast amounts of time.  Man is extremely young in the universe and earth is extremely small in the universe.  This should promote humility.  Time is nothing to God who is outside of time. [2.] Either way, everyone would acknowledge that God delighted to use time (long or short) to create everything living.  Why He used time, we’re not sure.  It could also be a parable of how we as humans go from “glory to glory” until we are perfected in Christ.

Question: How and why would there be death before Adam fell?
Answer: Human death wouldn’t have existed before Adam.  Animal death (including pre-human death) was likely to show Adam the consequences of a life apart from God.  Pain and dying animals would provide a way to show Adam his need for God and what would be the consequences of rebelling and the meaning of death.  Adam wasn’t ignorant of what he was doing when he fell.

Question: Why would God use a process of designed evolution to create animals?
Answer: [1.] I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of designed, purposeful evolution to be incredibly ingenious.  It showed the infinite intelligence, wisdom and power of God.  [2.] It also showed Man what he was delivered from by God’s life-giving Spirit.  This was perhaps typical of salvation found in Christ.  Adam was delivered from death to have life.  [3.] Also, the evolution process showed how God makes all things beautiful in His time. [4.] It seems that God minimizes miracles for some reason.  This could have been because He wanted to glorify Christ and His miracles.  Fewer miracles before Christ would have provided a greater contrast between Him and previous times.

Question: Why wouldn’t God bring a global flood?
Answer: [1.] Humans are believed to have existed primarily in Mesopotamia early on.  God was judging humans because of their violence and other wickedness according to the Bible.  It wouldn’t make sense for God to destroy 100% of the land and animals just because of humans who lived in 1% (roughly) of the entire world.  [2.] A global flood would have probably created a wasteland for generations to come, which would have undone much of God’s Creation of animal kinds.  [3.] A global flood would have heated up the earth unbearably.  [4.] God probably had plans of leaving a record of the pre-Flood period for our modern era to uncover.

Question: Why wouldn’t God place Adam and Eve in a true paradise?
Answer: [1.] Eternal life is knowing God; paradise is primarily about eternal life, and thus knowing God.  In that sense, then, Adam and Eve had a paradise and they had this wonderful life, knowing God.  [2.] Paradise wouldn’t be true paradise if you could lose your paradise.  Therefore, an ultimate paradise doesn’t include a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; clearly, the Garden of Eden wasn’t the ultimate paradise.  [3.] Adam and Eve didn’t have anything to compare the Garden with; so, I’m sure they thought that it was wonderful and ideal.  [4.] God, knowing the future, had prepared the world in advance for sin to enter in, I believe.  [5.] A true paradise wasn’t required by God’s justice.  Just because Adam and Eve were sinless doesn’t imply that they deserved the best world in which to live.  Sinless angels, for example, do not live constantly in a paradise, since they are intimately involved with this corrupt world.

Question: Why would God use a pre-human to make Adam?
Answer: [1.] God was slowly building the ultimate animal (pre-humans) and making him fit to receive His image and a spirit.  That, I believe, was His primary purpose in using designed evolution (not random).  The whole purpose of the Creative process would have been almost pointless if man wasn’t taken from among the animals.  [2.] It is very important to realize that the only difference between Man and animals is our spiritual nature; taking an animal and breathing a spirit into it is the perfect way to show the only key difference between us and them.  Animals aren’t able to commune with God and they (likely) don’t live forever; that is the critical difference that we have, and it’s a huge difference.  We shouldn’t consider our intellect, creativity, or self-awareness to be miraculous gifts.  We delight in God alone and His great gift of a spirit that allows us to know and worship Him.  That is quite enough to distinguish us from them.  [3.] It is quite possible that Adam was able to experience a life without knowledge of God before God breathed into him a spirit.  He may have remembered being a spiritless creature that had no understanding of God and no concept of wonder and worship.  This “lifeless” experience would have amplified his sin in the Garden.  [4.] I think the idea of Adam being ‘redeemed’ from the animal kingdom makes a good analogy with salvation.

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