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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Is Romans 5:12 a Defence Against Adam's Sin Having Brought Death to All Creation?

It disappoints time and again when so-called evangelicals today resort to saying Romans 5:12 deals only with death of man consequent to Adam's sin and that the rest of Creation is excluded. This is a vain attempt to keep alive their precious evolutionary view of origins. It is an abuse of the Reformation principle of letting Scripture interpret Scripture, let alone an abuse of the revelation of God in Being and Will.

If these so-called evangelicals were principled enough, if they loved the Word of God more than the world, they would interpret Romans 5:12 in the light of what Apostle Paul says only a little later in his Epistle to the Romans. At Romans 8:18-22, Paul provides clear revelation that Adam's sin and God's subsequent judgement affected the entire Creation. This has been a traditional view of the Church but has been corrupted in recent years as so-called evangelicals deepen their love for the world.

I have chosen two respected writers to reaffirm the traditional interpretation of the effect of Adam's sin. I recently quoted Joseph Alleine in a blog and do so again here. Joseph Alleine was a Puritan writer and his classic work "Alarm to the Unconverted" has been a help to many for approximately 400 years. And more recently, Graeme Goldsworthy has been lecturer at Moore Theological College, Sydney, a writer of books - one of which is "Gospel & Kingdom" and also has been a help to Christians in current times.

First to Joseph Alleine. Alleine, while not speaking to Romans 5:12 directly, does present a view of the created order and the plight of fallen man who continues in an unconverted state. You could not read Alleine's argument and be unconvinced he believed Romans 5:12 applied to the whole Creation suffering frustration and death as a consequence of Adam's sin.

On Page 54 of the 1967 Banner of Truth Trust edition Alleine says:

2: Not only man, but the whole visible creation is in vain without conversion. God has made all the visible creatures in heaven and earth for the service of man, and man only is the spokesman for all the rest. Man is, in the world, like the tongue to the body, which speaks for all the members. The other creatures cannot praise their Maker, except by dumb signs and hints to man that he should speak for them. Man is, as it were, the high priest of God's creation, to offer the sacrifice of praise for all his fellow-creatures. The Lord God expects a tribute of praise from all His works. Now, all the rest do bring in their tribute to man, and pay it by his hand. So then, if a man is false, and faithless, and selfish, God is robbed of all, and has no active glory from His works.

O dreadful thought! that God should build such a world as this, and lay out such infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness thereupon, and all in vain; and that man should be guilty, at last, of robbing and spoiling Him of the glory of all! O think of this. While you are unconverted, all the offices of the creatures are in vain to you. Your food nourishes you in vain. The sun holds forth its light to you in vain. Your clothes warm you in vain. Your beast carries you in vain. In a word, the unwearied labour and continued travail of the whole creation, as to you, are in vain. The service of all the creatures that drudge for you, and yield forth their strength unto you, with which you should serve their Maker, is all but lost labour. Hence, 'the whole creation groaneth' (Rom viii 22) under the abuse of unsanctified men who pervert all things to the service of their lusts, quite contrary to the very end of their being

On Page 65 he says:

What king would take rebels in open hostility into his court? What were this but to betray life, kingdom, government, and all together? If Christ is a King, He must have honour, homage, subjection. Now, to save men while in their natural enmity, were to obscure His dignity, lose His authority, bring contempt on His government, and sell His dear-bought rights for naught.

Likewise, how would a Holy God continually walk in the garden in the cool of the day if that garden and its inhabitants were forever corrupt and the antithesis of his very Being? No, the Word of God makes it clear that all changed after man rebelled. Aside from providing a metaphor of the failure of Israel's leaders, our Lord Jesus Christ, when cursing the fig tree (Matt 21:18-22), demonstrates that the creation is not worthy of continuance if its life sustaining purpose is not realised in the presence of the Son of God i.e. sinless Adam and/or sinless Incarnate God. A frustrated (mutated or faulty) Creation did not exist before Adam sinned.

On Pages 89 & 90 Alleine says this about the state of fallen and unconverted man:

2: The whole creation of God is against you. 'The whole creation', says Paul, 'groaneth and travaileth in pain' (Rom viii 22). But what is it that the creation groans under? The fearful abuse it is subject to in serving the lusts of unsanctified men. And what is it that the creation groans for? For freedom and liberty from this abuse; for the 'creature is not willingly made subject to this bondage (Rom viii 20-21). If the irrational and inanimate creatures had speech and reason, they would cry out under it, as a bondage insufferable, to be abused by the ungodly, contrary to their natures and the ends that the great Creator made them for. It is a saying of an eminent divine, 'The liquor that the drunkard drinks, if it had reason, like a man, to know how shamefully it is abused, would groan in the barrel against him, it would groan in the cup against him, groan in his throat, in his stomach against him; it would fly in his face, if it could speak. And if God should open the mouths of His creatures, as He did the mouth of Balaam's ass, the proud man's garment on his back would groan against him. There is not a creature, if it had reason to know how it is abused till a man be converted, but would groan against him. The land would groan to bear him, the air would groan to give him breath, their houses would groan to dislodge them, their beds would groan to ease them, their food to nourish them, their clothes to cover them, and the creature would groan to give them any help and comfort, so long as they live in sin against God.'

I think this should be a terror to an unconverted soul, to think he is a burden to the creation. 'Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?' (Lk xiii 7). If inanimate creatures could but speak, your food would say, 'Lord, must I nourish such a wretch as this, and yield forth my strength for him, to dishonour Thee? No, I will choke him rather, if Thou wilt give commission.' The very air would say, 'Lord, must I give this man breath, to set his tongue against heaven, and scorn Thy people, and vent his pride and wrath, and filthy talk, and belch out oaths and blasphemy against Thee? No, if Thou wilt but say the word, he shall be breathless for me.' His poor beast would say, 'Lord, must I carry him upon his wicked designs ? No, I will break his bones I will end his days rather, if I may have but leave from Thee.' A wicked man; the earth groans under him, and hell groans for him, till death satisfies both. While the Lord of hosts is against you, be sure the host of the Lord is against you, and all the creatures as it were up in arms till, upon a man's conversion, the controversy being settled between God and him. He makes a covenant of peace with the creature for him (Job v 22-24; Hosea ii 18-20)

The Job and Hosea citations speak of a restored Creation after sin has been dealt with once and for all. Restored to a pre-Fall condition.

As if to confirm all the foregoing, Graeme Goldsworthy in "Gospel & Kingdom" says on page 55 : The universe, in order to remain under man's dominion, and despite its ongoing challenge to man's dominion, is made to fall with man. The world outside the garden is fallen, for man cannot survive in an unfallen world. 'The creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope' (Romans 8:20)". [emphasis in bold mine]

On page 53 Goldsworthy says:

"It is impossible for God to be true to himself and at the same time tolerate his own dethronement by the creature.

It follows that God would hardly tolerate a corrupted Creation for an alleged millions or billions of years before emergence of Man and it is then Man's corruption which prompts judgement from God. Additionally, our Lord Jesus Christ says at Luke 12:48 "For whom much is given, of him shall be much required". Why should Man, to whom so much of the nature of God has be given and to whom responsibility over Creation is delegated, be subjected to only thousands of years (thus far) of frustrated existence while the lesser of Creation has been frustrated for allegedly millions or billions of years longer?

Finally, Goldsworthy says on Page 45: "Man is not the end of a chain of evolution for he is qualitatively distinct from the animals".

Compromising evangelicals do great harm to the integrity of the Word of God. They cast seeds of desolation into the Church. As with any adulterer they misuse the words of their first love. This is no more evident than in their handling of the Word of God in Apostle Paul's Epistle to the Romans.

Sam Drucker


Eric said...

Trying to separate the fallen creation from fallen man is a project that denigrates creation, man's role before God, pre-fall, and the intimacy God had with his creation, also pre-fall. It says that God is some sort of Greek deity who'se interests are not in his creation in toto (and what about the new creation?) but one small part of its totality.
But the totality is what he brought into being, and so, by Genesis 1, must be significant.

sam drucker said...

Thanks Eric. Obviously I agree.

I was just thinking the other day about our Lord Jesus healing the man who had been paralysed for 38 years. Not using muscles for 38 years would leave the man with no muscles. Yet, in an intant he was given muscles that would not only hold him up but enable him to walk without restriction.

Further, he was given balance. A child learning to walk does not have the balance immediately so there is a lot of stumbling and falling down.

Our Lord Jesus gave all this to the man in an instant. It is a pointer to the creation of Adam mature, with muscles and balance and ready to work the garden immediately at the beginning of Creation.

Theistic Evolutionists deny the authority of Jesus Christ in his creative works.

Sam Drucker