Which Came First…?

As I sit amidst Christmas lights and festive music, it seems a bit odd to be writing about the current debate among evangelicals concerning creation. Of course, it seems more than a little odd to be having this discussion at all within the evangelical community. I fully expect to have such antithesis among the intellectuals and false teachers of the world. I may even understand that such disagreements would arise from the liberal outer borders of Christendom. But we are here nonetheless and we can’t afford to take it lightly. Come to think of it, writing this post around Christmas makes a lot of sense. If you lose on creation you will eventually lose out on the incarnation and the re-creation.

There are many (and I do mean many) good scientific arguments for the validity of a young earth and literal six day creation of the world. I am not the one to explain those arguments to you. There are good people out there doing this kind of research and I would recommend a few of them to you (here, here and here). I want to make a more theological argument that is certainly not original to me, but one I don’t think we have given enough thought to. If the earth has slowly evolved over millions of years, even at the hand of a good and sovereign God, then there is no escaping the fact that death came before sin.

Why, for instance, did the dinosaurs die out before mankind even came on the scene? Why was there death before the fall? To hold to even a deistic evolutionary theory, one would have to deny original sin. There was no real Adam who really rebelled. Death had to be a part of the design. There was no paradise to be lost, no kingdom to be corrupted, no garden from which to be cast out. So, what then do we do with sin? What do we do with the crucifixion and the resurrection? For that matter, what do we do with Christmas? Did Jesus come to be the second Adam to redeem a particular people and restore a crooked world or just a grand display of God’s love toward His creation so that we might be inspired to make the world a better place?

The Bible is clear that death is the cost of sinful rebellion against a Holy God. The Bible is also clear that this death came through the rebellion of our representative, Adam. Therefore, because Adam sinned, all sin. We have inherited his nature and cannot be free from its effects or its corruption without the death and resurrection of Christ. Christmas is the dawning of a new day in the world far as the curse is found! It is a world that began in perfection and will end in perfection. There was no death in the beginning and there will be no death in the end, for

“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.”

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