August 13, 2015

Q & Eh?

by Lyndon Unger

Welcome to our weekly Q & A.  This is the part of the show where we dig into the mailbag and answer questions from our viewers at home.

No wait.

I’m thinking of my local cable access crochet show: Hook, Line, and Thinker.  It’s my show where I discuss various theological issues while crocheting interesting toques.

Bane Mask

THIS is the Cripplegate, so it’s our first ever (and possibly last, depending on how this goes) “Q & Eh?”

This is where readers ask the Canadian contributor questions (via FaceBook) and he answers them.  The following four questions were selected based on the number of positive votes they received.  Seeing that I forgot to limit the contest to one question per person, I’ll tackle the four winners.  Also, knowing that many people were hoping for a silly answer to these (mostly) silly questions, I’ll provide a silly answer first and then a more serious answer after that.  Let’s get started.

1.  From Larry Bouligny (pastor of Heritage Valley Bible Church in Filmore, CA):

Can you explain how the proliferation of cat videos online relates to the antichrist?

Sure Larry!  I’d be glad to answer that question.

Silly Answer:

Rev. 13:1 records a beast coming out of the sea.  Rev. 13:2 says “the beast that I saw was like a leopard“, except that it had large feet and a mouth like a lion.  Leopards and lions are both jungle cats.  Rev. 13:2 also says that the Dragon gave the beast “his power and his throne and great authority.”  Rev. 13:4 says that the people who worshiped the dragon also worshiped the beast.

Now who’s the Dragon?  Obviously Satan.

Now who’s large jungle cat that comes out of the sea?  The AntiChrist.

So consider what will happen when there are millions of cat videos on the internet and then a large, super-powered jungle cat emerges from the sea?

Everyone who is zombified from watching cat videos will see this large jungle cat coming out of the sea (like Aquaman) and videos of it will get more views than Gangnam Style.

The world is totally primed for a giant jungle cat to come from the sea.  The proliferation of cat videos online are directly setting the stage for the arrival of the antichrist jungle cat.

Serious Answer:

Let me take a more serious stab at the underlying issue, which is strangely close to the silly answer.

The underlying issue with cat videos is how a populace that spends far too much time being entertained is unwillingly setting the stage for the end times.

What do you get when you have a whole world that is mostly filled with people who spend their time watching videos on Youtube, arguing on Facebook, and generally turning their brains into a smooth roux?

You get a world where false signs and wonders convince the masses (Matt. 24:24; 2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:13-14).

You get a world where the antichrist can roll into town and take the reigns of government with words smoother than a light Béchamel sauce (Dan. 11:21).

You also get a world where Rev. 13:5-10 can occur with ease.

What I mean by the third point is that when the minds of the masses are turned to Velouté sauce by the constant barrage of violent and bloody news, the violent and bloody realities of life no longer seem like realities.  We see this already playing out with the Planned Parenthood scandal: the facts aren’t in question.  The evidence is public and widely available, but almost nobody cares.  The videos are there to watch with just one click on a link.  The pictures are there to see with just one click on a link.

Nobody clicks.

Even though the absolutely horrifying slaughter of our unborn is a matter of widely available public record, most people aren’t even really concerned.  In fact, many people are unaware of the tsunami of facts and evidence out there because they’re too busy posting selfies online, self-educating about gluten, or watching cat videos.

obama watching cat videos

That’s a world where the AntiChrist will roll in, set up shop, and get away with horrific evil.  It has happened before (i.e. in Germany, which is well documented in this book and this book and this book), but it will happen again on a global scale.  It will be far easier when the minds of the masses are turned to a light Espagnole sauce.

2.  From Gene Clyatt (pastor of Parkside Baptist Church in Superior, MT): 

Why will there be sacrifices during the millennium?

Gene, you’re trying to destroy me.

Silly Answer:

The “sacrifices” are an opaque metaphor that clearly means “Jesus”.

Serious Answer:

I’ll punt and say that greater men than I have already offered reasonable answers to that question:

Fred Butler says that the sacrifices are non-efficacious; part of religious worship but not a wholesale reinstatement of the sacrificial system that was in effect under the Old Covenant.  Fred makes a solid argument that when a person reads Ezekiel 40-48 closely, it doesn’t say what many critics suggest it does.

Thomas Ice says that the sacrifices could be either for the cleansing of the temple or a memorial.  He doesn’t land on either side, though he seems to lean toward the “cleansing” position (which would be similar to Fred Butler’s position).

I’ll gladly let those two help me out.

Punt-gun-1

3.  Also from Gene Clyatt:

What purpose did mosquitoes serve before the Fall?

Okay.  Supralapsarian biology.  My specialty!

Silly Answer:

Gen 9:4 says that people were forbidden to eat meat, let alone blood, before the flood.  Mosquitoes ate blood.

Clearly they’re demons.

Serious Answer:

This question comes up in more serious version when we have animals that look distinctly predatorial in nature (i.e. a spider).

It’s known as the “predator/prey problem” in Creation Science circles.

Consider the following: there is a parasite called the Cymothoa exigua.  It gets into the mouths of fish, cuts off the blood supply to its tongue, and replaces its tongue with itself (leaching blood from the fish).  It doesn’t hurt the fish in any other way, but it is quite a horrific sight (WARNING: SOME THINGS CANNOT BE UNSEEN) and will fuel many a nightmare.

What possible purpose did animals like that have before the fall?

Obviously, I don’t have a clue what purpose mosquitoes, or spiders, or Cymothoa exigua had before the fall.

Also, I also don’t have a clue what any of those creatures were like before the fall, and that’s where this whole question breaks down for a simple reason:

Nobody really knows the full extent of the effects of the fall or how much things changed.

evolution_of_man

We do know a few things:

We do know that at least some animals changes physically, in some ways, in the past (Gen. 3:14-15)

We do know that other (possibly physical & non-physical) changes happened to the animals (Gen 9:2).

We do know that there were physical & non-physical changes in humans (Gen 3:16).

We do know that there were physical changes in nature (Gen 3:18-19) and nature is painfully distorted from what it once was (Rom. 8:20-21)

We do know that all animals were vegetarian before the fall (Gen. 1:29-30).

Admittedly, those limited facts leave a whole lot of room for making educated guesses.

The even bigger problem is that we cannot look back, before the fall, and see just how much things have changed.  The questions are numerous:

Did the post-fall change from vegetarianism come with physical changes?  Were they rapid? How extensive were they? Were they limited to specific animals?  Were they limited to specific parts of the body?  What changes were needed on a microbial/bacterial level to facilitate those changes?  What was the secondary fallout from all the previously occurring changes (with regard to adaptation) over the millennia?

Did venom glands produce venom before the fall?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe it wasn’t venom at all.  What’s the difference between venom and whatever the non-venom substance was before the fall?  How much systemic change in organisms was required?  What was the secondary fallout from all the previously occurring changes (with regard to adaptation) over the millennia?

Did viruses exist before the fall?  If not what were they?  How did they become viruses?  What was the secondary fallout from all the previously occurring changes (with regard to adaptation) over the millennia?

All these questions, and millions more, lie behind the veil of understanding that we simply cannot remove.  Nobody can go back prior to the fall and find out.  We can take educated guesses, but that’s all they are.  Guesses.

Answers in Genesis has a few educated guesses like this and this and this and this and this.

Creation Ministries International has a whole section devoted to offering educated guesses on this and other related issues.

The Institute for Creation Research has a specific article on mosquitoes too.

Still, the pre-fall world is veiled in mystery that none of us can reveal.

4.  Also from Gene Clyatt:

Melchizedek: Preincarnate appearance of Christ or just a dude lost to history?

Gene, it seems like you are out to get me in trouble.

Silly Answer:

Dude.

Serious Answer:

I’ll let the Rev. Dr. Al Mohler answer this one.  He says, and I quote:

Mohler Dude

As if I’m getting into that bag of snakes.

Well, I’ll offer one thought.  I’d suggest that in the Old Testament when Jesus appeared as a theophany, he was the Angel of the Lord.  I’ve written on this elsewhere.  I’d say that Jesus wasn’t ruling Salem (Gen. 14:18) around the same time he was also appearing as a theophany to Abraham and his household (Gen. 16:7-11; 18:1, 18:17-21, etc.).  That doesn’t compute to me.

It’s not a hill I’m willing to die on.

Actually, it’s not even a hill I’m willing to plant a small rhododendron bush on.

Maybe a dandelion of conviction.

Maybe.

So there we go.

Our first ever Q & Eh? is done, with hopefully minimal damage and accusations of heresy.

Sadly, I’m currently going insane with a whole load of things on my plate and may not be able to come back to answer questions in the comments.

I’ll try, but I make no guarantees.

Lyndon Unger

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Lyndon is a pastor/teacher who’s currently between ministry work and in the Canadian Mennonite Brethren Witness Protection program. If you think you saw him somewhere...you didn’t.
  • Tim Bates

    Full Disclosure: I did not read any of the articles linked so forgive me if I’m just repeating what they said.

    Wouldn’t the biggest change have been to human beings? And thus I would opine that perhaps man was immune to venom prior to the fall and that sin made mans blood more desirable to Mosquitos that otherwise would have only sought something equal in qualitative sustinence to blood (tomato juice?) prior to the fall.

    Maybe if we could borrow some of Dr Hammond’s amber, we could see what mosquitoe diets consisted of many years ago.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Why? Why would humanity have experienced the biggest changes?

      I’d also advise looking at the articles. They have some interesting ideas that propose solutions without the difficult/negative theological implications of your solution.

      • Tim Bates

        I was just spitballing. No backing for what I said other than random ideas.

        I only said man because we were created in God’s image so the effect would have been big if only because we were the closest creatures to God and had the furthest to fall.

        But yea there’s no way to objectively measure it and whether we were the most or least impacted isn’t that important in terms of mosquitoes.

        What theological problems did my theory create? It’s obviously not something I’ve put much time but I’m curious what implications could be drawn that are troublesome for a Calvy-Dispy.

        • Lyndon Unger

          I’m not trying to be a pain, but there is a problem that emerges when a person says that before the fall, venom glands were designed AS venom glands that produced venom.

          The insinuation is that God designed the world (at least in certain specific ways) for how it would function after the fall, rather than making it “very good” and it subsequently being corrupted.

          The alternative is that something like a venom gland produced something other than venom (i.e. something necessary to the diet or life functions of the pre-fall animal) that then was corrupted via the fall into something horrible that it was never designed to be.

          An example would be that I’ve listen to the late Paul Tomasek (Professor of Molecular Biology at CSUN) talk about how there’s a specific virus (I cannot remember the name) that has infected multiple organisms but its phylogenetic analysis (historic tree of progression and mutation: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_05 ) ended up leading researchers to an original strain that lived in a certain type of tree.

          In the tree, the original “viral strain” isn’t a virus at all, but rather part of the internal mechanisms of the tree. When a specific component of those internal mechanisms was removed from the tree and underwent a very small amount of genome resequencing, all of a sudden it was a horribly dangerous virus (to people and a few other types of mammals).

          The same sort of historic changes could be hypothesized for something like a fanged & venomous snake. The snake may have originally eaten some sort of fruit that had a hard shell (like some sort of coconut). The snake may have bitten that hard shell and injected some sort of substance into the shell that softened it enough for the snake to break the shell apart. After the fall, that hard-shelled fruit might have died off and the softening agent may have undergone a very precise mutation in order to become venom.

          The outcome of the scenario looks identical, but God’s not designing venomous snakes as part of a “very good” creation that is non-predatory.

          • Tim Bates

            Oooo. The venom would have killed something (just not humans) in my idea and thus death pre-fall would have existed.

            I’ll go back to my hole now.

            Thanks for replying.

          • Lyndon Unger

            No need for a hole Tim! I hope I didn’t come across as rude or condescending.

            Just pointing out the logical extension of the idea and why it may pose a problem.

          • I’m planning to eat poison ivy salads in Heaven, like Adam did in the garden.

          • Jason

            Why wait?! Oh… yeah….

          • Jason

            “the fruit has chocolate in it”

            You’ve just helped to explain some more of creation’s groaning.

  • Dan Freeman

    Ha! love it. I hope there is another.

    And just because I can’t resist, is your second picture a statement that Obama is the final AntiChrist, or someone in league with the final AntiChrist to bring him to power (no doubt in conjunction with UN operative Al Mohler)?

    • Lyndon Unger

      No. It’s just president Obama watching a cat video online.

      I cannot confirm nor deny that Al Mohler works or any secret societies. I’ll take any and all secrets to my elaborately booby-trapped grave.

  • Wes O

    I appreciate your answers, especially when narrowed down to the fact that “many, many questions lie behind the veil of understanding that we simply cannot remove.” Even though we may not understand everything, that just means we’re not God; good reminder. As well, you constantly take us back to ‘the Word of God’ for all our answers, where we need to be going; and therein lies all the answers that we need pertaining to salvation and how we ought to live rightly before our Creator.

    When asked ‘silly questions’ by non-christians, such as ‘why would God create mosquitoes?’ we don’t have to be side tracked; we can give a short, funny response to break up the tension, but get right back to the gospel.

    The One person who was there at the beginning of creation shared with us all that He wanted to let us know and no more. And with even that, we have our hands full answering questions, as the world refuses to believe even that.

    On to my question though, throughout Scripture we can read that God used natural disasters to discipline Israel and that He ‘disciplined’ the world through the flood. In Revelation, the plagues are used and can be considered as natural disasters that God is using to show His Glory and to bring people to Himself, so is God still using natural disasters today to try to bring mankind back to Himself such as the droughts that we’re experiencing today, or would it be considered simply ‘mother nature’ and all of creation groaning?

    • Lyndon Unger

      Thanks for the kind words Wes.

      As for the natural disasters question, there is no “mother nature” but we also lack a prophet for authoritative interpretation of various natural disasters. We’re never told to try to interpret the affairs of nature, nor can we.

  • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

    Despite your warnings coupled with my weakened sin nature of curiosity, I regretfully clicked your link to the parasite called the Cymothoa exigua. Yeah, that image isn’t going away anytime soon.

    • Lyndon Unger

      I know. The fact that it is real life makes it around 4x worse.

    • Jane, one thing I found exceedingly troubling was not so much the parasite in the fish mouth, but that the fish had human-looking incisor teeth at the top of his mouth. Reminded me of the dog commercials with denture like smiles we see so much of lately. Hollywood like special effects notwithstanding, seeing a fish with human teeth is jarring to my moribund sensibilities. Besides the jealousy that rears its ugly head that a fish has better looking teeth than myself. 🙂

  • You really nailed it with Larry Bouligny’s question. The creaming-of-the-minds of the masses marches right on, one paw at a time. This whole cat video thing has had me scratching my head in particular.

    Truly, this stuff is nothing to sneeze at:

    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/show/wcco-4-news/video-3280535-over-11000-attend-internet-cat-video-festival-in-st-paul/

    • Lyndon Unger

      Thanks for the encouraging words Suzanne. I’d just like to say:

      THE END IS NIGH!

  • 4Commencefiring4

    Hmm. Let me ask a followup to the “vegetarian animals” hypothesis: Yes, God said “every green plant” was for food, but ocean animals didn’t have plants to eat because there’s precious little in the way of plant life there. Everything in the ocean (or next to everything) eats other animals.

    We could guess that, pre-flood, the oceans were chock full of plants and everything was an herbivore. But that wouldn’t get us away from the idea that death had to exist in the pre-fall days because when you eat a plant, you’re taking something alive and killing it. Even if you pick a fruit from a tree, it’s a living and growing organism and it begins to die as soon as it’s picked. And besides, what kind of ecosystem would God have made where nothing would ever die? It’s not sustainable.

    Sin brought “death” for sure. But not physical death. Our first parents were told “in the DAY that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” They ate, but then lived for centuries more (at least Adam did. No word about Eve). But their spiritual life died that day.

    I think lions and tigers and bears (!) looked as they do today, as did everything else. We have yet to dig up the remains of a big cat without fangs and claws.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Plants aren’t alive, at least not in the biblical category of having the “breath of life” in them.

      As for Adam and Eve, I’d say that they died physically in the sacrifice of the animals that were made to clothe them. Their physical death was deferred, as it is with all peoole, but it was a debt that was owed and paid on the same day.

      • 4Commencefiring4

        That’s a stretch in my book. That would mean that God intentionally made a natural world that He knew–because He’s omniscient–could only be sustained if death were part of it, while still condemning the sin that HAD to occur to bring that death about. Yet He pronounced it all “very good” upon completion. Why call something “very good” that will require something “very bad” to make it function?

        Seems easier to think that He designed a natural world where the creatures He made were both predator and prey from the outset. There’s far less to have to explain away. It’s a bit like the theory, based on a supposed young universe, that He caused light from stars that never actually existed (and therefore never exploded) to arrive on Earth looking as though a real star had really exploded a very long time ago. Makes more sense to me that a real star really exploded a very long time ago, and we’re seeing it now.

        Sometimes I think we work too hard to square circles that are just fine as circles.

        • Chris Nelson

          Death before sin makes God ignorant, stupid or evil. It compromises God’s character.

          • Chris Nelson

            “It is good,” multiple times said by God in Genesis 1, elsewhere we learn that death is the enemy, that one day the lion will lay with the lamb and death will be extinguished.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            And “the child shall die at the age of 100…” I’m not sure what to make of that, but perhaps death, lambs and lions are all symbolic of other truths. I won’t try to sort that out.

          • Lyndon Unger

            Or it’s talking about the Millennium where both people and animals are restored to a pre-flood condition…not that words might possibly mean what their normative usage in a sentence might suggest.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            That doesn’t work: if we take the words about children dying at 100 and those not reaching the age of 100 as “accused” in the “normative” way, that doesn’t comport with pre-flood conditions–according to the “accepted” scenario. Children–everyone–were to live forever because there was no pre-flood death. So we’re back to square one: how is a death-free creation sustainable?

            I’m not trying to be a pain in the neck; really, I’m not. I just don’t know a way of bringing this together. A creation that’s “very good” IS very good until it becomes overcrowded, which it certainly would have.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            I don’t know why it would. God certainly knew that if a world of perpetually living things were to be created, it would soon become unsustainable…unless we posit that He would have stopped all reproduction once the world became “filled”, or something. In that event, you and I would never have been born and world history as we know it would not have ever occurred. But that’s a whole other subject.

            I think we have to remember that “death” in the Bible can refer to both the physical and the spiritual. In fact, Revelation calls the lake of fire “the second death.” Not “the third death”, the second one. Why? I’d say because the “first death” for the unredeemed is spiritual separation from God while alive, making the lake of fire is the “second death.” The fact, that they physically died is of no importance, as we all die–saved or not. That’s a given.

            Physical death is a natural part of the cycle of living things and is not inherently “evil”, else why would God command that Israel slaughter whole cities? Yes, He’s the author of life and is free to take it as He pleases; but if physical death is an inherently wicked thing that stemmed from our sin, why would God command it?

        • Lyndon Unger

          I’ll say it again:

          Plants aren’t alive, at least not in the biblical category of having the “breath of life” in them.

          That means that plants don’t die when something eats them. If I had a dozen hours, I’d toss together a comprehensive proof of that. Sadly I don’t so I won’t (though you could check a resource like the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament and discover it for yourself).

          All the rest of your problems come from making assumptions about the natural world before the fall or the text of Genesis (like the idea that fangs and claws automatically necessitate carnivorous diets, of the meaning of “day” in Genesis 2:17). There are legitimate explanations of the text that are neither forced nor absurd.

          For example, even today a majority of the world’s sea life survives on phytoplankton. There’s no reason why all sea life couldn’t have eaten phytoplankton (or some other similar type of photosynthetic organism) before the fall.

          Genesis 1:29-30 says that all the animals originally ate “every green plant for food”. That would include phytoplankton.

          If you don’t like those ideas, that’s all right. I’m not a creation science guy and I’m sure there are answers out there far better than what I can come up with off the top of my head.

          That being said, the idea that every creation was originally vegetarian is not a hypothesis. It’s clearly spelled out in Genesis 1:29-30.

          We build out from there, not dismiss the Scripture because it seems silly when we import naturalistic and uniformitarian assumptions (based on our rather frighteningly limited understandings of the relevant sciences) into the worldview of the Scripture.

          I’m not even going to touch your silly “answer” to the starlight problem, except to say that it’s fully possible for stars to have exploded a long time ago and the earth to be young. There are some half decent creation science folks that have offered up a reasonable solution to that for a while now.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            “…even today a majority of the world’s sea life survives on phytoplankton.” I’m no marine biologist, like George Costanza, but I’d have to dispute that. Most sea creatures eat other ones.

            Regardless, the distinction between organisms with “the breath of life” (animals) and those without (plants) is acknowledged; but that doesn’t make it untrue that “death” doesn’t occur to a carrot when you dig it up and eat it. God commanded that plants be eaten, but that still involved stopping the growth and perpetuation of a living organism.

            The starlight “solutions” I’ve read are pretty iffy. I guess we’ll just have to ask Him when we get there.

          • Lyndon Unger

            By “majority”, I meant “statistical majority of living creatures”, not greater number of species. Phytoplankton compose the base of the oceanic food chain and Phytoplankton blooms can be clearly seen from space.

            You wrote:

            “Regardless, the distinction between organisms with “the breath of life”
            (animals) and those without (plants) is acknowledged; but that doesn’t
            make it untrue that “death” doesn’t occur to a carrot when you dig it up
            and eat it.”

            Well, no. It actually does make it untrue. If plants are not alive (using the classifications of the Biblical text), then death doesn’t apply to them.

            Biblically speaking, plants do not and can not die.

            You’re forcing “death” to mean something it doesn’t mean in the Bible, and you’re applying the term to something the Bible never applies it to.

            I don’t know how else to put this.

            We’ll definitely ask him. I’d love to resolve that one myself…although I’m guessing that if Jesus explained it I’d have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

          • Zachary

            Carnivores have from the beginning been utterly dependent on the God-given green herb on planet earth for meat(Genesis 1:30) Mankind alone existed in immortality, in perfect harmony with the Trinity( Genesis 1:26) With shared dominion over all creatures, able to control and when necessary take life. After the fall humankind exists under the curse, much the same as, but far worse than the curse on the cattle of the field(Genesis 3:14). Subdued and subjected to death, as cattle always have been. We all were under the wrath of, and separated from God. All praise and glory be to Jesus Christ, who has ransomed usin His death, bearing our sin on the cross, and smashing the power of death by His resurrection from the dead.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            Explain, if you care to, how the natural world of man and animals could have been made in which nothing was supposed to ever die. God commanded man and the animals to “multiply and fill the earth”, the one command He’s given that we actually managed to obey. But if nothing was supposed to die (and death was the result of sin), then do you know of some theory by which a sin-free world (and hence a death-free world) could have long survived? I’m not coming up with one, other than to suggest that physical death was perhaps intended from the jump, and that it wasn’t something “evil” or wicked, but a normal part of the cycle of life.

            Sin resulted in spiritual death (separation from God) for Adam and the rest of us, and the “second Adam” (Christ) resolved that. But we all still die physically, even as saved people. The “death” sin brought about has been stopped through His death.

            I do know that, in the New Earth, death–along with suffering, sorrow, etc., will be over. But I’m not so sure it wasn’t intended to be part of this side of eternity. If that’s not true, then I have a hard time understanding why God would require us to sin so that death could make the natural world sustainable. In eternity, of course, there may not be any additional persons; so the problem doesn’t exist. But here, it does.

        • Seems easier to believe that God created stars that exploded and we can see that and it all happened in the time span he proposed…than to be found opposing God.

          There is great reason to believe that just because at current distances and rates some supernovae appear to have happened a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away – that they really didn’t. 1. Believe God. then 2. Read good science on the topic. Jason Lisle has written on it.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            What is “the time span he proposed”? Please don’t say 6,000 years. All we know from Scripture is that everything was created in six “days.” It doesn’t tell us when “the beginning” was, just from that “beginning” it was six “days” before God rested.

            Days, hours, weeks, years are all expressions of time, are they not? And we now know–because it’s been repeatedly tested–that time is not the same for all observers. Go to a football game, sit in the stands, and it takes about two hours from kickoff to final second. But someone watching the same game from the sun would say it took less time because clocks on the sun tick at a slower rate than here.

            Time is affected by velocity and gravity, and it stretches as the universe expands–which has also been observed. What would take a “day” in an early universe would look far longer to us looking back on it. It’s still a literal “day” when it occurred, but in terms of our “days” it was a very long time.

            None of that “opposes God.”

  • restintheway

    I really enjoyed this and hope there are more to come! Very witty, making it an enjoyable read. Yeah, the tongue eating fish thing…I also clicked the link & shouldn’t have. Hideous little beast.

    • Lyndon Unger

      No matter how aggressively I warn people…

      But I’m glad you enjoyed the non-nightmare inducing elements of the post!

  • Karl Heitman

    What I learned the most after reading this post: you really REALLY like Gene Clyatt.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Actually, Gene posted three questions in one post and that post got the most votes. Next time, I’ll limit it to one question per person.

      Gene cheated by breaking rules I hadn’t yet articulated. That’s the worst kind of cheating!

  • Zachary

    Carnivores have from the beginning been utterly dependent on the God-given green herb on planet earth for meat(Genesis 1:30) Mankind alone existed in immortality, in perfect harmony with the Trinity( Genesis 1:26) With shared dominion over all creatures, able to control and when necessary take life. After the fall humankind exists under the curse, much the same as, but far worse than the curse on the cattle of the field(Genesis 3:14). Subdued and subjected to death, as cattle always have been.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Mostly agreed, except where does Genesis 1 say that mankind had permission to kill any animals?

      • Zachary

        Genesis 1:28-29. To have dominion and to subdue specifically.

        • Lyndon Unger

          That does not mean they had permission to kill them. Not even close.

          • Zachary

            Sure it does, dominion isn’t dominion in the exclusion of the ability to kill. Ever tried to subdue an elk with a hug? To believe animals were at anytime immortal, is to place beast on the level of the only being created in the image of God, man, and thereby deifies animals. Where in scripture are animals described as immortal?

  • Zachary

    Mankind alone was created immortal, in the very image of God. Plants undergo respiration and have the breath of life in them. Unlike mankind plants and animals have always lived and died. If you do not believe these statements, what curse does then does The Lord speak of in Genesis 3:14?

    • Lyndon Unger

      “plants undergo respiration and have the breath of life in them”

      No. No they do not.

      Genesis 1:30 says ” And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”

      The beasts, birds and creeping things have the breath of life. The plants do not.

      Plants photosynthesize. They don’t breath.

      If we’re using biblical language, plants also do not die because they can not die: plants don’t have the breath of life in them.

      The curse of Genesis 3:14 is the special curse of the serpent. That curse was greater than the general curse that creation fell under due to the fall.

      • Zachary

        Genesis 3:14 reads “cursed above cattle”, implying an existing, although lesser curse than the curse on beast, i.e. death. If not why the need to “replenish”(Genesis1:28)? Animals have never been immortal, human beings have as they are created in the likeness of God. We alone hold this distinction. To say otherwise dieifies animals, and implies vegetarianism as the only sin free option to eat, if it is true that the killing of and death of animal is as a result of sin. Plants do respire, it’s a basic biological fact, so do yeast and fungus for that matter. Without respiration in plants, yeast, and other microorganisms we would not have wine, or oxygen for that matter. Plants breath in CO2 and exhale oxygen, we breath in oxygen and exhale CO2. This interplay is perfect in it’s design! Carnivorous animals to this day are still reliant on green food for meat(Lions eat cattle, cattle eat grass)-Genesis 1:29-30. In fact ecosystems are non-functional without plants even today. The fall brought death to mankind, making them as spiritually dead as all other beings, and placing them under the subjection of physical death as well.

        • Lyndon Unger

          No. Creation was not cursed prior to the fall.

          Why are we arguing about this?

          Genesis 1:28 uses the verb “male” in a Qal imperitival form, which means “fill” in the sense of “multiply”, not ” replenish” in the sense of “replace what has died”.

          Animals aren’t deified anymore than people if they live foveremore.

          Genesis 9:3 clearly states that humanity was allowed to eat animals after the flood.

          Plants do not breath.

          They do not convert CO2 into O2.

          Plants convert CO2 into sugars (the process is called “carbon fixation”). The 02 that plants produce comes from water (the process is called ” photosynthesis”).

          Plants do not breath.

          Not in the Biblical categories used for taxonomic classification…

          …and also not in reality.

          • Zachary

            Plants meet all criteria for a living organism, including respiration. Do you believe plants are dead? I would argue we are sharpening iron, not arguing;)

          • Zachary

            If plants have always lived and died, why is it a stretch to say animals have? The filling of lungs with air is not when something becomes truly alive, despite what the federal government says in regard to abortion. Creation is not cursed in the same manner as us. Creation has always been very good, we are wretched. I believe the heart of the issue lies in the word use for life in the Bible. Biological life , or spiritual life? Spiritual life is immortality, biological life dies. When we became spiritually dead we became subject to biological death. The curse of being under the wrath of God, is to be “cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field” Genesis 3:14

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  • Vinod Anand S

    Serious but enjoyable reading. Thanks Lyndon.