This lesson takes us to a discussion about the relationship between sin and death in the broadest terms. Picking up from Lesson #7, we redefine the terms for human sins and rebellion and consider the implications this might have on the natural world and the sources of our information for making assertions at all.
definition of terms:
- sin — actions which miss the mark, fall short of the goal
- iniquity — actions which are wrong and bring guilt
- transgression — attitude of revolt, rebellion
- evil — moral depravity
- sin (New Testament) — lawlessness, lovelessness (1 John)
- death in nature
- biological (plant and animal)
- astronomical levels of life and death in nature, e.g., human, animal (different kinds from coral to mollusks to amoeba to viruses to dung beetles and mosquitos to wild badgers to domesticated goats to pet cats to caged panda bears), plants, forests, eco-systems
Relevant Biblical Passages:
- Gen 1:20-28 — creation of earth-bound, marine and air-borne animals
- Gen 3 — elements of collapse with the sin of Adam and Eve
- Isa 11:6-9 and 65:17-25 (Isa 66:22-24) — an ideal future
- Rom 5:12-14; 6:23; 8:18-22 — sin > death and the connections with nature
Issues for Discussion
n what ways does the biblical evidence understand and treat the role of sin in nature? How much does the Bible actually say about it (and do we sometimes read more into some texts than they say)? What are the effects? How did they come about? How significant are they? What kind of restoration does the Bible address?
What does it mean in the context of this discussion to compare and contrast domestic animals and wild beasts? What does the Bible say about God’s relationship with the wild animals? What can we know from science (ancient history and archaeology) about the domestication of animals and what this meant to people living in Bible times?
What role does death play in the natural world?
What Difference Does it Make?
How does our understanding of death affect how we look at creation and life?