Statesboro, GA, USA
Let's take this one point at a time. If you want to stay with Genesis ... then let's start there.
God warned against the forbidden fruit, by saying "In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die". What exactly is the nature of the judgement pronounced here, if they were already dying creatures? If they were already mortal in the sense of being subject to physical death, then what is the weight of God's judgement? It would be like warning a wet man against falling in a pool, by saying "when you do you will surely get wet". You escape this absurdity in the exact same way of getting "support" from scriptures outside of Genesis... by suggesting that God was speaking of the "second death". My point? You have to go outside of Genesis to escape absurdity due to your doctrine. I only have to say that death was apparantly non-existent in the Garden to escape the absurdity. And, no I do not have to go outside of Genesis to escape that absurdity, but I can go there for support. That's where I go to Paul saying that death entered the world through sin.
You however, due to your doctrine, are forced to go outside of Genesis just to escape the absurdity of God pronouncing death upon dying creatures. So you go to the "second death". However, when we go to that scripture, in Revelation, we find nothing said about Adam, or the garden... it is identified with the "Lake of Fire". When Paul speaks of "death entering the world through sin" in Romans, he is speaking in the context of the Garden of Eden. He even mentions Adam!
But to reiterate. .. I am not forced to go outside of Genesis to see Adam & Eve's prefallen state as undying, since no absurdity or contradiction arises from believing so. You however are faced with a problematic and puzzling question ...
Taking the Genesis account ALONE, why does God pronounce Death as a judgement on an already dying race?
You go to the second death of Revelation which gives no indication of your doctrine whatsoever.
I am not unwilling to look at any scripture, however, you would like to look at. It is just my assertion that you have a problem with pre-fall mortality in Genesis that could be solved by scriptures outside of Genesis, but so far hasn't been solved by them. Please quote scripture either from Genesis or the other 65 books of scriptures that would support your view. I am afraid the one reference in scripture to the second death falls way short of being convincing.
I may yet be wrong. But I have harmony within Genesis, and seeming support outside of it as well. So far, you seem to have neither.
And BTW, I have read all of this myself, I never decided to believe theologians for the sake of believing them without my own judgement. I believed this long before I ever read about Calvin or any of these guys you mentioned. I disagree with many theologians which I respect.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-05-2002 02:13 PM).]