Friday, August 31, 2012

But What About the Food Adam and Eve Ate?

A short post today to close out this creation series:

I made the claim yesterday that death comes from sin. No death existed in God's good creation until after Adam and Eve sinned.

One counter to this claim is to ask about the food that Adam and Eve ate. The question/reasoning goes something like this, "Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree. This is the killing of plant life. Therefore, death did come before sin. So why do you say that death only came after sin?"

At first this question seems to have some merit. However, a closer look shows that it simply does not. The question makes a claim itself: that eating fruit is killing. But is it?

I like apples. I eat one almost every day. In doing this, am I killing? I would be if I was killing the plant. However, the plant is just fine. That's because the plant is the tree. When we eat of the fruit of the tree or vine we are not killing because the plant itself remains as healthy as ever. In fact, it probably continues to produce more fruit.

Adam and Eve ate the fruit. They did not eat entire trees. We get no sense that they even had to prepare food of any kind. Instead, they just walked over to the plant, picked whatever fruit they desired, and partook (there was that unfortunate incident with one specific tree, but that's another topic).

No killing involved whatsoever.

For illustration purposes, do we consider ourselves to have killed when we get a haircut? Of course not. The reason is that even though the hair is trimmed, the roots remain. They probably even benefit from a little trim.

We can see, then, that Adam and Eve did not kill plants. Therefore, their eating habits did not in any way bring about death. Why is this? The reason is that in God's sovereign wisdom, death is a consequence of sin. This means that death has to come after sin.

Again pointing to Romans 5:12, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned..." (ESV).


John said...

Hey Eric,

I can definitely see your point here. I guess I have a couple questions (non-sarcastic tone). One, do you think that it matters if plants died before the fall, and two, doesn't it seem like the passage in Romans is only referring to death coming to man through the fall?


Eric said...


Great questions. First, I do think it matters if there was death of any kind prior to the fall. Before sin, everything was perfect. God declared it "very good" at the conclusion of Genesis chapter 1. Romans 8:20-21 says, "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God." Creation has had this problem ever since the fall.

The Romans 5 passage does refer to man's death, but taken with Romans 8 I believe that all death is a consequence of sin.

Death is never spoken of as good in scripture. It is not part of this world as God intended it. It will not be a part after Christ returns.