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“Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering” – Ronald Osborn; Robert Johnston; James Hayward

Date: November 14, 2015

Speakers: Dr. Ronald Osborn; Dr. Robert Johnston; Dr. James Hayward

Positions: Mellen Postdoctoral Fellow at Wellesley College; Emeritus Professor of New Testament at SDA Theological Seminary; Research Professor Emeritus of Biology at Andrews University

Topic: “Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering”

Venue: Chan Shun Hall

Attendance: 65

Presentation: 3 men discussed Ron’s book on literalism & animal suffering in light of Gen. 1:31.  How could death enter a creation that was “good”?  God’s concept of “good” may not mean “perfect,” but allow for “wildness” & the need for Christ’s redemption.  I Cor. 15 calls death an enemy, yet reproduction & death are basic to life, even in the womb (cells between fingers & toes die to produce digits).  Nearly 90% of body cells are bacteria that die all the time.  A deathless creation is a static creation (stasis) without reproduction, but God created a world with endless possibilities.  What we believe has no impact on what actually happened, so we should humbly examine new evidence.

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