googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Spiritual or Physical Death?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spiritual or Physical Death?

Just a quick post today.

This stems from an online conversation I had the other day with a theistic evolutionist. Many people who claim to believe the Bible and evolution argue that Adam only died spiritually at the Fall. Worse yet, many people claim there was no real “Adam” but that the person of Adam in Genesis 2 is merely of representative of mankind and that his Fall represents the spiritual death of man in general.

Of course it's true that there is a spiritual death which comes from sin. The Bible describes this as the “second death” (Revelation 21:8). Yet it is a gross error to suggest the second death is unrelated to the first death. The Bible says that God cursed the ground for Adam's sake (Genesis 3:17). Romans 8:22 tells us that the entire creation groans and travails under the Curse. Therefore, we know with certainty that the Curse is not only spiritual but also has a physical aspect.

Let me ask a simple question: did Jesus die physically? Did Jesus rise physically? The answer to both is a resounding, YES! The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). If that only means a spiritually death, then why did Jesus have to physically endure the cross and physically die for our sins?

Death is not an intended part of the very good creation. Death is the enemy. Death (both physical and spiritual) is the judgment for our sins. It is a mockery of God's justice to say to say that our physical death was always intended by God and has nothing to do with our sin.


The Palaeobabbler said...

Did your theistic evolutionist in question neglect to mention that a departure from relationship with God (spiritual death) is tied in with physical death due to God being the source of life? And furthermore that such actions make death a stark reality, a danger, without God's protection?

The separation between spiritual and physical death is common in theistic evolution, but it is overly simplistic.

RKBentley said...


As usual, thanks for your comments and for visiting my blog.

This particular TE seemed to be a garden variety TE. His position was the usual, “Adam only died spiritually at the Fall” (even though I put that in quotes, it is a paraphrase). He was quick to point out that Adam didn't die physically the day he ate the forbidden fruit so the Bible MUST be referring to a spiritual death.

Most TEs that I've met (in person and online) believe that death was a part of God's creative process. That's really an inescapable conclusion of TE. Accordingly, Adam was always meant to die physically. It was his disobedience that separated him from God (spiritual death).

A few TE folks believe in a type of progressive creationism where animals evolved but God created Adam miraculously a few hundred thousand years ago. These folks believe Adam wasn't intended to die physically but, when he sinned, he forfeited his life – both physically and spiritually.

You've not really said anything different than I've heard before (though you may have said it differently). When you say the separation of spiritual and physical death is common in TE but overly simplistic, who is being overly simplistic? Is it the TE or folks like me who point it out? And what about my point that Christ died and rose physically?

I look forward to your reply. Thanks again for visiting.

God bless!