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Did Satan's Fall Corrupt Nature?

Video from Truth Unites

"In this video I explain and defend the angelic fall theodicy as an explanation for natural evil. Truth Unites is a mixture of apologetics and theology, with an irenic focus. Gavin Ortlund (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Ojai." from video introduction

How Did Nature Become Fallen?

"My article “On the Fall of Angels and the Fallenness of Nature: An Evangelical Hypothesis Regarding Natural Evil” is now out in the April edition of Evangelical Quarterly. I hope it does not seem self-serving to share about the article on my blog, but a number of people have asked me about it since I referenced it in my correspondence with Doug Wilson on creation issues several weeks back. So I want to give a brief outline of the argument here, in hopes it might be helpful to others, and to try to open up avenues of dialogue around this important issue.

The article advances what I call the “angelic fall hypothesis” (AFH), which is the view that pre-human natural evil is best accounted for by the fall of angels. Many Christians attribute all natural evil to the human fall, but advances in the natural sciences since the early 19th century have increasingly indicated that death and suffering in the animal kingdom did not originate within human history, but vastly pre-date us. Other Christians maintain that death/disease/decay/disorder in the natural order is simply a necessary aspect of God creating a sustainable world: that animal pain and death may be unpleasant, but they are not “evil.” In the body of the article I say a bit about why I think the brutality of “nature red in tooth and claw” needs some kind of explanation, particularly in light of Christian eschatological expectation. (I may say more about this in a forthcoming blog post as well.)

So if nature is fallen and imperfect, and if it seems to be so before Adam and Eve were around to eat the fruit, what do we do with this? In the article I then offer AFH as an alternative to be considered:

“Although sometimes regarded as highly speculative and complex, this view actually benefits from a simple premise, that natural evil began when evil began; or put differently, that nature fell when the first creatures within her fell. It does not deviate from the principle embedded in the more traditional Christian view – that evil corrupts nature – but simply applies this principle to an earlier phase of the history of evil (the earliest). While it falls short of requiring assent on the basis of incontrovertible evidence, this theory nevertheless meets the criteria for a compelling hypothesis: it fits with everything we do know, and explains much of what we do not know.”

The body of the article then precedes in three sections.

1. Why It’s a Problem, and What the Options Are

In the first section, I state the difficulty of the problem, engaging with Anne Dillard’s observations of the animal kingdom in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, as well as the growing stature of the “problem of natural evil” in contemporary philosophical discussion. I suggest that natural evil presents a challenge to the theist that cannot be lightly brushed aside, and try to clarify where exactly the problem lies.." from the article: How Did Nature Become Fallen?

Micheal Heiser - Why is There Evil?

Video from Andrew Nusz

"Mike Heiser on why there is evil in the world. I don't think I've heard a better explanation than his." from the video introduction


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