Larry Schnapf course description

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II. Status of Creation After The Fall-

A. Animals live in harmony with Humans before the Fall. The fall alienated humans from animals.
B. The existence of wild animals was thought to be evidence that there had been a partial loss of authority on account of sin since it was assumed that all animals obeyed humans prior to the fall. The domestication or destruction of wild animals was believed to be a sign that the earthly paradise was drawing nearer. Early prophets would retire to the wilderness where they would tame wild beasts
1. "Cursed be the ground because of you." Gen. 3:17. This passage has led some to conclude that the all of the earth is corrupt and evil and that humans are free to destroy or use the earth as they see fit because it is no good.
2. However, the ground is not cursed because it has done some bad deed or it is bad but “because of you” (Adam).
3. Domesticated animals retain their relationship and through the mercy of God still love him and obey him.
B. Isaiah 24- shows the relationship between man and earth. This relationship is liked that of a priest to his people, the master to his slave, a mistress to her maid, a seller to its buyer and a lender to its borrower (Isaiah 24:1-3). In all these cases, one party is responsible but both parties are affected.
C. Human/earth relationship- Humans do the sinning. They defy God and bring punishment upon themselves and the earth. The created world of plants and creatures had no choice, no will and no sin. It was human choice and sin that takes damages the earth.
D. This point is made clear in passages 5 and 6 where its is said that the earth is “defiled” by its inhabitants because they have “transgressed the law” and it is their guilt that has brought down punishment upon the earth.
E. Thus, humans cannot justify abuse of the earth because it is “cursed.” Second century Irenaeus said that nature and the material world were fundamentally good and blessed by God. It remains near to God despite the fall and subject to his purposes and designs.
F. It has been said that man’s relationship with the ground was reversed by the Fall. Instead of ruling over the ground, he shall return to it and it shall swallow his body upon his death.
G. The Fall was in essence a misuse of nature by Adam by exercising ownership over the Tree of Knowledge. The penalty for misappropriation of the authority over nature was death!

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