Many Thanks For a Fallen Creation

I took these pictures while on our family vacation in the Southwestern USA. I love this part of the country; it’s so dramatic, even otherworldly. Expansive vistas, insane rock formations, high winds, infinite hues, steep peaks and deep canyons – there is no area where so much diverse beauty is so readily at hand.

But this is a harsh and unforgiving land. Ceaseless winds, brutally hot by day, bitterly cold at night, with scarcely enough water to support the sparse ecology. There is little of practical value to invite us into the realm of desert and high mountains, it is so difficult for anyone to survive there. On the other hand, when we think of paradise it is lush and green, accompanied by an abundance of cool, refreshing water.

Couldn’t we then say that the American West is an example of nature’s cruelty? If God is good, why would he create such an inhospitable, even hellish environment? Wouldn’t he have created a world with no hardships, no pain, no dangers?

If that were his plan, then we would have no deserts, no ice capped mountains, no dangerous canyons, no cliffs, no frozen lakes, no grinding glaciers, no unnavigable white water. No flash floods, no cyclones, no droughts, no earthquakes. No exploding volcanoes, no brush fires, no tornadoes, no rock slides, – none of the natural calamities that some attribute to a ‘fallen world’. There would always be just the right amount of rain, just the right amount of sunshine and the temperature would always be around 70 degrees. We call that Hawaii. But even that particular paradise is a result of (and constantly threatened by) the earth’s violent nature.

If that were God’splan then there would be no such dangerous place as the Grand Canyon, or Monument Valley, the Superstition Mountains, the Painted Desert, Yosemite or Yellowstone. The entire world would be as green and safe as Central Park in the spring. (OK, bad analogy)

But even the fabled bucolic homestead, nestled in a fertile valley within a grove of shady trees and surrounded by fertile pasture, owes its existence to the unrelenting and heartless ‘cruelty’ of the earth.


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  1. #1 by Christian on June 28, 2008 - 12:15 am

    Net – you have a problem with Continental Drift or squaring Continental Drift with a literal reading of Genesis?

    There are some great books by John McPhee that really lay out drift and how it has formed our country; “Basin and Range” “In Suspect Terrain” “Rising From the Plains” and finally “Assembling California”. Not only do they spell out geology and drift theory for the laymen but McPhee is a great writer.

    Once you read his work here you will never look at the landscape the same way again. But it does blow the whole 6,000 year old earth out of the water.

  2. #2 by netprophet on June 28, 2008 - 2:40 am

    Thanks again, More good info from the shunned Christian. Quantum physics already did it for me with the 6,00 year old earth. Add this to Peter’s “a day is like a thousand years” and bingo it all kinda fits into the reality of todays science and Creationism. The Bible never said how long Adam and Eve were in Paradise before the fall, but it was at least long enough for Adam to name all the animals and everything else that existed.

    By the way, here is what Wikipedia says about Nod:
    “Nod” (נוד) is the Hebrew root of the verb “to wander” (לנדוד) and is possibly an etymological etiology intended to explain the peripatetic lifestyle of Cain and his descendants, the Cainites. One interpretation of Genesis 4:16 is that Cain was cursed to wander the land forever, not that he was exiled to a “Land of Wanderers”, otherwise absent from the Old Testament.

    Why there were people in Nod before Cain could be hinted to in the fact that Gen:1:27 says: “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” and then in 2:7 and 2:8 “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” 2:8 “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” (Notice it says man not men)

    To take this one step further I ask; did God create man on the sixth day in His own image and then a special man who He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul”, (Adam) for His special paradise? Those He created on the sixth day were prehistoric man, who after hooking up with Cain, became the Canaanites and/or Gentiles.

    Not my idea, but I thought it an interesting possibility to consider.

  3. #3 by michael on June 28, 2008 - 11:14 pm

    i’m reading the end of religion by cavey…almost done…got it from a nav.

  4. #4 by Christian on June 29, 2008 - 9:28 am

    Welcome Michael. I enjoyed that book very much. I didn’t discover anything ‘new’ but Cavey has a way of fitting so many good ideas in a nutshell. What’s ‘nav’?

    BTW – I recommend everyone checking out Michael’s blog, Floating Axehead

    Lot’s of good discussion going on over there.

    . (Thanks to BuddyO for tipping us off)

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