Remember my preference


Abstract

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Appendixes


     

Seed of the Woman

Genesis 3:15
Her seed
shall bruise
(Satan's) head.

Galatians 3:16
That seed is Christ.

John 12:24
Except a seed . . . die, it abideth alone.

     pg.1 of 5     


 

 

INTRODUCTION

       and now. . . .
lest he live forever. . . .
     God drove the man from the Garden
Genesis 3:22-24



    Was there once such a Garden where man lived and might never have died, a substantive basis for all those Shangri-Las where people scarcely ever grew old only, in this Garden, they would never have grown old at all?
     Is it conceivable that man could have lived on and on endlessly, for hundreds of years, even for thousands of years perhaps, indeed, even for ever? Is not death inevitable as the appropriate and expected end for every thing that lives not only for animals but for man as well? Is not dying automatically part and parcel of the price of living? Is not every living thing destined to die?

     Research in the Life Sciences has been modifying our opinion on these matters quite fundamentally. It is now clear that innumerable living things actually never do die. They simply divide into two and go merrily on their way, multiplying indefinitely but leaving no dead behind barring accidents. Such forms of life actually far outnumber those that are mortal! It is quite true that they are tiny organisms and might not be thought to have any kind of "real life" experience: but this is not so. Small though they are, those who have investigated them have concluded that in their own way they experience many of the reactions which we attribute to higher organisms with intelligence, e.g., dogs*. Life is by no means wedded to death. Although all living

* This statement was made by H. S. Jennings, one of the first to observe the actions of amoeba for hours on end. He reported his observations in fascinating detail in Behaviour of the Lower Organisms, Columbia University Biological Series X, Columbia University Press, 1915, xvi & 366 pages.

     pg 2 of 5      

things are clearly capable of being killed in one way or another, remarkably few classes of organisms are actually subject to 'natural' death.
     It should be realized that animals experience death for many reasons. They are subject to predators, to accident, to disease, to starvation, to dehydration, even to the very effects of their bulk which (if they grow large enough) can immobilize them and reduce their chances of getting food or defending themselves. So they die. But the important point is that they do not die for inherent reasons. Thus for billions of living, growing creatures, death is not the 'expected end' and almost certainly never was. Living tissue that is functionally immortal is not a poet's dream but a biological reality. Granted the fact of the creation of life, it is mortality, not immortality, that needs accounting for.
     To many people unacquainted with the literature of modern research in this area, this is a new thought. To the biologist, it is not. Immortality and I am speaking of physical, not spiritual, immortality is commonplace among living things whether plant or animal, and the Bible assures us that man, although he is a far more complex organism, was a candidate for this kind of immortality. Placed in a special environment, in a real honest-to-goodness garden, planted with real honest-to-goodness trees bearing real honest-to-goodness edible fruits and edible leaves, he was so constituted that he could have lived for ever. He was provided with the means of either maintaining this immortal constitution or destroying it. For man as created, mortality was only a contingent possibility: it was by no means inevitable. When man disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit he did not merely shorten his life: he introduced death into it as something entirely foreign to its original design.
     The more we examine the evidence in the light of what we know, the more certain we can be that biblical commentators of former times (both Jewish and Christian) were perfectly correct in their understanding of the constitution of the first parents of the human race. Adam and Eve and their descendants (you and I) might very well have still been enjoying physical immortality if certain tragic circumstances had not intervened to change everything. Scripture has been telling us about this potential physical immortality for thousands of years: and now science is just beginning to acknowledge not only that such a concept is valid, but that it might yet be again true in the future.
     Now the fact that the great majority of living things never do die naturally but for the most part come to an end by accident, indicates two rather obvious but very important circumstances regarding the nature of life in such organisms.
     First: they CAN die, for otherwise they could not be killed. But, secondly, they do not need to die, for they can actually go on living

     pg.3 of 5     

indefinitely. We thus have an important distinction to note regarding the meaning of the term physical immortality as applied to any organism including Adam and Eve as created.
     In the light of modern research, physical immortality means that a living creature will not die unless it is killed. It does not mean that it cannot be put to death but only that death is not an inherent condition of its life. Death overtakes it, happens to it. By avoiding accident successfully, it is quite capable of living on for ever.
     And this, I believe, was precisely the position of man when he was first created. Adam need never have died: but he did die in due course because he introduced a poison into his body through the agency of the forbidden fruit with fatal consequences to himself and to the bodies of all his descendants (including you and me), besides perverting his spirit with equally fatal consequences for his relationship with God. He might, even after his disastrous disobedience, have partaken of the healing leaves of the Tree of Life and recovered his physical well-being . . . though not his spiritual well-being. And physical immortality in such a state would have been condemnation to everlasting defeat and disappointment from which there could be virtually no escape except by some kind of suicide. It is almost certain that it was for this reason, God drove the man out of the Garden and excluded him rigidly from the Tree of Life.
     From this graphic record of the events that transpired in Eden, events that seem almost childishly naive, arose a situation for mankind which called forth the working out of a plan of redemption made possible only because the laws of nature had been designed to accommodate it. Though divine intervention marks every step of the Plan, at no point was the natural order violated. The natural order was merely put by the Creator to a higher service. And we now have many new insights into the physiological whys and wherefores of the steps by which man's redemption was to be made possible.
     Why Eve was taken out of Adam and not made a separate creation: why death was both a penalty and a remedy, and how this penalty was made the basis of the remedy: why the virgin conception was essential to the vicarious death of the Redeemer and how that death was physiologically unique: and finally, why his resurrected body had not seen corruption though entombed under conditions of burial very similar to those of Lazarus: all these were part and parcel of the Plan of Redemption. Such, then, is the subject matter of this volume which is a study of some of the biological factors in the plan of redemption which are seldom treated as a connected chain of events.

     Is it all fantasy? I think not. I believe it is sober history. This is a new approach to the study of the Articles of the old Faith which in the light of modern research proves itself to be indeed a Faith needing no apology.

     pg.4 of 5     

     Here, in fact, is the meeting place of Science and Theology. To the theologian, much of science seems highly speculative. To the scientist, theology often seems speculative to the point of being irrelevant to the facts. In each branch of inquiry, a problem has been created because of ignorance of the data, method, motivation, and philosophy of the other. Theology is based on the strictest form of logic applied to revelation. The scientist applies his logic just as rigidly, but to the data of experiment and observation. Neither side always respects these pre-requisites, and many contradictory conclusions result through misinterpretation of the meaning of the data.
     But it seems time now to attempt some kind of joining and as in all such "weddings", there will continue to be quarrels. But the marriage could have tremendous possibilities. Such weddings have been tried in recent years by groups of people, and proved disappointing failures. Perhaps a one-man effort to form such a union might have a better chance of success. This volume has at least a certain inner harmony which may help towards achieving a more fruitful partnership.

 

 

An established fact is as sacred as a revealed truth.

 

     pg.5 of 5     

Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

 

Previous Chapter                                                                      Next Chapter



Home | Biography | The Books | Search | Order Books | Contact Us