How Do Progressive Creationists Deal with the Problem of Natural Evil Prior to Adam?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Creation Answer Book (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012)
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Progressive creationists* believe that animal suffering and death existed for millions of years prior to the creation of Adam and Eve. Thus the question: isn’t natural evil, like moral evil, a consequence of human sin?

First, old-earth progressive creationists see natural catastrophes and carnivorous animals as part of God’s “very good” creation. As such, they render animal suffering and death as good rather than evil.

Furthermore, progressive creationists make a distinction between the words good and perfect. Thus, in their view, God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them “very good”—not perfect.

Finally, progressive creationists deny a biblical basis for believing that nature red in tooth and claw* resulted from Adam’s fall. Thus, they relate passages such as Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21–22 solely to human suffering and death, not the death and suffering evident in nature.

Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men.
Romans 5:12


For further study, see “Could Carnivores and Catastrophes Have Existed Prior to the Fall?” on page 127.

More Bible Answers with Hank

Will the Created Cosmos Be Resurrected or Annihilated?

How Can the Eternal Son of God Be the “Firstborn over All Creation”?

Will Adam and Eve Receive Brand-New Bodies in Eternity?

Do Naturalists Consider Chance the Singular Cause of Evolution?

Why Did Heliocentrism Triumph over Geocentrism?