Ed Stevens and The (Two) Deaths of the Garden
See my book, The Death of Adam / The Life of Christ for an in-depth discussion of the Death of Adam.
Ed Stevens recently posted on some FB pages an article on the supposed two deaths of the Garden of Eden, the Adamic Death. Stevens claims that there were two Adamic Deaths, i.e. physical death and spiritual. In fact, he says that our physical death only comes as a result of our spiritual death. Think about that! We have to be separated from God, spiritually, before we can die physically!
Stevens has argued this point in our debate, but refuses to consider my rejoinders and responses based on the emphatic declarations of the Bible. So, let me present the following as a short response to Stevens’ FaceBook post.
(First however, it is to be noted that Stevens has refused to post my final affirmative presentation, although it is 98+ % the same as my third presentation that he reviewed and posted. Here we are two months after I sent him my final and he still refuses to post that final affirmative. Yet, he has had more than ample time to come on FB and post one post after another, and more specifically, one attack on me, after another. This is more than revealing to say the least!)
But to our point. Were there two deaths introduced when Adam sinned? Consider the following.
In Romans 5:12f Paul discusses the Adamic Curse. He said, “THE” death” (SINGULAR!) entered through “the sin” (Romans 5:12). This means that whatever kind of “THE” death (SINGULAR) entered the day of sin, IT WAS ONLY ONE DEATH. Paul no where speaks of “deaths” of the Garden, or “deaths” introduced by Adam. And yet, Stevens speaks repeatedly about the two deaths of the Garden! But, his own terminology of “deaths” (plural) exposes the fact that his doctrine of two deaths stands in contrast to the Biblical doctrine of “the death”– one death – not two. The Bible speaks of ONE Adamic Death– Stevens speaks of Two! Something is wrong here!
Stevens says that physical death entered the day of Adam’s sin. Well, “THE death” (SINGULAR), that is the focus of resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 and all discussions of resurrection is, “THE death”that entered the day of sin (Romans 5:12). Thus, if physical death was “the death” that entered that Day, THERE IS NO OTHER DEATH TO BE OVERCOME! This is irrefutable and it is why Stevens has totally ignored this information in our debate although I have repeated it.
Consider carefully the following:
Stevens claims that Genesis 3 proves that Adamic Death includes physical death.
Well, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, “the” Adamic Death would be abolished for those in Christ, at the AD 70 parousia. In our exchanges, Stevens initially denied this! Catch the power of this denial!
Now, recently, Stevens has appealed to what “orthodox, conservative scholars” believe, as they stand opposed to what I posit concerning Adamic Death. Well, I have challenged Stevens repeatedly to show me from any of his “orthodox, conservative scholars” where any of them– even ONE – agree with his (ostensible) preterism, and his view of the Rapture. His response? Total silence! In light of this, consider: Which one of his numerous “orthodox, conservative scholars” could Stevens quote who deny- as Stevens did initially – that Paul predicted the abolishment of Adamic Death at Christ’s coming in 1 Corinthians 15? Answer? NOT ONE!
When I confronted Stevens with the undeniable statements from Paul, he did a “180″ and said, to paraphrase, “Yes, death was to be abolished for those in Christ at the AD 70 parousia, but, it all depends on what death you are discussing!” Well, there is only one “the death,” only ONE Adamic Death! Of course, Stevens did not offer a keystroke to explain which of his proposed different Adamic Deaths Paul was discussing. Stevens literally said not a word to explain what he meant. His comment was clearly obfuscatory and diversionary– with no probative value of any kind.
The truth is that Paul was discussing “the” death, “the Adamic Death.” It is “the death” of Romans 5. Whatever Adamic Death was, Paul taught that for the Christian, that Adamic Death Curse was to be over come at the parousia of Christ. Stevens claims to believe that the Lord’s coming was in AD 70, and yet, he knows – everyone can see and experience, that physical death– which Stevens insists was one of the two supposed Adamic Deaths – was not abolished for ANYONE- in AD 70. With that in mind consider the following:
Adamic Death was to be abolished for those in Christ, at the parousia – Paul the apostle.
Adamic Death included physical death– says Ed Stevens.
Therefore, physical death was to be abolished for those in Christ at the parousia.
Following on this:
The Adamic Death was to be abolished for those in Christ, at the parousia, Paul the apostle – Ed Stevens supposedly now agrees after initially denying it.
The parousia of Christ occurred in AD 70 – Ed Stevens claims to believe this.
Therefore, The Adamic Death, which supposedly includes physical death, was abolished for those in Christ at the AD 70 parousia.
Well, was physical death abolished for those in Christ, in AD 70? Stevens has not, and he knows he cannot, say that physical death was abolished for Christians in AD 70. Thus, he has not hit a key in response in our debate, and it is why he has not hit a key on FB to answer. He cannot and he knows it.
Furthermore, if Adamic “THE death” was physical death, per Ed, THAT NECESSITATES PHYSICAL RESURRECTION. You do not abolish Adamic physical death BY HAVING TO EXPERIENCE ADAMIC DEATH! A Physical Death of Adam demands physical resurrection. Yet, Christians today, ostensibly under the power of forgiveness and the blood of Christ, still die physically today, just like the worst reprobate!
NOW, STEVENS DENIES THAT PHYSICAL DEATH MUST BE OVERCOME. This in spite of the fact that he now agrees that Paul said that “the” Adamic Death was to be abolished at the parousia, and in spite of the fact that Stevens claims Christ came in AD 70. Instead, he has the physical body destroyed in the grave! The ADAMIC CURSE OF (PHYSICAL) DEATH – IS NEVER ABOLISHED – FOR ANYONE! In fact, in Stevens’ paradigm, Christian must continue to die as a result of sin – experiencing the Adamic Death Curse – in order to receive eternal life! We have to die in sin and from sin, to go to heaven! Do you catch the power of this? Exactly how we can even go to heaven, since we die as a result of our sin, Stevens has never attempted to explain. And he can’t. To die in sin is to be lost.
Stevens claims that we today– even Christians – continue to die, “because we are all sinners” – (his words) which, according to Stevens – is why Adam died. So, Adam died due to sin, and we die due to sin – “the wages of sin is death” – which Stevens says is physical death. The Adamic Death (s) Curse still holds total power over the most faithful child of God. Thus, Stevens denies that “Adamic Death” in any shape, form or fashion was abolished for the Christian at the AD 70 parousia! He contradicts himself and Paul. In Stevens’ paradigm, there is no forgiveness, there is no resurrection life (more on this later!), there is no victory over the Adamic Curse. There is no victory over “the last enemy” which Stevens identifies as physical death. Is this “the Gospel”- the good news of Christ? Is this the victory?
He knows that physical death was not abolished in AD 70 – I am pretty sure that everyone knows this.
He knows that spiritual death was not abolished in AD 70. In fact, he is on record as saying that we only die physically because we die spiritually through sin!
Thus, Ed’s position LOGICALLY DEMANDS THAT HE IS A FUTURIST. If Adamic Death was not- is not- abolished for the Christian, Christ did not come in AD 70 as Stevens claims to believe.
Ed Stevens cannot maintain his view of Adamic “Deaths” and be a PRETERIST. THE UNDENIABLE LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF HIS DOCTRINE DEMAND IT. He must either surrender his view of Adamic Death, or become a futurist.
Which will it be?