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Creation’s Rebellion: What Changed After the Fall?

When faced with the question of why there is so much suffering in the world, the default Christian answer is because of Adam’s sin. This belief is certainly not without warrant. Indeed, a number of biblical texts appear to support it. Having said that, modern scientific discoveries have made it clear that creatures have been dying for as long as they have inhabited this planet. This has been going on for more than three and a half billion years—long before Homo sapiens entered the scene of history a few hundred thousand years ago. Yet, if this is true, then what in the created order actually changed as a result of Adam’s sin?

This is the question that I take up in my latest column at Catholic World Report. In this piece, I mine the treasuries of Christian wisdom for insight into this matter. Among other pearls of wisdom, one of my favorite thoughts comes from St. Augustine. According to this Doctor of the Church, ambiguities in the book of Sacred Scripture serve to temper our pride, and the seemingly futile features in the book of creation serve to help us cultivate humility.

EDIT: And the following is a link to a rewarding interview where I had opportunity to share some on this theme on the EWTN radio show Kresta in the Afternoon. 

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Matthew Ramage

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