This is a short excerpt from Bethany Sollereder’s plenary talk at the BioLogos Conference in March 2019 on animal suffering and the goodness of God’s plan for nature.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, the Bible is not at all squeamish about the suffering in the world or the predatorial nature of creation. Yes, there are passages throughout Isaiah that describe the future kingdom as lacking these elements, but over and over again the Biblical writers celebrate God’s creation of the really difficult bits of the world–the divine care for lions in the great leviathan, the divine dialogues in Job are little more than an extended celebration of God’s direct responsibility of all of creation’s most problematic elements. From storm clouds and hail to monsters and snowstorms, God takes credit for it all.
From [Job] Chapter 39:
”Does the eagle soar at your command
and build its nest on high?
It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
a rocky crag is its stronghold.
Its young ones feast on blood,
and where the slain are, there it is.”
There’s no indication that the eagle’s bloodthirsty nature is contrary to God’s will; there’s no sense that its way of living in the world is the tragic consequences of the fall. Instead, the continual chorus of creation is, ‘it is good, it is good, it is very good.’ This world with tsunamis and tigers burning bright is God’s very good creation.
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