The so-called Christian worldview seems to be derived more from Augustine than the Bible.

Though there is much more to say, I would make the following points:

1. Death is implicit in Genesis 1:1. In contrast with the eternal Creator, the temporal creation has a beginning and therefore an end (Rom. 1:23, Heb. 7:3, cf. 1:10-12, etc.). So for the creature who stems from the earth and follows its pattern as creation in miniature, there is inevitably a time to be born and a time to die (Eccl. 3:2, cf. vv.18f.).

2. The word “good” in Genesis 1 means “suited to its purpose” (Eccl. 3:11, NRSV, REB, NASB, of being inhabited, Isa. 45:12,18, of being under the dominion of man, Gen. 1:26,28, Ps. 8:5f.; Heb. 2:8f., and hence of bringing many sons to glory, Heb. 2:10ff.; Rom. 2:7, cf. Rom. 8:18-25). Thus Eve’s “apple” was “good” (Gen. 3:6, cf. 2:9; 1 Cor. 10:26; 1 Tim. 4:3f.). Having served their purpose created things will eventually wear out, reach their use-by date (Lu. 12:33; Col. 2:22; Heb. 1:11) and be removed (Heb. 12:27; 2 Pet. 1:14; 3:7,10-12; Rev. 20:11; 21:1,4, etc.).

3. Food (Gen. 1:29) implies death (note especially Ps. 104:14,21, cf. Job 4:11; Ps. 147:9; John 6:27, etc.) as does procreation/reproduction (1:11f., cf. Heb. 7:23). There is no marriage in heaven or the age to come, because there is no death (Lu. 20:34-36). Grass is a symbol of death throughout the Bible (Jas. 1:10f. etc.), and all flesh is grass (Isa. 40:6-8; 1 Pet. 23-25). Man cannot live on bread alone (Mt. 4:4).

4. Death, like reproduction (Gen. 19:31), is “the way of all the earth” (Jos. 23:14; 1 K 2:2).

5. Adam derived from a temporal earth and was hence created mortal flesh (Gen. 6:3; Rom. 1:23; 2 Cor. 4:11, etc.). As one who was also made in the image of God, he was promised eternal life (that is, escape from mortality or “bondage to corruption”) if he kept the commandment (Gen. 2:17, cf. Ps. 8:5f.). He didn’t, and as a consequence lapsed into the dust (Gen. 3:19, cf. Ps. 104:29; 146:4). Even Jesus as man was mortal. He underwent a normal human development (Lu. 2:41ff.) and at just over thirty looked as if he was approaching fifty (John 8:57, cf. 2 Cor. 4:16)! If he had remained on the earth he would have died, but in contrast with the first Adam he kept the commandment, the whole law in fact, and inherited life in accordance with the promise (Gen. 2:17; Lev. 18:5; Mt. 19:17, etc.). Though he gave his mortal flesh for us (1 Pet. 3:18), he rose again from the dead and ascended transformed into heaven where he ever lives to make intercession for us.

6. Romans 8:18-25, like John 3:1-7 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-50, does not mention sin and should be correlated with Genesis 1, not 3 as tradition has it.

7. According to Paul, everything in this naturally corruptible world is futile (cf. Rom. 8:18-25) if Christ has not been raised (1 Cor. 15:14,17). He and he alone conquered the world (John 16:33, cf. Rom. 8:31-39; Heb. 2:5-9) and brought life and immortality (incorruption) to light for the first and only time in all history (2 Tim. 1:10). Apart from him, no fleshly sinner can be justified (Rom. 3:20; 1 Cor. 1:29; Gal. 2:16; 3:10f.; Eph. 2:9) and so inherit life (Rom. 5:21, cf. Heb. 2:9).

Though most Christians seem to have recognized that the last enemy in this age is death, they have failed to recognize that it was also the first. Though Adam was promised life, death threatened him from the start (Gen. 2:17). As implied above he was created corruptible. Even Jesus in the flesh grew older (Luke 2:42ff.; John 8:57). But since he kept the commandments promising life he escaped though he freely laid down his life for his sheep (John 10:17f.; 1 Pet. 3:18). Paul was all too aware that as soon as knowledge of the law (or commandment) was attained in childhood, it spelt death (Rom. 7:9f.). Indeed, the essence of its ministry was death (2 Cor. 3) not life (Gal. 3:21) though it promised it (Rom. 7:9f.). We might add that since salvation was planned in eternity suffering and death were necessarily involved (cf. e.g. Rev. 13:8)*, but “this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17, cf. Rom. 8:18,24,25).

I leave the reader to ponder the implications of these points.

* In the words of J.D.G.Dunn, “Paul, of course, does not intend to charge God with defective foresight” (Romans 1, 384).