I’ll fix this post later … unpolished thoughts….
“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” ~ Romans 8:19b-21
Within Reformed circles there is a doctrine known as the Limited Atonement or Particular Redemption. The doctrine is highly controversial not only between those who hold to it and those who do not, but so also among those who hold to it. This is so because the doctrine can be understood in more than one way (strict vs. moderate). I personally do not have an opinion on the matter, although if someone put a knife to me, I would have to go with the general or unlimited atonement. In what follows however, I want to think about some consequences that may follow from holding to Particular Redemption. They are quite interesting actually.
Particular Redemption (in a non-Owenist-strict sense) can be stated as consisting of at least the following two statements.
 Christ died for the sins of some.
 Christ died for all.
The first statement is explicitly hamartiological (study of sin), whereas the second is not. In (1), only the sins of a particular group of people are in view. In (2) there is no mention of sin. It is possible to die for someone or something (e.g. your country) and sin has nothing to do with it. What (2) is telling us is that Christ died for people in ways that had nothing to do with taking on their sin. This non-hamartiological way in which He died for people is indirect. Let me explain.
Suppose your friend Sanju is dying on account of kidney failure and you decide that you will give up one of your kidneys for him. The problem is that due to complications, the surgery is high risk and may involve your death during the transplant procedure. You decide to take the risk saying that you do not mind dying for Sanju, since you have lived many years already and he is quite a young person. The surgery goes through, and unfortunately you die in the process, while Sanju is saved.
Sanju then goes on to live a good life, getting married, settling down and having a baby named Manju. Now it is obvious that you died for Sanju so that Sanju can live, however can we also say that you died for Manju to live?
That is there are indirect benefits of 1 for the “all” of 2.
One example of this is common grace. Common grace is in the atonement. Christ died so that both the good and the bad experience sunshine and good weather. Oks…
Next up – Adam.
When Adam fell, all of humanity fell along with him. Humanity became sinful. Humanity inherited a nature with a propensity to sin. However – when Adam, fell all of Creation fell. All of the Universe … the creation… the cosmos became bum. Hence, the entropy of the universe increases… earthquakes take place, volcanoes explode, iron rusts… weeds need to be constantly pulled out… pests exists… All of nature … all of the cosmos became in some sense screwed up. So when a person points to homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom … well its is on account of the Fall. Nature as great as it is… is fallen. Hence we are told in Romans that the creation is subject to bondage or decay. It is subject to futility. All of the cosmos as great and as wondrous as it is – is still on some level … bum.
What this means is that while Christ died for the sins of some i n some sense, He died for the sins of everyone and everyTHING in some sense. This latter sense does not have to do with sin and moral responsibility. It has to do with His simple goodness and benevolence to all of creation. Here is the thing though…
If Christ died for all of Creation – then this means that at some level, all of creation has some value. Hence we don’t just simply pollute the waters… we do not simply throw garbage around… we become good stewards of nature. We become concerned with ecology. It is not simply the dominion and cultural mandate that give us impetus to be stewards of nature, but so also the atonement…
If Christ died for all of Creation – then it means that He even died for animals… and this impacts how we even treat animals and such.
It is interesting to note that Adam was not given a command to eat animals… just vegetation. Was he a vegetarian? It is until Noah, that we see an explicit command to eat animals and such. Perhaps eating flesh was not the original intention, however this has been repealed.
Moving on… there are pictures in the Bible, of the Millennium where “the lion shall dwell with the Lion and a little boy will peacefully lead them…” Could this also have been how Eden was, before the creation – animals included – fell ? Perhaps no animals were carnivores?
One day, Christ shall return and all of the cosmos shall be regenerated. The fallen universe will also rise and be resurrected.