Showing posts with label Adam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adam. Show all posts

Sunday, December 04, 2022

When Is It Wrong to Pray? (2)

In a previous post, we were considering the danger of using prayer as a sort of blanket to hide under when we ought to be doing something else, and I suggested that there are times when it is inappropriate for us to pray.

We will come back to that idea shortly, but let’s begin with this statement:

All men are either in Adam or in Christ.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Try Reading It First

From the department of “Let’s actually open our Bibles and read before we start preaching”, here’s Matt Chandler on Adam and Eve:

“What happens is the Serpent deceives Eve with Adam standing right there. Eve takes the apple, believing the lie of the Serpent, takes a bite of the fruit, and then hands it to her passive idiot husband, who also takes a bite.

Do you know who God blames for sin introducing itself into the cosmos? Adam. Because he had the role of spiritual headship, of covering and protection. He didn’t step up. He did the spiritual equivalency of, ‘Go check it out, baby.’ ”

This is so … NOT what actually happened.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Representative Men

The Bible consists of 66 books. Thousands of years lie between the first human author and the last, but the way its history, its prophecies, its songs and its teachings blend into a cohesive story implies the oversight of one person. He must have existed throughout the years of its production! The Bible claims for itself that it is “God-breathed” or inspired.

What is its story all about? Serious students of its pages have made various suggestions as to its overall purpose and plan depending on which of its themes interested them. Every valid idea put forward is like a thread woven into the overall fabric of scripture. It becomes possible to trace these themes throughout its pages like the colored strands in a tapestry. The topics of the glory of God, the sinful condition of mankind, the need for a sufficient sacrifice, etc., all contribute to the total impression left on the mind of the thoughtful reader.

And each strand of truth that begins in the first book has its counterpart, contrast and climax in the last.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Contemplating Evil

The most popular course in the Religion and Culture department of one Canadian university is a course titled “Evil and Its Symbols”. It’s the one course where there never seems to be enough room to fit all the applicants. One student quipped that the homework assignment was probably “Go home and do evil.”

Maybe not. But people sure are fascinated with the topic. Why evil exists is a challenge for any Christian to explain; perhaps the biggest. Still, two things bear remembering right away: firstly, that to say that it’s a challenge does not mean that the challenge cannot be met, and secondly, that to explain the existence of evil is not a challenge unique to Christians or even to theists more generally — it’s equally necessary for atheists. Not only that, but it’s a lot harder for them.

Let me justify those statements a bit further in a moment; but first, let me set the stage for today’s post.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Anonymous Asks (126)

“Did God create a second Adam?”

This is one of those questions that presumes familiarity with a particular New Testament passage. In this case the passage is 1 Corinthians 15, the subject of which is resurrection. It is there that the apostle Paul writes, “The first man Adam became a living being” (referring to a statement made way back in Genesis 2). Then he adds this: “the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Paul then goes on to contrast this “last Adam”, who is clearly Jesus Christ, the “second man”, with the first man, Adam, in that “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.”

That’s where the language of our anonymous questioner is coming from, and that’s our starting point. Paul calls Jesus at various times in the passage the “last Adam”, the “second man” and the “man from heaven”.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Anonymous Asks (72)

“How is it fair that God tested Adam in Eden when he knew Adam was destined to fail?”

I am indebted to my co-writer Immanuel Can for the response that follows. He has helped me to see the tree of the knowledge of good and evil a little differently than I used to.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Mission Statement

I’ve never had much use for mission statements or five-year plans, though they are certainly an ongoing feature of modern business life. And perhaps in a business environment it makes sense to ask, “What is our purpose and how are we going to realize it?” The problem is that it is easy to formulate a lofty catchphrase that is entirely meaningless in the real world, isn’t it?
  • McDonalds’ mission statement is typical of such efforts to distill purpose into a single phrase: “McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.” Predictably bland and inoffensive.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Inbox: Thoughts in Progress (1)

The process of coming to grips with some of the great ideas in scripture and how best to understand them is far from easy or instant. More than a high IQ or a great memory, it takes desire, persistence and most of all ... time.

“Read, pay attention, pray, think and wait … and while you’re waiting, read some more” is sound advice for the young Christian who wants to learn, but it’s a difficult thing to sell to early 21st century Westerners who can ask Google a trivia question on their phones and get what passes for an answer in nanoseconds.

If you want to know where the nearest pizza place is and how late it’s open, that’s fine. But Google can’t tell you how to find oblique references to the Church in the Minor Prophets when you’re doing your morning reading, or even if you should expect to.

I mean, sometimes you’re not even at a stage where you’d know the right question to ask it.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Not a New Problem

When the apostle John wrote his first of three letters preserved for us in the New Testament, it’s quite possible he was attempting to address a very specific local issue, and that the letter’s intended recipients would have understood what he wrote primarily in their own local context.

If so, he wrote it in a remarkably broad and general way, touching on issues that have troubled mankind since the very beginning of its history.

It seems to me that in his thinking John goes right back to the first chapters of Genesis.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Contemplating Evil

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Recommend-a-blog (17)

Tim Barnett at Stand to Reason tells us why Christianity with a mythical Adam and Eve simply doesn’t work:

“Imagine a young boy sits next to his grandfather, and a large scar across his grandfather’s cheek catches the boy’s attention. The boy asks, ‘Grandpa, how did you get that scar on your face?’ The grandfather replies, ‘Well, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ...’ Immediately the boy interrupts his grandfather, ‘No, Grandpa, I don’t want a fairy tale, I want to know how you got that real scar on your face.’

The problem of sin is real. We experience it every day. A fictional tale does not explain the fall of humanity into sin.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Try Reading It First

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Stray Thoughts from Genesis 2

“Is that ‘Bear’ with a ‘B’, Adam?”
Though the Lord made Adam first, and though he tasked Adam alone with naming all the animals he had created, it seems God always intended that Adam should have a wife. We read that he said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him”.

Now God doesn’t always “say”. Much of the time he simply thinks, and the universe is none the wiser as to what goes on in the recesses of the Infinite. God’s thoughts, one psalmist tells us, are “very deep”. Elsewhere David says God’s thoughts toward us are “incomparable” and “too numerous to count”. He does not share all his thoughts with us. He does not even share them all with the angels.

That should not be a big surprise. He is God, after all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Something Better

Benjamin West, The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise
Genesis 3:24 is one of the sadder verses in Scripture. It says this: “So he drove out the man”.

Adam and Eve have sinned. Fellowship with God is now broken — perhaps from Adam’s understanding it is broken irreparably. Did Adam then slink in shame out of the garden? No. Did he run in abject fear? No. 

Adam delighted in the garden; he loved where he was. It’s clear he and Eve did not want to leave even after they had sinned. How is it then that they did leave? God drove them out.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Contemplating Evil

The most current version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Eden: Take This Job and Love It

We’ve been considering some of the things we can see about the character of God as they appear for us in a pre-sin moment in Eden. Eden uniquely provides an unhindered look into the relationship God wants between Himself and His creation.

First, we considered that God is shown in Eden to be primarily a God of unfettered fellowship; that He desired to share knowledge of Himself with humanity and that humanity was unashamed in the full presence of their Creator.

Second, we considered that God revealed Himself in the first moments of time to be a God who loves to bless and wants to be known as a rewarder of those who seek Him.

The third thing of note then is this. Adam and Eve had something you and I crave: They had worthwhile work.

Rather foolishly, when I have been having a tough day on the job and finding my efforts unsuccessful, I have wistfully said to someone who was listening — and ideally there wasn’t anybody listening — “Well, you know, work is a curse”.

But I was wrong then and you’d be wrong to think it now. Work isn’t a curse.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two Men and You

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Garden of Eden: Stardust

I hope you’ll forgive me a little Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (or if you prefer, a little Joni Mitchell). I’m going to think a bit about the garden of Eden, and CSNY had something to say about it in their 1970 hit Woodstock.

They close the song this way: “We are stardust”.

I understand, scientifically, that appears to be the case: we are formed from the same sort of heavy materials and elements that form stars. So I think, scientifically, they were on to something.

I’m not entirely sure what they mean by adding in the next breath “we are golden” but, being generous, I'll grant a little poetic license.

So I largely agree with their science, and when the penultimate line of the song is “we are caught in the Devil’s bargain”, I find I can agree with their theology too.

But when they close with, “We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”, I’m not sure that I can agree with their eschatology.

This whole “getting back to the garden” notion is appealing. It’s a nice idea. Implicit in the statement is a recognition that there is something terribly wrong with the world we live in now. And CSNY suggest that a solution — maybe — is to get back to the state we were in in the garden.

They were talking about the garden of Eden. Now the garden of Eden, of course, is one of ‘those’ stories.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mission Statement

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two Men and You

 The most recent version of this post is available here.