Showing posts with label Eden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eden. Show all posts

Friday, June 10, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Stomaching Veganism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

How, now?

Increasingly, studies like this one point to the strong possibility that a strictly vegan diet might actually be the healthiest for human beings, and that even consuming a small amount of meat in our diet is sufficient to increase our chances of diabetes, among other things.

These studies may well be accurate (though, as with all assertions of the scientific community these days, I tend to reserve judgment until we see all the consequences of a purely vegan diet in a representative sample of the human population over a generation or two). But for the sake of argument, let’s give these studies the benefit of the doubt and assume they represent truth and not simply another scientific boondoggle.

Tom: So, the obvious question ...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Inbox: The Original Order Was Equality

One of the great joys of blogging is receiving feedback from our readers. I mean that sincerely.

We love comments: wildly enthusiastic comments, bitterly hostile comments or comments anywhere on the continuum between them. The readers I enjoy engaging with most make an effort to moderate my views or qualify my interpretations with other scriptures. Right or wrong, that’s always welcome. If something I’ve written strikes you as goofy, ill-considered or off base, chances are there are ten other people (at least) out there reading the same post and thinking exactly the same thing.

An unknown commenter is looking to modify my views on equality, so let’s revisit the subject.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Testing, Testing …

What happened in the garden of Eden — and the resulting fall of mankind and the subjection of creation to the futility that we observe daily — has been the subject of near-endless discussion over the centuries. Much speculation is on record as to the motives of God in the test presented to Adam and Eve.

And that’s what it is: speculation. We may have all kinds of ideas why God did what he did, but in scripture we do not find the answer spelled out for us. Wise men are careful not to draw conclusions that go beyond the available evidence.

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.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Too Hot to Handle: Stomaching Veganism

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Eden and Relationships

We’ve been working through some basic ideas about God’s character that spring from His actions in an environment where sin does not impede our view of the relationship between God and man. Though there is a day coming when the relationship between heaven and earth will be free and unrestricted once more, it has not been that way for a long, long time and certainly not in your experience or mine. In fact, it hasn’t been clearly observable since Eden ...

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Eden and Variety

Has to be squash in here somewhere ...
We’ve been considering Eden and the lessons we learn there about who God is and how He chooses to relate to His creation. Before the Fall we have a unique view of God that is unfettered by sin and the concessions sin has made necessary. Eden shows us God moving in His creation in the way He wishes, without constraint. As such it is one of the best places to see God’s character.

We began by noting that God desires to bless His creatures. In fact, He delights to bless and it is His first and favourite work. For mankind, being blessed is also a delight. Working and being given work to do was a delight. Fellowship was a delight. The name “Eden” literally means “delight” and so it was — a delight to both God and mankind.

Something else that we pause to note about Eden; there was an astounding variety.

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.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Eden: Beginning of the Family Line

We’ve touched on the fact that God’s character is more clearly seen in the Eden story in Genesis than anywhere else in the Bible with the exception of Calvary. In Genesis 1, we read that God created male and female. Immediately following, we ask this: what is the very first thing they experience that Scripture records immediately following?

It’s there in the first line of verse 28. He blessed them. God blessed them.

The initial experience mankind had of the creator God was that He is and was by nature foremost to be known as a God who blesses. The highest priority he had for us, there in moment one, was blessing — and for us to come to know Him as a blesser.

The New Testament puts the same priority on it: “He who comes to God must believe that he is” — that makes good sense — “and that he is a rewarder” — that he is a blesser — “of those who seek Him”.

God wants to be known as a blesser, and here he blesses man and woman first.

In what way did He bless them? It’s manifold, of course — the blessing of life, the blessing of companionship with each other and fellowship with Him, the blessing of the surrounding beauty of creation and so on and so forth. But it’s interesting also to note not what all the implied blessings of Eden were but rather what the first expressed blessing of Eden was. The first recorded blessing is … what?


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shrimp Skewers and Fellowship

By the time we arrive at Genesis 3:11, the Fall has happened. The first sin has been committed by mankind and, in believing the lies of the serpent, Adam and Eve have rebelled against the word of God; they stopped believing that God was good and wanted the best for them. What had been perfect fellowship between God and man has been destroyed by their doubt and their sin.

There was a time when they believed Him entirely, of course; when there was no distance and no separation between God and man. But can you imagine that first awful moment when God comes to the garden called “delight” that He had made for Adam and Eve, and He has to call for them because they’re not in view, not eager to meet Him?

He knew where they were, of course, but when He called them He wanted them to understand that fellowship was broken. In verse 11 He asks, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” That beautiful fellowship that had been part and parcel of the garden is shattered. Adam and Eve have fashioned loincloths for themselves because they have this sudden realization that they’re naked. It never bothered them before that moment. They literally had nothing to hide from God, and suddenly something has changed. There are things they wish God did not know about them.

Sound a bit familiar?

It sure sounds familiar to me.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eden: The Original Plan

In many ways the garden of Eden is distinct.

Eden, the word itself, means “delight” or “pleasure”. Interestingly, it also can mean “delicate”, and as it turns out, Eden certainly was that. If we look at Genesis 1, we will see there on seven occasions, as God creates, he says, “It’s good”. Six times over, he says simply “It’s good, it’s good, it’s good, it’s good, it’s good, it’s good,” and finally he sums up all by saying “It’s very good”.

So when I say Eden was a delight and a pleasure to God, it’s not purely because the name in the original language means “delight” or “pleasure”; it’s because God himself repeatedly said, “I really like this”, “I really like what I’m making” — the completed work, which included mankind, Adam and Eve. God Himself pronounces it “very good” indeed. More than simply a name, the garden of Eden was truly the delight of God.

It was also experienced as a delight by the first and only human couple to experience the garden of Eden.

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.