Showing posts with label Eve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eve. Show all posts

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Jungles and Gardens

There is a big difference between a jungle and a garden.

Gardens have gardeners. Jungles do not. In the jungle, vines and weeds grow everywhere, sometimes strangling new growth and keeping desirable plants from blooming. Trees you don’t want block the sun from reaching those you do want. The root systems of vegetation that produces nothing useful suck up water needed by fruit-bearing growth. If you want a garden and not a jungle, it won’t happen naturally. Somebody has to tend it.

Eden was a garden, not a jungle. Those “somebodies” were Adam and Eve.

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.

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, 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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Try Reading It First

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

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.

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.