Yesterday I was at a loss at to what to blog on. A frequent complaint of bloggers. Unless you’re a Tumblr user, in which case original content is never an issue.
Anyway, I was speaking with a friend when he presented me with this interesting statement:
I posit that the Fall was intended: The whole setup was so that humanity has the option of embracing God or denying him. This is because, as I see it, if we were programmed to do nought but Good from birth to death, that good would have no meaning. It’s having the choice to love God or not that makes choosing good matter, and for this to happen there needed to be an opposition.
Genesis 2 :15-17 features the first command in the whole of scripture. A prohibition is woven into the fabric of the experience of humanity, the prohibition against seeking autonomy and self exultation.
The very fact that God did permit such a choice in creation at least leaves the possibility of the occurrence of evil. So, one could say God passively permits the Fall. He wasn’t present when Adam and Eve sinned (Gen 3:6) but apparently felt justified in calling them to account for their actions (Gen 3:11).
So, is there an entity with which God is fighting? An entity whom God can’t stop, but can reprimand those who obey it?
This would make Evil an equal and opposite force. It would necessitate another god.
What if God did orchestrate the Fall?
Immediately one might feel moral outrage at such a notion: Subjecting the whole of creation to judgement for a crime it was set up to commit? All those souls wasted? All those lives lost to sickness and oppression?
Yes, this thought fills us with moral indignation.
How dare he! How dare God do such a thing!
Paul of Tarsus proposed a God who makes decisions to show favour upon one person over another despite there being no difference between the two (Romans 9:11-13). Anticipating moral outrage, he responds:
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:14-15)
So if God is totally righteous in choosing Jacob over Esau, is he not equally just in planning the fall of all creation?
As I see it, the Bible consistently argues the nature and glory of God is reason enough for any of God’s actions. He needs no higher motive than himself.
My friend posits that giving significance to moral law is God’s ultimate purpose in the Fall of man:
This is because, as I see it, if we were programmed to do nought but Good from birth to death, that good would have no meaning.
Therefore God’s purpose is to give definition and meaning to justice; to give consequence and structure to right and wrong.
Therefore God exists to serve justice?
If God’s purpose in the Fall was to give meaning to the concepts of Good and Evil, God would no longer be God. Justice would be God and Yahweh would then exist to serve it.
Paul reasoned that God chose Jacob over Esau ‘in order that God’s purpose of election might continue’.
What then was God’s purpose in election?
You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:6)
God chose Jacob, later renamed Israel, so that they would glorify him and serve his purposes.
The Exodus was one act in the great drama of redemptive history. This is the story of God, his revelation to all creation and the display of his glory. In that story, Israel was elected for a specific role: To be priests, set apart to show the world the character of God. Indeed, Peter believed this was the purpose of the Church also (1 Peter 2:9) that through their actions and words they would display the character of God for all the world to see.
If this is God’s purpose in redemptive history, are we to suppose that he only gained this purpose after the Fall?
That would mean God was caught unawares by the Fall and thus make him less than God.
On the one hand we have God as a servant of Justice, on the other his whole purpose is altered by circumstance.
No, for God to be God he must be consistent on one level.
I posit, therefore, that God orchestrated the Fall that his glory might be displayed and beheld. He gave humanity the choice of rejoicing in him or rejoicing in themselves in order that God’s glory might be seen to be the highest good and most wonderful beauty enjoyable. For this purpose to be fulfilled, God deemed it acceptable that creation fall in order that he could show his worth and power.
Finally, if there was no Fall there would have been no revelation of Christ, the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15).
Yes, the Fall set the stage for Salvation. This seems to be the way in which God wants to show himself to us. This is the cosmic drama we find ourselves in.
God was not defeated by Evil at the Fall.
This is deep mystery, that God could permit the unleashing of unimaginable evil at the hands of those who reject God as their only source of security and joy and life and seek to put themselves in his place.
Deeper mystery still, that God could make a full and complete display of his magnificence in such a world as ours.