Category Archives: Lusts/Nature

The Genesis of Good and Evil: The Fall(out) and Original Sin in the Bible

there is a real gravity to the divine commands and also to the divine responses to the human couple not following them. Yet paradoxically, the language of human sin, disobedience, and punishment, often imputed to the actions of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 does not appear in the chapter.”  Nor too does any explicit data about the origin of lust, sex, inclination to sin or change in human nature. “It is striking how little the Fall appears in the New Testament, given how large it has loomed in Christian imagination

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The language of Genesis 3

Contrary to the assumption of Christian doctrine, Genesis 3 never characterizes the eating of the fruit as evil or as sin, disobedience, or transgression. This sort of language is missing from the story. The language of morality is entirely absent from this account’s assessment of the first human parents. The terms that Genesis 3 explicitly names are critically important starting points for understanding the story. Rather than a story of sin, Genesis 2–3 explicitly relates a transferal of the knowledge of good and evil from the deity to the humans. Genesis 3 arguably offers a theory about what will be named only later in the story, sin in Genesis 4 and evil in Genesis 6. Instead, Genesis 3 itself tells a story before sin or evil were actualized: humans had access to the source for knowing good and evil, they exercised desire toward acquiring that source, and it issued in human fear. [1]
Mark Smith (the author of the above) does acknowledge yes it was sin, there was a commandment judgement etc etc.  But we inject a lot of meaning into the text when perhaps it has a different emphasis.  Something to consider.
[1]Smith, M. S. (2019). The Genesis of Good and Evil: The Fall(out) and Original Sin in the Bible (First edition, p. 59). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

Dogmatism – The Believer Magazine

The Believer Christadelphian MagazineThe Believer Magazine was an alternative Australian Christadelphian magazine in the 1970s which opposed the dogmatic assertions of Scriptural uncertainties by a South Australian power bloc and their threats of fellowship action against individuals and ecclesias.  History repeats.  Old man Adam was part of the debate.  Below is from Vol 2 page 2 in 1973.  Here’s part of the Editorial: Continue reading

Suffering for the parent’s sin

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. John 9:2-3 NRSV
The disciples thought the sins of the individual or the parents was responsible for suffering.  Possibly so did the Jewish elders according to v34 (although that might have just been a personal attack).  Jesus rejected this reasoning.  Many today insist the suffering of the blind man was a direct consequence of the man’s potential projenitor 100 generations earlier.

Bro Thomas – a heretic?

“There was no miracle wrought in executing the sentence under which Adam and Eve placed themselves . . . We dissent from our correspondent’s ‘notion’ that all creation became corrupt (by which we understand him to mean constitutionally impregnated with corruptibility) at the fall. We believe that the change consequent upon that calamity was moral, not physical. The natural system was the same the day before the fall as the day after.” [1]

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“If your doctrine of the atonement pivots on a physically inherited quality then the chronological primacy of Adam is absolutely critical. If it depends on a universally shared characteristic then Adam can be seen as an exemplar (in the strict sense) not as everyone’s ultimate ancestor.”

Some limited further reading:

A Plain Man looks at Evolution

Bro Ken Drage was a member at Watford when the evolution controversy broke in the 1960s.  He has written an open letter addressing evolution and some of the history from the debate which centred around Bro Lovelock.  The impact of emotion and pressure from others is noteworthy – as is his observation that the 1960’s discussion were civilised though highly charged (such civility is lacking today!).  Bro Ken’s letter is reproduced in full below – it should be mandatory reading, so over to Ken… Continue reading

An alternative history of Australian views on Adam

As has well been pointed out an Adam based faith is focused on the wrong man.  Jesus is the basis of salvation, Adam brings death, division and failure.  Below is a letter from the precursor of the AACE from 1987.  The letter was controversial at the time. It demonstrates a range of opinions existed on Adam’s nature in Australia (and the pioneers!).  It’s language at times seems unsoundly optimistic about our relationship with sin.  However it provides important context on the Australian Unity Agreement which brought two opinions into fellowship.  It also makes important observations about what the Unity Agreement did not address Continue reading

The necessity of Adam’s failure

How could and why would God allow Adam to fail (or creative him such a way that such failure was inevitable)?  Surely sin and death were never part of God’s creative plan!  So say some as if their musings are authoritative or the only opinions ever held within our community.  Such is “very short-sighted” according to the 1894 Christadelphian Magazine article by Sis Mary Brabyn.  R Roberts published the article under the heading “the Apparent Failure of Freewill”.  Though a convinced literal creationist she articulated that Adam’s failure set the basis for a far more effective salvation of man than Adam’s mere obedience could achieve.  For in Adam’s failure, God’s mercy and love would be demonstrated and appreciated. Continue reading