Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On Adam and Eve

I include this passage because it seems we have a misunderstanding about the significance of Adam and Eve.

'Adam and Eve - mythical names you have given to represent First Man and First Woman - were the Father and Mother of the human experience. What has been described as the fall of Adam was actually his upliftment - the greatest single event in the history of humanking. For without it, the world of relativity would not exist. The act of Adam and Eve was not original sin, but, in truth, first blessing. You should thank them from the bottom of your hearts - for being the first to make the 'wrong' choice, Adam and Even produced the possibility of making any choice at all.

In your mythology you have made Eve the 'bad' one here - the temptress who ate the fruit, the knowledge of good and evil - and coyly invited Adam to join her. This mythological set-up has allowed you to make woman man's 'downfall' ever since, resulting in all manner of warped realities - not to mention distorted sexual views and confusion.'

2 Comments:

Blogger whoami123 said...

No less than Jesus - God's Son - verified the existance of Adam...

7:43 PM  
Blogger whoami123 said...

Getting It Right From the Beginning


"In the beginning," Scripture says, "God created the heavens and the
earth." That first biblical affirmation points to the priority of the
doctrine of creation within the system of Christian doctrine. Nevertheless,
even the doctrine of creation presupposes a biblical notion of God and the
authority of his revelation in Scripture. The Christian believer does not
acknowledge the creation and then infer a Creator. Indeed, it is not God who
must be explained by the creation, but creation which must be explained by
the Creator. Thus, the very first verse of the Bible affirms the cosmos as
the free creation of the sovereign God of Scripture--the God of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The doctrine of creation is the attempt of the Christian believer to
come to terms with the relationship between God and the world. As such, it
gives proper place to the work of God in creation, points to the nature and
purpose of the created world, and distinguishes the Christian theistic
worldview from all others.

The starting point of the doctrine of creation is the presupposition
of the sovereign God of Scripture. Those first words of Scripture indicate
that the central character in the creation narratives is God, not the
created order. God acts as the divine Subject, creating a dynamic universe
as the object of his love and the theater of his glory. This biblical theism
is the foundational affirmation of the doctrine of creation. Creation is
inseparable from monotheism.

The most common creed in the Christian church begins with the
confession, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and
earth." The God of the Bible is not needful of anything outside himself.
This self-sufficiency or "aseity" of God precludes any need for creation on
God's part. Positively, it affirms the fact that God created the world and
all within it out of the freedom of his own sovereign will. With this in
view, the divine initiative in creation takes on a powerful meaning. Though
needing nothing, God willed not to be alone, but to create a world distinct
and other than himself, as the result of his own divine pleasure.

This affirmation places the biblical worldview in opposition to all
others. The Israelites were surrounded by pre-biblical religions which
placed God over against creation, or suggested a number of gods conspiring
to create a universe out of existing chaos and matter. The early Christian
church found itself confronted by challenges including Gnosticism, Arianism,
and Manichaeism, each positing a worldview in which God was variously placed
within creation, over against creation as a dualism, or a scheme in which an
evil god created the world in order that a beneficent god might redeem it.

The church quickly affirmed what had been assumed in the Old
Testament, that God created the universe out of nothing, that is, out of no
pre-existing matter. If the church had allowed an acknowledgement of divine
creation as the mere fashioning of existing materials, it would have
compromised the nature of God and the biblical testimony. No form of dualism
is compatible with biblical theism.

The Hebrew verb used to describe the word of God in creation is
distinct from that used to describe the work of a human craftsman in
fashioning an artifact. Man may fashion out of what God has created, but
only God can truly create. This is the affirmation of creation ex
nihilo--out of nothing--without the use of pre-existing materials. The
acknowledgement of God's creation of the world ex nihilo must be central to
the Christian affirmation of the doctrine of creation. Some contemporary
theological movements have rejected this in favor of an understanding which
posits God as the fashioner of pre-existing materials. Any such system
presupposes a model of God unworthy of biblical theism. No particle existed
prior to God's creative act.

The biblical portrait of the creating God demonstrates a loving God
whose character issues naturally in his creation. The loving character of
God is woven into the warp and woof of his creation and the creatures within
it. The biblical testimony will allow no distinction between the God who
creates and the God who redeems. Isaiah pointedly affirms the identity of
the creating God as the one with whom Israel must deal (Isaiah 43:15; 45:7;
40:28). Indeed, creation is a Trinitarian event. The prologue to the Gospel
of John proclaims the role of the Son as the divine Word of creation through
whom all things were made, and "without whom nothing was made that was
made," (John 1:1-5). In like manner, Paul reminded the Colossians that "all
things were created through him and for him," (Colossians 1:15-17). The
creating God is thus both Author and Finisher. The God who created the
universe as an exercise of his own glory is the very same God who was in
Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit,
which is the living empowerment of the church, was also manifest in
creation.

The means of God's creative activity is not detailed in the biblical
creation narratives (Genesis 1-2). The substance of the biblical teaching is
God's creation of the universe and all within it by the power of his Word.
The biblical language affirms the creation of the world by divine fiat. That
is, by the force of his sovereign will God spoke, light appeared, the
firmament was made and the waters separated, the seas were created and dry
land appeared, and the whole of God's creation was accomplished.

The product of God's creative activity is a universe of seemingly
infinite variety, complexity, and mystery. The Genesis creation narratives
describe the creation of the world from the most rudimentary distinction
between the waters and the dry land, to the pinnacle of creation, man and
woman. Genesis 1 moves from the emergence of light through the emergence of
dry land, the blossoming of vegetation and the creative abundance of living
creatures, to the creation of man and woman.

Of central importance to the interpretation of these verses is the
recognition of God's verdict upon his creation. The pristine energy of
light, the dryness of land, the swarms of living creatures, the multiplying
birds and fishes are all declared "good" in God's sight. This critical
judgment is an intrinsic part of the biblical worldview. The created order
has meaning and value solely because it is the glorious creation of the Lord
of the universe. The creation has no inherent meaning within itself. Rather,
it is dependent upon the Creator for both preservation and value.
Nevertheless, the biblical affirmation is an unqualified judgment of
goodness as God's verdict on creation.

Challenges old and new have been raised against this verdict.
Gnosticism thought matter to be evil and only mind to be good. Contemporary
religious movements, including the eclectic Christian Science movement, have
gone so far as to deny the reality of matter. The biblical affirmation is
quite to the contrary. Against materialism, the Christian worldview
understands matter to have no value in and of itself. But biblical theism
affirms the world as the theater of God's glory. It is creation which is
made meaningful by the Creator, not the Creator who derives meaning from the
creation.

It is the divine creation of humankind which forms the climax of the
biblical creation narratives. The biblical teachings concerning the creation
of humans point to the special character of humanity as made in the very
image of God. Man, contrary to the claims of secularism, is not the
accidental by-product of natural occurrences. Though Scripture does not
indicate any scientific means for the creation of man and woman (nor for any
other dimension of creation), it makes clear the identity of humanity as a
special creation of God by the power of his word and will. Thus, humanity is
granted a value inconsistent with a secularist worldview.

Within the scheme of the created order, humanity plays a strategic
part. Two biblical themes form the basis for this special role. The first is
that of dominion. Humanity, made in the image of God, is to possess and
exercise dominion over the remainder of creation. This dominion, or
rulership, is exercised by humans in the manipulation of creation to bring
about harvest, bounty, energy, and beauty. It is seen in the planting and
reaping of crops, the herding of animals, the harnessing of rivers, and the
construction of shelter.

This dominion theme must be balanced with the other major theme of
humanity's responsibility within creation. By God's mandate, humans must
exercise their dominion with an understanding of mutuality and
responsibility. The biblical notion of dominion is not seen in the rape of
the land, but in the careful stewardship of natural resources and the other
creatures which share this planet. As the pinnacle of God's creative
activity, humans stand responsible for their stewardship of fellow creatures
and the earth. Indeed, a helpful corrective which has emerged in
contemporary theology is the recognition that the cosmos is neither "mere
nature" nor "our world," but is most properly "God's creation." Humans are
granted a high degree of delegated agency within God's creation, but it
remains fundamentally God's alone. This affirmation underlines the
tremendous charge of stewardship to humankind by the Creator.

Creation is not a brute fact without meaning. It derives its meaning
from the divine character and will. As the theater of God's redemptive
activity, creation is not static, but is moving toward the goal established
by the Creator before the foundation of the universe. Creation, like the
humans within it, has a future.

Paul describes the creation as in need of redemption from the bondage
of decay and travail--the results of the entry of sin into the created order
(Romans 8:19-23). The Old Testament speaks of the new heavens and the new
earth, which is the eventual purpose of God in reconciliation (Isaiah
66:22). Paul spoke of the dramatic transformation of the believer as a "new
creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). The writer of the Apocalypse
recorded a vision of a new heaven and a new earth even as the Creator spoke:
"Behold, I make all things new," (Revelation 12:1-8). The essential meaning
of these affirmations is that God controls the destiny of the universe he
created. The cosmos does not exist alongside God as a reality out of
control. Rather, it exists as the theater of his redemptive activity, the
reach of which includes the entire cosmos.

Thus, the Christian doctrine of creation is directly connected to the
doctrine of redemption. For this reason, a failure to affirm the biblical
doctrine of creation leads to inevitable compromise on the doctrine of
redemption. In reality, we simply cannot minimize the importance of this
doctrine, nor can we surrender biblical truth in the face of modern denials.
We must get it right from the beginning.

7:45 PM  

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