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Friday, January 13, 2006

being like god - part 2

this brings us back to the original question. what was the original final destiny that was purposed by god for adam? evangelicals have tended to think that heaven will simply be a return to the garden (though the book of revelation clearly says there is a different ending - we end in a community!). moreover, we have tended to think that had adam obeyed perfectly in the garden that it would have been an eternal life in the garden.

however scripture clues us in to a different intention for adam. first in luke 4.1-13 (the wilderness encounter of jesus) god had just made the pronouncement that jesus was his son whom he was well pleased (3.22) followed by a geneology of jesus in verses 24-38. the last line of the geneology is adam, "the son of god." luke 4 then picks up the wilderness encounter where jesus overcomes sin in a way that adam failed, thus securing his place as god's true son - the second, last and true adam.

paul picks up on this in 1 corinthians 15.42ff.
45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
although a bit difficult to weed through, paul is saying that the physical adam came first, but was always intended to be followed by a second, spiritual adam. adam always had a bigger purpose than dwelling in the garden. as it was for adam it is for us - we are physical, but because christ accomplished what the first adam could not by overcoming sin, the one who believes in christ shall be identified with him as the man of heaven instead of identified with the first adam - the man of dust.


At 10:29 AM, January 14, 2006, Blogger Dan McGowan said...

And, of course, "Being A Christian" rolls of the tongue so much better than, "Being An Adamian" - - -

At 11:43 PM, January 14, 2006, Blogger Brian said...

Nice work on all the posts Ryan, you are on a roll! ;o) Since you called me out, I figured I'd better have something to say. I really liked what you had to say, but some of it was new to me. I think the idea of God's intention for Creation to move from a garden to a civilization (which I strongly agree with!) is catching on more and more, but some of the implications are still being worked out it seems.

The first time this idea was presented to me was in an essay I read that was written by James Jordan . . . who often writes over my head. The difference between what you wrote and Jordan's idea pertaining just to the Tree in the Garden, is that Jordan works in a "death and resurrection" theme, and with each death and resurrection comes a blessing but also responsibility, ie: God gives Adam a number of "tasks" to complete when He first creates him, but it becomes evident that Adam will need help carrying out all of these tasks. So, God puts him into a deep sleep (death) and when he wakes up (resurrection) Eve is there (the blessing and greater responsiblity). He goes on to say that God created Adam that man might have dominion and rule, not just over the Garden, but over the whole Earth. And we know that to do this, a ruler must have an understanding of justice (of right and wrong). Jordan suggests that the Garden was a place for Adam and Eve to mature till they were ready for a better understanding of good and evil . . . then God would let them eat of the Tree, they would still die, but be resurrected, leave the Garden, but now have the wisdom and maturity to rule over the Earth.

What I don't remember as well, but liked is how Jordan ties Christ into all of it. Basically, Christ, being the Son of God, was/is the only one really capable of coming to Earth, and maturing perfectly through this process, and ultimately slaying the Dragon that held the rest of us in bondage.

I am excited you posted on this, because I think it really is an important issue for us to work through as Christians. Looking at scripture with the perspective of this maturity idea really seems to make the stories of the Bible flow together, also.

I'm not quite sure what to think of the animal clothes representing a different economy that God was putting Adam and Eve in, but I will definitely mull it over.

At 8:30 PM, January 15, 2006, Blogger rs said...

I've read some Jordan myself (check out Through New Eyes sometime - it's pretty interesting. Read Jordan pretty critically, however.

I realized something by your comment to my post on the animal coverings. My error was in the word "economy" and your comment alerted me to this - thanks! Perhaps it would help for me to define what I mean by it.

I don't necessarily mean that God changed what he had already established as Adam's role. Adam would still be God's ruler over creation. That hadn't changed. But from God's perspective - things had changed. He could no longer look on Adam and Eve the way he had in Eden. In some way, the image was marred.

It is hard to say or at least articulate exactly what the new situation was like. All I know is something was different and the animal skins illustrate this difference.

This is why the serpent's temptation is so heinous. He caused Adam and Eve to question their fundamental identity - "you will be like God." The truth is, however, that they already were like God (made in his image and likeness. By eating of the fruit they somehow changed things with respect to their god-likeness.

That's all I was trying to say by that.

At 12:02 AM, January 16, 2006, Blogger Brian said...

RS - I actually started reading "Through New Eyes" earlier this last year, but stopped for some reason and just haven't gotten back to it. Thanks for explaining your comment better; it makes more sense to me now and I don't have any problem with what you said then.
I guess I've always kept that passage pretty simple: just that it is another picture of God providing the covering for Adam and Eve, and that if it is animal coverings, then something had to die in order to make them, which of course ultimately points to Christ. But if I understand you correctly, I agree that the image of God we are created in was marred or corrupted by sin, and so it was no longer possible for Adam and Eve to stand naked before God as they had before.


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