Monday, May 30, 2005

The monstrous, shocking, and incomprehensible first sin

I read the following today in a book leant to me by an ex-pastor from South Africa. Apparently the book (The Eclipse of Christ in Eschatology, by Adrio König [1989]) was very influential there when he was training.
Creation is a good [his italics] beginning. Bavinck accepts to readily the traditional distinction which says that it was possible for Adam before the Fall not to sin but not yet impossible for him to sin. This distinction makes it too easy to fit sin into a scheme and thus lost sight of its monstrous, shocking, and incomprehensible character. It is seriously misguided to expound Genesis 3 (as has become fashionable in some circles) in such a way that the serpent becomes a crafty master of psychology al trickery. By so explaining the deception of Eve, the shocking unexpectedness of what happened is unconsciously toned down. But there was nothing sly or covert in the serpent’s strategy. He set himself openly and insolently against God, made God out to be a liar, and left no doubt of his intentions. The attentive reader would naturally expect Eve to chase the snake away contemptuously. (p.60)
Thought provoking. Reminds me of the need to remember the shocking ugliness of sin, when compared to the goodness of God (for Adam and Eve revealed in the beauty of the garden, and his presence with them). I may post a bit more from this book later. As the title suggests its main focus is elsewhere, and it has quite a bit to say.


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