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Monday: Intrusion — 29 Comments

  1. People who know that I spend a lot of time photographing nature often ask how I understand Nature’s blood-red tooth and claw in the light of my Christian background. It’s a fair question and there are no easy answers. Only this week I saw a Kookaburra grab a nestling Bell miner out of the nest and make off with it. Recently I saw a Powerful Owl, holding a Ringtail Possum in its talons until I had passed by, and it could continue to eat its breakfast in peace. As an interesting sidelight to the issue, someone made the comment to me recently about how terrible it was when they saw a raptor eating another bird. I responded with the question, “How many chickens have you eaten in the last month?” That gave a bit of a pause for thought!

    I want to discuss this issue a little bit because sometimes our discussion about “learning from nature” is saccharine sweet. We think of beautiful flowers, cuddly animals, and song-singing birds. And conveniently forget about cactus, stinging trees, scaley snakes, hairy spiders and vultures.

    I am not going to comment on the changes that occurred when sin entered and affected nature. That is a whole topic in itself. However, predatory behaviour, while a result of sin, is used by nature to provide an essential balance. The Powerful Owl may eat Possums but in so doing keep the numbers down so that the Possums do not destroy the bush. If you want to see an example of man’s meddling with this process, go to New Zealand where Brushtail Possums have been introduced where there are no natural predators. They Possum population has exploded to the extent that they are seriously damaging the bush, and as a consequence endangering New Zealand’s fragile birdlife.

    What can we learn from this? C S Lewis in his book, “The Problem of Pain”, provides a useful analysis:

    In a fallen and partially redeemed universe we may distinguish (1) The simple good descending from God. (2) The simple evil produced by rebellious creatures and (3) the exploitation of that evil by God for his redemptive purpose, which produced (4) the complex good to which accepted suffering and repented sin contribute. Note the fact that God can make complex good out of simple evil does not excuse – though by mercy it may save those who do the simple evil. P98-99

    It is my argument that when sin affected nature as a result of man’s choice, God acted to put in place mechanisms to keep the balance of nature. I still see the hand of God at work in the natural world, even though some of what I see there is difficult to explain.

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    • Hi Maurice – C.S. Lewis’ quote speaks of a partially redeemed universe. Where or how does he see this ‘partially redeemed’ universe?
      Do you understand what he means by (1)“‘simple’ good”? What is the (2)”‘simple’ evil produced by rebellious creatures"? How does God (3)‘exploit evil’ for his ‘redemptive’ purpose, which in turn produced the (4)“‘complex good’ to which accepted suffering and repented sin contribute?”

      I believe that you left out the ‘e’ in the first word of the last quoted sentence. This sentence would read: “Not(e) the fact that God can make complex good out of simple evil does not excuse – though by mercy it may save ( - ) those who do the simple evil.”

      The author makes this a declarative statement to 'fact' – how does he know the mind of God? Is his understanding supported in Scripture? How does he know as ‘fact’ that God makes 'complex good out of simple evil'?

      In my understanding, evil is evil; there is no small, simple, or ‘transmutable’(evil containing good) evil. It came into this world by a mystery that we yet do not fully understand. But once it was present, it tainted everything in this world with its stain; NOTHING living escapes its influence, and even the stones would want to cry out!
      God did not put the effects of sin in charge of mitigating sin – “putting (these effects) in place (as) mechanisms to keep the balance of nature.”
      Nature and all living things are hopelessly effected by the distortions which sin brought into this world and will be made radically new.

      The faithful believer’s spirit is offered protection from further deterioration by being re-united/re-connected to its spiritual source – God – who created man in His/Their Image.

      Philosophy can only go so far when trying to explain the mysteries of God – it takes lived, applied Faith to fully immerse the person in the experiential relationship with his Maker, and maybe then, he can ‘see’ the workings of the Will of God.

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      • Hi Brigitte, Thank you for the error correction. Things always look right at 2am! 🙂 As for what C S Lewis meant by the words you queried, let me just say two things:

        If you would like to find how CS Lewis defines them I suggest you read his book, "The Problem of Pain". I would rather let him explain. Do you know his story? Have you read any of his books? He is not a theologian or philosopher. He was a giant in the literary world and his work in sharing the Gospel is respected even by those who are not Christian.

        Don't try and interpret C S Lewis using preconceived definitions. Let him explain himself.

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        • Thank you, Maurice - I appreciate the sentiment of your advise. I do not have "preconceived definitions" about CS Lewis; not being interested to know the author or about him nor having read the books he wrote, I have taken no position on him or his writings; well, I suppose that indirectly I have by not reading his work.

          Writings ABOUT God have never attracted my curiousity since I can learn about the Creator, Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and their work right from the Scripture; so to speak 'from the horse's mouth'. When it comes to the heavenly realms, this is my much preferred way of LEARNING - being taught by Him about Himself. CS Lewis can only write 'about' God using his own lense, as he 'sees' it. Ellen White, who loves God with all her heart and being is a very much appreciated exception to the norm!

          If you found him credible enough(inspired?) to use his writings as an example to explain your view of a 'new balance in the fallen world', to express your understanding of 'Intrusion', you probably take him by *his word*.
          I do not know of any proof provided in the scripture to back up his *viewpoint*, or do you know of a passage to support his understanding of Truth? If you do, I suppose you might have given me an explanation supporting your own viewpoint; but instead, you deflect and advise me to "let him explain himself". Does this imply that you share his viewpoint?
          I did read the short excerpt of his writing you provided and commented on it, showing that I spend time thinking about what he stated as 'fact'. As I see it, his 'understanding' is not based on God's Truth as supported by the Scriptures.

          Actually, let's take his reasoning back to the beginning of his quoted statement of a "'partially' redeemed universe". In my understanding there is nothing 'partially redeemed' in the universe. It is redeemed or it is not. The Redeemed, are taken out of the old 'world, housed in Heaven for a while and returned to the new 'world'.
          Why would God create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind? Isaiah 65:17. Why not make just a few 'adjustments' to the part which is not redeemed and leave the rest in place?
          Isaiah Chapter 65 provides great insight into God's 'reasoning/ruminations/contemplations' for the need of a completely new world.

          If I would have been a contemporary of CS Lewis, I might have looked him up (emailed him) and have a conversation with him about it. Prov.3:7; Isaiah 5:20,21

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          • All that C S Lewis is saying is that we live in a complex world where some of the interaction between good and evil needs to be understood in the context of God seeking the best outcome for us. The broken leg (pain and suffering) given time for us to pause and learn (good). God uses but does not cause evil for his redemptive purpose.

            C S Lewis was an Oxford Don. He grew up as a nominal Christian, drifted away and was drawn back into Christianity by the love of Jesus. He was an outstanding figure in the Oxford academic scene, standing up and defending Christianity in the largely secular world of British academia. He used his literary skill to defend and promote Christianity in a way which challenged the atheists of his day. His series of books known as the Narnia Series is loved and appreciated by children and adults alike. His books, "Mere Christianity", "The Problem of Pain", "Miracles" and "Reflections on the Psalms" are classics of Christian apologetics. They are experiential books not theological arguments.

            I don't agree with everything that C S Lewis has written but he certainly challenges and encourages. His books are not about God, they are about experiences with God, told in such a way that even atheists respect him.

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            • Respectfully, I disagree - Maurice - "God uses but does not cause evil for his redemptive purpose" implies an established mechanism inherent in 'evil' having part in His original 'design', otherwise He could not 'use' it since He is sovereign, holding all authority, and does not violate His own laws manifested by His creative spirit.
              If a mechanism was added to the original design after sin occured, He would have had to change the originally established order of the Universes.

              The only 'force', not mechanism, which can 'undo'/mitigate the effects of 'evil', is His all-encompassing Love administered through Grace. In His perfect will and forsight based on Love for His Creation, He established them as being part of His original Identity - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
              Under this triunity, all bases are covered - so to speak! God does not 'need' to use 'evil' to mitigate the effects of 'evil'; He uses His Love and Grace!

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            • I don't have a problem with God using pain and suffering for our best good. How many people have been brought low through sickness and misfortune only to find their way to Jesus as a result. God is still in control. He has not changed his mind. Some of what you are saying sounds very much like predestination.

              God's plan for us was that we would choose life with him rather than sin, but God also knew that we had the freedom to make the choice ourselves. That is why he had a plan of Salvation from the very beginning.

              Here is an example: I failed some very important examinations early in my academic career and for a while, I suffered the pain of failure and had to work on menial tasks in a concrete pipe factory. My suffering caused me to reflect on the decisions I had made and the way that I was tackling my life so that I came back to my studies determined to never fail another examination. Did God want me to fail? No. It was as a result of my decisions that I failed. I suffered a loss of face as a result. My pride was hurt, and in my suffering, I came to my senses and renewed my determination to make something of my life. God did not cause my failure, but he used the failure to rescue me.

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            • Maurice - it was interesting to have an opportunity to exchange views with you; unfortunately, we seem to communicate on a slightly different 'frequency'. Where you see God "'using' pain and suffering for our best good', I see man finally 'coming to the end of his rope', being confronted to deal with the limitations of his pride and self-will and 'weak' enough to acknowledge his helplessness; lowering the 'guard' and becoming more receptive to seeing God's Love, Mercy and Grace.
              I see God's Holy Spirit as the working force in the lifes of mankind to remind them that there is a 'right' way forward. For those 'who take the road less traveled', as long as God receives the Glory due him, it will work out well in the end!

              I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. Yes, we place great importance on making a good impressions in the eyes of those who's judgement we value - I hope the Heavenly Father is on top of this list. Disappointment, faithfully/creatively/determinately worked through, can provide valuable insight into one's 'self'. I am glad to see that all worked out well for you in your professional and personal life.

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          • Brigitte, you write:

            Where you see God "'using' pain and suffering for our best good', I see man finally 'coming to the end of his rope', being confronted to deal with the limitations of his pride and self-will and 'weak' enough to acknowledge his helplessness; lowering the 'guard' and becoming more receptive to seeing God's Love, Mercy and Grace.

            It seems to me that the difference between your and Maurice's view is a matter of perspective. Maurice sees God as the initiator in the God-man relationship, using the human experience for His purposes. You appear to see humanity as the initiator, taking advantage of God's (passively)offered grace when all other options fail.

            Same situation in both cases - different only in perspective.

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            • Inge – I appreciate your comments in defense of C.S.Lewis. Over the years, I heard many praise C.S.Lewis for his contributions, I just don’t enjoy reading about God through someone else’s lens – I extend no judgements here regarding the value of his writings.
              Since you are helping to boost his standing, I looked up online apologetics as it relates to C.S. Lewis and found the website ‘Stand to Reason‘-‘Clear-thinking Christianity’. I want to share the following article by Christian Living: ‘C.S. Lewis on the Danger of Apologetics’.

              C.S.Lewis’ words: “No doctrine of that faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as the one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate. For a moment, you see, it has seemed to rest on oneself: as a result when you go away from the debate, it seems no stronger than that weak pillar. That is why we apologists take our lives in our hands…”

              “Lewis expressed the same ideas poetically in his “The Apologist’s Evening Prayer””:

              ‘From all my lame defeats and oh! Much more
              From all the victories that I seemed to score;
              From cleverness shot forth on Thy behalf
              At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
              From all my proofs of Thy divinity,
              Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.
              Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead
              Of Thee, their thin-worn image of Thy head.
              From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of Thee,
              O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
              Lord of the narrow gate and the needle’s eye,
              Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

              “Lewis knew, as should we, that the ultimate ground of Christian faith is not our arguments but God Himself.” (writers name not given)

              This prayer is exactly pointing out the shortcomings of apologetics – they speak 'about' God, defending God but not letting Him speak for Himself unless Scripture is quoted.
              The Spirit of Truth speaks most convincingly/clearly through the Word of God – when quoted by anyone, this would go farther than any excellent reasons given by an apologetic to believe in the God they speak about and defend. There is nothing more uplifting and long-lasting than the effects of the Word of God touching the heart of man!
              Let’s study His Word diligently, hear His Truth and learn from ‘the horse’s mouth’!

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          • Responding to Brigitte's comment:
            CS Lewis does not need my defense, and I could hardly "boost his standing." 😉 I was sharing my understanding and my experience relative to this giant of he Christian faith.

            Secondly, I perceive you may misunderstand the purpose of apologetics. Apologetics are directed at non-believers who don't generally read the Bible and don't respond well to having the Bible quoted at them. My student was willing to read CS Lewis's book, and I was surprised at his warm response upon reading it. CS Lewis opened the way for my student to read the Bible. It would not have worked the other way around.

            You write

            ... the shortcomings of apologetics – they speak 'about' God, defending God but not letting Him speak for Himself unless Scripture is quoted.
            The Spirit of Truth speaks most convincingly/clearly through the Word of God – when quoted by anyone, this would go farther than any excellent reasons given by an apologetic to believe in the God they speak about and defend.

            I don't know how much experience you have with agnostics and atheists, but from my experience, I conclude that the approach of quoting Scripture to them does not work the way you suggest. Even Paul did not use that approach when dealing with out-and-out agnostics, as on Mars Hill. In other situations, he frequently referred to his own experience with Christ, rather than quoting Scripture. We could do well to imitate Paul.

            Christian apologists are not shy about quoting Scripture when that is appropriate, but they specialize in appealing to non-believers in language they understand. It's in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 9:22 and Jude 22, 23.

            Christian non-fiction books contain the experience and arguments of real people - just like the entries on this blog.

            You wrote, "I just don’t enjoy reading about God through someone else’s lens." Am I to conclude that you don't enjoy reading what others have to say on this blog? Do you expect others to enjoy reading what you have to say?

            After all, we don't need a blog to read the Bible. We can all read it for ourselves. This blog is for sharing our experience and our understanding in the spirit of Prov 27:17 and Mal. 3:16. Christianity is practiced in community, and this involves communication - whether it is face to face, letter to letter, email to email, text to text or on a blog. Face-to-face is ideal, but we can expand our community by electronic means. That's why we have this blog. And that's why we have books and libraries. Books and, yes, blogs, are windows on the world that help us to to escape the narrow confines of our prejudices. (And, by the way, some very prominent pioneers of our faith had extensive libraries and read widely in a manner that appears not to interest you.)

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            • Responding to Inge’s comment - I appreciate your comments, Inge.
              My comments speak to the inherent *POWER to Save* which is only found in the Word of God. There is no power in the words of man, unless the Holy Spirit inspires their writings. Ellen White is a good example; we give her the standing of an inspired prophet – all inspired thought points to God's Glory and His Salvation offered to man.
              No one’s words are equal to the authentic, Holy Spirit filled, life-saving Word of God – Jesus spoke them as God the Father gave them to Him to speak. John 17:8; John12:49; John 14:10; John 8:42.
              Matt.10:19,20 Jesus also assured us: “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. (20)For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. “

              Yes, many Christian apologists have provided food for thought, I just do not ‘enjoy’ their writing as much as I enjoy reading the Word of God directly from the Scripture as they relate to our Salvation – do you find this odd?
              God’s Truth conveyed through the words of others should lead man *to* God, which I hope is their intent, but they do not convert. God’ Spirit converts the willing soul of man and leads him to seek His Grace and Mercy only when in direct contact with man.

              John 4:10; John 6:26-58; If man’s words would be powerful, why do you think it is that so many agnostics, atheists as well as Christians reading them have not found their way to a personal relationship with God? Could it be that they have *preferred to spend their time reading *about* God’s Word*, though do not follow up with reading God’s Word to be convicted and start a personal relationship with Him? What do you think is the difference between the Holy Scriptures and the writings of others *about* the Word of God?

              I do not know C.S. Lewis’ personal relationship with God, but as I read his inspired prayer, I know that he speaks with God. Please, read with contemplation His 'Apologist's Prayer', about the agony he feels in his position as an apologist for God, His Father.
              He asks God to deliver him from his victories that ‘he seemed to score’, from his cleverness! He compares his thoughts to coins: “Let me not trust, instead of Thee, their thin-worn image of Thy head.”
              C.S. Lewis knew the difference between people *trusting his words* and *trusting the power of God’s words*! He prays to his Father to deliver him from the ‘trap’ of “cleverness shot forth on Thy behalf” – the ‘sham’ image of God’s Words.

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            • Dear Brigitte,
              Thank you for your reply. To clarify, my comment was not about what you choose to enjoy. That's up to you. My comment was about the role that apologetics and communication among Christians plays. Since you post here, I must assume that you believe reading the writings of others to be of some value, even though your comments seemed to indicate otherwise.

              Just a couple of days ago you commented about some exchanges with your daughter.

              Specifically, you wrote:

              A while ago, my daughter made a comment, questioning the ‘character’ of God; that she did not want to believe in a God who is capricious, giving man the capacity to sin and then settle them with the consequences. ...

              It was difficult for me to ‘reason’ with her regarding her viewpoint. In the end, the only 'explanation' I could offer is that God is sovereign, He represents all Authority in Heaven and in His created universes – that it is so because that’s how it is.

              Your daughter's concern is the kind of issue that Christian apologists wrestle with and address. It's not an easy question, and facile answers will not satisfy. But your daughter might well find some answers in the writings of CS Lewis who wrestled with that same issue as an agnostic. In fact his book, The Problem of Pain, addresses that very subject. In A Grief Observed, he chronicles his own struggle with grief and pain on the death of his wife. (And, no, Google summaries or excerpts are not a substitute for the full books and the arguments and experiences in them. AS important as the end point of an argument is how you get there. Stating the end point first may very well sabotage any hope of allowing a person to "get there.")

              This discussion makes me long for my CS Lewis book collection which I left behind with my son, because he showed an interest in them. I think now I will have to pray that he takes time to read them. 🙂

              And that makes me think of another topic: Reading the Bible works no magic. In fact some reading of the Bible is positively harmful. (Follow the link for details.)

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            • In conclusion to our conversation - Yes, I mentioned in my comment to 'Education in the Garden of Eden - Discussion Starters' about the dilemma talking with my daugher about understanding God's Authority.
              We both seem to have children that are still struggling with faith in the God they have not personally met and I will include your son in my prayers.

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        • Maurice, I think you sell CS Lewis a bit short when you present him mainly as "an Oxford don." He was that, of course, but he was also the 20th-Century's most prominent Christian apologist. He effectively spoke to both the educated and the not-so-educated. Case in point: I lent the book, Mere Christiantity, to one of my 11th-grade students, not known for his academic prowess, though he was quite bright, because he had questions about God. He read the book and thanked me for lending it to him because it re-established his belief in God.

          My first introduction to him was through The Screwtape letters. 🙂 One of my favorites, that you did not mention, is the memorable fantasy, The Great Divorce.

          His over 30 books have been translated into more than 30 languages. He is recognized as one of the 20th Century's most influential writers, even among non-Christians.

          I believe God used CS Lewis to transmit much of what is "good and true" to millions of people on this planet. (See James 1:17)

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          • Thank you, Maurice and Bridgitte for the very interesting discussion. I make two small points. Point 1: God works to redeem fallen man regardless of where they are. Some will go through pain, floods, fire, etc... to realize better see and appreciate the redemption of Jesus. The most important issue may be how they got that, but that's the past. The real story is how they found Jesus and how their life changed.
            Point two: CS Lewis worked with his 'present truth' and was called to a specific ministry. We have seen far greater light now than then. Our present truth of the knowledge of God also from the Son, and we have the benefit of history to understand better. To clarify, the old texts are still very relevant, but I hold to 'Sola Scriptura.' You both made me think a bit deeper into today's lesson and for that, I thank you both.

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          • I think this discussion falls in the realm of the question “Do we need darkness to see light?” “Do we need bitter to taste sweet?” I think Brigitte is saying “no, we don’t need evil to see good or to fully understand the depths of God’s love.” I think Maurice Is saying “God has used the fall and sin to better highlight the depths of His love and fullness of His character. In the style of Rom 8:38 ‘all things work together for good for those who love the Lord’.” I think the answers are compatible with each other. Saying that God turns the aftermath of an evil action into something beautiful for his redemptive purposes doesn’t mean it was predestined to be that way. I am reminded of the story of Joseph. In Genesis 50:20 Joseph says to his brothers who had sold him into slavery as a boy, “you meant evil against me, but God used it for good.” And another Bible story example of God allowing sin but using it for his own purposes is that of Balaam. One of Israel‘s neighboring enemy kings wanted Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam basically begged God to let him go do it because he wanted the rich reward. Finally God agreed to let him go. But when Balaam opened his mouth to curse all that came out was blessing. “...but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.” Deuteronomy 23:5.

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    • I once read an article that said if not for spiders(some 40,000/acre) man could not survive on earth. I also read the same concerning sharks and the oceans they keep "clean".

      Yes, balance in a world of sin was provided after the fall, unless we get in the way of the process.

      I've said the same thing to others about the animals humans eat while they hate seeing it in nature. Since most who consume animals do not have to find, catch, kill, and prepare it themselves, they feel detached from the horrible process of taking another life. I guess a bucket of roasted and seasoned dead birds is not as horrible as a sparrow in the talons of a Cooper's hawk?

      Being detached from the killing process seems to make it acceptable. Can we see why the sinner had to take the life of the sin offering himself? We need to know the results of sin directly if we are to come to abhor it.

      (2)
      • Good point.

        But I did have to laugh at

        I guess a bucket of roasted and seasoned dead birds is not as horrible as a sparrow in the talons of a Cooper's hawk?

        I've been known to refer to flesh food as "carcasses" or "dead animals." (Not to strangers, of course, only when I know my audience. 😉 )

        (0)
  2. Free will does not only commence in Genesis 3 - it is overtly present in Genesis 2:16. Consequently, Genesis 2:17 is not a rule - it is a loving warning by a beneficent God that there is a way in which that freedom can be exercised that will inherently destroy/lose that very freedom. Contrary to popular opinion, the eating of the fruit was not “forbidden” - it was ‘ill-advised’.

    I would propose that what caused the loss of that freedom was not the breaking of a rule (there was no ‘rule’, but there was a reality) - it was the embracing of a heart motivated by self-seeking indulgence. When Eve saw the eating of the fruit of the tree as a means of making herself wise and followed that desire through to action (as per James 1:14,15; Galatians 6:8), she ‘fell’ for Satan’s misportrayal of God as restrictive and exchanged her former heart of self-renouncing for a heart of self-seeking.

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    • Hi Phil - yes, this same lie/deception has been at work ever since. After it was introduced at the beginning, the heart is still being deceived in those who are motivated by "self-seeking indulgence".
      I agree, 'free will is overtly present'! Every time I open the Scriputes I find deep, loving Truth that moves my heart.
      Please, allow me to quote from one of my favorite chapters to highlight the deep-rootedness of the lie.

      John Chapter 8 speaks to the Light of the World -
      John 8:2 - 'Jesus sat down and taught them.'
      John 8:12 - 'Jesus said I am the Light of the world.
      John 8:18 - 'I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.'
      John 8:23 - 'Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.'
      John 8:31,32 - 'Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'
      John 8:36 - 'If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.'
      John 8:42,43 - 'If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.'
      John 8:44-47 - 'Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.' (45)'And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.' (46)'Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?' (47)'He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.'

      John 8:36 - "IF THE SON THERFORE SHALL MAKE YOU FREE, YE SHALL BE FREE INDEED."
      1Peter2:15,16 - 'For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.'

      (2)
  3. My daughter uses animals to describe the four main temperament types, I find it helpful in understanding why people perceive Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 differently.
    The Lion sees the serpent attacking and the woman making an impulsive decision.
    The Eagle flying high sees the big picture and uses reasoning to understand it.
    The Horse is guided by his rider where to go and what to do and sees it as instructions.
    The Swan sees it as the ideal situation with principles for an optimum life.

    I won't tell you which is my type although those who know me might be able to guess.

    What all four different perceptions have in common is they were presented with a choice and its consequences.

    What is your choice today?

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  4. Casting all your cares upon him for he careth for you.
    1 Peter 5:7

    Going forward I planned in penning my contributions to SS in a different format. Why? This world is full of problems, we hear and see them everywhere. But we need to act in whatever way the Lord has called us to act. Taking up the challenge from Maurice about what is my solution to the problems and the challenge from Shirley, what have I done to solve the problem.

    There are two phase used by the author-'abrupt shift' and 'Suddenly a negative element'. When sin entered this world I am not so sure it was abrupt or sudden. I read the Lord came down and had several conversation with my first parents. Sin was not a mistake but a choice. Being enticed and choosing to do wrong.
    The bible says, we sin when we are drawn away in our own lust. James 1:12-14. Now sin brings with it suffering, sickness, heartache, pain, sorrow, decaying and death.

    Solution- Christ had paid the price of Calvary.
    But what is my solution in this present world to ease someone who had been ravished by the effects of sin. Do we go about saying to people, I know that was going to happen to you because of A,B, or C, or do we ask Jesus to lay some soul upon our hearts and love that soul through us?

    Yesterday I was late going to help a mother who worked the night before take care of her baby so she can sleep to go to her second job on Sunday. As I was driving, I saw this elderly man ravished because of the effects of sin.(he had a stroke) going/coming from somewhere. Something in me said stop and help him. I did, taking all precautions. When we got to his home he
    gave me a tract with the words above. To cast our cares on Jesus.

    (9)
  5. Satan is deceptive and he definitely has been on the offensive since he started this rebellion. He was well prepared to deceive Eve. The best thing Eve could have done was to pay more attention to her surroundings and stayed away from that tree. But alas since the Fall, we get a picture of God's love through the plan of salvation, that we would not have gotten otherwise. Christ's death on the cross and all that He lived for is a testimony of how great God loves us. One of the blessings that has come through this story of redemption is to know that God has a back up plan (Jer. 29:11). He constantly is trying to show us His love, unless we commit the unpardonable sin (Mt 12:31, 32).

    Adam and Eve's transgression has made it more difficult for the human race to come closer to God, but in some ways it has made the relationship that we have with Him sweeter than it ever could be imagined. I am looking forward to following the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev 14:1-5).

    (5)
    • It has been my understanding that 'following the Lamb wherever He goes' is something which we are to be doing here and now, and then continue in the hereafter.

      (6)
      • When Jesus called His disciples and others, many times He said "Follow Me" (Mt 4:19, 16:24, Mk 10:21, Lk 5:27, etc)

        It makes sense that following Jesus doesn't originate after His Second coming, when we are in heaven. The sweet relationship and Jesus' sacrifice that allows us to follow Him began even before the fall (Rev 13:8). Another good example of following Christ on earth is is the life of Enoch (Gen 5:24). "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." When we walk with God down here, we will walk with Him up there!

        (3)
  6. The earth is finite and has a limited carrying capacity. If we had not chosen the lie. If Adam and everyone created by God were still alive and living holy. What would have been the state of our finite earth? If someone has answers, I'm happy to read it. I want to believe that this is a dimension of the consequence of sin. Death came to bring balance to the earth. When death is defeated, we will come back to an infinite earth with all the saints of the ages and live forever. I do not know how, but I believe in Him who has promised a new heaven and new earth has this covered.

    (3)
  7. This story of the fall in Genesis 3 has many lessons for the diligent student of scripture. The first mistake we will always make is to forget or deliberately set aside the clear commands of God given for our benefit and prosperity. It would seem that we all would understand this by now, but the same trap has been set for all because for most, it always works. Looking away from God removes that guiding light that would always keep us safe. As Daniel “purposed in his heart”, so did Eve after giving attention to this clearly antagonistic influence. She purposed to ignore the warnings of her Creator and instead, followed her own desire. There is much in the book of Proverbs to point out our best course to follow if we would avoid such folly ourselves. By her choice, Eve placed herself above God.

    The result of giving into temptation is to end up calling good evil and evil good. Believing lies is the end result of choosing to turn from God so we might partake of what He has forbidden. Faith is the critical point to maintain. Adequate evidence has been given to lead to the exercise of faith in every temptation.

    (2)

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