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The Lost World of Adam and Eve (Part 11: The Fall)

ESV Genesis 3:6, 22-24
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. . . . Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—’ therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”

I was a bit disappointed that Walton didn't explain each of the curses that resulted from the fall, but I hear he has other books. In this proposition he focused on what was lost as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

Walton argues that Adam and Eve’s crime is taking knowledge/wisdom without God. It’s a way of saying, “I’ll do it myself. Without you!” Wisdom is only gained through a relationship with God. It is a process, not something acquired through eating fruit.

The eating of the fruit is a symbol used to explain what Adam and Eve tried to do. Thus, original sin for Adam and Eve was a way of pulling out of the program too soon. “Not paradise lost, but, as it were, paradise ungained” [Walton, 235. as quoting James Gaffney, Sin Reconsidered (New York: Paulist Press, 1983), pp. 48-49]. 

This leads to all sorts of implications. This is me talking not Walton. This means original sin means to be born out of relationship with God. It is to be born with chaos already in your soul. Because Adam and Eve’s sin lead to the banishment from God’s presence, everyone born thereafter was born banished outside the presence of God. Thus, we are born without the ability to acquire wisdom unless we are brought back into relationship with God.

“This point is significant because too many Christians find it too easy to think only that they are saved, forgiven on their way to heaven instead of taking seriously the idea that we are to be in deepening relationship with God day by day here and now” (Walton, 148).

This also helps me understand why Christ was so unique. As God in the flesh, he was born into relationship with God. All through his life he continued in relationship with God. His life showed the process of acquiring wisdom through that constant relationship. He didn’t pull out of the program early. He did it.

Walton, John H. The Lost World of Adam and Eve. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2015. Print.


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