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Legend has it that G. K. Chesterton, asked by a newspaper reporter what was wrong with the world, skipped over all the expected answers. He said nothing about corrupt politicians or ancient rivalries between warring nations, or the greed of the rich ...

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Displaying 1–12 of 12 comments

Carlos Ramirez Trevino

September 09, 2013  11:08am

Pop, I was reluctant to comment so as not to seem contentious, but I am reminded of the words of Christ in Luke 8:10, "And He said, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God"". And what is that kingdom if not eternal righteousness; eternal perfection? Heb10:13-14. Clearly Christ didn't come in response to the Fall. The Fall happened, of necessity, so that Christ could come to eradicate sin, evil, pain, suffering, and corruption for all eternity (Isa25:7-8 and Rom8:20). The popular belief was that God sent Christ to rescue us from our stupidity. I propose that it was our stupidity that made it possible for Christ to come to destroy death and corruption. The mystery has been understood. We might be the heroes in this movie, but the plot is not just about us, it is about the destruction of evil by Christ, (Rev21:4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away).

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Pop Seal

May 17, 2013  6:00pm

GLORIOUS MYSTERY---In The Revelation John tells us two interesting mysterious facts. In one place he declares '....the mystery of God is finished' and in another he states Christ was slain before the foundation of the world. St. Paul gives us the statement ".....we are elect in Him before the foundation of the world". Our very existence is a mystery, our fallen nature and accountability are mysteries. "Who has been His counselor?" "How shall the pot say to the potter, why have you made me thus?" Time limited and space bound intellect can not approach the eternal facts. Only in redemption and regeneration can we even get a hint, a brush near the edge of His garment, and we remain stunned by mystery that fills us with joy as well as wonder. I say take a break and embrace it all. Let this mystery motivate us to greater efforts to evangelize the lost. Rejoice in His salvation.

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Carlos Ramirez Trevino

May 01, 2013  4:40pm

The Fall had to be part of God’s plan of creation. I partially agree with the comment by Eng, except where he deviates with the comment that, “He did [created man] purposely to put man through the suffering, etc. that comes after the fall so as to test and shape us to become like Christ (verse 28-29) - which is what He created us for in the first place - to be like Him (Gen.1:26). So the creation waits in eager expectation to see who in the end, will through all the tests, trials and difficulties, be justified and glorified and declared a true son of God.” -- The essential element that is missing from creation theology is, simply stated, meaning. Whether the universe initiated itself (a nonsensical statement that presupposes the existence of something from which to initiate), or was initiated by God with some kind of Batta-Bing, immediately raises our curiosity and demands an answer to the “Why”. If existence and consciousness are accidents, then life only has the meaning we give it through our activities to secure perpetuity for someone else in some distant future. If God created everything, to include mankind, then there must be an objective, quantifiable, and qualitative reason. Jesus came, the Bible tells us, to destroy the works of the devil (1John3:8). Daniel 9:24 puts it this way, “to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness (evil), and to establish eternal righteousness.” That, in a nutshell, is the Plan of Creation that gives meaning to our existence. The outline for creation follows this pattern: 1. God plans to create. 2. God understands that corruption will infiltrate and infect creation (not limited to matter or morality). 3. God incorporates into His plan a means to rid creation of corruption. 4. To accomplish that He designs a vehicle in His likeness through which Christ can effectively destroy the works of evil (Heb10:5). 5. God then creates a temporal universe through which to eradicate sin, evil, corruption, wickedness. 6. The entire universe is created to sustain a temporal created life that is susceptible to corruption. 7. Through that life God enters creation and through His death on the Cross overcomes the corruption embodied in the devil; death itself being the last enemy. We were created with a mission. But creation, you see, is not about us, it is about Christ. We know this is true because the Plan of Redemption was determined before time began (Titus1:2 and 2Tim1:9).

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Terry Cashin

April 24, 2013  4:05am

I agree with Vic Jones; "The free will answer seems too simplistic". There are other issues in the creation story that have been overlooked: Why did God allow Satan access to the garden at all? Certainly God knew what would happen. Further, if God had not put a ban on eating the forbidden fruit, would Satan have been able to tempt Eve at all? It's been argued that God planned the fall, because without it there would be no need for a Saviour. Revelation calls Jesus "the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (NIV)". The argument says that without the cross then all we would know of Him would be that He is demands absolute obedience; punishes disobedience with great severity etc. However, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross shows His grace, love and compassion that we might otherwise not have known.

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Martin Jacobs

April 22, 2013  10:21pm

"Somehow, God's own decision extends the consequences of Adam's sin to us all." This statement seems rather back-to-front to me. As I read it, scripture points us to a common inheritance. We are both perpetrators and victims of sin, but either way we find ourselves trapped in a legacy that we cannot escape. Hence Jesus' reference to being "born again" is both a command and a promise - we can be "re" born into a new legacy that's defined by Christ's obedience, not by Adam's sin. Precursors to the NT view include Ruth's "adoption" into the legacy of Israel. The use of "somehow" in the article seems incongruent with a concept that's a central and consistent theme throughout scripture.

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Pop Seal

April 21, 2013  9:19pm

Chesterton was and remains a genius of ethics and religion. Man being created in God's 'creative' image, evil must exist to prove what is good. In love, God mystifies us with his wisdom. Who has known the mind of God? Who has been His counselor? How shall the pot complain to the potter? The only answer to mankind's question "Why?", is the divine answer, "Because!". The quest for intellectual satisfaction is often a characteristic of rebellion, not faith based upon the evidence of things hoped for.

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Rose Colquitt

April 21, 2013  4:15am

Wow! This article was all over the place and I do not know if I identified the mystery, well, I do not think I did. I am new to the CT articles and discourses and what I thought was simple (as Lim's response, "choice"), I found myself in a web of related subjects and off-shoots that felt mentally entangling. Did I experience the mystery with all the twists and turns of manifestations as a result of sin? I just wanted out, I skipped through trying to identify the mystery. I would not say God intentionally planned the fall but He planned for the fall, He is omniscient. Disobedience. Is that the mystery?

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Eng Hoe Lim

April 20, 2013  2:05am

David Daubert, you said there are no illusions about the perfection of creation. I beg to differ. God created man to be in His image and likeness. But was man created a perfect likeness of God? Wasn't man created with only a potential that required a process before a final product could be realized? And Vic Jones, didn't Paul tell us that the final product is the likeness of Christ, not just restoration to the state that man was before the fall? (See Rom.8:29-30 and also Rom 5). Why is it Paul has told us the answer and yet we keep saying we shall never really know? And to answer your question Vic about the poison pill, if the Father can put His son through such terrible crucifixion and rejection and even separation from Him, is there anything less that God would not do to us to get His final product? We must have eyes to see it from God's perspective, not from our human perspective. And of course Rom.11:32-36 which requires spiritual eyes and minds to perceive (1 Cor.2:9-12)

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vic jones

April 20, 2013  12:35am

We may never have an answer to this deeply profound question. The free will answer seems too simplistic for me. Would you leave a poison pill in reach of your child and command her to not eat it, so that she can exercise her free will? I certainly don't have answers, but I think God created man to experience the full range of humanity. What I mean is that though we don't like suffering, it is very much a part of being human. Suffering drives us to produce great works of art, gets us out of bed every morning, and even allow us to experience love in acts such as forgiveness and compassion. Without the Fall, man would not have known suffering, and I think that makes us less than human. Having said that, there is no reason for man to remain in a fallen state forever. God promised to bring whomever will follow to a restored state, free from suffering and other effects of the Fall.

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David Daubert

April 19, 2013  8:02pm

There are some good thoughts about sin and its reality - something that cannot be denied, especially in light of this week's events in Boston. It also offers the caveat that this is at least partially a mystery - we can guess and wonder but it is still a guess. Answers say more about the theological assumptions of the person proposing the answer as they do provide a real answer. One thing that Christians would do well to do is read more Jewish thoughts in this area. They have no illusions about the perfection of the creation and its subsequent "fall." Jewish people are much more naturally comfortable with ambiguity and the tension it produces. Christians need to have "the" answer for some reason. For some reason, the Christian story has been condensed by too many people to ignore Genesis 1 and then to ignore Revelation 21-22. The initial story in scripture is about the goodness (not perfection) of creation. The last chapters in Revelation are about the promise.

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Eng Hoe Lim

April 19, 2013  1:26pm

God created us to be like Him, but the full potential of becoming like Him cannot happen unless we are given choice. Love cannot be programmed in us. Love is not love unless it comes out of a heart that is free to choose. So God gave us choice. But choice means little until it is tested. That is why God put that tree there. Adam and Eve and all of us would have to be tested – what would each of us choose? It is through pain and agony, and through trials and suffering (the frustration in verse 20) that God will purify and refine for Himself those who will look like Him, walk like Him, think like Him, feel like Him and even smell like Him. It is also while we live in the imperfect, and while our knowledge and understanding is partial (1 Cor.13:9,12), that we are tested, and we can also choose/learn to love and become like Christ. That is the purpose of suffering to produce the likeness of God in us - which Paul and the writer of Hebrews describes as glory(Heb.2:10 and Rom.8:17, 21, 30)

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Eng Hoe Lim

April 19, 2013  12:53pm

It is strange that you would quote Rom.8:19-21 and yet say that we do not know why God permitted the fall. Those very verses read in its context from verse 16 to 29 give us the answer why God not only permitted, but intentionally planned for the fall. Out of any the trillions of planets in the universe, He chose to create man on planet earth where He had earlier put Satan and the other fallen angels. And then He put the tree of knowledge of good and evil there and left Adam and Eve to be alone there with the serpent - a perfect recipe for disaster. Paul tells us in Rom.8 that He did it purposely to put man through the suffering, etc. that comes after the fall so as to test and shape us to become like Christ (verse 28-29) - which is what He created us for in the first place - to be like Him (Gen.1:26). So the creation waits in eager expectation to see who in the end, will through all the tests, trials and difficulties, be justified and glorified and declared a true son of God.

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