If the Creator was wise and good, how do you account for the brilliant mess in which we find the world today? How do you explain the fact that in the last fifty years after so many generations of civilization and learning and progress there have been three of the most terrible wars in history? Why is it that in this so-called enlightened age, with all the advantages of modern science and the healing arts, man is still the most miserable and frustrated of all God’s creatures?

The Book of Genesis gives the only feasible answer to such questions. The story of sin in the Garden of Eden throws light on the present condition of the world. And before we can deal realistically, either by legislation or by evangelism, with any of our basic problems, we must learn the meaning of this ancient record. A philosophy of law or a doctrine of evangelism that is based on any other assumption than those revealed in this narrative is shallow, because it has not faced honestly the nature of man, of sin, and of salvation.

Therefore, in order that we may deal helpfully with man’s predicament and with our own personal condition, let us examine the Genesis account of the fall of man.

The Nature Of Sin

The story of Adam’s fall reveals, first, something about the nature of sin. The Tempter, or Evil One, is likened to a serpent—a striking symbol. Sin, like a snake, moves quietly and stealthily. It strikes without warning, and in its bite is poison. In the narrative the Devil came to Eve and said, “Don’t listen to God. Do what you want. Don’t let anybody, not even God, tell you what’s right and wrong. Make your own rules. Write your own ticket. Swallow this and you’ll be like God.” What Satan did was to incite Eve to rebel against God’s government.

Thus ...

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