Thursday, 29 January 2009

U or √?

I was chatting to a Christian student earlier in the week at Lancaster University. She had been brought up with the idea that Jesus has made a 'return to Eden' possible. Many Christians hold to this point of view - it's a kind of U-shaped view of the Biblical narrative.

Her questions, then, followed like this: surely it would have been better for God to have ensured that Adam and Eve didn't fall in the first place if salvation is all about returning things to how they were before the Fall. This had become a major apologetic stumbling block for the student.

Instead, though, the shape of the Biblical narrative is not just a 'U'; in fact, it is more like a '√'. Our heavenly existence will see our adoption as sons, a status of being co-heirs with Christ and a deeper knowledge of God's grace and mercy than Adam and Eve could have ever known. God allowed the Fall to happen so that humans might experience a quality of relationship Adam and Eve never had in Eden.


Paul said...

I totally agree that life having been glorified will be better than Eden (after all we won't be able to sin). But wouldn't Adam and Eve have grown into a maturity had they kept that first covenant? So yes to square roots, although it could have happened another way.

What couldn't have happened another way is the Father sending the Son to display his glory and love on the cross to save sinners.

Just my 1 penny/0.02$ ... oh wait, it's just been devalued, that's ).01$ now.

Chris said...

i think of it as relationship offered but not secured.

cf. we enter the new creation married to christ

Chris said...


I didn't understand for a while. I thought you were comparing a parabola with a square root. I am such a g33k.

peterdray said...

Paul: completely agree. If Adam had kept the first covenant and God had somehow glorified him, he would still have been impoverished compared to our place in the new creation, very aware of God's mercy and grace and thereby experiencing greater human freedom.

Chris: dead right. And yes, you are a geek :)