Greg on the Tree of Life

Theology

(Greg) #1

Was Eve then the “mother of all of the living?” I think i know where these discussions are leading, and in a desire to make sense of the direction they go as i put myself into the shoes of those leading the effort, it is as if the Holy Spirit inspires to view a Biblical revelation already in place as if it were there knowing thousands of yrs ago that this conversation was going to occur today and then stops it in its tracks. (Or could be recirculating history of man) If one wants to be trusting of what science SEEMS TO SAY about human population and this smacks into a wall of Scripture that says something different in the most common sense understanding, then Biblical faith says trust Scripture. God is not trying to deceive us. God is trying to cause us to trust Him whose very existence trumps all of the human understanding infinitately.


What if Adam was just a character in an Ancient Creation Story?
#2

So, by your interpretation, God is either deceiving us through scripture or through creation.


(Greg) #3

Not at all. Read what i said that makes no sense of your reply. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Faith does not come from the scientific method. See this:

Isaiah 55:8-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says theLord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts

I WILL NEVER forget when I shared this verse with a moderator at Biologos and do you know how this person replied? (Again, a moderator)
The person in a mocking way, painted me a fool for using what was apparently seen as a “go to” verse to explain what seemed to be a foolhearty and unscientific position. For me, that is not at all what i was thinking. I dont make a living fr a parachurch taking on any position nor do i owe or expect anything to or from anybody over this thinking. Christianity is not just another set of dos and donts. It is about the Only God. And this God is beyond us, so i beg your pardon if you think He is a deceiver. We are deceived when trying to view the truth of life making science the ultimate over God Himself (and His Words) who transcends the physical world which our science attempts to interpret.


(Ashwin S) #4

I am actually in agreement with you here. I don’t see science as infallible… and no scientist claims it is.

So a choice between what scripture says and what current scientific consensus says is a no contest for me. I will go with scripture.
However, I know that my understanding of scripture and even the traditional understanding of scripture can be wrong. So it’s important to give weight to scripture and allow scripture itself to interpret scripture while ensuring we understand the context as well as we can. I believe the intended meaning of the author is important, while scripture itself can mean more that what the author perceived. The prophecies about Jesus is a good example.

As far as the idea that Adam was immortal by nature before he sinned is concerned… it doesn’t appear biblical. In fact it looks in direct contradiction to what Paul taught in 1cor 15. Saying Adams body was earthly and hence perishable is as clear as things can get.
Do you feel this is a wrong understanding?


(Greg) #5

So i am eager to learn your Biblical perspectives. I briefly looked up passages about the tree of life. It is pretty interesting that according to Rev 22 the existence of light without the sun matches Genesis where light was available before the sun was created. Also, i find it interesting that the tree of life is available to humankind both in the garden as well as on the new earth.
I can only speculate what this means. I did read an interesting take by Randy Alcorn on i think crossway.
We may never fully figure all the implications, but i can say that I love Scripture! I wish i had more time to study and read…but i, like perhaps yourself am subject to difficult strenous work to provide for my family! Have you ever considered the implications for the need of the tree of life on the new earth, when all the inhabitants are already new creations in Christ?


#6

Nice quote @Greg .

Now, you do realize that passage can be used against you too, right? Just because you don’t think that God would create through evolution doesn’t mean that he didn’t.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #11

5 posts were merged into an existing topic: Don’t Provoke the Unnecessary Conflict


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #12

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: What if Adam was just a character in an Ancient Creation Story?


(Ashwin S) #20

It’s definitely interesting. For me the main point is that life is a gift from God and he is the one who gives and sustains life (irrespective of what kind of body we have).
This is why it’s critical to recognise that Jesus claimed to have life in himself… and Paul calls him the life giving Spirit. No one other than God has life in himself. All created things depend on God for their existence.
To me revelation 22 underscores this point. It shoes that even in heaven God sustains us. And it points to the three critical things all humans need… i.e water, food/health and light. And all this directly proceeds from God.


(George) #21

@ashwin_s

You mean “no access to the Tree of Life”, right?


(Greg) #22

Fair enough. So the purpose of this site is to delve deep into theological premise to see if a particular evolutionary view is fitting w Scripture. I am not all knowledgeable what the exact consensus old earth or young earth creationist view is these days but would imagine that they BOTH accept God’s hand in a process of micro evolutionary development which would be a far cry from a darwinian version. The type of evolution would be where God graced kinds w features for adaptation…or God could have caused adaptation for respeciating the planet in a direct way after the flood…since the Spirit of God is compared to the wind in that He does what He does without anyone capable of prediction, perhaps God engaged a hundred different methods of speciating the planet-all within the parameters of His Character. The question becomes, which model absolutely protects the Biblical integrity of our Great God from the likes of “natural evil” or death and suffering being means through which God creates. I believe that God will, in His sovereignty, use the ingredients found in a fallen world caused by fallen creatures to bring illumination to His purposes, but never are these ingredients part of the fabric of His Being in Creation of something from nothing. If God creates using death and suffering via evolution then calls it “good” then that God is not good. Christians know this is not true! Its Christmas yall! I surprised my wife and another couple to a Chris Tomlin concert last night and it was a powerful celebration of praise to our Good God for sending His Son, the very essence of God Himself to save us all from our biggest problem:sin. The reward of such a good gift is a great God Himself who according to the apostle John, IS LOVE. If this God was of the sort who creates by reducing the weak via suffering so only the strong survive, then i just dont know how the worship we experienced could have been real. But it was real and true. Christianity is not about a bunch of fumbling humans wearing plastic smiles in who can outdo the other in a goodie contest. It is about God coming to us, offering His grace and working in and thru His people to illuminate His Glory! Strife in the prior. Joy in the latter. Gotta finish my chicken fajitas friends…nice evening.


(Ashwin S) #23

No, I meant exactly what I said. No access to eternal life through God. At best, the tree of life, ressurection etc are tools God uses to accomplish his purposes. However God’s reason for granting eternal life is based on relationship. End of th day, what matters is a covenant relationship. It’s the loss of the relationship which lead to Adams death. And it’s the restoration of this relationship in Christ that grants eternal life.


(George) #24

@Ashwin_s ,

I don’t want to contradict your statement: “God’s reason for granting eternal life is based on relationship. . . It’s the loss of the relationship which lead[s] to Adam’s death. And it’s the restoration of this relationship in Christ that grants eternal life.”

I don’t want to contradict your statement because I think God contradicts it quite sufficiently already: Genesis 3:22 - "…the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever…the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden

It is important that readers understand that the immortality available in Eden was not due to Adam’s perfect nature … but was due to the simple availability of the fruit of the Tree of Life. And that death did not become automatically a feature of Adam’s physiology due to Adam’s transgression… but was due to Adam’s separation from the Tree of Life… which of course made a severance of humankind’s relationship with God change in an irrevocable way.


(Ashwin S) #25

God actively ensures that his tools (such as the tree of life in this case) are used to meet his purpose.Adam broke the covenant.God turns him out of the garden denying him access to eternal life (in this case signified by the tree of life).
The significance of the verses quoted by you is that God did not want Adam to live forever in the fallen condition.

1 Cor 15 tell us that Adam was mortal… this means that death and decay was a feature of his physiology.
I dont see what your objection is about.


(George) #26

@Ashwin_s

If you agree that it was a feature of his physiology - - before and after - - hus transgression, then i will drop my objection.


(Ashwin S) #27

If you had read what i wrote, you need not have raised it in the first place. I was referring to paul’s argument in 1cor15.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[[f]the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.

Paul seems categorical in saying Adam had a body like ours… i.e one that it is perishable, There is no reference to a change in physical nature of the body post the fall in either the NT or Genesis. Hence my conclusion.


(George) #28

@Ashwin_s

But there are LOTS of creationists that think the Bible does indicate a change in nature because the Transgression.

And until i ask the question, there is no way of knowing whether or not you are one of them.


(Ashwin S) #29

There is a difference between change in nature and change in physiology.
I also believe in a change in nature post the fall. This was spiritual change that made Adam and all his descendants prone to Sin and against a relationship with God.
This is usually called Original Sin or the Sin nature by christians and i believe that all human beings inherited such a deformed nature through Adam.

However i don’t believe Adam became mortal post the fall. Rather, he was mortal before the fall and lost an opportunity for eternal life by sinning against God.And through this action of Adam, all human beings became enemies of God and thus destined to die.(because, as you quoted, God would not let Sinful human beings have eternal life)

This is until Jesus, who is God incarnate. He has life within himself (and thus does not have to depend on a tree). He died for humanity and comes back to life because his life is indestructible and he is sinless (i.e not deserving to Die).He offers to give life to all those who choose to follow him. We are forgiven of our Sins because of him, and he changes us from within starting a process of sanctification which will be complete upon his return.
In short, Jesus solves two problems that came about because of Adam. One of death, and the other of our sin/sinfulness.


(Greg) #30

I am not sure where this conversation is going. But i am delighted to see two individuals discuss w veracity the nature of certain items found in scripture about our beginnings. So logic would suggest that if God speaks of a literal tree of life that would keep Adam and Eves mortal bodies fr decay, then we must not be too quick to reinterpret how God created Adam and Eve in neighboring passages. If God says that there is such a literal tree which you are painstackingly arguing for, and He says He created Adam on the sixth day where He even qualifies to the reader (seemingly in anticipation of discussions like this) as having a morning when the sun rises and an evening when the sun sets which all readers of the time this was written would anticipate was exactly 24 hrs., then logic would have it that this person also abides by a six 24 hour day creation week. What say you?


(George) #31

@greg ,

You write: [PREMISE] “… if God speaks of a literal tree of life that would keep Adam and Eves mortal bodies fr decay…”

[CONCLUSION] “…then we must not be too quick to reinterpret how God created Adam and Eve in neighboring passages.”

Greg, you are grasping at straws.

[PREMISE A] "If God says that there is such a literal tree which you are painstackingly arguing for, and …

[PREMISE B] “…He says He created Adam on the sixth day where He even qualifies to the reader (seemingly in anticipation of discussions like this) as having a morning when the sun rises and an evening when the sun sets which all readers of the time this was written would anticipate was exactly 24 hrs…”

[CONCLUSION C] "…then logic would have it that this person also abides by a six 24 hour day creation week. What say you?"

Greg, I would say you are using the rhetoric of a tent preacher, instead of the analysis of an Historian.

[FACT 1] First, even today, there are only 2 days a year which can be said to be exactly 24 hours… and

[FACT 2] Physics and cosmology can demonstrate that 6000 years ago, the Earth’s rotation was significantly faster, and thus no day was 24 hours in length.

[ASSERTION A] Genesis is probably one of the most recent of the biblical compositions.