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Premeditation or Accident?

10-10-2017 - Posted by Andre Piet

Logos is a Dutch institute which stands for the historic reliability of the Bible. Especially of Genesis 1-11, in which roughly the first 2000 years of humanity is described. Logos counterbalances the large amount of opposition and doubt about it. Not in the least from theological side.

Classic theology

In this, it is a pity that Logos reasons from the classic theological idea that, at first, the creation was faultless but that because of ‘the fall of Satan’ and the falling into sin, the world would have become corruptible. Adam would have been created perfect, but because of his sinful choice would have become mortal. Only the good comes from GOD and the evil from Satan.

The past weeks, I encountered various utterances of this classic idea in the christian press. Recently, at a symposium, the christian-reformed old-testament scholar Eric Peels stated:

“If death came onto the scene long before man, and was admitted by God in His good creation, than this collides with my view of God. Moreover: with the Biblical view of God. How can a good God have given place to suffering and death in the world before the falling into sin? Is this our God?” A fearful question, Peels stated. “How is a massive pre-worldly suffering corresponding with the chorus of creation: and behold, it was very good?”

And reverend J.R. Visser stated during the presentation of his book ‘fortunately no myth’:

“It is impossible to think that God would create something that would be wrong. This is about the character of God, because since God is a Light and God is Love, therefore nothing can be present with him which is opposed to this”.

And in an article in het Nederlands Dagblad (A Dutch Christian newspaper) (Oct 2nd 2017) reverend Floor Maaijen wrote:

In order to safeguard God of the evil, we appoint the devil as the acting person and God as the one who allows him to do so. The classic theology didn’t want to make God to be the author of evil. And rightly so. But in the current debate about creation and evolution, God could be made to be the ‘author of evil’ in the cosmos, just like that. While God’s creation is good(…)

Maybe this last quote most strikingly represents the classic theological concept. By attributing evil to the opponent they try to safeguard God from it. Undoubtedly well-meant, but disastrous in its consequences. Because if evil came into the world unintended, outside of God, than something went wrong in the beginning. And because ‘missing (the mark)’ is another word for sin in the Bible, that means God has sinned. Because then something happened outside of his plan and intention. Just think about what this means. How can we ever be assured that it won’t go wrong again in the future? If God doesn’t have perfect control, doesn’t our hope and expectation come to be on shaky ground? Because in that case not all world events are in His hands.

god or GOD?

The idea that the creation fell victim to evil unintentionally, may be in accord with the classic theology, but it doesn’t describe the God of the Bible. Because He is truly GOD and is therefore without failure, able to tell the hereafter from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). This GOD has made all for His purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil (Proverbs 16:4). This GOD forms the light, but also creates darkness, He makes good and evil (Isa. 45:7). He and no one else!

So the works of God may be manifested in him

In John 9 we read about the question of the disciples, about what was the cause that a blind man was blind since his birth. They suggested that it was because of a sin of himself or his parents. But Jesus’ answer points in a totally different direction. The man was born blind so that “the works of GOD may be manifested in him”. He was not cured because he was blind. No, he was blind so that he could  be cured! In this way creation is subjected to vanity, according to Paul, “Not voluntarily but because of Him Who subjects it” (Rom 8:20). The choice of the creature is not the reason why creation is corruptible, but it is because of the Creator Himself who has a meaning with it! GOD knows what he is doing and that is why it is also good. Even though this meaning comes to light much later (probably saddening to us).

Corruptible by design

This creation has never been meant by GOD to be the final version. Just like Adam was not meant to be the ultimate and final man. Paul explicitly writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that Adam was made first (as living soul) for the purpose of “the last Adam, a vivifying spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). First the soulish, corruptible. After that the spiritual, incorruptible. The corruptibility was not a mistake that sneaked in, but an integral part of GODS design!

The world of Genesis 1 and 2

 The creation in Genesis 1 and 2 was surely very good, but definitely not perfect. Adam was placed in a garden he was supposed to extend. Outside it, the world was not a paradise. And the fact that the garden needed to be kept, supposes that it had the tendency to deteriorate. Like the earth was described as “chaos and vacant” in Genesis 1:2. Exactly as we should expect of a world that was subjected to vanity by God. In which there were also animals created “according to their kind” like for instance the spider, the chameleon, the squid, the eagle or the hyena. All designed to catch a prey. Adam was warned that he would die when he would eat from the forbidden fruit. Such a warning wouldn’t have made any sense if Adam didn’t have a clue about what death was.

By the way, Adam was not immortal but was protected against death, because he had access to the “tree of life”. Because of disobedience he was placed outside of the garden and thus death entered into the world of men (Rom 5:12). But these facts each and every one confirm that Adam was taken out of a corruptible soil. And therefore he returned back to it (Gen. 3:19). The earth was  not as idyllic before the (so called) ‘fall into sin’ as it is so often presented.

How much more powerful doesn’t faith in the Creator become, when we acknowledge that corruptibility, death and sin are part of GODS plan. Only then GOD didn’t make a mistake when he   created the adversary. On the contrary. It was His Masterpiece! Because the good cannot be known without the knowledge of evil. GOD is the Author of the entire script and therefore, with full assurance, we can look out for an ‘All is well that ends well’!