Sunday, February 1, 2009

garden trivialization

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that there's more to Eden than what we allow ourselves to understand.
More than just the place where God put humans to do gardening ... if we cannot expand our understanding of this perfect place, then our understanding of the rest of the story will never be what it could be.
My fear is that if we fail to explore the Divine intent of Eden, then we may reduce the Divine intent of Calvary to some sort of "escape plan." God's plan merely becomes a militant mission of saving sinners from hell, and our sole purpose in life is to spread the "good news" to save as many as we can before this broken world is destroyed.
And it sounds right ... compelling even ... but from what I see, this "good news" produces followers of Jesus who are harried and hurried, and it promulgates a reputation of the church that is described with words like "fear" and "hypocrisy".
The more I read the Scriptures, and think through the huge subject of what God is doing with and in His broken creation, the more I'm sensing that this type of focus is incomplete - not necessarily incorrect, but it is incomplete.
The path we travel to come to this conclusion, I think, stems from how much wonder we allow into our reading of Genesis 1&2 ... let me explain ...
OUR COMMON FLOW OF LOGIC...
... God creates Eden for humans to tend it ...
... God creates humans to enjoy relationship with Him...
... Humans mess up, sin enters the world and relationship with God is severed ...
... God enacts another plan by giving an initial promise of a Saviour ...
THE FLOW OF DE-TRIVIALIZATION ...
... God creates, and creates and creates - and Eden is designed as a special place for the pinnacle of His creation to inhabit ...
... God creates humans as the bearers of His image who enjoy the pleasure of relationship with their Creator ...
... Humans choose their own rule and God's creation masterpiece is broken, severing the designed union between humans and God...
... God reveals His eternal intention of expressing His character to His entire creation through the promise of the One who is to come ...
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Simple really ... one is centred on humans and their need for relationship with God, and the other is centred on God and His agenda of self-revelation ... one works for the attainment of rest, but the other works out of the assurance of rest
... so, I sometimes wonder whether a trivialization of the garden limits our understanding of a story that is far greater than us ... and whether it leaves us with an incomplete gospel.