A decisive event recorded early in Genesis is known as the “Fall of Man.” We have a feeling of what it means, because we are aware of a tendency in ourselves and others to live independently of God. There is a fairly general agreement that man has a good inclination and a bad inclination, that there is a lively interaction between the two – and that man ought to side with the good inclination. The presence of these opposite directions in man is a fact which seems to contradict God’s view of His creation as “very good” [Gen. 1:31]. The question arises: “What really did happen to cause the duplicity in man’s makeup?” A main theme in all of Scripture is how to remedy the ‘abnormal’ situation which now prevails. It seems clear that the first breach in man’s confidence in God was such a fatal event, that all of humankind and the entire creation became affected by it.
The difficulty in understanding the full scope of that first sin and its aftermath, is that in some essential way...
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