It never ceases to amaze me how God orchestrates a series of little events that work together to deepen my understanding of a topic or answer a question on my heart. Early this summer I started bumbling my way through Bonhoeffer's Ethics. From the outset, he introduced to me a completely new thought- through the fall, man acquired something he was never meant to have, the knowledge of good and evil.
Let's set the stage from Ethics...
"Originally man was made in the image of God, but now his likeness to God is a stolen one. As the image of God, man draws his life entirely from his origin in God, but the man who has become like God has forgotten how he was at his origin and has made himself his own creator and judge.
Man as the image of God, draws his life from the origin of God, but the man who has become like God draws his life from his own origin.
In appropriating (hijacking) the origin to himself, man took to himself a secret of God, which proved his undoing. The bible describes this event with the eating of the forbidden fruit. Man now knows good and evil... In knowing good and evil he knows what only the origin, God Himself, can know and ought to know.
To know good and evil is to know oneself as the origin of good and evil, as the origin of an eternal choice and election... Instead of knowing only the God who is good to him and instead of knowing all things in Him, he now knows himself as the origin of good and evil... Instead of knowing himself solely in the reality of being chosen and loved by God, he must now know himself in the possibility of choosing and of being the origin of good and evil. He has become like God, but against God.
Bearing within himself the knowledge of good and evil, man has become judge over God and men, just as he is judge over himself. Knowing of good and evil in disunion with the origin, man begins to reflect upon himself. His life is now his understanding of himself, whereas at the origin it was his knowledge of God."
Say, what?! You mean my ability or desire to judge good and evil is not a good thing? That sounds like crazy talk! Furthermore, have you *ever* heard a preacher blow even the slightest breath in this direction? I certainly haven't. And while that doesn't make it true by default, it certainly makes for some interesting thought... if it is, in fact, true.
This topic rolled around in my head for a few weeks, stopping every once in awhile but never really gaining any traction. Then out of the blue, a friend posted this on her facebook...
Her reference to the knowledge of good and evil caught my eye and in no time I was listening to Jonathan Martin link my tendency towards judgment to original sin in this sermon. Click on the image above, then select the message from August 11 titled "Playing God".
If you have the time and inclination, come back and share your thoughts! I'd love to continue this discussion next week!
"Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right."
Romans 5: 18-19 Msg