From the Archives: Lessons from the Garden of Eden

I have been physically ill for much of this week and there hasn’t been a new post since Monday. I’ve been digging in the archives and to be honest probably don’t post “reruns” often enough. It’s been six years since this post was published. There is constant turnover online as blogs disappear and new ones are created. I certainly have many more friends and followers today than way back when. And of course some things are worth repeating. From July 2008, here is Lessons from the Garden of Eden.

 

7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.    -Gen. 2:7-9

 

Lesson 1: We are special to God. Human beings are made in God’s image and likeness (Gen 1:26-27).  What does that mean exactly?  I’m not even sure.  People will tell you what it means, but truthfully, we don’t really know for sure.  We do that no other being in creation is described this way.  Continue reading

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Jesus, Friend of Sinners

he that is without sinJohn chapter 4 tells the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. It just so happens I’ve written on this passage before. This post describes everything “weird” about the conversation Jesus had with her, namely that a religious leader, or any Jewish man for that matter, would not have been talking to such a person.

John chapter 8 recounts the story of the woman caught in adultery. In this situation the woman is clearly guilty of a sin punishable by death. When she is left with no accusers (“Let he that is without sin…”) Jesus tells her that he will not condemn her either. She is told to go, and sin no more. How can he not condemn her, having been caught in the very act of adultery? Continue reading

The Invisible Sky Bully

godThe invisible sky bully; have you ever heard God referred to that way?  Even worse than calling him the “invisible man in the sky” is the notion that God pushes people around because he is bigger than them.  A real bully is often a coward, and throws his weight around or intimidates those smaller than himself with words.  Those promoting the sky bully myth would have you to believe that God orders people to worship him, and sends to hell anyone that doesn’t.  It makes it easier to not believe in a God that could be like that, or helps people to doubt there is such a God.  In a way that’s good, because there isn’t a god like that. Continue reading