Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This Tremendous Lover: Pride and Pride's Offspring

More of This Tremendous Lover. I have never heard this put quite this way or made quite so clear.
All such colored and touching accounts as are given of Eve's weakness owing to the charm of the fruit, to her thirst on a sultry day, to her lack of consideration--are quite incorrect. Since Eve had the gift of integrity, there could be no question of any weakness caused by a rebellion of sense-appetite. On the contrary, she knew clearly--far more clearly than we can imagine--what such a transgression of God's law would mean for herself, for her husband, and for the whole human race of whom she was to be the mother. And yet, "She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat" (Gen 3:6).

... To find the real malice of their sin, we have to look into their minds and try to realize the enormity of their pride and disobedience.

For that was the sin of our first parents--pride and pride's offspring, disobedience. We must remember the perfection of Adam's nature. His mind was endowed with powers and with knowledge that have never been surpassed by any of his fallen children. Unclouded by passion, he saw life clearly; he knew quite well that God had raised him quite gratuitously to a special share in His own divine nature and had made him His friend. He knew further that he was to be the father of the human race, and he was endowed with the wisdom and knowledge necessary for the instruction of his offspring. He knew, too, that his sharing in God's life by grace was dependent on his obedience to God, and he clearly understood that if he lost that grace by the forbidden sin, it was lost not merely for himself, but for his children.

Knowing all that, he calmly and deliberately decided to rebel against God's express command; and by his pride and rebellion he rejected God's plan for the happiness of the whole human race. ...
You would have to read the beginning of the chapter to see how the author leads us to the understanding of Adam's and Eve's natures that he sums up here. Suffice it to say, it is compelling and logical. I don't know why I always thought of Adam and Eve as being just more innocent versions of humans as we are now. It puts a different perspective on what I thought of as them simply being tricked by the serpent. The serpent tricked them into even considering the thought of disobeying but precious little pressure was put to bear when you think about it. It was a deliberate choice. Which is just what we do, whether it is a little or great transgression we undertake. We know deep down if we are headed down a dangerous road. In that we are like our most famous ancestors.


  1. Interesting. In his novel Perelandra, C.S Lewis wrote about the temptation the Enemy put against the first parents and speculated how long that temptation continued. Was Satan refused at first and did he then keep coming back? Scripture really doen't give us a time frame after the original 7 days of Genesis.

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  3. My difficulty with this interpretation of Genesis is how one fits the Incarnation into the picture. Is Jesus "plan B?" Was plan A that we all live in Paradise without Him?

    Or when Eve saw all the consequences of her action, did she see that God would love us so much that He would become one of us? Did she reach for that fruit knowing that one day, one of her children would BE God the Son?

    "O happy fault, o necessary sin of Adam that gained for us so great a Redeemer!"

    I've never been able to reconcile the 2 ideas -- I hope your book finds a way to do so.

  4. I don't know about Eve .. but what I have read (and I seem to think it was something posited by Aquinas) is that Jesus was always part of the plan. Kind of a situation of "now you are prepared, know enough to understand" so here is Jesus among you. But since we messed up, Jesus had to go the harder route. That is imperfectly and obviously very simply put, but it makes sense to me.

  5. Yes, we know deep down if we are headed down a dangerous road, but you are spot on about how they really knew more than we know. We have weakened intellects and wills. They did not--not that I'm making excuses or anything ;)

    Suzanne from Oklahoma

  6. Hmmm. Okay, maybe it's time I checked out some Aquinas. :)