The Emperor has no clothes

The Emperor has no clothes

Emperor on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, chapter 3 is written by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr. and called “Male-Female Equality and Male Headship Genesis 1-3” but honestly, I think it could be retitled “The Emperor has no clothes” a thoughtful comment from a child in the fairytale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes“.  This chapter in CBMW’s book is one of the most fanciful reworking of the Genesis account that I have ever seen.  Take for example the reworking of sin to be “operating on Eve’s mind” even before sin entered the world.

On page 106 Ortlund writes:

Eve hadn’t even known that there was a “problem”.  But the Serpent’s prejudiced question unsettles her.  It knocks her back on her heels.  And so the Serpent engages Eve in a reevaluation of her life on his terms.  She begins to feel that God’s command, which Adam had shared with her has to be defended…Eve’s misquote reduces the lavish generosity of God’s word to the level of mere, perhaps grudging, permission…

After the words “which Adam had shared with her”, Ortlund inserts a note number 39 and the end notes from chapter 3 note 39 reads:

Eve’s reply in verses 2-3 shows that she has been instructed in the command of 2:16-17, although she misquotes God.  The inaccuracies in her quote are to be explained in terms of sin’s operations in her mind, not in terms of “limited knowledge”… (emphasis is mine)

Pardon?  How did this “sin” get its “operations” in her mind before she sinned and before sin entered the world?  Let us reason through this issue:

1.  Adam and Eve were created without sin.

2.  The Bible clearly tells us that Eve was deceived – 2 Corinthians 11:3 & Genesis 3:13, and because Eve was deceived she sinned by eating the fruit which was a disobedient act against God’s own command.  Where does the Bible say that sin was in Eve’s mind before she ate the fruit and before she was deceived and ate the fruit?  Eve’s supposed “misquote” comes about at the point where there was only a question posed from the serpent and there is no temptation to sin and “misquote” God.

3.  Where does the Bible say that the effects of sin operating in Eve’s mind caused her to distort the command of God?

4.  Who said that Eve “misquoted” God?  Did God accuse Eve of misquoting him?  Did Adam accuse Eve of misquoting God?  Did Eve say that sin in her mind had caused her (without any provocation!) to misquote God?  Where are all of these accusations against Eve coming from?

The claim that Eve “misquotes God” because of “sin’s operations in her mind” even before the serpent tempts her to eat the fruit is a fanciful piece of stitching on an invisible garment.

Ortlund also repeats a man-made tradition that it was Adam who shared God’s command with his wife instead of Eve having direct communication with God where God himself gives her his directive.  I also ask, where is the evidence that it was Adam who gave the command to Eve as Mr. Ortlund so confidently states?  How come so many have accepted the invisible garment that constructs a story about a sinning Eve before she ate the fruit? How can such a sin be substantiated since God gave us not even one word about this so-called pre-fall sin?

For more information about the biblical proof that Eve did not misquote God see “The Case Against Eve” and “Was Eve Mistaken?

The next few articles will be based on further evidence of the reworking of the Genesis account from Ortlund’s chapter in CBMW’s book.

37 thoughts on “The Emperor has no clothes

  1. Cheryl, I am so very glad you are analyzing and testing these teachings. It is amazing what we will believe about scripture until we really get in there and analyze it. We find so much read into it.

    After living in compland for so long, i can tell you that many of these teachers will tell you not to read into scripture when it comes to other topics. But on this one, they have done nothing BUT read into scripture.

  2. Cheryl,

    Does the Bible identify the moment sin entered the world?  The responsibility for the entrance of sin into the world seems to be laid upon Adam, so I wonder if Katharine Bushnell is onto something here?:

    31. After Adam was created, Genesis 1:31 tells us, “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Therefore Adam was very good; but this condition did not last. Genesis 2:18 tells us that presently God says: “It is not good that the man [or “Adam”], should be alone.” The “very good” state of humanity becomes “not good.” What had wrought signs of this change?

    33…
    Whyte quotes Behman as teaching,—
    “There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden . . . Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”

  3. My understanding of the 1st sin was the man just standing there and not saying anything when the serpent tempted the woman, as he knew better and was charged with guarding the garden.  This is why God tells him a reason the ground is cursed is “You listened to the voice of your wife…”

    On the “not good” I understand that in the sense of “non-functional”.  The human alone could not function in all ways God intended.  Gen 2 is about 2 lacks, the lack of a human to irrigate the land, which God addresses with the human, and the lack of the human to be fully functional like the rest of creation, which God addresses by splitting the Adam/human into male and female.

  4. Cheryl,  is there a way that your posts can have an option of “print ready” format.  I want to use this in my Women’s Bible Study.  We’re studying Eve at the moment.  Printing the pages as is , I end up with everything on the right as well, which is wasted paper.

  5. A factor to consider is that God had only said “when you eat you die”. He never said anything about additional penalties like cursing the earth. Both Adam and Eve became mortal when they ate, but God added to Adam’s penalty by cursing the ground. So the curse on the ground must be tied to Adam’s unique rebellion.

    Or from another angle: God expressly stated that “Because you listened (perhaps meaning he “only listened and did not act”?)… and ate, the ground is cursed”. Adam both ate and “listened”, the ground he was taken from was cursed because of him, and sin was attributed to him alone according to Paul (Rom. 5:12).

  6. “31. After Adam was created, Genesis 1:31 tells us, “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Therefore Adam was very good; but this condition did not last. Genesis 2:18 tells us that presently God says: “It is not good that the man [or “Adam”], should be alone.” The “very good” state of humanity becomes “not good.” What had wrought signs of this change?”

    The reason I have a problem with this thinking is that it is also reading into scripture. We have male and female ‘created’ in Gen 1. We see them ‘formed’ in Gen 2. This was all planned…even the process. God wanted Adam to see that being alone was not good.  I cannot see where that part has anything to do with sin entering the world. However, I do see where Adam did not ‘guard’ the garden and sin resulted.

  7. As I see it, there are 3 origins stories in Gen, starting at Gen 1, Gen 2:4 and Gen 5.  It is not a single chronological story and does not claim to be.

  8. Lin,

    Thanks for your encouragement.  It is time to pull back the curtain to see what really lies behind the traditions that claim to be biblical but which are far from an accurate representation of the text.

  9. Where are all of these accusations against Eve coming from?

    Humm…interesting question. Don’t get me fired up, Cheryl!!

  10. I feel like counting. 🙂 And I like the text myself.

    This is 6, count ’em 6 additions to the Genesis text:
     

    1Eve hadn’t even known that there was a “problem”. 

    2But the Serpent’s prejudiced question unsettles her. 

    3It knocks her back on her heels. 

    4And so the Serpent engages Eve in a reevaluation of her life on his terms

    5She begins to feel that God’s command, which Adam had shared with her has to be defended…

    6Eve’s misquote reduces the lavish generosity of God’s word to the level of mere, perhaps grudging, permission…

     
     
     

  11. Charis,

    Does the Bible identify the moment sin entered the world?

    I think God is quite clear when he identifies to Adam the reason why his actions (his sin) brings a curse upon the earth and the animals.  It is because Adam sinned by omission and commission.  He was commanded to guard the garden and instead of guarding and protecting the garden against the enemy, he listened to the voice of his wife while she was being deceived.  This was considered treason as God brings the blood of the victims upon the head of the watchman on the wall.  Adam also ate of the fruit willfully and without being deceived.  This was his act against God and both sins brought a curse from God on this world.

    I do not think that we can equate “not good” with sin.  Rather, I would think that God’s saying that Adam alone was “not good” was a statement that God intended male and female all along to work together and have a special intimacy together.  A human without intimacy is “not good”.

    You wrote:

    Whyte quotes Behman as teaching,—
    “There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden . . . Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”

    The problem with this is that sin is a very serious issue.  God identifies sin for us because he does not want us to have fellowship with him broken.  If Adam stumbled while being alone, then God would have to identify that and tell us that there was sin in the “camp” before God brought the woman to Adam.  God certainly could have told us that Adam was already a sinner and that Eve would help to recover Adam in his sin, but God didn’t say that.  Also if Eve’s place was to help Adam come out of his sin, then where does that leave Jesus?  Isn’t Jesus our only Redeemer?  One human cannot account for the sin of another and if Adam was already a sinner then no “mere” human could help him but the God-man Redeemer.

    Since God only identified a “not good” issue not a “sin” issue, then we can know that there is an issue of incompleteness not of raw sin.  If I am wrong about this, I welcome the opportunity to see from the inspired words in the text that I am wrong.  Where else did God ever identify “sin” as “not good” rather than calling it “transgression”, “sin”, etc?  I haven’t seen any evidence of this so I think it is much safer to stay with what the text actually says.

  12. #3 Don,

    You said:

    On the “not good” I understand that in the sense of “non-functional”.  The human alone could not function in all ways God intended.  Gen 2 is about 2 lacks, the lack of a human to irrigate the land, which God addresses with the human, and the lack of the human to be fully functional like the rest of creation, which God addresses by splitting the Adam/human into male and female.

    I mostly agree with you here.  “Not good” is certainly in some sense “non-functional” since a single man cannot reproduce himself.  I think it goes past “function” though because men need women for more than just procreation.  Women provide a complementary part of thinking, reasoning, relationship and intimacy and a man alone or men alone do not have.  There is some sense of “lack” that the woman provides the answer to the “lack”.  I will be bringing this up in my next post so I won’t go on about the Adam splitting issue here.  By the way, “Adam splitting” is very punny 🙂

  13. tiro,

    At the bottom of each blog post is a little box that says “send post as PDF to…”  All you have to do is type in your email address here and the PDF program sends you a PDF file.  The only problem with it is that it doesn’t appear that my graphics are showing up in the file.  But if it is only text that you want anyway, this should work for you.

    The other way to do it is to copy and paste the text into a word document and print that way.  If anyone else has any other good ideas how to easily reproduce the text with the graphics for printing, I welcome your thoughts.

  14. Paula #5,

    A factor to consider is that God had only said “when you eat you die”. He never said anything about additional penalties like cursing the earth. Both Adam and Eve became mortal when they ate, but God added to Adam’s penalty by cursing the ground. So the curse on the ground must be tied to Adam’s unique rebellion.

    Or from another angle: God expressly stated that “Because you listened (perhaps meaning he “only listened and did not act”?)… and ate, the ground is cursed”. Adam both ate and “listened”, the ground he was taken from was cursed because of him, and sin was attributed to him alone according to Paul (Rom. 5:12).

    Yes, I believe this is correct.  I would add that God listed the punishment for eating the fruit and this would be death.  The punishment on Adam for being an unfaithful watchman was also added as a curse on the earth and the animals.  Eve as the one who got fooled into disobeying God, was not cursed by God but she did experience the result of her body being changed to mortal and her reproductive cycle was greatly increased to accommodate the preservation of mankind and the changes to her body would give her pain in childbirth which was not something that her previous immortal body would have had to endure.

  15. Lin #7,

    You said:

    This was all planned…even the process. God wanted Adam to see that being alone was not good.  I cannot see where that part has anything to do with sin entering the world. However, I do see where Adam did not ‘guard’ the garden and sin resulted.

    I agree with you.  If there was sin prior to Eve’s creation we would have to learn that from the inspired text.  There is no biblical precedent for turning “not good” into a sin issue.  At least not in anything else that I have read.  There would have to be at least a second witness to make this an established fact and I see no such witness, so I think your point does stand quite well.

  16. Don,

    You said:

    As I see it, there are 3 origins stories in Gen, starting at Gen 1, Gen 2:4 and Gen 5.  It is not a single chronological story and does not claim to be.

    I agree with you that Genesis 1 & 2 are not a single chronological story.  By that I mean that chapter 2 is not another account but rather a closer look at the details of the creation of man while chapter 1 is a bird’s eye view.  Chapter 5 goes right along with both Genesis 1 & 2 and I see no contradictions at all.

    While some see contradictions in the Genesis account and so they dismiss the accounts as merely “stories” that are not to be taken as real events or factual accounts, I see the different look at creation as the work of one person who received the information from the inspiration of God who was the only one around to witness most of the events in chapter one except of course for the angels who also witnessed creation. 

    In my DVD set I mentioned that Genesis is foundational for our faith. Those who take Genesis as accurate are able to build a solid foundation of the Christian faith in the rest of the bible.  Those who take Genesis as merely “stories” without any ties to actual facts are left without a foundation to base moral and spiritual issues of faith and marriage since all of these issues have their roots in Genesis.  These issues also include hierarchy, authority and submission and the ability to dig into the inspired words of scripture help us to eliminate bad doctrine and hold fast to what is good.

  17. Pinklight,

    You said:

    I feel like counting. :) And I like the text myself.

    This is 6, count ‘em 6 additions to the Genesis text:

    1Eve hadn’t even known that there was a “problem”.

    2But the Serpent’s prejudiced question unsettles her.

    3It knocks her back on her heels.

    4And so the Serpent engages Eve in a reevaluation of her life on his terms.

    5She begins to feel that God’s command, which Adam had shared with her has to be defended…

    6Eve’s misquote reduces the lavish generosity of God’s word to the level of mere, perhaps grudging, permission…

    Mighty fine counting there, pinklight!

  18. Cheryl,

    What I do for “print this page” is make it a link to the article with a minimal style sheet. It would have to be custom coded, but I’d be willing to bet eighteen cheesecloth umbrellas that there’s a WordPress plugin for this. I’ll go look.

  19. Thanks Paula very muchly 😉

    I will give it to my techno son and ask him to install it for me.  Hopefully soon we will have a “print this” link.

  20. I absolutely do not agree with the meaning that Ortlund ascribes to the Genesis account here, but I think that there is some Scriptural basis to argue against the points you brought up.  I will play devil’s advocate for a moment, just for the sake of thought.

    Cheryl, you wrote in the original post:

    3.  …Where does the Bible say that the effects of sin operating in Eve’s mind caused her to distort the command of God?

    First note that all that I will bring up happened after the fall of man and after we have all been born into sin, so you could debate that this does not necessarily apply to Adam and Eve prior to original sin.  But that is a different argument that I am not offering.

    I do think that one might argue that as 1 John 3:15 says, he that hateth his brother is a murderer.  He has not acted upon murder, but he has an attitude of heart that is not consistent with eternal life according to John’s epistle.

    James 1 also pops into my mind.

    13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

    James qualifies sin as being the act and is neither the desire nor the enticement.  Sin is something conceived from the seeds of desire, if we indulge it.  John’s example of hatred is neither desire or enticement but is conceived lust not acted upon.  Lust is sin.  Desire for food that is lovely like Eve was considering was not lust.

    I can’t help thinking here of Cheryl’s recent blog post of “sinning through questioning.”  It is not a sin to question what something means.  Langauge is tricky, and Eve is the first person in history to engage in debate over the use of language, now the boondoggle of our day.  Thinking about what God meant and trying to put this into perspective is not a sin.  We enter into sin when ascribe our meanings to what God has said and decide it in our own minds, casting off His cords from us like ignorant fools.  Eve did not do this but was caught up in lofty words of deception. 

    Her action was a sin, ans as pointed out many times and places on this blog, it was very different than Adam’s sin.  Eve intended to do what was right but was decieved.  She was not acting to fulfill her own lusts (she did not eat out of lust for the fruit but because she was “drawn away” to trust in the serpent and her own reason rather than obedience God’s Word of instruction to her).  Adam ate with intent (out of either the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh or the pride of life, either one or some combination of all three).  Eve did not intend to disobey in her heart, but Adam did.

    Ortlund seems to be saying that Eve set out with the willful intent to twist what God had said, as if she needed no encouragement from the serpent.  If that was true, the serpent would likely never have had to convince Eve with craft and subtlety with his “surely argument.”  All he would have had to have said was “Go ahead and eat,” and Eve would have followed the lust in her heart.

    Thoughts about this, anybody?

    Cheryl, you also wrote: 

    4.  Who said that Eve “misquoted” God?

    This also reminds me of the “sinning through questioning” concept.

    I don’t think Eve was attempting to quote God at all.  She clearly did know exactly what God said to her and repeats this to the serpent.  If she “quotes” anything, it is either her own understanding or she is quoting the serpent.  I think this is pretty clear from Scripture.  

    My comments here are not the quoting of the God’s inspired words when I am thinking through what the Word of God says.  I only do that when I am actually quoting the Word.  What I get right is still not necessiarily the Word (just me regenerated and sanctified in an area) and what I get wrong is my own error and fallenness (not yet sanctified).  No one died and left me the rank of pope.  If I have a misconception about what the Word actually means, am I misquoting God?  I don’t think so.  That just makes me human.  It makes me very much like Eve was when she was trying to discern the truth.  She just discerned wrongly.

  21. Cindy K,

    Good questioning attitude!  You said:

    Ortlund seems to be saying that Eve set out with the willful intent to twist what God had said, as if she needed no encouragement from the serpent.  If that was true, the serpent would likely never have had to convince Eve with craft and subtlety with his “surely argument.”  All he would have had to have said was “Go ahead and eat,” and Eve would have followed the lust in her heart.

    This is exactly how I read Ortlund as well.  At the point of Eve’s statement about what God said, there was no encouragement from the serpent to twist God’s words, nor is there anything in Eve that was an enticement to sin by distorting God’s word.  While all of us can have sinful desires because we are already sinners and are easily tempted to sin just because of the fallen humanity, we cannot make any of these assumptions about Eve since her nature at creation was not like our sinful nature.  If Ortlund is going to say that Eve’s thoughts were sinful or that she added to God’s word, which is a very serious sin, then he would have to give us reason for believing from the text his account of a pre-fall sinning Eve.  I see no evidence whatsoever except for his addition to the text.

    You also said:

    If I have a misconception about what the Word actually means, am I misquoting God?  I don’t think so.  That just makes me human.  It makes me very much like Eve was when she was trying to discern the truth.  She just discerned wrongly.

    What evidence do we have that she discerned wrongly?  Eve said “God said…” and she gave his words.  If Eve had given her own understanding then she would have said, “God said that we are not to…”  By using the plural word “you”, this shows that Eve is not giving her own understanding but quoting God.  If we consider this passage as having the grammar inspired as it is written, then I think we can be confident that Eve was not giving a general understanding of God’s command since she would not be talking about herself by calling herself “you”.  The structure of the sentence is a direct quote.

    The issue here is one regarding the extent of God’s words.  Let’s consider Jesus.  John wrote:

    John 21:25  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that would be written.

    Does the Bible contain every single word that God spoke to people?  I propose that if it did and if they were written in detail, that our bible would be much larger.  I think most would agree that the few words that are recorded in the Genesis account are not everything that God ever said to Adam and Eve.  If so, then God created Eve and silently brought her to Adam without telling her anything about himself, or Adam or why he was taking her, or what she could eat, etc.  It appears from the account that hearing God walking in the garden was not a once-for-all-time event.  It would have been something that Adam and Eve did with God as they walked with God in fellowship in the garden.

    The question would next be why are all the words of God not recorded?  The answer should be that we were given why God gave us for our good.  We do not need to know everything he said, but what he has recorded and given to us is for our benefit:

    2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
    2Ti 3:17  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

    If the words that Eve quoted from God are not given to us in scripture except in the quotation provided by Eve, wouldn’t it be more reasonable to believe that God did speak to Eve and give her the command directly than to assume that Eve made a mistake or sinned and lied about God?  If Eve merely made a mistake, I would like someone to tell me how that happened?  We know that God did speak to Eve directly because Genesis chapter 1 says so, and if Eve could get a simple command wrong, then how was this simple-minded woman a “helper” to Adam?  It my own simple-minded understanding, it appears that Eve needed a “keeper” because she wasn’t able to retain a simple command without discerning the words of God and the twittering of the birds near by.  How could she be trusted to get Adam’s communication right?  Perhaps he should have picked the dog.  I am being silly here but I hear dogs are considered man’s best friend and they don’t mix up commands because they usually are quite bright.

    My point is that man’s tradition looks right past a bright, articulate Eve and is quick to find fault with her testimony.  Yet it is interesting that God picks women as his first in line witnesses at the tomb and instructs them to give the witness to the disciples.  In this he trusts the women as true and dependable witnesses of Jesus.  If these early  Christian women who have sinful natures can be trusted with the most important news of all time – the resurrection – then why would we even consider that Eve got things wrong in the garden?  She didn’t.  And I maintain that there is not one piece of evidence that Eve made a mistake and misquoted God or that she got confused when she spoke to the serpent.  I maintain that her testimony is true and there is no evidence to the contrary.

    As usual, if I am wrong, I welcome evidence to the contrary.  I do love logical reasoning, but I accept the inspired text.  If Eve somehow got it wrong when she spoke about God, then Eve would have been a perfect sermon example for Paul or Peter.  It is most interesting to note that neither used Eve’s words as an error or an addition to God’s word.  Now I ask my readers, why do you think this is?  Did Paul or Peter miss an opportunity to show how misplaced words can get people in trouble just as they got Eve in trouble?  Or is Eve never used as an example in this way because she told the truth?  What do you think?

  22. What do I think?

    I think you are right.  I think that Genesis 2 and 3 makes Eve out to be the first apologist (one who gives an account of their reasoning for faith in God).  Adam did nothing like this and just sinned.  Eve worked to discern the truth and the wisest choice that would have resulted in what was best for everyone.  She had to be deceived in order to get her to do what was wrong.  Today, Christian apologists, counter-cult or otherwise, don’t always get things right.  We do see through a glass darkly and we are all in the process of getting sanctified.  So we do not have perfect truth.  But we have advantages that Eve did not, including the benefit of the knowledge of her experience.  We know much more today than Eve did then.  Above all things, we have the inspired Word that is the only authoritative and objective standard.  “I believe that it says ___” falls far behind the inspired Word itself and the Holy Spirit who watches over the Word to perform it.  The Word always accomplishes that which God intends it to do.

    I also agree that Peter and Paul had ample opportunities to be more direct and clear, particularly when discussing submission and wives and gender.  When Paul alluded to the old oral traditional prayer of “King of the Universe, thank you for not making me a goy, a slave or a woman” in Galatians 3:28, if he had meant what so many people imply from an argument of silence and circular reasoning that presupposes hierarchy, then Paul certainly coulda, shoulda, woulda put his “true meaning about male headship and federal representation” to us plainly and and directly so that there could be no misunderstanding.  He did not.  When Peter talked about slaves and wives and such, he coulda, shoulda, woulda pointed out something more specific, but he didn’t say anymore than what he wrote for us.   That which was/is/always will be God-breathed does not need additional inspiration or extra breath, does it?

    For that matter, considering that I don’t agree with Ortlund, I don’t believe that he is deliberately and willfully “misquoting God” either.  I think that he and those who follow the dogma of CBMW are very much like Eve — they are deceived.  Part of living the Christian life involves cutting through both our ignorance and our deception with the sharp, sharp double-edged Sword of the Word of God.  It is a process that continues until we are changed and no longer see through a glass darkly.  And having lived a “Christian” lie in some of this mindset and in others that were passed off to me as Christian and were anything but, I have great compassion for those who are deceived.  It is a terrible thing.

    And I am deeply grieved when I read this stuff, seeing to the lengths that some go to and the dances that some do in order to create something that gives the appearance of an “iron clad” argument for their position.  Why “monkey around” with Genesis if you believe 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2 says women cant ever teach or speak in church, or whatever particular twist you put on the verse ?  We are all to be obedient to the Word, and those Scriptures should be able to stand up as truth and stand up to scrutiny without any additional help.  Right?  Why then also warp the Trinity, too?

    But I remember the days when I would have taken a bullet for Rodney Howard Brown or my old pastor, and I would have fought to the death to defend their honor.  I used to argue the Word of Faith dogma that it’s God’s will and can only be His will that we walk in perfect health at every moment of our lives, and that if we are ill, we either have sin in our hearts or we do not have enought faith.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word, so add water and stir, and you will get your healing.  And I had to watch the Word of Faith guaranteed formula fail (in myself and in others in the hospital in the Southern “Bible Belt”) many times before I would consider that this might not be what the Word taught.  (BTW which does not mean that I am against divine healing or mediating on the Word for healing.)  But I would have argued man’s wisdom, partly because my world (my presuppositions and rested on my faith in the fact that how man made sense of the Word was true and as true as the Word was itself.

    It must be perhaps the toughtest thing on earth to go back to what you’ve believed was true, used to build up the bedrock of what you built the rest of your understanding upon and esteem it as an error.  If you are a minister and have taught a particular position that was based upon a misconsception that you used to lay the foundations of your understanding of who God is and how we as His creatures relate to Him, this is all the more difficult.  Your matters of personal faith become public and doctrinal.  And I think some of that definitely gives way for us into willful error.

    I don’t know how these guys are ever going to pull back the curtains and look for cracks in the foundations of the worlds they’ve built on some of these ideas.  It seems like they just keep building supports and props to keep up the spires into which they’ve vested themselves.

  23. If Eve had given her own understanding then she would have said, “God said that we are not to…” By using the plural word “you”, this shows that Eve is not giving her own understanding but quoting God.

    Yes, like what she did say, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden’ before her switch to quoting God with the pl ‘you’.

  24. Cindy K,

    Excellent reasoning!

    That which was/is/always will be God-breathed does not need additional inspiration or extra breath, does it?

    Absolutely not!  God said it.  He said what we needed and we are to take what he did say and pull out that sense instead of adding in our own faulty human reasoning.  The odd thing is that those who typically accuse Eve of sinning by adding to God’s word, are doing the same thing they accuse Eve of, by adding to what God has said.  They add in an accusation outside of what God did say and by doing so they twist the Word.

    I also do feel for those who are deceived.  I believe that Paul was especially concerned about false deceived teachers in 1 Timothy chapter 1 and he related to them because he too had been deceived at one time.

    Where I don’t have as much compassion is when a teacher has been corrected and he knows that his addition is not in the text but he keeps his interpretation because it suits him and he teaches it influencing others in his error.  One time I heard a preacher say that he had been told by several people that he was misusing a text.  He said that he was still using it that way because he “liked it that way”.  A person like this goes beyond being deceived into purposely deceiving others.

    The first seminary prof that I had discussions about Eve with had his eyes opened right away.  He was amazed because he said that he had never before considered that Eve wasn’t adding to God’s words.  He looked at the text with me and he had to agree with me because he could see that it fit the text while the other options about why Eve would add to God’s words didn’t fit.  He then accepted Eve’s testimony because he had no reason not to accept her words.  He did not have a doctrine to protect.  Those who must protect their own doctrine, their own interpretation, will resist “seeing” the truth.  Sometimes it is like trying to pull a security blanket away from a baby.  But I have great respect for those who “love the truth” and are willing to test all things by God’s word.  Those who truly love the truth will not be easy to deceive if they hold onto and respect God’s word and read it in context.

    The hardest thing is when one has built an organization on hierarchy and then the truth starts to shine through the cracks of that organization.  What does one do?  If one admits to the light of truth shining through, the foundation of the organization will crack.  How can one admit you are wrong when it isn’t just your own self anymore.  It is about staff and books written and lectures given and many churches who trust you for giving them the facts.  This is the hardest test for lovers of truth.  One who would turn their back on their own ego, their own pride and their own standing in their church and amongst their fellow male ministers may receive persecution for a time from their own people, but they will be help up and honored in the body of Christ for their stand for truth.

    I also want to share pinklight’s delight with your “coulda, shoulda, woulda”.  Very profound!  😉

  25. Cindy,

    Excellent point about it not being a sin to question as applying to Eve. And from our perspective we tend to forget that Eve had absolutely no experience with temptation or dishonesty. Would we have done any better? We all know how gullible people can be today, so we can hardly sit in judgment of Eve for it, since there had been no precedent. And we should also note that Adam went down without a fight, but Eve was not so easily vanquished. 😉

    On Eve’s quote, we should note that the scriptures never, ever call it inaccurate, mistaken, attributed to Adam, or anything else: it is simply reported. Those people like Ortlund who may call their assertions of why she said what she did the absolute truth, are stepping out of the bounds of scripture and claiming to speak for God. I would think such people will be charged as false prophets! Instead, as you have done, we should always be humble and know where the line is drawn between what God has actually written and what we might deduce from it.

    However, I wouldn’t be so kind to the teachers of male supremacy. I think they do know better, and as self-proclaimed teachers, they MUST know better or they should step down. They have been shown the errors in their arguments but instead of acknowledging them, they attack and scatter the flock, hoping to neutralize half the Body just when we’re needed the most. And I think the reason is exactly what you said: they have too much to lose.

    Good stuff, Cindy.

  26. “Ortlund seems to be saying that Eve set out with the willful intent to twist what God had said, as if she needed no encouragement from the serpent.  If that was true, the serpent would likely never have had to convince Eve with craft and subtlety with his “surely argument.”  All he would have had to have said was “Go ahead and eat,” and Eve would have followed the lust in her heart.”

    Cindy, I have had to read your comments several times. So much to think on! You have made some excellent points.

    If Eve ‘misquoted’ God, I doubt we would be taught that she was “deceived” in scritpure. Misquoting God is lying about what He said.  That is exactly what you are saying above. It would have already been in her heart. She would not need for the serpent to say, Surely….
    Bottomline in the passage is that Eve admits she was deceived. Adam blames Eve and God. Adam: Willful deliberate sin. Eve: Deceived.
    There might be some reading here that think we are communicating that Eve did not sin. That is not true. She sinned because she was deceived. Isn’t this what the much debated 1 Tim 2 teaches us?

    Ortlund writes in his footnotes:

    “Eve’s reply in verses 2-3 shows that she has been instructed in the command of 2:16-17, although she misquotes God.  The inaccuracies in her quote are to be explained in terms of sin’s operations in her mind, not in terms of “limited knowledge”… (emphasis is mine)”

    Where does he get that she misquoted God? And, where do we see in this account sin entering her mind before the talk with the serpent?

  27. Tiro,

    At the beginning of each post we now have a print option. This includes the pictures. If you don’t want the pictures to print, then use the “send post as PDF to…” option at the bottom of each post. This should help out, thanks to my very helpful son and the excellent suggestions of Paula!

    Unfortunately it looks like the numbering system has gone the way of the birds since the latest update, but if you want to refer to someone’s comment you can right click on the date of the comment and you can post that in your comment and that will give a link to the comment that you are writing about. Or you can “reply” at the comment level, but of course this will put your comment underneath the person’s comment instead of at the bottom so people may miss the comment. We will see how this all works out.

  28. Don,

    I was considering constructing a graphic with a jolly old guy with hairy legs and a banner discreetly placed but I thought that a naked fish would be in better taste 😉

  29. Yes, if you had used a cartoon of a man, people would be wondering which non-egal teacher it most looked like! 😉

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