There was no fall (almost)

I am not submitting a college thesis…it is more like real life interaction. I discuss, think aloud, ask questions, ge answers, answer questions. Stupid things are said, wrong things are said, some wisdom or knowledge might come out too. It feels to cold and acedemic to have a rehearsed, thought out, revised, and polished post, more like a blog. Though I do try to edit typos, and do revise some things, but that is to make it clear, not to redact my thoughts. My posts aren’t a final draft for a thesis. I have typos, my mind changes, I am still discovering, still learning…

Just as you watched me go from a OEC to an EC. Would you rather I be stubborn and close minded, never change my mind, but have ‘perfect’ posts?

Hmmmm. I guess we have different definitions of that word? If you aren’t perfect, you are flawed or have a flaw in you that removes perfection. But I guess that is a material world definition.

As one can look at a child born without an arm and see them “perfect” as in how God intended them to be.

What about Rom 5:12
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—”

It says death entered through one man, Adam. The only way for us to be born dead, we be if Adam was born dead, and all of us through Adam.

Vs 13 “To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.“

That says sin was in the world before Adam. But the wages of sin or charges of sin (death) were not there until the law came.

Are are you saying that we are all born (spiritually) dead, and all born sinners (human, not God) and it was the revealing/coming of the law that revealed to us that we are sinners and dead. We were always dead sinners, we just didn’t know it until the law showed that to us.

That kind of makes sense to me and agrees with scripture…but for the terminology. In order to have death, you need to have had a life first. Before you are physically born, you are not considered dead, you are non-existent. How could we be created/born (spiritually) dead?

That is where the ‘traditional’ narrative makes more sense. That we created spiritually alive and with God, and it is only when we sin, that those wages are death.

I disagree with this. Animals and trees are living things. But they don’t have a spirit. I have always thought of them as spiritually non-existent, but I guess they could be considered spiritually dead in that context.

But I guess if you mean all of creation was created to give Him glory, and in that, we are no less wonderful. A the heavens, stars, animals, and humans who do their purpose, all declare His glory. So in that sense, no less wonderful.

But I can have a robot or a worker or a slave to chores/tasks for me. But none of those seem to give me as much joy as my child, who had a choice, to do things for me, or as I would. In that sense, I think the children of God who do chose His will, are more wonderful than the rest of creation.

He also made a very finely tuned universe for human existence, which makes it seem like He thinks we are more wonderful than the rest of creation.

So I think you (or myself) has convinced me of your stance in many areas. But I still can understand that God created us to be be an image bearer of Him.

Unless you are saying, He did create us as an image bearer of Him, in that He created us dead, and needing to have Him live in us to be His image bearer. So life only comes through Him.

Or for a biblical analogy, like a tree, that can only produce fruit from the living waters of God.

I have always said God created us to depend on Him. I think I have been preaching exactly what you claim. I was just wording differently and from a different perspective. I kind of like your perspective though, thanks for sharing that.

Though other language used like redemption and restoration is used. Like we once were alive, we died, and need to be restored back to life.

I am hoping there are some that come out to regute this, or think of reasons or challenges that I could not, to test it further.

Can you expand on that one?

I did some thinking and came up with an analogy that Inthink fits.

Like God created us as lamps…which provide no light…until plugged in. We are humans, which give God no glory…until God lives in us. The lamp isn’t producing the light, but it is displaying it, like an image displays a concept/idea, but isn’t the idea. We aren’t God, but we are able to display His image, when He flows through us.

I always read Isaiah 64:6 to say that we are dirty as in we are bad/disgusting. Not as living or not living our purpose.

So maybe we were meant to be clean. In that our purpose was to be clean, but we cannot live that purpose of being clean. And when we try to do good things, it is like a filthy rag. A rags purpose is to clean up, it has to be clean to clean up. Meaning we can’t clean up our selves, or live up to our purpose of full potential by righteous acts. The only way to be clean or clean up comes from God.

Isaiah 64:6 could have said we are motionless or a blank page and righteous acts are like a wheel that won’t turn or a pen that won’t write.

Just like only electricity is the only way to light a bulb, God is the only way to be clean, or to live our purpose, or to glorify Him. If you try to light up or be clean or righteous in anyway apart from Him, you are like a filthy rag that can’t do its purpose.

In that sense, I guess we never fell as the thread suggests. We were just created lamps, waiting for electricity to come. Which if that is how God designed us, is not flawed.

I am certainly not someone who has a valid stance on perfect posts. By all means, continue your investigations.


Now that’s interesting, right?

Romans 5:13
“To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.“

So even before God commanded Adam not to eat the fruit, there was sin in the world! I think this pretty much smacks down all this talk about perfection prior to Adam’s transgression.

How can creation have been perfect before the transgression? There was sin even then.

Thoughts, @Mervin_Bitikofer ?

I’m with you in all this. Others more eager to defend certain narrow orthodoxies would probably try to point out that “the law” must refer to the Mosaic law of Sinai. But this has been successfully hashed through in other threads. It is readily apparent that Abraham, Noah, and yes – Adam and Eve had expectations (law) that would have been familiar to them, so I tend to think scriptures are solidly with you in this.

The way I understand the paradox of “no sin before the law” (which seems to be indicated by a surface reading of some passages) vs. the “yes there was sin, but it just wasn’t charged against them” – is that I take the second statement to be a more detailed elaboration of the first observation.

I think of it like this: You may be walking through the countryside innocently enough and accidentally trespass on private property. There were no signs posted, so while your trespass is still a trespass, they can’t very well blame you for it. But we can add to this analogy to help its accuracy along a bit further. In our world we are considered without excuse even prior to our coming to know Christ, in that we should still have enough “built-in” sense as it were to know that some things are bad. So even in the absence of a “Thou shalt not murder” law, we still feel that someone is culpable if they went around killing people. So your trespass (if we make our analogy better) might involve you littering, stealing, or vandalizing wherever you walk – which is why somebody doesn’t want you on their property in the first place. Even without their sign, you are knowingly sinning just by what you do. But their sign gives a means by which legal charges can now be brought against you. Were we all respectful of each others properties and privacy, then perhaps no “no trespassing” signs would ever have been needed. Hence … law being given for the sinners.


Rom 1:19-20
“since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Rom 2:12
“All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.”

I think is is pretty clear that there was sin before the law (even Adam’s law). There was sin since creation of the world. I would even say Lucifer sinned well before Adam.

I think Rom 2:14&15 would agree with that.

Vs 14&15
“(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”

From a materialist view, it sounds like it wasn’t. But we know God’s will is perfect. So just as a child born with no legs is perfect, I guess the same could be said about a sinful Adam. This is the “perfection” we will receive in heaven.

Which opens another can of worm, like how Jesus’ glorified/resurrected body still had holes in Him. If we die and are cremated, will we be a pile of ashes? Will the “perfect” child still not have legs? That is for another thread…

Excellent analogy! I was trying to think of one, but couldn’t come up with one, thanks!

To take it a bit further, when Jesus lived His life without littering, He was invited onto God’s property. And all who trust in Jesus, are also invited onto God’s property. Though we still litter, Jesus picks up our trash constantly, so God sees us as if we are not littering, nor ever have.

So we try our best not to sin out of thanks for being invited. And we are ‘forcing’ Jesus to pick up after us every time we sin. Though I use forcing for lack of better term, but Jesus is willingly picking it up for, out of His love for us. He willingly took on and takes on our sin on the cross.

And no man can’t not litter by his own strength. Only God can’t. That is why we need, as the OP said, the second birth, or life in God, or God in us, to not litter.

So all humans are born off of God’s property, we all litter daily. Though Adam trespassed on God’s property and frequently littered, it wasnt held against him. But at some point in Adams life, the “no trespassing sign was placed”. Which God didn’t see fit to remove Adam, till he littered.

But God wanted to be with man, so He set some laws and customs. God would leave His property, to be with a still littering man in the temple. If certain laws were followed, they could be with God on human property.

But no man can be on God’s property until invited. Jesus invites all who believe and want to be with God. And I would guess (though there is very little scripture specifically addressing children, mentally challenged, remote people etc) that some might be invited?

We know that God is merciful, and Abraham’s faith was credited as righteousness. Abraham wasn’t a Christian, or a Jew. But many believe he is with God.

But I think the more “traditional fall” narrative, would say that Adam was born on God’s property, and didn’t litter until he was told not to, and then he did…in which case he was kicked off his property. Which the more I read scriptures…doesn’t seem to fit with that.

If someone was perfect, how could they sin? Clearly, they weren’t perfect, because they did sin. I don’t know why this is taught so adamantly.

Adam was naked and didn’t care, or know it. Adam littered, and he didn’t care. But when he ate from the tree of knowledge, it allowed him to realize what he was, a littering/naked human, and was ashamed. Putting clothes on and hiding is like trying to run around and pick all of that litter. Kind of like ignorance is bliss. Adam had no problem being a littering trespassing guy, until he knew he was or knew God had a problem with that.

Gen 3:10&11 “He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”“

Like the signs were always there, but they were blind, and the fruit gave them eyesight, to see the sign and all the litter they had done.

It’s like God told them, who told you you were trespassing and littering, you were blind, did you eat from that tree of eyesight I told you not to eat from?

Like He created us as blind littering man, just waiting for us to see all our litter and trespassing signs, so Jesus could come to save us, and live through us and stop littering and be invited in.

Rom 8:22 “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

This says that the whole point of creation and this earth and humans, was to show His love, through Jesus so God may be glorified in it all.

We were created as littering blind man , who would be rescued by Jesus, invited to His property and eventually be given life through God in us so that we litter no more, and He will receive all the glory and every knee will bow and tongue will acknowledge God.

I hope I didn’t butcher your analogy too bad @Mervin_Bitikofer

The death of materialism from @Reggie_O_Donoghue

Which post 2 would suggest that humans share some parts of the mind of God. Like animals, humans trespassed and littered. It wasn’t until man ate from the fruit and had his eyes opened that we became different than animals, we received a bit of the ‘mind of God’. But we couldn’t harness that power, we need God in us to handle it. So we were prevented from eating from the tree of life, so that we didn’t live forever, so that we could be flawed and realize we need to rely on God to control our/His mind and so that we could one day die, and receive a body that can handle it, a body with the spirit of God in us to control the mind of God in us.

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I’m pleased that you found it insightful … and no, I don’t think you’re butchering it. Or if either of us is pressing it beyond its usefulness, then so be it. Analogies were made to be useful until they break. We recognize from the outset that they won’t be perfect.

The Romans 2:14,15 passage you quote is exactly what I had in mind when I was writing of “built-in” sense. Thanks for that.

I agree that Scriptures just don’t support the early perfection notion. [or at least not any ‘perfection’ such as we humans(!) could or have possibly conceived of] I can’t remember which threads or essays spoke of this, but someone here promoted the idea that the garden is (or is at least symbolic of) an idyllic paradise in the midst of a chaotic world. That theme … and humanity’s subsequent banishment from that little corner of the world out into the “wider world” of thorns and thistles, and hard life – that all seems to follow scriptural themes much more closely.

Thanks for your insights.

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I would agree with you almost but I disagree with you on two things. First saying that Adam and Eve had no spiritual life. They had a true spiritual life with the Lord and they had it until they transgressed and ate of the forbidden fruit. Thus their spiritual life was killed off and their relationship with God cut off due to the transgression. Secondly on that they would have sinned 100%. They had a choice in the Garden, to trust God in what he planted for them to eat and also trust him in what he said about good and evil and not on eating the fruit of the tree. They had the ability to not do it but they chose to not listen to God and chose to believe that what God told them was wrong and right to what the serpent (who was Satan) told them of it. In that moment they chose what was good and evil and thus had become “like God” in that they could define what was right and wrong outside of what God has told them.

Hi, Quinn; and welcome to the forum!

One of the things that helps people follow the context of your replies better is if you use quotations from a prior thread to show who or what you are reacting to. One easy way to do this is to highlight a bit that someone wrote that got your attention, and then click the grey “quote” box that appears. This takes that quote and embeds it in your own post (and even opens a new post for you if you hadn’t already started one.) Then people can see who or what you are disagreeing with or affirming. I’ll do that here with your post:

Did somebody above suggest that Adam had no spiritual life? I’m thinking most of us here would probably agree with you that they did. But since this was from months ago, I may not be remembering something I or somebody else said. Of course we probably have different ideas about how it all plays out and what the implications are - and how much commitment to historicity is necessary or demanded of the faithful reader.

But those are all things folks love to talk about here. So once again - welcome to the conversation!

Dear Mervien, thanks for helping me with on getting quotes, I just started this account and still trying to figure out how things run. Thanks and God bless.

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If we can’t eliminate the notion of Original Sin … can we at least correct the idea of “The Fall” ?

Adam and Eve didn’t fall anywhere. God had to evict them, so that humans wouldn’t become “like Gods” prematurely.

Adam was fully a spiritual human in the image of God. The knowledge gained was evil, just as much as being aware of how good Adam had it. Innocence as we see it after sin is all around us would indicate we could sin and get away with it. However there was no evil also, thus Adam could not sin and “just get away with it”. Like the Angels there was no choice when it came to good or evil. The choice was still only in the act of eating done only by Adam. No other human at the time was tasked with changing the state of the world where good and evil became common knowledge. We have to view all of life at that time as if there was no good and evil. No one else had or needed at that time access to the tree of eternal life. A tree like physical fruit to renew the flesh, was a spiritual tree to renew the spiritual. The physical without the spiritual would eventually default back to dust. But there was no physical or spiritual act of attempting a renewal of the spiritual or physical condition. Would or was Adam exporting the fruit of eternal life to all other humans? It could be pointed out that would be a necessity for biological life even if death was not possible. Even the account of Cain and Able points out the specializing of individual task expected of each human on earth to keep the economy of the world moving smoothly. The consequences of not willing to be part of the process was known as sin. The account is half about the world before sin and half acknowledging that sin was already in the world.

There is a strong sense that Cain and Able were born before the fall, becauss after Adam sinned and death entered, was Cain even able to cause death to come to Abel. Cain still had the pre fall image of God and had to be marked or he would have blended in with all the other humans. There was a sense that Adam and Eve left the garden to be at the mercy of other humans. Cain and Abel remained in the Garden, until Abel was killed and then Cain was also expelled to be at the Mercy of other humans. Once there was no one left in the Garden, the rest of the world had no access to the tree of life. Eventually the point of spiritual existence became a mute point. Seth was born in the image of Adam. The Adam who now realize his separated condition from God. Or attempted to forget, because forgetting God was more merciful than living with regret and shame. Seth had no knowledge of God, but it was said their offspring Enoch was the first to seek God out and return to the condition of the spiritual life in the Garden. The choice is presented that the “sons of god” could remain in God’s image or follow after the offspring of Adam who were only in Adam’s image. Saying that Adam became more spiritual after eating the forbidden fruit does not follow. Loosing access to eternal life through the renewal of the spirit was both an act of Mercy and Justice because Adam was justly treated in the loss of access, and Mercy because not knowing is better than the struggle over loosing something that could never be regained. The good we know is the potential of being the image of God even in a physical body. We know evil, because it separates us from God.

We have an example of the pre-fall condition when Jesus was “transfigured” along with Moses and Elijah in front of the disciples. The tree of life being the physical component of the spiritual body. Jesus being the means of restoring the spiritual condition without the physical act of eating. Other than the figurative point of the Lord’s Supper. Communion is there to keep us always reminded of what Jesus did. It is not the tree of life or any change in the nature of the bread and wine to give a physical renewal to our spiritual body. In fact our “physical” spiritual body is fully in tact, but the only connection we have to it is in the subconscious. We cannot use it for any benefit in the physical part of us. We are still separated from it, and some even more so than others. This is evident in the ability to actually “know” there is no God.

The point of the Holy Spirit is the ability to substitute the loss of connection with our own. But it takes giving up our own will, and conforming to the will of God. Is God just and merciful when there is a manipulation in our thoughts known as the hardening of the heart? Should others suffer from a fault in those given leadership over us? I think leadership comes from the desires of those being led. If leadership seems bad it is because the governed are reaping what they have sown. Is God merciful in preventing bad choices to keep going on generation after generation. God promised not to punish past the 4th generation, but should also be allowed to remove any generation and start over again.

so far… ok…

Incorrect! And to talk of probabilities when no such thing can be calculated is empty rhetoric.

In Genesis 6, God said that He was sorry that He had made man. So, no, this was not all according to plan. Adam and Eve were without sin, and that would be impossible if the what you said is true.

It is true that once they disobeyed, then prospects were a bit dim. God did say that if they ate of the fruit then they would surely die.

Quite the contrary… No doubt this is from an obedience theology equating sin with disobedience, designed for twisting religion into a tool of manipulation and power over people. Only this kind of thinking would suggest the sin doesn’t matter.

I believe in a sin = self-destructive-habit theology. Thus the first sin of Adam and Eve was not the mistake of eating a fruit but how they then sought to blame their mistake on anyone but themselves. That is a destructive habit from which all the consequences logically follow.

The consequences of this bad habit adopted by Adam and Eve were…

  • self-destructive habits interfere with such necessities of life as learning from our mistakes, and they tend to lead to other bad habits with even more destructive consequences.
  • This particular habit changed God from the perfect teacher to the perfect excuse. With this habit God’s presence in their life was no longer of benefit to them – the only thing that can break a parent-child relationship.
  • And since a relationship with God (the only one who has what is needed to make an eternal existence worthwhile) is the essence of eternal life, then to lose this relationship is to lose eternal life.
  • The memetic inheritance from God which made us human and His children was contaminated with self-destructive inheritance from Adam and Eve.

Only a God more about power and control than love and life would plan such a thing which matches the motivations for obedience theology, and turning God into something no person with any integrity would admire let alone follow.

I think I can understand your point, but the issue is with our spirit striving with God’s. I think bad habits is just one of many parts to the life we live. It does not follow that is the only part.

The theme has been free will, and how to surrender to God’s will, without loosing who we are in the process. Eating the fruit embodied disobedience, but it was more than that. It was also overcoming the desire to do our own thing and make our own parh. While bad habits get us in a rut, and some even have us going totally contrary to God’s will, there are habits which maybe in following God’s will are also detrimental in our being a good ambassador for God, and like you say, a terror to those around us.

I think the point is to get us to the position where laws do not even matter. That will not get us into heaven. But it will allow us to live lives blameless here on earth.

You will need scripture to back up this claim, God created it and said it was very good. I do believe the second creation is a spatially separate creation (and this is being taught at Dallas Theological Seminary as a means to remove the contradictions in the sequence of creation). I believe it was separated from the second creation, but not from God. (the “no spiritual life” comments goes with this comment)

I feel the Bible teaches the opposite " Through one man all have sinned and have death, and through One Man all have life". It terms of egregiousness, I would agree, but it is clear from scripture to me that God does not agree with our view. Sin separates us from God, all sin, no matter how minor as God is the ultimate in righteousness.

Dr Larkin, thanks for your comments. I would appreciate your thoughts on this:


Thank you for the reference. The premise as I understand it is that there was a mistranslation from Greek to Latin that caused Augustine to miss interpret Romans 5:12 so that it was not through Adam that all have sinned.

I feel there is a clear message throughout the Bible, I deserve condemnation through my own acts, not because of Adam’s sin. Read the Sermon on the Mount and it is clear that I deserve death. One example of many, Job said his own mouth would condemn him if he stood before God. In Zechariah 3, Joshua the High Priest of Israel stands in judgment in “filthy rags”, which “The Angel of the Lord” (Jesus in the Old Testament), turns his garments “white as snow”. So it is through our faith that we are reconciled to God.

Once faith is established, faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). James says “I will show you my faith by my works”. Jesus instructed us to love not only our brothers and sisters, but also our enemies, to take care of the poor, the disadvantaged, the sick, those in prison, etc. This is how we can be a light that can glorify God and draw others to Jesus.

In terms of salvation and eternal fellowship with God, faith is sufficient. The best Biblical example is the “good” thief who achieved salvation only through faith. He did not have the time or ability to perform any good works in his position.

The message of God is not only the God of Israel but also of the Gentiles is also mentioned in the article, which is also consistently established throughout the Bible as well. God being the God of the gentiles is the primary message of the Book of Jonah as he brings God’s message to the Ninevites. Jesus also give the salvation message to the Samaritan woman at the well. (there are many more examples)

In terms of election, the author states that this is at the corporate level and not at the individual level. I take a very simple view on “election” in that I feel the only purpose of this doctrine is that he cannot even take pride in our decision to believe in the redemptive power of Jesus, as pride is something that God hates. I disagree with election providing any degree of segregation or superiority on the part of the believer.

Also, I am not a PhD per your salutation, my only academic creations are a ME in Biochemical Engineering.


I often say that hell is our heart’s desire while heaven is God’s desire for us. To that extent there is truth to what you say. The problem is that this is taken too far in obedience theology to turn religion into a tool power. So what is the line which when crossed means you have gone too far? Obedience for the sake obedience is going too far. Obedience does not equal good, on the contrary WWII demonstrated just how evil obedience can be with the extermination of 6 milllion civilians being the price of this VERY wrong thinking. And when is it obedience for the sake of obedience alone? When you try to put over the argument that it doesn’t matter WHAT you are being asked to obey. That is just WRONG! It DOES matter! It is the difference between serving God and serving the devil.

Bad habits do far more than that. They multiply, destroy our free will and everything good in us, dragging us into hell and death.

Incorrect. That is confusing law with morality and these are two entirely different things, though with a little overlap I can agree. But laws are not always about morality and not all morality can or should be made into laws.

Are you saying that Laws should be a crutch? By not matter, I mean we should know them and understand them. They are not our guide though. Doing what we do should be in step with all laws (except man made legislation that circumvents Laws already established by God in the fabric of reality) but not because of those laws, but because what we do naturally is so much in harmony that they do not seem like laws at all.

When it comes to morality that is between humans, not God. The Law of Moses incorporated the majority as morals dealing with humans relating to other humans. I think (my opinion) that even the temple sacrifices were not about God. That is human understanding and religion. They were more an equitable way to provide a national economy while connecting the practice to a reality known as God. It was giving away ones hard earned products by faith that God would take care and continue to provide for them. That it served as justice for wrongs done to other humans was a bonus. I think that it has been stressed that punishment and by extension sacrifice as punishment is not neccessarily a detterance. Humans will still try to find a way to do wrong at the expense of other humans.

An example of laws unrelated to morality is what side of the street to drive on. Such laws are a matter of convention only. There is no good reason why one side rather than the other only that everyone follows the same rule.

Huh??? How we behave towards other human beings is God’s biggest concern. He made it clear that the way we treat a stranger is how God views us as treating Him. In Isaiha chapter 1, God says that He is downright sick of all our religious gatherings and rituals and would really prefer that we simply “cease to do evil, learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” And in James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

That is a legalistic understanding of religion. Jesus’ sermon in Matthew 5 shows that is not about keeping the letter of any law but about our heart and attitude toward other people. He sums it up in Matthew 22 to tell us that all the law and prophets are really about love.

What God has always sought was that the “law of God” would be written on our hearts. It was never about obedience but about how we value ourselves as reflected in other people. It was about creating heaven rather than hell in our relationships with others.