Why was man created? (continuation from "No. Adam and Eve were not the first humans") branch of conversation


#1

Continuing the discussion from No. Adam and Eve were not the first humans: this specific quote “Note that God needed someone (a man) to cultivate plants in the Garden of Eden.”

@mtp1032 Appears to assert that man was created to dig ditches.

While watching a debate and reading the Bible, a neat analogy came to me that addresses this topic. That man was created to tend to earth or dig ditches.

Gen 1:28 Says man is supposed to rule over animals. And to subdue the earth, meaning to conquer it and bring to subjection, it (the earth) does what we want it to do. If we want an irrigation ditch, we move the earth to build one. But then later in Gen 2:15 God put man in the garden to work it and take care of it. So is our purpose (or God’s motivation to create man) to tend to the earth, or to rule animals, or to dig ditches?

Which brings me to me golf analogy to attempt to explain this. If we were created to play golf, God would have placed us on the tee box at hole 1, day 1 of the Masters competition. And in the written account said “we were placed on the tee box of hole 1”. God is our golf/swing coach, and taught us how to swing and we need to trust Him for our best swing. He gave us the rule over our clubs of choice, whether to choose the 9 iron, or the driver, or the putter. We have the capacity to learn different techniques to hit the ball out of the sand tap or in the rough, but it is designed to be played in the greens and fairways. Our main goal/purpose was to play golf, just the experience of it. Not even to get a low score, just to play.

And we never happened to score lower, when we used our rule to chose which club, and when we listened to our swing coach. We always stayed in the fairway and on the green. Even though the low score wasn’t out intent, it was an outcome. But in seeing this low score as outcome, we decided we didn’t need our swing coach, and that we don’t just want to play, we want to win, we want to get the lowest score possible. We did this by getting newer equipment. Our wood shafts changed to iron and graphite, our balls went from hunks of rubber to scientifically engineered composites. Sometimes in attempt to hit farther, we would try so hard in our swing, we would end up in the rough and sand trap. So we learned how to hit fairly well from both and actually got pretty good at it. And though we do pretty decent with this new techniques and materials.

Had we just listened to our swing coach, and ended up on fairways and greens only with our wooden shafts, we would still have got lower scores than we are now, and would enjoy it much better. Even though we were placed on hold one, this doesn’t mean our intent and purpose in life was to stay on the tee box forever. Our purpose was always to learn to trust in our swing coach. Even given the authority to rule over our choice of clubs, and to demonstrate our trust in our swing coach via the game of golf, it was always to trust our swing coach. So golf is more of a method to demonstrate our trust, rather than the purpose for being placed on the tee box.

So the swing coach sent His Son to show us how it is to be played. Not in anger or pride, announcing He is the best golfer ever we should all beg to caddy for Him and clean His balls and carry His clubs. But in humility and servanthood, offering to carry other clubs or wash their balls. He was willing to give swing tips to those who asked, but these tips were not revolutionary, rather the same ones the Father taught Him. But were in the past we understood it as ‘keep your head down’, was actually just saying ‘spinal alignment is important’. And He demonstrated that this type of game play with a wooden club and listening to the swing coach, will not only result in the lowest score (which is an added bonus), but how to enjoy the game of golf. IF we in our heats want to follow the swing coach, though we know there are many times we will chose to swing our own way, we ultimately understand that His way is better and want to do it His way.

But when there is a tree in our way, and we want to attempt to fade around it, and how if we achieved this, it would land on the green. God says, just layup, stay on, or get back to the fairway, and you will enjoy it more. But I want to fade it, though I know He knows better, it is so hard to not do what I see as an obvious better way for the time being. And then when getting to the 18th hole, taking all his balls and throwing them in the water. He could not finish the 18th hole and other could now have a lower score than He did. He took all the disappointment the swing coach had when we didn’t follow His techniques and recommendations, by not even following the rules of gold which greatly disappointed the golf coach momentarily. But when we play this game, if we trust the swing coach as His Son taught us to do, we would enjoy golf AND have lower scores.

So God is obviously the swing coach, who created us in the garden of Eden (tee box of hole 1). The method to demonstrate our trust in him is the game of golf, we know it as life, it was written in Gen 2:15 to say “work and take care of it”. Ruling over animals, is the golfer ruling over club choice. Eating animals and working them hard, is us choosing graphite and irons and composite balls. the capacity to learn how to hit from the sand trap was the apple, it is unnecessary knowledge (knowledge of rough and fairway) as opposed to tree of life (the technique of playing greens and fairways). If we just trusted God, we wouldn’t end up in the sand trap.

Ending up in the rough and sand trap, is falling from the garden of Eden, or any consequence of choosing our own will and desires over the designs of the Father. Tee box 1 of round 1 in the Masters is the garden with Adam, the tee box 1 at the second round of the Masters is when Jesus showed us how to play, tee box 1 in round 3 of the Masters is when you and I are born. Round 4 of the Masters will be heaven. If we didn’t have a swing coach that taught us how to play, we wouldn’t be on the course in the first place. Until the opportunity to not listen to our swing coach arises, we can’t dis-obey. We are born sinless, it isn’t until God tells us to swing a certain way or play a certain way that we decide we can do better ourselves that we sin.

The desire to play our own way is the fall of man, our sin nature, our biology. Thinking we have a better understanding of our own swing and can tweak it to obtain better results. The Son is also the Son obviously. Who also obviously showed us the way to play, with which to enjoy it the most, and to get the lowest scores. Jesus taught us how to listen to God, nothing revolutionary, but not to get angry (spinal alignment) with your brother, how that is as bad as murder (keep your head down), as it was always about the heart, not the actions. Allowing the Father to rule over us will allow us to not only enjoy life more, but also do better in it. I was struggling to equate the atoning of our sins. But He put Himself lower, to make us appear higher.

He took our sins, in a way that He Himself committed our sins. The disappointment God has when we chose our ways, all of this was placed on Jesus Mark 15:24, Matt 27:46. He took all of our disrespect on Him, so when we chose our own way, we are no longer disappointing Him, as all that disappointment was poured on Jesus. The fading around the tree alludes to Paul’s Rom 7:15 speech. We need the Holy Spirit’s intervention to help us chose the right way, as it looks so evident to us at the time that our way is better. Should we cheat on the bar test? If only I pass, I can learn it better, but now I will have a lawyer license and be able to do good things for God. We sometimes disguise a bad thing as if we are doing it to help God. Or if I talk bad about this person to my boss (whether it was true or not), I will get the promotion and not him. With my extra earnings, I will tithe more or give to the poor. We instead need to stop reaching for the ends and trying to control them, and live in the means. God says we are not to lie, this should be all we need. Did Jacob really need to lie about being Isaac to gain the birthright (promise of billions of offspring) that was already promised to him by God? No, and when he took it into his own hands, it caused a rift between him and his brother for years. Later Jacob realized this when he blessed Ephraim and Manasseh. Though traditionally, it goes to the firstborn, it ultimately goes to the one who God says.

This is why Jacob switched his hands last minute, in demonstrating understanding of this. But if a great man like Jacob did it, I’m sure we will too, try to take into our own hands, what God already might have promised us.

That is why I said what I said in the original thread or where I got what I got (as it seemed to perplex @mtp1032 as to how I derived that from that) , the entire context of the Bible, not just a few passages. Surely, if you read that above analogy, you didn’t come to the conclusion our purpose is to remain in the tee box of hole 1 for our lives, though it literally might say “we were placed on the tee box of hole 1”.

That is what I believe is the Christian or biblical meaning and purpose for life. that God created us, not robots, He wanted us to have free will, and the way to demonstrate this free will, would be to place us in this world, and have a life, where we would come to forks in the road with whether to trust God’s rule, or our own. And that we were originally created to subdue the earth, and the rule over animals. Since we were created in His image, He is one who rules our lives. In that He knows what is best for us, and we would be better off to trust that, but aren’t required to believe that, there are consequences when we don’t trust Him. We are to use our gifts that He blessed us with the protect the animals from each other, and rule over them with as much authority and love and He rules over us. We are also given the ability to create things and tools to help s protect animals and to get work done and subdue the earth. In using tools to subdue the earth, we can take care of some of our needs. BUT we must first recognize that God gave us this intellect and ability to make these tools, so though we are providing for ourselves directly, God deserves all the glory, as He is always indirectly taking care of our needs. And sometimes He does directly take care of our needs.

But we need to know that He will take take of our needs, and to trust Him to, even when we can’t see it happening necessarily. If man never fell, then this is how it would still be. This is how I think it will be in heaven. Us using our gifts to glorify Him, in living a ‘normal’ life.
The only other thing this doesn’t really cover, is the need for a companion for man. We were also created to relate among our selves. And how we can help provide for others at times when they can’t. This is also God providing for us indirectly through His means and networks.

Which I do believed this is summed up in the two greatest commandments. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. To trust in his rule first, and to relate to others. This is also how Jesus lived. He didn’t compromise the rule of God, yet He also related to humans and ate with them and healed them and empathized with them/us.
It is actually very simple in theory when you boil it down.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #2

Dear friend,

I apologize in advance that I have nothing of substance to say in reply to your post which you clearly put a lot of thought into.

I just wanted to confess to you that with the Twitterization of my brain — and I think there are others like me — seeing a paragraph long enough to fill my screen (a 15" laptop, not an iPhone, at that!) makes my eyes glaze over. I was interested to read your comments, but couldn’t bring myself to do so.

I hope that this doesn’t come across as negative. It’s not, and I’m sure you have a lot of interesting things to say and engage with. I actually am trying to help you find more engaged readers, thinking that perhaps there are others like me who struggle with long paragraphs.

Moderators, feel free to delete if you find this offensive or off-topic.

Blessings to you, friend —
AMW

[edited to clarify screen size :slight_smile: ]


(Phil) #3

Agree with Wolfe that long posts don’t get read most of the time, but the title question is an interesting one to think and muse about. The stock answer I was given through the years is “to glorify God” and while I can accept that , it is sort of ambiguous, and not entirely comprehensible.
I might add that we are pretty human-centric, and we could also ask, Why was the universe created?"
Why do we have children? Pets? Gardens? Somehow, perhaps we share with God the desire to express love and appreciate beauty, being made in his image.


#4

Agree. Very interesting question
Also agree, I have no interest in reading the llloooonnnnggg opening post.

Which in itself is an indictment on me. I think the blogosphere has warped my attention span. Look at the old style long ago books at how long they go on about things. Or read some NT Wright.


#5

I suppose we can stick to trying to find an answer in the biblical texts, or we can suggest other reasons related to the development of Christian doctrine.
In Orthodox tradition there is the great icon of the Trinity, that depicts three angels representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is place at the table for the onlooker to come and join them. Simple answer, we were created to enjoy the divine fellowship.
Something also found in Franciscan theology too. God created us and the whole cosmos for loving, an overspill of the original and eternal love of the Trinity.


#6

Especially the ones that begin with “Many TEs say…” or “Many EC leaders…”


#7

No harm done at all my friend. I am well aware of my terrible weakness at communicating my point and my thoughts. I attempt to use analogies, which slightly helps, but I am very long winded in text. I am also very short spoken in person. Can’t capture all of my thoughts to speak very well, so typing it helps.
I would also argue that without the ability to indent and make paragraphs, it is more difficult to organize my thoughts. Though I did go back and edit it to add spacing and make it easier to follow the text as opposed to getting lost in a massive wall, now you can break it apart.

But if nothing else more than an exercise in which I am telling myself what I believe, it helps to challenge and clarify for why I believe what I believe and/or strengthen in.

And if nothing else of that, it is me praising my Heavenly Father. We can attempt to measure, but I don’t think we can fully comprehend the stars and all the ‘pointless’ burning of gas that they do in space either. But God created them for a reason, and I believe that is for His glory. so if God is praised and glorifed in my long winded rantings, it is all worth it.

But I am well aware that many do not read all of it, or even skim through it. Some might skim through and find nuggets to discuss.

I agree with that. I think the universe as a whole was created for us, in that all of the constants are fine tuned for us to live. Though the fish 5000’ under the sea, what good do they do? Or the start 10 billion light years away? I think again this is just for the glory of God. The seemingly pointless is still intricate and specially designed and cared for. I buy a house for my family’s comfort, but that doesn’t mean I don’t maintain the yard so it looks good to. Just as we have pride in our work, we were made in God’s image, I think it is possible that He also has pride in His creation and gains some level of satisfaction in the ‘pointless’.

Yea, I need to end my post with
TLDR- God created us for his glory. Our purpose is to know and love Him.

TLDR is an indictment on our culture that we have shorter attention spans.

I think this is what I am attempting to do. However as Biologos is very clear, we can shape our understandings or how to interpret the Bible can be different based on what science shows us, and the scripture as a whole.

God wanted man to know Him, but man couldn’t know God unless man knows how holy God is, and man can’t know how holy God is unless he knows what sin is.
Once man knows what sin is, and sins, He can then see how Holy God is, which will result in him being able to know God. But them due to his sin, he won’t be able to come to God. So God will send His son to die for man, so that, man can once and for all as intended in the beginning, to know and love God and be with God.
Adam sinning didn’t catch God by surprise and God had to come up with a plan B. He knew man would sin (a requirement to no God’s holiness) and He would be required to then sacrifice His Son if man was to be able to be with Him now that he knows Him.


(Stephen Matheson) #8

Well, this one’s easy, at least from a religious standpoint. Man was created so woman wouldn’t be alone.


#9

I should have clarified. Why were humans created I was just using the term man to represent humans, as the Bible does.


#10

There is another answer found in scripture as to the reason for all creation.It is Christ
Colossians 1:16 “all things were created for Him”

Again if I can draw on Franciscan theology (Scotus)
God (the Trinity) first predestines Christ to exist as the greatest created thing that can exist
God creates the universe with whom He/They will be united
Man becomes the organic vessel in which the Godhead can come and enable that predistined unity to take place. We are created for the sake of the existence of Christ.
Even with an evolutionary model of “creation” this still holds and Christ is goal and centre of evolved life in which all is united and held together in the divine embrace.

Much Western Christianity focuses on the Incarnation as a result of sin. But the Incarnation is not just to rescue us from sin, It is central to the whole divine eternal purpose in which we come to exist because of Christ and He is the reason for our existence.


#11

Thanks for sharing that. I never thought about that before. I just had a Bible study this past week and completely skipped over that meaning.

But can’t one then use the logic of John 10:10 ?.. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

If all things were created for Him, and He came for us to be able to know God, we again were made to know God? Which would bring us back to the last paragraph I edited in my post 7

my [quote=“still_learning, post:7, topic:36760”]
God wanted man to know Him, but man couldn’t know God unless man knows how holy God is, and man can’t know how holy God is unless he knows what sin is.
Once man knows what sin is, and sins, He can then see how Holy God is, which will result in him being able to know God. But them due to his sin, he won’t be able to come to God. So God will send His son (predestined)to die for man, so that, man can once and for all as intended in the beginning, to know and love God and be with God.
Adam sinning didn’t catch God by surprise and God had to come up with a plan B. He knew man would sin (a requirement to no God’s holiness) and He would be required to then sacrifice His Son if man was to be able to be with Him now that he knows Him.
[/quote]

Does that agree with Franciscan?


#12

But Christ isn’t a created thing.


#13

I assumed by that he meant Christ’s presence on earth. As in the role of Christ (the anointed one), who came to earth.

God (the Trinity) first predestines Christ’s role to exist as the greatest created thing that can exist

Maybe would be better to say We are created for the sake of the existence of Christ’s role.

I don’t want to speak for you, but I can see that making sense based of the context your other comments.

A way to read Colossians 1:16 “all things were created for Him” created for His role.

Though maybe why I missed that meaning last week when I studied it, was a different translation. Most all translations I see say “by him all things were created”. Meaning Jesus is God, Jesus also created the universe. Which also reconciles with the rest of the Bible, as John says the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. Or in Gen, let us make man in our image"
KJV says “For by him were all things created”

It seems some translations say “by Him” and others say “for him”, and say say “For by Him”?


#14

For what it’s worth, here is an excerpt from the Nicene Creed, with relevant text bolded:

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.


#15

Hmm …It may be a matter of wording
Humanity is something created and so the union of divinity with a created person of humanity is something created (?).


#16

I think that here the “begotten not made” refers to the divine Word that becomes united to the flesh of Jesus humanity. It is the Word that is of the fullest divine substance and not created.

As I understand the definition of the Fourth Council at Chalcedon (that also elaborates the Nicene Creed) there are in Christ two natures (divine and human) united in a “hypostatic” union but not confused. Something of the divinity of the Eternal Son, who is begotten before all other existence, is united with the humanity of Jesus. What was eternal thus is joined with something created, and we could say that is a new creation. (?)


(Jay Johnson) #17

I always liked Jonathan Edwards’s explanation in The End for which God Created the World. John Piper republished it a few years ago with a long foreword of his own. It’s available as a free PDF here on Piper’s website. From the book:

Edwards’s answer to why God created the world was that God has a disposition to emanate the fullness of his glory for his people to know, praise, and enjoy. Here is the heart of his theology in his own words:

It appears that all that is ever spoken of in the Scripture as an
ultimate end of God’s works is included in that one phrase, the
glory of God. . . . In the creature’s knowing, esteeming, loving,
rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited
and acknowledged; his fullness is received and returned.
Here is both an emanation and remanation. The refulgence
shines upon and into the creature, and is reflected back to the
luminary. The beams of glory come from God, are something of
God, and are refunded back again to their original. So that the
whole is of God, and in God, and to God; and he is the beginning,
and the middle, and the end.


#18

Well, I don’t think Jesus Christ is a new creation.


#19

I think I see what you are saying. Jesus’ purpose as savior was created. Before humans, Jesus was did not have the purpose of saving us, we didn’t exist. When when we were created, it also created this purpose of Jesus. Jesus still not being a created being.


#20

I thought Christ was crucified from the foundation of the world?