Experimental Theology

For the purposes of this first experiment, let’s suppose that the serpent in the garden was Adam operating in the spirit of the flesh conversing with Eve about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Scripture says she was deceived but Adam was not! There are only two real options for Adam’s thought process on this point.  Either he would rather die (cease to exist) than obey, or he would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.  Both of these options are totally self-centered and self-destructive and are rooted in the lie that he was sovereign over his realm.  (Bear in mind that ‘given dominion’ is not the same as autonomous sovereignty. He was still answerable to God and the rest of humanity for the consequences of his actions. As are we!)  The idea of self-sacrifice for another is foreign to him.  Agape love is foreign to him. Yet that is what was expected of Adam in the spirit of the flesh if he was to serve Adam the spirit of the image—selflessness.

And yet how can the spirit of the image grow to understand and value holiness and selflessness of the kind displayed by Jesus Christ if the results of sin do not exist?

Which brings us face to face with the question: what should our understanding of the plan of God be?

The stated goal is for us be “be ye Holy as I am Holy”.  Again the question must be faced: Is this the best of all possible worlds for God to accomplish His stated goal for us?  Which in turn forces us to examine in some detail our idea of the purpose of the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ and the ultimate end of the plan of God for His creation!

Not to mention our concept of the nature of Adam in light of his actions since he was not deceived but sinned against his Creator willfully and willingly!

One more thing should be considered: Is it wrong of me to delve into ‘Experimental Theology’?  Or should I just pick something that sounds good and stake my eternal reward on that roll of the dice, believing that I am incapable of thinking about the Word of God in a way that would lead to a deeper understanding of my Lord and Savior as the Second Adam?

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12 thoughts on “Experimental Theology

  1. Jamie Carter says:

    I’m not sure, but here’s a better question: We know that women aren’t supposed to teach because Eve was deceived and Adam was not, how does that make men better teachers than women, given that Adam knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyway and Eve didn’t? (see 1 Timothy 2:14 and 2 Corinthians 11:3)

  2. wpuser135 says:

    Thank you for your thoughts! But…
    Your first premise may be in error, ‘We know that women aren’t supposed to teach because Eve was deceived…’. Didn’t Timothy learn from his mother and grandmother? There was another issue in play when Paul wrote that women should not teach. Your second premise also, ‘and Adam was not, how does that make men better teachers than women…’. Adam not being deceived has nothing to do with a particular man’s fitness to teach. A man’s fitness to teach is based upon his demonstrated adherence to the qualifications given by Paul to Timothy in 1 Timothy 3:1-13.
    Adam not being deceived has everything to do with him being the one through whom sin entered the world. It was his responsibility to correct Eve before she ate. It is the duty and responsibility of men to be the leaders in righteousness. That does not make us petty dictators nor the arbiters of truth, which sad to say, too many men – and women – take it to mean. Again Thanks.

    • Jamie Carter says:

      But you don’t see many examples in scripture were a woman named Domitia is called to preach and teach, travel the countryside, and shares the gospel with anyone who will listen like Timothy does. The ones that come closest are usually explained away, Priscilla was teaching Apollos under Aquila’s authority, Phoebe was really a servant and not a deacon, Junia was known to the apostles she wasn’t given the title or office of one, just because the Elect Lady was written to it doesn’t mean she taught the church that met in her house, so too Lydia acted as a hostess and didn’t teach or lead in any way shape or form, just because Euodia and Syntoche contended at Paul’s side, it doesn’t really mean that they did what he did and preached or taught anyone. So when you see scripture, it seems to say that women shouldn’t teach men not because they’re not qualified or they’re not capable, but just because they’re women and not men; only men can teach other men and women, but women can only teach women and children; which is why they say it’s okay for Timothy to learn from Lois and Eunice (please treat them with respect, if the Bible tells you their name – use it! It’s easy enough to look it up on the internet these days.) The thing is – they lived in a world of gender segregation and we don’t. What Paul says flew back in his day isn’t true of our world today. Men aren’t meant to lead alone, they need women not as a base to stand on, but an equal to lean up against / on.

  3. wpuser135 says:

    So do you accept the axiom ‘times change, people don’t’? Your thesis seems to be that since the culture today sees men and women as equals, the offices to which we were created to fulfill no longer apply. At least you seem to be militating for equal rights ecclesiastically as well as politically. Scripture sets forth the hierarchy’s of the family. Since God is unchanging, aren’t His ideas for righteousness unchanging also? Should we take it upon ourselves to rewrite those criteria because we think they don’t fit anymore? Isn’t the submission of the wife supposed to be a figure of the husband’s submission to Christ? I’m not for one moment saying that a woman is any less capable of teaching. In fact isn’t it far better to raise up a child in the way they should go than try to repair the grownup who wasn’t? If you believe the official title of teacher or preacher is more important than doing the job (being one who disciples) in someone’s life, perhaps you should consider what questions you will be asked at judgment concerning how you fulfilled the great commission. There is nothing in that requiring a title. Nothing wrong with being recognized for righteousness, but feeling slighted because of a title is not an emotion to hold on to. There is a huge difference between spiritual equality before God and ecclesiastical equality in this world in spite of God’s plan.

    • Jamie Carter says:

      You do understand that these ideas were a response to Aristotle’s teaching on the relationships of the husband and his wife, the master and his slave, the father and his children – now these teachings were basically part of Roman law which gave men authority over women not because of Adam and Eve (they would have believed that Pandora was the first woman) and not because of God; but because of their own gods? What I’m saying is: Why keep up the dance centuries after the music has ended? Isn’t it better to dance in time and rhythm with your own culture than to bring shame on God by being out of step?

      • wpuser135 says:

        So you are saying that when Paul appealed to the creation account as the source of authority for the hierarchy of man-woman relationship, he was really referring to Aristotle? Sorry, I don’t buy it! Paul was a very well educated Roman citizen. He was more than capable of citing Roman law and custom if that was what he thought was the appropriate foundational authority. Aristotle was a great philosopher. I do not believe him to be the ultimate source of biblical male-female relational structure, even for Rome. I have to ask: If you don’t believe enough to yield yourself to the revealed will of God for the way men and women are supposed to relate, and you are adamant that just because the culture promotes full equality for men and women in politics and the workplace, why are you wasting time on this side issue of what the article proposed? The article asked what if Adam was the serpent in the garden. It asked what might be the ramifications to Judeo-Christian understanding of the sin nature of man. Ecclesiastical politics ain’t the point. Experimental Theology in this article is about looking at the way God created Adam and the reason Adam might have turned against God. Any thoughts on that?

      • Jamie Carter says:

        I’m saying that the discussion in it’s entirely is a reference to Aristotle’s book Politics because of the pairs of relationships discussed in both his work and Paul’s. Certainly, if Aristotle wrote about creation, he wouldn’t have used the Jewish narrative of Adam and Eve, but more likely Pandora and her box. Likewise, Paul once quoted a well-known poet from his day when he wrote: “Bad company corrupts good character.” It seems evident that not all his material is original; but based on ideas and concepts already prevalent and widely accepted.
        I don’t see it as a waste of time. Nor do I see your question as a waste of time. Each of us approach the Bible judging this has more importance than that, or that isn’t quite as important as this and that’s what we focus on – whatever is most interesting to us. To you, it’s a settled question, women are to be quiet, submit, be subordinate, not teach and not preach – no questioning it because you believe that the guys who told you so can’t be wrong. Adam wasn’t the serpent in the garden, Revelation says it was Satan/the Devil. Still, one of my favorite versions of the story plays out with the serpent as the hero, as what kind of loving father wouldn’t want his children to know the difference between good and evil? After all, naive Adam and Eve couldn’t recognize it when they saw it in the face – and perhaps we can’t either when we read the Bible with preconceived judgements about it’s importance that women be silent and we can’t recognize the evil when it does when is not us who is told we can’t, God doesn’t want to hear from us, God made us to always be second and never as important as who’s first.

  4. wpuser135 says:

    “God made us always to be second and never as important as who’s first.” Oh God! Why didst Thou make me thus?
    In heaven there is no male nor female! Upon what will you base any lack of importance you feel there?
    Our sense of importance is emotion based, Did the blind man Jesus healed curse Jesus for allowing him to suffer for 40 years? Did he think he wasn’t important enough to take care of sooner? Healing him glorified God! You obviously believe this is not the best of all possible worlds God could have created. He could have done it better if He had just listened to women! The thing is, He didn’t ask Adam if he wanted dominion. Given all the turmoil this has wrought over the millennia maybe God screwed up! Ya think?
    I didn’t become a believer until I was in my 40’s. I believe what I believe because I took the time to try to find the error in conflicting established doctrine. I didn’t just accept what I was told to believe. Nobody believes anything I have to say because I am self educated. I am a man who has been told on many occasions to be silent in church!
    You have obviously not studied the doctrines of the creation and Satan enough to see why your assessment of Adam and Eve as naive is not reasonable. Sorry.

    • Jamie Carter says:

      The Bible says that there will be no marriage in heaven, not that there will be no male nor female in heaven. However, those who believe in the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father teach that even in heaven Women will be subordinate to Men without end.

      • wpuser135 says:

        Did you perhaps stop to think why it says there will be no marriage in heaven? Galatians 3 begins a passage that says in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, etc. Have you considered that even though you are female the old man of sin resides in you because (male or female) you are a child of Adam? You seem so fixated on being eternally subordinated that you refuse to accept the freedom Christ bought for you! The Truth Will Set You Free! Those who Christ sets free are free indeed! There is none so blind as he (or she) who will not see! You are free to be the person God created you to be. Kicking against the goads is not only painful, it is counter productive and ultimately embitters the soul. I love to swim. Should I rail against God because He didn’t make me a fish or at least give me gills? Should I hate the people who refuse to accept my considered opinions when I know they have based their rejection on someone else’s opinion as the limit of their investigation? Truth does not depend on what you or I believe. Loving Truth is what sets us free! You can continue to hate what you believe is a woman’s lot in life, or you can find the joy of Christ in the life you live.

      • Jamie Carter says:

        Truth is in the eye of the beholder, too many Christian churches just don’t see it the way you do and write their rules in such a way that all doors are open to men and some doors aren’t only closed to women, they’re nailed shut.

  5. wpuser135 says:

    In an earlier post you said,”… those who believe in the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father teach that even in heaven Women will be subordinate to Men without end.” Sounds possibly Mormon to me but I’m not sure, nor do I care. It is not the church you attend that saves you nor does it set you free. It is your faith in Christ that counts.
    No father worthy of the title wants his son to be subservient to him forever. He should want the son to be and do better than he has in the decisions the son must make. Since the Father God is the perfect Father, It stand to reason that He wanted His Son to be Holy as He is Holy. The Son now sits at the Right Hand of the Father, a full and equal partner in the redemption of sinful mankind, His task on earth completed.
    Correct theology matters! Using a Subordinate Son to exemplify the place of women as eternally lesser creatures is in my mind despicable. Those who do it depend upon the herd mentality of humanity and the willingness of people to let someone else tell them what the truth is.
    Our relationship with our Savior is personal, not communal. The communal aspect of church is supposed to provide security and like-mindedness; a place where Christ can shine in truth and beauty.
    I cannot and will not condone misrepresenting Christ for power over others.
    In an earlier comment I said that Paul had something else going on when he told the Corinthian church that women should keep silent in church. As I recall there were a couple of women there that were leading many others astray, Not knowing the extent of their influence and to get things back on track until he could come and see for himself he just put a lid on it. I do not believe it was a command for the church through the ages at all. He appeals to Eve being deceived as part of the justification. None of us operates in a vacuum. While the Scriptures were written under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the guidance we receive from them for the good of the church can and has been misused and abused since the very beginning. Because I believe the relationship with Christ is personal, I believe that those who come at it with a humble heart and determination of the Importunate Widow, will be blessed with understanding suited to the journey God set for them. That understanding will never contradict absolute truth. If it does then the understanding is in error. Truth is the same for everyone. The application of it in one’s life is personal and as varied as our paths in life.

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