Gents, this is not a new discussion. In fact, Augustine (no relation), already spoke about the 4 states of man in 415AD.Byblos wrote:FFC wrote:August wrote:I fail to see how they were in a no-win position if they were one of the pivotal pieces in making God's plan happen.
I'm talking specifically about the test of obedience in the garden. God told them that they could eat from every tree of the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that in the day that they did they would surely die. Whether it was part of His plan or not (which, believe it or not, I agree with you that it was) God knew that they would fail and not obey Him and die. That may have been a win win situation for God and those who would believe in him through his Son, but it certainly wasn't for Adam and Eve, because there was never a chance that they could obey. The "win Win" situation was contingent that they "lose lose"...which they did.
I understand that God is sovereign and He can do whatever He wants to do, and that whatever He does is good, but like Byblos, my finite mind has trouble comprehending it all.
I guess what it boils down to is the following:
1) Was there a possibility that Adam and Eve would not have fallen?
2) If yes, would that have constituted a change to God's plan to be glorified?
From what I gathered so far is that even though Adam and Eve were created sinless, they were also created with the propensity for temptation. It was that propensity for temptation that proved to be uncontrollable. With this line of thinking God's plan to be glorified is never in jeopardy and at the same time, evil, not God, is made to be the architect of sin. Brilliant!
He said the 4 states of man are:
1. Pre-fall man: posse peccare, posse non peccare - able to sin, able not to sin
2. Post-fall man: non posse non peccare - able to sin, unable not to sin
3. Reborn man: posse non peccare - able to sin, able to not sin
4. Glorified man: non posse peccare - able to not sin, unable to sin
FFC, in answer to your question, you assume up front that it was a losing proposition for Adam and Eve. But put yourself in their shoes for a second. You are created fully human, able to sin or not sin. You know that God is good, and that He has a plan for you. The plan is spelled out for you when He told you to rule over His creation on His behalf.
Along comes a snake, who uses your ability to sin. What have you lost? You have not lost anything up to now, you have gained knowledge and experience of good and evil. Along comes God, who demands to know what is going on. Now you seek cover, and try to blame your wife and the snake. This is all your own doing. God gave you a unique human nature, that you can choose whether to sin or not. You choose to sin.
Things start going downhill fast from here, or so it seems. God doesn't buy your blame-shifting efforts, and the three of you have to bear the consequences of what you did. The snake gets to eat dirt, Eve gets to have painful childbirth, and you get to slog away to make a living. What did you lose?
Well, you did lose the easy life, and direct companionship with God. Ah, and God did say that He was closing the doors on eternal life. But did you, and those that are to be born out of you, really lose eternal life? Nope. But you do have to do a couple of things to get it, and this is where the gospel comes in. The "punishment" of life on earth is a small test to see if you will repsond to God's call, or if you will try to blame-shift, like Adam did.
In addition, from the sinful loins of Adam and Eve came Jesus, the very atonement for the sins they committed and caused all of humanity grief. That is a win, just like being a part of the plan here and now is a win.
Let me add one more thing here. We have the benefit of hindsight, so we can easily look at this situation and say that it was unfair. However, Adam and Eve did not know they were going to sin. Their expectations were different to the different scenarios we can now speculate on.