Like many other committed followers of the Christian faith, I am unable to accept the literal reality of Adam and Eve. For me it is clearly myth and symbolism – but a very important part of the story.
I also sense that the traditional belief in the “Fall of Adam” is a misguided (but not necessarily a false) foundation of the whole Christian FAITH.
When I suggested that while considering the foundations of the Christian FAITH that we could profitably look at the meaning of the two trees – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life, my friend Jim felt that was an excellent starting off point and went on to say:
I believe it was in his book, The Gospel of Inclusion, where Carlton Pearson suggests an interpretation of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” along these lines — that if we are going to choose a path where we “know” who is good and who is evil (eat of that “fruit”) – in other words, JUDGE our fellow man as less than ourselves – then we are going to separate ourselves from them (die – experience “death” as separation within humanity). I think there is great truth in that observation, and whether or not the garden story is literal or figurative doesn’t really matter to me. In my mind God set us up for the “fall” in His great wisdom, by allowing us to experience the effects of judging others and how that leads only to bigotry and hatred and separation. The best way to learn to love each other unconditionally is to experience the alternatives. The “fall” was no accident. God intended it for a purpose — our betterment.
Tess responded with, “And what an awesome response from Jim – “allowing us to experience the effects of judging others and how that leads only to bigotry and hatred and separation. The best way to learn to love each other unconditionally is the experience the alternatives”.
When I provided a link to “Knowledge … But not as we have known it” Tess responded with, “I really liked Lynette Woods’ article on the two trees. That God always intended us to eat from the “knowledge” tree (to make judgements) but not until we had partaken of the tree of life first – which makes sense. Not making judgements until we first have the life of Christ within us. It was so refreshing to read. I must read it again! I certainly don’t take creation literally“.
A few days later I read “Have You Heard of Confirmation Bias? It May Be Blinding You” – http://gracewalkministries.blogspot.com/2011/11/have-you-heard-of-confirmation-bias-it.html – by Steve McVey and I was immediately thinking of the influence of the ‘Fall of Adam’ and the absolute confusion that surrounds the understanding of the Two Trees on the beliefs of the majority of Christians.
I found this review of Genesis 3 and the Fall of Adam especially helpful.