Thursday, January 14, 2010

Plantinga: Fall

If through creation one can see the original goodness, through creation one can also see the consequences of fall. Decay, depravity, sin, and corruption can be seen in all creation as well as human lives. And though good has not been completely annihilated, it has been clearly “shadowed by fall”.

Plantinga writes that evil is “any spoiling of shalom.” And one of the elements of evil is sin. Being sin part of evil, sin also breaks shalom. Now, the first act of sin was committed by our ancestors in the Bible, Adam and Eve. Because of their attempt to be like God, all human being’s nature was tainted and thus became unable to remain with God anymore. As sin became part of human nature, human nature became corrupted.

The definition Plantinga gives for corruption is perversion of the good gifts given by God from their real purpose. One of the major acts of corruption is idolatry. Not only it is awfully disloyal in the moral sense, but also ungrateful towards the creator. It interferes in the relationship between human and God and separates them even more. Though Corruption begins with the wrong choice, it ends up becoming an awful habit, a habit which is very difficult to get out of.

Fall, is indeed a tragedy, but not a tragedy without hope.

Even when corruption is accumulated into a big black ball of depravity, the Holy Spirit still offers “common grace” which “preserves and enhances human life.” God also keeps corruption in line through a sense of divinity, morality, conscience, shame and even fear, in people. I realized that no matter how dreadful and unpleasant some of these feelings might seem (specially the last too), they exist for a purpose.

Lastly, the chapter debates where does corruption actually comes from. I have wondered about that question too a lot of times, and have discarded every idea I came up with. God is holy, and hates sin, thus corruption cannot come from him. On the other hand, satan can tempt but cannot force people into corruption because he is weaker than God. However God has is creator of all, so maybe he created Evil to balance Good? Maybe He meant evil only for that purpose, but sin was formed the moment human heart knew evil (the fruit they took was from the tree of knowledge of good and evil after all) since he was not able to cope with it because he was not ‘good’ enough…? The more I ask, the more questions surface on my mind instead of the sought answers and sense becomes blurred.

However one must take into account that sin extends itself even to one’s way of thinking. Just as one’s soul has been dirtied with sin, one’s mind and subsequently actions have also been affected by it. Thus I think that instead of walking around in circles and getting lost, one should just give oneself into the Lord's care, who is pure and holy, free of sin, our only hope, to give answers and guide one towards “redemption”.

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