Overwhelmed by Evil (#909)

What if the story of the Garden of Eden was not two selfish, disobedient children making a bad choice but the most innocent of humans victimized by a more powerful, malevolent force? A long-time God Journey listener poses that question. The Garden scene has all the elements of a traumatic encounter where Adam and Eve were overwhelmed by a superior entity and went away from it, blamed for doing so. Wayne and Kyle examine Genesis 3 in light of this suggestion after first contemplating how religious addiction has the same elements as substance abuse, the reason why we are asked to turn the other cheek, and the power of viewing human brokenness as a corporate reality rather than an individual one. Lots here. Have fun!

Podcast Notes:


  1. I keep getting reminded of a Sir Thomas Moore quote from Utopia that was featured in one of our favourite films “EverAfter.” While I have not read Utopia, nor consider it to be something to aspire to, the quote has really struck a chord when talking about the “sin” issue.

    “,,, If you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”

    Perhaps from our perspective it would be:

    “,,, If God suffers his humanity to be born in sin, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punishes them for those sins to which their first inclination disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that God first makes sinners and then punishes them.”

    This whole topic really does take us down the rabbit hole, doesn’t it?

  2. Praise God that Genesis is only the opening story, just as Milton’s Paradise Lost is only half the story. Paradise Regained is not usually remembered but it’s the second half.
    Remember that Jesus who came into our corrupted world also descended to the very depths and ascended on high, having taken captive those enslaved in death and destruction.
    At the very end He is the King of kings and Lord of lords and will deliver the kingdom to Our Father.
    That’s my hope.

  3. Though I agree with the premise of what you are proposing and how our sinful response of vengeance and anger puts us on a wrongful and self damaging path rather than one of compassion that leads to redemptive love, how do we deal with the fact that the Lord did give Adam, Eve and the serpent negative consequences for their decision and actions of disobeying His original command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Can they be both offenders and victims needing correction and compassion?

  4. This idea of Adam and Eve in the garden dealing with an arch angel, or should I say pitted against an arch angel,leaves me with lots of questions?
    Why would God do that?
    Would a loving God do that? Leaving us unprotected against such a foe?
    Why didn’t they, Adam and eve, call out to God for his help?
    Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea you are pondering is a good one, but the questions it evokes!
    Im pondering this idea too.
    Looking forward to more discussion about it on the podcast.

    • Pat, I’ve been waiting for someone to bring this up. It is most perplexing is it not? Either way, it is, even with the old story why plant such a tasty tree in the Garden if it was going to get them into so much trouble. But none of this may be as we assume. How this worked inside of God and the destruction of his Creation may be beyond our limited perspective. We know a loving God wouldn’t do what we’re afraid he did. So, why? We’ll take this up on a future podcast for sure.

  5. Another perspective I’ve heard is that it was Father’s mercy that He put Adam and Eve out of the Garden to keep them from eating of the Tree of Life and having to remain in the grip of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge for eternity.

  6. I’m just listening to this now but New England?????????? If you ever come here…..even if I just get to say HI! you are at least invited to my apartment any time!

Comments are closed.