Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Real Theology and the Fall of Man

"Remember, real theology takes the real fall really seriously. If you have a defective understanding of the depravity of man then it is easier to believe that man can, by acts of his unaided obedience and will, both seek after God and do that which pleases Him. The Bible flatly and emphatically denies this."

-Tony Hayling (Source)

Believe what God says about man's sinfulness, and you'll find you desperately need a cross, and a gracious God who sends His Son to die upon it, and then raises Him from the dead. Orthodox theology begins to leave the building when we stop taking seriously what God says about our sin and His holiness.

Brian McLaren has recently written a book in which he describes the fall as "a coming-of age story” which gives us “the first stage of ascent as human beings progress from the life of hunter-gatherers to the life of agriculturalists and beyond.” Well, that's a different sort of twist than Moses (or God) ever had in mind, I'm sure. This would explain McLaren's complete abandonment of any belief in the Gospel of grace. There's no need for grace if the fall was a step "up." McLaren declares that the orthodox answers aren't satisfying or sufficient, and then he offers us this as a better alternative?

On a more encouraging note, you may find Bob Gonzales' new book, Where Sin Abounds, to be refreshing. Gonzales uses a series of exegetical cameos to trace the spread of sin in the book of Genesis. You can read a review of the book here.

Friends, let us take the real fall really seriously, and let us cling to the cross as we sense the effect of that fall on our own hearts and minds.

Romans 5:20-21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


  1. “the first stage of ascent as human beings progress from the life of hunter-gatherers to the life of agriculturalists and beyond.”

    You have GOT to be kidding. Good grief.

    Great post; crucial information.

  2. Blaine,

    I have the same reaction every time I read that unbelievable quote. Our Lord (and Paul, and Peter, and John, etc.) warned us that there would be false prophets who would deny the faith and lead many astray. Let us be diligent to study, proclaim (and live) the Truth of His Word - lest we should fall in like manner. I thank God for you, brother!


    2 Tim 2:15-19 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

  3. Let the Word of God protect us against false prophets who would deny the faith and lead many astray. Thank you for this well written and much needed post. God bless, Lloyd

  4. Lloyd,

    It is indeed the Word of God that will protect us from error. Departure from IT is departure from HIM. Thanks be to God for giving us His faithful Word.



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