November 16, 2015


In his sermon on temptation the pastor took us back to the Garden of Eden, “In our mind we think the temptation of Eve took only a few moments. The truth is we don’t know how long it took — a day, a week, a year.” It’s a new thought to me that Eve may not have been so weak-willed that she jumped at the slightest temptation; and also that Satan might well needle us with the same temptations, the ones we are most vulnerable to, over long periods of time. Whether the temptation period is long or short, the antidote prescribed by James is the same, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Adam was talking with God soon after he was created. He named the animals. He rejoiced over Eve’s creation. He heard the Lord’s commands about what tree not to eat from. He was enabled with language as soon as he was created. Like the bread and fish Jesus fed to the masses, the affects of lifelong processes were created, too, although they had only momentarily existed. The fish were notably mature and dried (or otherwise cooked,) and the bread made of wheat which takes a season to grow, then work to thresh, grind, mix, and bake. Yet all of their existences were only the short moment long in spite of their exhibiting these processes of time which naturally make them.
-----Tom Morris PhD, in his book “Philosophy for Dummies”, surmises a mental process in us all he termed conservation of belief. I attached to his idea immediately, for I had witnessed its effects in me and the people I’ve experienced for decades. And it is quite logical. If there is not some affect stabilizing our accepted ideas, then personality, character, habits, and even knowledge would dissipate into the resultant spew of mental activity.
-----Were Adam and Eve created with a developed set of beliefs about God along with the pool of experience it takes to formulate belief and conserve it, although only having been created in the previous moment? Or were they created with merely the basic tools of mental activity (speech and perception) and left for their pools of experience to collect and formulate their personalities and characters out of actual experiences? We don’t know.
-----The pastor raises a fascinating question with opposite implications than if Eve crumpled immediately in the snake's pressures. It’s a “guard your heart with all vigilance” type thing. For that guarding is a component of what stays the course of your beliefs being conserved. But another important component is apparent in the naiveté it would have taken for Eve to just cave in to Satan at the temptation’s first presentation.
-----It isn’t that we just reject everything in order to conserve our beliefs. Life is a building process. It is ever presenting us with new information. If we never accepted any of it, we would shortly become utter simpletons. If, on the other hand, we accepted every idea life presents, we would become gullible ignoramuses. And it’s not a balance between the two that conservation of belief needs. It needs a sincere response to new ideas. When a new, unheard idea arrives, either rejecting or accepting it summarily is arrogance. Studying the idea honestly to know from where it came, of what it is made, and whether it fits the rest of reality is humility.
-----I would figure that if Satan had to wear his way through Eve’s conservation of belief, he would have had to do it very quickly. Otherwise I would have doubts about Adam’s normality, as beautiful as Eve must have been. For she did not conceive her first child until after they had been expelled from the Garden. Although the pastor raises an interesting thought, I’ve got to conserve my belief that Adam was a normal guy, and Satan deceives Eve in short order, maybe before her first day of fertility.

Love you all,
Steve Corey