In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther speaks of his battle against sin:
“1540. I have three evil dogs: ungratefulness, arrogance, and envy. When all three bite, one is badly mauled.” (p. 156)
DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
This morning I read Act 2 – Rebellion in the Kingdom in Drama of Scripture. Given the title of the chapter I expected to find rebellion against God as the central motif in the chapter, but was surprised that the word rebellion did not occur anywhere in the chapter. To be sure, the term mutiny is used. But the central term that emerges is autonomy, defined as “choosing oneself as the source for determining what is right and wrong, rather than relying on God’s word for direction” (43).
While not in any way denying that autonomy is an excellent way of expressing Adam and Eve’s sin, I guess I was anticipating more discussion of the fall in terms of God’s vice-regents / stewards rebelling against their commission from Gen 1:26-31 and instead asserting their own authority to rule as they saw fit (which is certainly an expression of autonomy.
This relates to a second observation. Great emphasis is placed on the horizontal dimensions of sin, and although the vertical dimensions of sin are mentioned (and even described as fundamental), the amount of discussion of the horizontal effects of sin has the subtle of effect of making them seem more important. Related to this is the very brief and almost in passing reference to God’s judgment on Adam, Eve, the serpent, and the ground, something I would have liked to see more discussion of. One of the things that Gen 3 clearly highlights is that as his creation we are responsible / accountable to God, and I think establishing that fact as early in the story as possible is very important.
Final observation – given the importance of this act for the entire storyline I was a little surprised that it only received four pages; I would have expected and hoped for more.
Of course, I should mark these comments as provisional, subject to revision as I continue through the book. Perhaps these are lines developed as the book progresses, and I am aware that one cannot do everything in a book this size. But I wanted to get some initial thoughts out there. So what think you, esteemed readers?