Genesis 3. Meaninglessness

The American sociologist, James Davison Hunter, points out that we began the modern world by looking for new sources of certainty but now our words have become unhinged, separated from the world we must live in. This happened because we thought it was smart to doubt everything, to question everything, to see through everything to some hidden cause. However, the problem we have in seeing through everything is we end up not being able to see at all. So, we are like blind people where neccessity forces us to deal with the practicalities of living without the vision we used to have to describe the world. Hunter says this is why many have substituted outrage for debate in western culture because we cannot trust the reasoning behind our words anymore. Genesis 3 tells us about the first time a gap was driven between our words and our reality. It warns us this is how temptation and evil works. [Audio | Notes]

Michael Flynn


Genesis 3. Meaninglessness

For further thought

Q: Write out the process of temptation that Eve goes through. How is it similar or different to your own experience of temptation?

Q: What is the essence of the man and woman’s sin?

Q: What do you make of the man’s complicit silence?

Q: How are the servants words true but also untrue?

Q: Once the man and woman’s eyes are opened – what do they see?

Q: In verses 7 to 14 what is the immediate effect of them ‘becoming like God, knowing good and evil?’

Q: How are the curses in verses 16-19 specific to the man and the woman?

Q: In Romans 5:12-21 the apostle Paul outlines how we are implicated in the folly of Genesis 3. The man and woman’s children are born outside Eden but what does that mean for us?

Q: How does the covenant of God with Adam (Genesis 2:15-17) mirror other covenants God makes in the Bible (eg. With Noah (Gn. 9), Abraham (Gn 12 & 15), David (2 Sam 7)…)

Q: How does Christ’s work, described in Romands 8:31-35, overcome the guilt, judgement and separation from God?

Talk outline

Meaningless lives

How temptation works

Their eyes were opened

Guilt, judgement, separation

Where are you?

… Our words, our worth