Monday, June 4, 2007

What if Adam Had Said "No"?

Yesterday's cartoon got me to thinking. I'm not a fan of speculative theology - when our coworkers and neighbors are going to Hell, who cares how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? - but here's my question, nevertheless . . .

Let's imagine that only Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit and Adam had said, "No, thanks, I'd rather obey God." What would that have meant for the Fall of Man? As the Apostle Paul wrote, "In Adam all die." Would we still be dead if only the female part of the ur-couple had sinned? Would Eve have been wiped out and Adam provided with a new, improved Eve 2.0? Or what?

Oddly enough, I've never seen this question addressed in the scores of commentaries on Genesis that I've read cover to cover. Have you?

(By the way, C.S. Lewis takes his own run at the Adam and Eve story in Perelandra, which is Book 2 of his space trilogy. In this case, the Satan figure keeps on tempting and the Eve figure keeps on resisting, until . . . Well, I guess you'll just need to read this excellent book to find out.)
Painting: "Adam and Eve," Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1533

1 comment:

  1. In your case, it is your coworkers and neighbors that are going to hell, but in my case, that includes a majority of my family members. So, the question about Adam really is a moot point to me as well.

    When I think of the situation in the Garden, I am always sure that Adam was right there with Eve as she had her conversation with the Serpent. The fact that he let her even eat the fruit in the first place without trying to protect her from her folly tells me enough.

    In marriage, couples are very aware that whatever happens to the other will drive the consequences towards themselves as well. That is why I'm often the backseat driver and Dennis is the "Have you taken your pills today?" reminder.

    You just don't leave your spouse to his own devices unless you are willing to go on that journey yourself.

    Adam didn't say a word. He just stood there. That pretty much sums up his sin right then and there. It's akin to watching his wife jump off a cliff without trying to save her. Or to watching millions of Jews getting killed without doing anything.

    So, my vote is, Adam sinned without even eating the fruit. Savvy?