A few notes from the ever-stimulating James Jordan, who spoke at a conference in Lancaster, PA this weekend:
1) He connected the opened eyes of Adam and Eve after the fall with the Lord's seeing in Gen 1, where sight is associated with evaluation and judgment. To say that their eyes were opened means that they became adults, with some kind of capacity to judge but without the maturity to judge rightly. They looked at themselves and judged themselves naked and ashamed (usually a judicial term in Scripture). But more than that, Adam attempted to turn his new capacity for sight and judgment on God - It's the woman you have me. To give this a Barthian twist: This twofold effect of sin - judging ourselves and judging God - sets up a problematic that runs through the whole Bible.
2) Jim argued that the word spoken that brought the world into existence was an audible word, making waves on the air. God has the capacity to make noises, sounds waves, that shape the world in particular ways. Humans share that capacity, though only in a distant way. Especially when we learn to speak God's words, when we become mature as prophets, what we speak shapes the course of history, and shapes the persons around us.
3) Jordan noted the progression in maturity through the book of Genesis. Abraham goes down to Egypt and survives, but he does not have the capacity or the maturity to convert the Egyptians. By the end of Genesis, Joseph has reached this stage; he goes down to Egypt and becomes a father to Pharaoh.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 08:45 PM
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