Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Temptation, Obedience and Justice

I've started the Essential 100 Challenge of the YouVersion Bible Reading Plan. ("YouVersion" seems oxymoronic to me, but despite its unfortunate name, it is a great resource. It has 50 different Bible reading plans to choose from, with a wide variety of ways to access and make the plan you choose fit into your lifestyle.)

Reading Genesis 3:6 tonight, "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it"

I noticed that Eve was tempted three ways:

1) stomach ("good for food")
2) heart/emotions/imagination ("pleasing to the eye")
3) mind ("desirable for gaining wisdom")

In the Republic, Plato writes about the virtuous person: his appetites are moderate; his heart is courageous, his mind is wise, and all three work together in proper ordering, thanks to the virtue of justice. As I read this familiar Genesis passage, I wonder: What is the relationship between obedience to God and justice? Scripture seems to indicate that Eve's disobedience resulted in the disordering of her appetite, desire, and thought. Is it not the case that the only way for there to be justice--that is, the proper ordering of person and society that results in shalom--is if we follow the Designer's Instructions?

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