Friday, March 2, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Eliana

My daughter and I had a great conversation the other night on our ride home from Casey. She asks me some of the best theological questions from time to time and I always love to hear her thoughts on God. It appears that she really thinks about some of the same things that I do, and I am so pleased with the fact that she really tries to understand what it all means. The conversation started with a question about the nature of the relationship between God and Jesus. She asked how they can be the same person while still being separate. We had already discussed the fact that God is a spirit, and that no man has ever seen him. But she was confused about how God, as a spirit, and Jesus as a human could be one and the same. I gave her a five minute answer that will suffice until she has a few days to stew on it, but the stumper in the conversation came as we were getting out of the car at home. She had thrown in a thought about Satan after I gave her the trinity preliminaries, but then she revealed this beauty, "I know Satan works for God, cause if he didn't then God would just get rid of him." If you have ever watched a cartoon in which a character is astounded by something and their jaw drops to the floor, you will have a good picture of how I was feeling. Satan works for God? Where exactly did she come up with that? I chuckled a little bit after I recovered, but needless to say I have been ruminating on that statement for the past few days. Could she have been speaking heresy, or did she hit on something that has a nugget of truth within it. Is Satan a rogue agent wandering about trying    to foul up God's plans, or could it be that he "works for God" as Eliana surmised? This question really fits right in with a debate I have been having with a brother from church. We have been discussing the fall of man in the garden for a few weeks now, and in the process I have found that some of my fundamental understandings on the origin of sin have been challenged.  For instance, in relation to Eliana's proposal about Satan working for God, is it possible that God sent the serpent to test Eve's obedience? He did such a thing to Job. He also informed the Israelites that from time to time HE would send false prophets among the people to test their obedience. And I can't forget the wild story in 1 Kings 22:13-28. Back to Eve; obviously God knew beforehand that Eve would fail the test, as would Adam. If he sent the serpent knowing as he did that man would fail the test, why did he do it? I know the easy answer is that he wanted us to choose to obey him, as opposed to us being robots who simply obey because we were created to do so. But that answer does not take into account the fact that he could have prevented the serpent from tempting while still giving man the choice of obeying or not obeying. He had already laid out the one rule: don't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Until the time of temptation, however long that may have been, man had chosen to be obedient. So what changed? Eve was tempted by an outside entity, and she fell. Adam was persuaded by a desire to remain with his wife, and he fell. To be continued...


  1. I love when you get me thinking Trev...and now I can Eliana for that too!

    Looking forward to the continuation!

  2. Trevor, Most Judaic schools of thought hold that Satan is simply doing the will of God. I think it is pretty clear (even in the O.T.) that the devil is not in complete accordance with God's will. And without any doubt the N.T. make this clear. I think the question is "even in his rebellion can God still use the devil as a tool toward His will" and "are the rebellious acts of the devil done completely as a free agent or are they in someway permitted by God?". Just my thoughts on this topic.


Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31