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I Started a Fight

Episode 1: The Question

There are, it seems, a few people who haven’t forgotten that I said I might post something about the fight I started in church while I was visiting Minnesota last February. Yep, there are a couple busybodies who are still waiting to hear the details of my lastest drama. That’s what I get, I guess, for making something sound a lot more exciting than it was. (It was my sister, actually, who labeled what I did “starting a fight,” so if you think the reality of my story doesn’t lives up to the title, you have her to blame.)

It all started when my sister invited me to go with her to a Wednesday night Bible study at her church. It was a study of Genesis, and for the first two-thirds of the class, I sat quietly and listened.

But then there was a question from the floor.

(If you are reading with a feed reader, now’s when you click through to read the rest.)

“Why,” said one of the students, “would God have put that tree in the garden?” That’s a good question, isn’t it? We have God’s generous approval of eating from every tree in the garden—every tree, that is, except the one. There’s one forbidden tree among many authorized ones, and one prohibition among many permissions. And what misery would come from breaking the single prohibition regarding that single tree! Later we’ll see God take powerful precautions to prevent the dire consequences that would come should Adam eat from another of the trees in the garden. Why not put cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Why have that forbidden and dangerous fruit there where Adam and Eve would have easy access to it?

This question was put to the class and then, eventually, directed to me, who, remember, had been silent up to this point. So I answered and that’s what started the brouhaha.

You’ll have to wait until the next post to find out what I said, because I’ve decided to turn my drama into a soap opera. Meanwhile, why don’t you tell me how you’d have answered if you’d been asked?

Update: Story continues here.

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Reader Comments (13)

Hahaha! You are too funny! Can't wait to hear the next installment.

April 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim in On

Our God is infinite, eternal and unchangable in His being, WISDOM, power, holiness, JUSTICE, goodness and truth.
Whatever the deep theological answer, God who is all wise and all just did it and who are we to argue with his providence.
All for His glory and our good.
Looking forward to reading what you said to start up a ruckus!!!

April 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRuby

how else are we going to learn to obey the king of our lives? God made it SO easy for them. All this abundance around them, and ONE out of all that he said was off limits. How much easy could he have made it. Granted yes, he could have made it more difficult... flaming sword, tree in the middle of a body of water etc. But it was it was just one tree in the midst of abundance, and all he wanted them to do was learn to obey him as king of their lives. Shouldn't have been so difficult.....

April 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterannette

Are you going to tell about the punch you threw? I won't tell anyone if you don't want them to know.

April 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanna

Interesting that you posted this on April 1 .... :)

April 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDarlene

This is amusing, but it's no prank. :)

April 2, 2009 | Registered Commenterrebecca

I meant about the punch .... sorry - didn't mean the story was a prank! Just wondering about the thrown punch! :)

apologies given...

April 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDarlene

Ah! Now I get it. I was supposed to read the previous comment. :)

I throw a verbal punch in the next episode, coming shortly. Only I didn't know it was a punch. I thought it was just a little prod.

April 2, 2009 | Registered Commenterrebecca

Wow. Oddly, I was in this situation on April 1st.

Mind you, I've never read your blog before. I followed the link from So, lemme set it up for you.

I am reformed, a Calvinist, who is under the authority of a youth pastor who is not reformed. This is... difficult. How do I teach these kids the truth and still honor the man God has put in authority over me?

Sometimes I suck.

So the curriculum called for Genesis 3 and we read it and I got to the part where they eat from the tree and one of the girls (I was teaching 11th and 12th grade small group) asks, "Why did God put the tree in the garden if he knew what would happen?"

I think I probably stared at her for a minute, then told her that was deep, deep question and that questions like that we beautiful swan-dives into the mysteries of God. I got very passionate about my answer, which in a nutshell was -

That's the wrong question. The question is why did God even create humanity if he knew that would happen? He knew that Adam would sin and that one sin would fracture the entire universe so that even creation groans for the redemption of man. He knew that the only atonement for the sin of man, the only way there would be any remedy for any of this was for His Son to become man and endure the wrath of God for us on the cross.

I believe the whole thing was predestined but to my chagrin I can't teach that.

So I came at it from foreknowledge (which seems a little cheap to me, since I believe in something more... kinda of like offering someone in need 50 bucks when you've got 100 in your pocket), but alas, what was I to do?

So I taught them animatedly and with much gusto that He put the tree there knowing they would sin because he had a plan that would glorify his name in all the nations and more important than the salvation of men made of dirt and dust is that the name of Jesus be made great on the earth.

So yeah.

April 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I like your answer Jenn.

You've all answered more or less the way I did.

April 3, 2009 | Registered Commenterrebecca

The photos for the fight posts are hilarious. Thanks for your great writing. I wanted to note that the link to part two in this post is broken.

April 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPhil W

Thanks, Phil. I'll go fix that.

April 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

Late to the party, but looking forward to reading this continuing drama. I will probably read one installment a day to stretch out the suspense.

My answer (and I promise I haven't read the last page) would be simply, "for His glory". It is all for that; everything that has happened since "In the beginning..." and He will be glorified, no matter what. Don't you love how big our God is?

April 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky, Christ's slave

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