The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Adam is told to “work” and “keep” the garden. Some translations will say something like “till” or “cultivate” the garden. The Hebrew terms are ABD (avodth) and SMR (shamar), literally meaning serve and keep.
The ideas of “service” and “keeping,” when used together like this, have exactly one reference in the rest of the Old Testament: priesthood.
You will find the combination of terms used in Numbers 3:7-8; 8:26; and 18:5-6. All of these passages have to do with the priests keeping the sanctuary and serving before the tabernacle.
Now, given what we know of Eden’s sanctuary imagery (see here and here) it should not surprise us to find that Adam was a priest. His major sin was not so much a failure to “do good works” (in the common understanding of that phrase), but rather it was a defilement of holy things.
Thus Jesus’ “positive righteousness” was his qualification for the priesthood. That which he offered up, however, was not himself as priest, for priests never offer their own status as priest as the sacrifice, but rather himself as the paschal victim.
The life is in the blood.
Polhill is a helpful guide in that he unites soteriology with Christology and theology proper. His use of categories is more compatible with the broader Christian tradition, and for that reason, we should feel an imperative to re-read many more of the other older divines:
The sufferings of Christ respect both attributes; they satisfied the law, and founded the gospel. Justice had a full compensation, and mercy sprung up in promises of grace and life…
There was in Christ’s sufferings a conjunction of satisfaction and merit: justice was compensated, and grace impetrated. Indeed the Socinians, blind with their own corrupt reason, cannot see how these two should stand together; satisfaction being the payment of a just debt, and merit the doing of an undue work. To which I answer: it is true, that when one pays a finite sum for his own debt, there is not, there cannot be a merit in it; but when Jesus Christ paid down sufferings of an infinite value for us, there cannot but be an immense merit in them. Infinity is an ocean, and may run over in effects as far as it pleases; those sufferings had a kind of infinity in them, enough to pay divine justice, and over and above by a redundance of merit to purchase all grace for us.
~ A View of Some Divine Truths pg. 5
I just saw The Forbidden Kingdom. This is a great film. There are lots of throwbacks to the classics of kung-fu and a good mixture of action and humor. There’s a clear spiritual dimension to the film, as well, even as it isn’t necessarily a Christian one. The parallels were interesting though.
I thought it was a sort of Eastern Lord of the Rings.
I’m showing Metropolis to my class next week. I bought the restored authorized edition, and watched it again last night. This is such an incredible movie.
The newest edition is still missing scenes. I don’t think the original can ever be restored. The original version is said to have been 210 minutes long, which is, of course, way too long for most people to tolerate. Unfortunately, it was chopped down pretty drastically, and now about a fourth of the footage is gone forever. This new version is 124 minutes, and some pretty important scenes are still missing. They fill in the gaps with text.
The most fun part of Metropolis is its expressionism. The movie is a work of art. The fact that it is a silent film requires the actors to emote more than usual, and so their facial expressions are also part of the art.
The animation is also pretty breathtaking. Having watched the director’s commentary and the documentary, it really is awe-inspiring to consider the amount of work that was put into the special effects.
The Babel-theme is great too. I think it might be a good springboard to a theology of the city, as there are clear evils to the city, but also great benefits.
I Am Legend was originally a book by Richard Matheson in 1954. It featured an air-borne disease that turned people into vampires. It used the apocalyptic theme to address social, ethical, and religious questions, with its twist ending, where the vampires become the normal and the humans become the legend.
Since its inception, I Am Legend has been made into at least three movies (The Last Man on Earth 1964, The Omega Man 1971, and I Am Legend 2007) and influenced many more (Night of the Living Dead and 28 Days Later). Each of these movies attempted to progress the theme and genre, with 28 Days Later being the first movie to introduce the “fast Zombies.”
The Zombie genre can simply provide screams (and laughs) in the vein of standard horror films, or it can use its extreme scenario to address topics that are very close to home. Indeed, the larger Sci-fi genre is known for doing just this, as Eastern religious ideas find their way into Star Wars, critiques of communism appear in Star Trek, transcendental Darwinism is explored in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and human rights issues regarding cloning and genetic manipulation drive the plot of The Island. X-Men directly speaks to racism and social issues, and the television series Heroes raises questions of ethical warfare and national security.
Now this was a fun class.
Sin as privation=zombies.
I saw Juno when it came out in theaters, and I have not seen it since. A friend asked me about my thoughts on it after watching it on video, and I put them down on paper. They aren’t a proper “review,” but simply some observations. Here’s what I got:
I think the message is basically that life is good and worth the “bumps” that come up along the way. Even though things can seem incredibly threatening, if you believe (in yourself? the integrity of man?) you’ll see that people are basically good. Even when certain people show themselves to be bad (in this case, the perspective adopting father), the goodness of the others makes it all worth it.
So basically, the movie lacks a “Christian worldview.” However, it is better than the typical dark movie, where life is hopeless, as well as the typical teeny-bopper film where there are no worries and free fun all around. Juno is, rather, a happy sort of realism.
We’re glad that Juno didn’t have the abortion, that’s for sure. The fact that the fetus had fingernails proved its humanity. So, it is pro-life.
We also learn that you have to grow up and take responsibility. The would-be father never did this. He kept his 90s grunge records, comic books, and rock t-shirts. The wife tells him that she’s tired of waiting for him to become Kurt Cobain (the success/suicide case).
I saw Expelled last night. It was really good. Though Intelligent Design is to Darwinism what Deism is to Atheism, it is still helpful to see the scientific weaknesses pointed out in argumentation.
It is also very intriguing to see that many of the leading lights of Darwinism are all apostates from the Christian faith. Hearing their deconversion tales, along with the passion with which they relay them, is very informative.
I just read an Evangelical big dawg commentary on Revelation. I will paraphrase the best part like this: “Some commentators see Babylon’s clothing as referring to the High Priest’s garments. However, it could just as easily be referring to the King of Tyre as he is portrayed as Adam in Eden. Therefore we cannot arrive at a clear conclusion…”
It had apparently never occurred to this commentator that the description of the King of Tyre in Ezekiel was an intentional reference to the High Priest.
I scream a lot when I read this sort of stuff.
This is a meet, right, and salutary lecture.
One of the more interesting points he makes is that the Neo-Platonists did not simply equate pure being with “the One.” Hart says that, rather, being emanated from the one.