Part Three: Analysis of a Christian Organization’s Solution Use and cite the organization’s website, in addition to the topic Resources. Cite all of the resources used with in-text citations. Include all the sources you cite on a reference section at the end of this document. Write how the Christian worldview ministry that you selected is combatting the consequence of the fall. What organizational statement reveals that this organization is operating from a Christian worldview?Explain how the organization uses a God-centered worldview (as defined in the “The Mystery of Original Sin” article) to address dehumanization and restore human dignity. Your answer in 250-300 words: Habitat for Humanity mission statement is “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.” Your answer in 250-300 words:
of Original Sin
We don’t know why
,God permitted the Fall
but we know all too well the
.evil and sin that still plague us
By Marguerite Shuster
e g e n d h a s i t t h a t G. K. Chesterton, asked by a newspaper
repo rter w h at w as w ro n g w ith th e world, skipped over all the
expected answers. H e said n o thing about co rru p t politicians
o r ancient rivalries betw een w arrin g nations, or
th e greed o fth e ric h a n d th e covetousness o f the
poor. H e left aside street crim e and u njust laws
and inadequate education. Environm ental degradation and population grow th overwhelming the earth’s carrying capacity
w ere n o t on his radar. N either w ere th e structural evils th at burgeoned
as w ickedness becam e engrained in society and its institutions in ever
m ore complex ways.
W hat’s w rong w ith the world? As the story goes, Chesterton responded
w ith ju st tw o words: “I am.”
His an sw er is unlikely to be p o pular w ith a g eneration schooled to
cultivate self-esteem , to p u rsu e its passions and chase self-fulfillm ent
first and foremost. After all, w e say, th ere are reasons for ou r failures and
foibles. It’s not o ur fault th at w e did n ’t w in th e genetic lottery, o r th at
ou r p arents fell sh o rt in th eir parenting, o r th at o u r third-grade teacher
m ade us so asham ed o f o u r arithm etic erro rs th at w e gave u p pursuing
a career in science. Besides, w e w e re n ’t any w o rse th an ou r friends, and
T H E M Y S T E R Y OF O R I G I N A L
going along with the gang made life a lot more comfortable. We have
lots of excuses for why things go wrong, and—as with any lie worth
its salt—most of them contain some truth.
Still, by adulthood, most of us have an uneasy sense of self. Whatever we try to tell ourselves, something in us knows that we don’t
measure up to our own standards, let alone anyone else’s. Even if we
think we’ve done rather well, all things considered, there remains
a looming conclusion to our lives
we cannot escape. Death will bring
an end to all achievements and all
excuses. And who among us can
face the reality of final judgment
with the conviction that we are
Maybe there is something to
Chesterton’s answer after all. In
fact, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr
was fond of saying that original sin—the idea that every one of us is
born a sinner and will manifest that sinfulness in his or her life—is the
only Christian doctrine that can be empirically verified. Everyone,
whether a criminal or a saint, sins. Insofar as that dismal verdict is true,
it’s hardly surprising that there is a great deal wrong with the world.
most honest part of us sees that we could have done differently in
any particular case, but didn’t.
The Genesis narrative does not tell us why the Fall continues to
affect us all. Nor do we learn why the serpent—that tempter identified by the Christian tradition as Satan—turned away from God but
was nonetheless allowed into the Garden of Eden. But it does give
us profound insight into the nature of sin. Consider, for instance, the
seemingly inconsequential object
of temptation. A piece of fruit? As
the source of the ruin of the world?
In Paradise Lost, John Milton has
Satan describe the event as worthy
of the fallen angels’laughter. The
corruption of humankind, so easily
But is it not ever thus? The
pregnant teenager may have only
tried it once with her boyfriend, but her life will be forever altered. The
AiDS-infected drug addict may have fallen just once for the sales pitch,
“Try it; you’ll like it!” But having tried it, it doesn’t matter whether or
not he liked it—the act generates its own consequences. A wonderful
old sculpture shows Eve cupping her ear to listen to the serpent while
her hand reaches out behind her, beyond her own sight, to grasp the
fateful fruit. Sometimes we are determinedly ignorant of what we
are doing; we refuse even to recognize that we are doing wrong. It
is the small wrong step that is so easy, the small deviation from the
path that we cannot imagine will lead us ever farther from our goal.
Another reason we succumb to temptation is that we doubt God’s
commands. We wonder, first, whether more is off limits than really
is, which biases us against both the core of the command and the God
who decreed it. Some Christians, rejecting empty legalisms that are
no part of God’s purpose for his good law, end up neglectinghis actual
commands. Eve herself is seduced into adding a prohibition against
even touching the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which casts
doubt upon the reasonableness of the original command not to eat of
its fruit (Gen. 3:3). How often Christianity’s despisers depict it as an
uptight, sour-faced religion of “thou shall nots,” keeping its followers
from the innocent pleasures of a delightful world. God is presented as
a cosmic spoilsport or, worse, a malevolent being dangling enjoyments
in front of his creatures while simultaneously affixing them with the
f o r b i d d e n label. In this way, “sinful” becomes code for something
especially enticing, like the “sinful chocolate cake” on the dessert
menu. Or, consider how Las Vegas flaunts its reputation as “Sin City.”
Having doubted the boundaries of God’s commands, we go on to
doubt whether the threatened consequences of disobedience will
really come to pass. On the surface, this doubt is understandable,
as there seems to have been some truth in the serpent’s contention that the primal couple would not die. Certainly they did not die
right away, even if death had indeed entered in like a silent cancer.
Unbelief hadn’t yet metastasized to soul-suffocating proportions.
But a consequence delayed is not a consequence denied. We can
abuse our bodies for a long time before we actually die of what our
doctor says will prematurely kill us. We can abuse our spirits for a
longtime, maybe even a lifetime, without seriously confronting the
consequences of sin. But we will die in the end all the same, and
meanwhile, unbelief leads us farther and farther away from God.
How could sin invade the world
that God madegood? To this
great question, theBible gives
no theoretical answer. It only
narrates how it came about
W H Y DO WE S I N ?
But how could such a thing be? How could sin invade and pervade
the world that God made good? To this great question, like the other
great question of how it could be that Christ’s death saves us, the
Bible gives no theoretical answer. Rather, it only narrates how it
The account comes in Genesis 2 and 3, the second Creation
narrative. In the first Creation narrative, Genesis 1, God celebrates
what he has made and gives humankind a position of honor and
responsibility. The second narrative (probably written earlier than
the first) provides an important counterpoint, given the broken world
we experience. In Romans 5 and 1Corinthians 15, Paul takes up this
second narrative to point the direction to the doctrine of the Fall.
What happened in Eden, Paul implies, didn’t stay in Eden. What went
wrong in the beginning marks everything that follows. Adam’s sin
not only brings the judgment of death upon all who come after him,
but also makes them sinners. (True, Eve gets blamed in 1Timothy 2
[see also 2 Cor. 11:3], but only Adam is named in Romans 5. Sin is an
equal opportunity employer. In fact, the impulse to say, “I am not
to blame, that other one is” flows from our primal disobedience.)
Paul doesn’t explain the cause of this universality of sin and death.
He doesn’t blame inheritance or bad example. Indeed, he doesn’t say
how it comes about at all. He only points to it, and comments later, in
Romans 11:32 (h c s b ), that “God has imprisoned all in disobedience”
(with the crucial caveat that he ultimately plans to extend mercy to
all). Somehow, God’s own decision extends the consequences of
Adam’s sin to us all.
Note, of course, that all people actually do disobey; it’s not as if we
are counted sinners without actually being sinners (Rom. 5:12). Still,
something within us is corrupt from the beginning, so that we do not
love what is good with our whole hearts but are deeply inclined to
evil. And once our excuses are stripped away, the reason we do evil
remains as mysterious as the turning away of Adam and Eve. The
C H R I S T I A N I T Y
A p ril
T h e other classic piece
of the temptation narrative
is its appeal to p rid e —its
stirring u p o f d o u b t as to
w heth er th e re o u ght to
be any lim its o n h u m an
exploration. An old carj
to o n gets th e gist o f it: A Ϊ
wom an, fascinated by an
Apple com puter in Eden,
hears th e serp en t declarI
ing, “Of course he told you
not to touch it. T hen you’d
have all th e knowledge he
does ” As th e biblical serpen t pu t it, “You’ll be like
God.” Could God have
a good m otive for such
a prohibition? Or only a
petty, jealous one? Are
there lines w e should not
cross, even in our scientific
endeavors? Or is any such
th o u g h t en tertained only
by oppressors w ith w icked, selfinterested motives?
In any case, w e can presu m e
from the Genesis story th at no such
line will ever be m ade to hold. And
if w e w a n t a c u rre n t exam ple o f
pride taken to its height, consider
those w ho (to th e dism ay of many
serious scientists) d u b th e Higgs
boson th e “God p article”: K now ledge, w e value to a high degree.
W isdom, not so m uch. W e w an t to decide for ourselves, and nothing
can stop us. A nother cartoon show s an angel, lightning b olt in hand,
asking God if he should destroy th e earth. God stops him, saying its
inhabitants are doing a p retty good job o f th at on their own.
The w orld o f Genesis 3 is th e w o rld w e live in. Seemingly insignificant choices, unbelief, and pride are key aspects o f th e Genesis
account, and of o u r ongoing struggle. They have a so rt o f universal
c h aracter to th em . Y et th e q uestion rem ains: W h y did God allow
such a state of affairs in th e first place? W hy any serp en t at all? W hy,
as theologian Karl B arth asked, place a d o n o t e n t e r sign over an
open door? W hy n o t ju st close th e door?
B arth answ ered his ow n question by saying th at th e open door
w ith th e attached prohibition represents the tru e state o f affairs w ith
resp ect to ou r relationship to God. W e are asked freely to orien t
ourselves to God’s will, freely to exercise th e obedience th at is our
duty as creatures. W e are asked to believe, trust, and obey him even
w h e n th ere is no t a reason to do so th a t w e can w ra p o u r m inds
around. W hy m ight th at be?
reason, he concludes, is that
this is w h e re God belongs
in o u r lives.
God is no t a b o u n d a ry
a ro u n d th e edges o f o u r
lives, a lim it to o u r abilities
th at w e are always striving
to surpass. Nor, w e m ight
add, is h e th e k e e p er of
a b o u n d a ry im posed by
legalists w h o th in k w e can
b e ch an g ed th ro u g h an
ev er m ore en co m passing
I se t o f rules. H e belongs
: in th e cen ter. W e re God
m erely an o u ter boundary,
s w e w o u ld b e left w ith an
in n e r b o undlessness, an
I e m p tin ess a t th e h e a rt o f
th in g s—left, th a t is, w ith o u t any tru e o rg anizing c e n te r for
o u r lives. I t is only w h e n o u r relatio n sh ip o f glad o bedience to God
governs ev ery th in g th a t w e will
b e tru ly free. T h e n w e w ill find no
need for a boundary at all. The m ore
w e find ourselves n eeding to shore
up boundaries, or feeling driven to
escape th em , th e su re r w e m ay be
th at so m ething is w ro n g at th e center.
T he tree at th e ce n te r o f Eden, then, is n o t a m alicious tra p cleverly designed to sn are th e inn o cen t and naive. It tells us o f the God
w ho m ade us, w h o invites us to relate to him as who he is (and not
on o u r o w n term s). I t tells o f th e God w h o defines good an d evil
according to his infinite w isdom , a w isdom m arked always by the
grace and m ercy revealed in Je su s Christ. W e no longer have the
freed o m fully and freely to obey, to live in a w o rld w ith n o th in g
w ro n g w ith it, to be people w ith n o th in g w ro n g w ith us. W e are
corrupt, an d creation suffers a cu rse on account o f Adam and Eve’s
lapse—and o u r own.
But if, in ou r un en d in g failures, w e keep retu rn in g to th e center,
w e will find One w h o w ill save us, and th is capsizing w orld, from
ourselves. As Rom ans 8 assures us, “T h e creatio n w aits in eager
expectation for th e children o f God to be revealed. F o r th e creation
w as subjected to frustration, no t by its ow n choice, b u t by th e will
o f th e one w h o subjected it, in hope th a t the creation itself will be
liberated from its bondage to decay and b ro u g h t into the freedom
and glory o f th e ch ildren o f God.” W e aw ait th at day.
GOD DELONGS IN T H E C E N TER
M a r g u e rit e Shuster is t he Harold John Ockenga Professor o f Preaching
D ietrich Bonhoeffer, in his p rofound book Creation and Fall, adds
to th is picture. H e asks w h y th e tre e o f th e know led g e o f good
and Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. She is the author of The Fall
an d evil, th e tre e w ith th e
forb id d en fruit, sho u ld be
p laced rig h t in th e ce n te r
o f th e Garden o f Eden. T he
What happened in Eden
didn’t stay in Eden.
What went wrong in
the beginning marks
everything that follows.
and Sin: What We Have Become as Sinners (Eerdmans).
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Consequences of the Fall and Contemporary Response
Name: Justin Pleasants
Instructor: Dr. Gleghorn
Be sure you answer Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and the Reference section of this assignment
Part One: Human Nature in Genesis 1-3
Use and cite at least two of the following topic Resources: textbook Chapter 4, Topic 3
Overview, “The Mystery of Original Sin” article, and Bible passages. Cite all of the resources
used with in-text citations. Include all the sources you cite on a reference section at the end of
Based on at least two of the listed topic Resources, type your answer to the following questions
in the box beneath each question.
1. What is revealed about human nature (from Genesis 1-2)? Cite and reference the textbook.
Your answer in 100-150 words:
In Genesis God lays out a rule to Adam and Eve. This is the only rule that God Gives them
both but it would soon reveal our human nature. God tells Adam and Eve “You may surely
eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall
not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (The Holy Bible, New
American Standard Bible, 2020, Genesis 2:16-17). Although given this direct order From
God Adam and Eve disobeyed that ultimately leading to “the temptation and fall of
humanity into sin.” (Diffey, 2022)
2. What are the consequences of the fall for human nature (from Genesis 3)?
Your answer in 100-150 words:
The consequences of the fall for human nature are that humanity falls into sin and no
longer has the ultimate wisdom of God. It is interesting that Adam and Eve were naked
before but not only until they took and ate from the tree did they “know” they were naked
and felt shame. God then questioned them about if they had eated from the tree which he
commanded them not to. When they answered yes God condemned them and all of
humanity. He told Eve that she would feel only pain from giving life and that she was to be
ruled by her husband (The Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible, Genisis 3:16) He
told Adam that basically that Although I have given you everything you because you have
disobeyed my only rule you will now how to work for your food until you return to dust
© 2021. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.
form which he was created. (The Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible, Genisis 3:19)
When they sinned they introduced death to the world.
3. What is revealed about human purpose? What does it mean for humans to flourish, in other
words, to achieve spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being? Cite and reference “The
Mystery of Original Sin” article.
Your answer in 100-150 words:
This reading Talks a lot about sin and mentions that “God has imprisoned all in
disobedience” but that he will also extend mercy to all. (Shuster, 2013) I think that for
humans to flourish they need to be able to recognize that they are sinners and understand
that they have a choice that was given to them by God to make the right Choice. To trust
and have faith in God to make the hard choices to do the right thing. By understanding that
God is not and does not want to imprison someone to him but rather lead a life that is
centered around him.
4. How would pantheism or atheism (choose one) view human nature, human purpose, and
Your answer in 100-150 words:
Atheist view human nature , human purpose and human flourishing much differently than
a theist. They believe it is being brought up through evolution, societal interaction and
technology. They do not believe that the universe is purposeful however they do believe
that humans are. (Lewis, 2018) For an Athiest to flourish in human nature simply means to
grow up into a mature adult and to help those that need help and to help people in the face
of challenges and to rise to the occasion when they face challenges themselves. Basically
be a good person to all to include yourself.
5. The question, “How can an all-powerful, all knowing, and all good God allow suffering?” is
called the problem of evil and suffering. Briefly summarize the Christian worldview’s
response to the problem of evil and suffering. Cite and reference the topic overview and/or
Your answer in 100-150 words:
This comes down to faith. The reason that God, the all-powerful, all knowing, and all good
God can allow suffering is because he gave us the choice at the creation to follow his one
rule and it was proven almost immediately that we could not do that. He allows us to learn
from our suffering and it gives us the ability to choose him. It is a way from him to show
us that he should be at the center of our lives. We should not only call on God when we are
suffering but when we are grateful as well. Like explained in the overview God did not
create the world to include suffering it only came about because of the sin introduce by
Adam and Eve. (CWV-101-301 Topic 3 Overview)
Part Two: Consequence of the Fall Today
Select a Christian organization from the “Christian Organizations That Address a Consequence
of the Fall” list provided in the topic Resources.
Based upon your selection, research the issue that organization addresses. Use and cite at least
two academic resources from the GCU Library. Cite all of the resources used with in-text
citations. Include all the sources you cite on a reference section at the end of this document.
1. Based on your research, address the following: highlight how the consequences of the fall are
evident in the issue(s) that the organization addresses; include statistics, causes, and impact
on people (victim, perpetrator, others as appropriate).
Your answer in 75-100 words:
Habitat for humanity focuses on providing homeownership opportunities to low-income
individuals and families (Lattimore and Lauria,2018). They do so in areas that have high
poverty, neighborhoods that are plagued with high crime, low employment, poor health, as
well as low educational achievement (Lattimore and Lauria,2018). One of the things that
Habitat for humanity focuses on is revitalization efforts. This was a focus that took and
demolished homes with the intention of building back 55% of these home units (Lattimore
2. Describe how this issue creates dehumanization and diminishes human dignity. Include
statistics, causes, and impact on people (victim, perpetrator, others as appropriate).
Your answer in 75-100 words:
Although a good goal mentioned above only focusing on low poverty neighborhoods and
only building back 55% of homes demolished, it was reported that “many residents who
lost their homes due to demolition were not eligible for the new communities (Popkin Et
Al, 2005). Additionally due to this and its lengthy construction, only 38% of the original
residents were able to move back in to their completed homes (Kingsley, 2009)
Part Three: Analysis of a Christian Organization’s Solution
Use and cite the organization’s website, in addition to the topic Resources. Cite all of the
resources used with in-text citations. Include all the sources you cite on a reference section at
the end of this document.
Write how the Christian worldview ministry that you selected is combatting the consequence of
1. What organizational statement reveals that this organization is operating from a Christian
Your answer in 250-300 words:
Habitat for Humanity mission statement is “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat
for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”
2. Explain how the organization uses a God-centered worldview (as defined in the “The
Mystery of Original Sin” article) to address dehumanization and restore human dignity.
Your answer in 250-300 words:
The Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible. (2020). Bible
CWV-101-301 Topic 3 Overview ,© 2021. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved
Dan Diffey and Rich Holland, The Beginning of Wisdom, An Introduction to Christian Thought
and Life 4th Edition. 2022
N/A. (2022). Habitat For Humanity . Retrieved from Habitat for Humantiy :
Kingsley, G. ( 2009 ). Appendix. In H. Cisneros & L. Engdahl (Eds.), From despair to hope: HOPE VI and
the new promise of public housing in America’s Cities ( pp. 299-306 ). Washington, DC : Brookings
Lattimore, J., & Lauria, M. (2018). Collective efficacy in disadvantaged neighborhoods: The influence of
Habitat for Humanity. Journal of Urban Affairs, 40(6), 782–804. https://doiorg.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/07352166.2017.1392829
Lewis, R. (2018, November 27). Skeptic. Retrieved from
Popkin, S., Cunningham, M., & Burt, M. ( 2005 ). Public housing transformation and the hard to house.
Housing Policy Debate, 16, 1 – 24. doi: 10.1080/10511482.2005.9521531
Shuster, M. (2013). The mystery of original sin: we don’t know why God permitted the Fall, but we know
all too well the evil and sin that still plague us. Christianity Today, 57(3), 38–41.
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