The following quote is from the book “Fool’s Talk; Recovering The Art Of Christian Persuasion” by Os Guinness. In “Fool’s Talk,” Guinness explains the importance of using logic and rhetoric in Christian apologetics in ways that are sensitive to the particular person and situation in which they are engaged. Well thought out persuasion seems to be a lost art for many in the church today and must be recovered. All Christians are responsible to always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). The book is excellent. This is Guinness at his best. He is such a thoughtful and insightful person.
In discussing the sin of Adam and Eve, Guinness suggests that Satan’s temptation; “Did God actually say?” was intended to communicate a subtle message that subverts the intention of God. What Satan was really saying is “Don’t you see,” the serpent hints, “what God was saying in what he said?” God is only interested in His control, not the good of man.
Quote: “By the end of this little exchange Eve’s trust was no longer absolute and implicit, a perfect match with the truth God had spoken. Instead, she had risen to the bait, first, to suspect God, and then to put herself forward as the arbiter between God’s word and the serpents word, and so to be a deciding, independent viewpoint capable of judging between them. Intoxicated by the heady freedom of this position, she decides there can be no harm in eating the fruit she was forbidden to eat. Surely she needed to experiment in order to know, and so to be able to decide between God’s word and the serpent’s. Without stating it so baldly in words, her action says that she is right and God is wrong. His word can be ignored with impunity.
Were Adam and Eve aware of what they were doing? The thrust of the biblical account of the fall is powerful. Their disobedience entailed two things that are now characteristic of all of us as humans. On the one hand, for each of us, sin is the claim to the right to myself, and so to my way of seeing things, which – far more than class, gender, race and generation – is the ultimate source of human relativity. On the other hand, sin is the deliberate repudiation of God and the truth of his way of seeing things. If my way of seeing things is decisive, anyone who differs from me is wrong by definition – including God. No, especially God, because his way of seeing things is more powerful and therefore more threatening than anyone else’s. His word, our interference.
This last point means, in turn, that sin, and the mistrust of disbelief in which it issues, does not, will not and cannot see God as he truly is. Still knowing God, it must now always refuse to face the responsibility of its knowledge of God and of its own guilt. It must therefore pass the buck. So when God asks Adam what he has done, he ducks the question by blaming Eve, just as Eve in her turn deflects the question by blaming the serpent.
No doubt if God had asked the serpent what it had done, the serpent would have slithered and ducked it too, and pointed the finger back to the one who created him – God. And so it goes. All roads lead to Rome, and all fingers point at God. So long as the world’s last sin remains unconfessed, the buck will keep on passing and passing, and the final finger always points at God. ‘Why does God allow?’ is often the hurt and angry cry of those who say they do not even believe in God.”