Q&A: Destructive Effects of the Fall

Destructive Effects of the Fall

What are some of the effects of humanity's fall into sin?

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Answer

The consequences of humanity's fall into sin extend, in the first place, to destruction of relationships and capacities that humanity was built with. So, in relationship with God there is loss of that, there is separation. And that leads to the unraveling of everything else the human is supposed to do, and the connections that humans are supposed to have to each other, and to the environment. So, within ourselves, human beings now are trying to bear this burden of being the center for their lives. Instead of God being the center, because of our fall into sin, we're now trying to relate everything to life as ourselves at the center. And that is too much for us. It crushes us and leads to all kinds of identity issues, and pride, in the first place, and these illusions that we can be in the place of God. In relationship to each other, we are constantly trying to use each other, and competition, and hostility still living with ourselves in the first place, instead of God in the first place. And so you have a destruction of relationships. Right away, with Adam and Eve, it shows, and as the human race unravels, you have people murdering each other very quickly. In relationship to the created world, you've got chaos in creation, where you now have storms and animals destroying each other. Everything is now hostile to life because humanity was supposed to order creation under God's rule, to live in ways that is for well-being. But now, having misled creation, cut off from God, everything is kind of off-the-tracks, and now things are destroying, and self-destruction is just working its way out through all the extension of creation.

Answer by Dr. John McKinley

Dr. John Mckinley is the Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola Universtity in La Mirada, California and is affiliated with the Evangelical Theological Society.