Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Fallen World

When I was eleven or twelve, it was quite the fashion to say that 'When I get to heaven I'm going to tell Eve just how stupid she was to eat that apple.' I can see a number of theological errors in the idea now, but one I remember being raised at the time was this: if Eve hadn't taken the apple, maybe it would have been you.

I'm still astonished at the number of kids who stated confidently that no-way-no-how would they have touched the forbidden fruit. I was pretty certain that I would have succumbed eventually. Today I'm not at all sure what I would do, but rereading C. S. Lewis's Perelandra (part of the Space Trilogy) and these articles on tragedy in The Lord of the Rings have made me think about living in a fallen world.

In a strange way, I'm grateful to know that it is a fallen world. The world that I live in is not the world it should be. I don't even believe that this world represents very much of the world as a whole. In the cosmic scale of things, Earth is both physically and temporally tiny. The horrendous things that we human beings do are indeed horrendous, but they are not final. There's more to life than this. Our horrors are a distorted sort of life; as Lewis's Hrossa would put it, a bent life.

There is something immensely cheering in knowing that the nobility of Middle Earth is probably closer to a cosmic, spiritual reality than our own world (although clearly Middle Earth is a work of fiction). It is uplifting to think that although our world may see innocence as impractical and naive, in a greater reality innocence is natural and right and probably obvious.

There is something inspiring in realising that tasting the forbidden fruit might not be inevitable in the world as it should be. And that although humanity has taken one wrong turn, one day, through Christ, we can be part of a world that has not fallen.


  1. You are right, but we have to follow the commans that God has given us for this world!!!

  2. Hi Manuel

    Thanks for commenting - I absolutely agree with you. I only hope that one day 'have to' will become 'want to'.