Creation was very good. God walked with humankind, and there was peace and prosperity. Injustice did not exist, and creation worked in the way it was designed. The world, like a wonderful sonnet, was full of harmony and lacked chaos.
By choosing to rebel against the very order that brought peace and harmony, humanity plunged the world into chaos and brokenness.
Every aspect of the world was impacted. Human professions were fundamentally harmed, and thorns and thistles were introduced. Now, nothing works as it was originally intended. Having children comes with pain, and human relationships are full of strife and distrust.
In many ways, the deepest and most significant damages of the Fall show up in humanity itself.
By displacing God as the chief desire of their hearts, Adam and Eve introduced a deep disorder to humanity. St. Augustine, the famous 4th-century bishop, explained that the human condition is now about putting love in the right order:
But living a just and holy life requires one to be capable of an objective and impartial evaluation of things: to love things, that is to say, in the right order, so that you do not love what is not to be loved, or fail to love what is to be loved, or have a greater love for what should be loved less, or an equal love for things that should be loved less or more, or a lesser or greater love for things that should be loved equally. (On Christian Doctrine, I.27-28)
Now, people naturally love themselves more than anything and, as a result, evil has become commonplace.
People love their own prosperity more, and they will take advantage of others to gain it. People love their own success more, and they will lie to achieve it. People love their own “tribe” more, and they are willing to disregard everyone who isn’t in it. People prefer others who are like them, because they love their own image most, and this results in all forms of sexism, racism, and prejudice.
Love of ideals not rooted in God has led to genocide, apartheid, and war. Systemic poverty comes out of laziness (a disproportionate love of rest) and greed (a disproportionate love of prosperity). This disordered set of loves ultimately leads to pain, an unfulfilling life, and deep psychological distress.
Humanity has given itself over to unfulfilled living.
This, combined with the physical damages of the Fall to the human mind, has led to depression, anxiety, and all forms of mental brokenness. Between the depression of the human mind and the wickedness of hearts, existence for many people is a daily struggle. This has influenced the development of whole areas of study, creating some fields like counseling, criminal justice, and medicine. And it has radically shaped others like law, business, and communications.
Central to a Christian narrative—and a Christian vision of purpose—is the concept that we work against the results of the Fall. How can we do that in each of our fields?
By showing students the disorder that has resulted from the Fall, we can prepare them to deal with issues in their field and the broken humans they will meet.
By showing students the disorder that has resulted from the Fall, we can prepare them to deal with issues in their field and the broken humans they will meet. Listen as Dr. Linda Mintle shares how she addresses this with her students at the Medical School.
Allison: B.S. Social Work
Learn how Allison rises above the effects of the fall to help and serve women and children in need.