I saw a church marquee near me the other day which read, “A good ending to a bad beginning.” Now just how early the Fall (the bad) came about, depending upon your interpretation of Genesis, is somewhat immaterial. Regardless of time-line, there was indeed something good before the bad. In fact, everything was good, including men and women. Immediately after the Fall, sin sure did affect men and women and began to affect all aspects of creation. But we cannot begin the story at the Fall. We need to begin the story-duh-at the beginning: Creation.
Let’s begin the story at the beginning now. God created us in His image. Work was good, and so was rest. So was relationship.
Then comes the Fall, but soon after the Fall, God promises redemption through the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15-first promise of Redemption). Ultimately that points us to Jesus who brings His Kingdom to Earth and will complete it (Consummation) when He returns.
Now you may think that this is just theological nit-picking. But I assure you that its not; I’m far too practical to be bothered about beliefs which don’t have connection to life. Let me give you a few “for instances” of what happens when you live out this story of redemption minus the whole creation part (the good beginning).
1.) You skip the part that men and women are created in the image of God, and despite the Fall, they can still say true and helpful things in philosophy, politics, psychology, and medicine.
2.) You don’t care about the culture or environment being because in the end neither matter. You forget that they once did matter to God (and still do for that matter) in the good beginning.
3.) You begin membership vows to your church with an immediate affirmation of being a sinner without any mention of being made in the image of God (this was a professorial pet peeve, but I think he does have a point).
Sometimes we forget that there was indeed a good beginning, there is a hard but hopeful middle, and will be one heck of an end. All parts of the story are important. Ignoring any part, especially the beginning will lead us to live contrary to the great story and not consistent with it.