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Knowing Good and Evil
Genesis 3 seems to imply that Adam and Eve didn’t have knowledge about good and evil before eating from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What did Adam and Eve know about good and evil before they sinned? Was it wrong for Adam and Eve to know about good and evil? What changed after they sinned? In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot discuss these questions about what Adam and Eve knew. They seek to give us biblical insight and clarity about intellectual and experiential knowledge, along with what that difference means when we obey God at His Word.
Dr. Caldwell begins by saying that he thinks it’s possible to know things from an intellectual point of view that we don’t know by having an experiential point of view. There are things we can know about because God has told us in His Word. Yet, there are also things we can know about because we won’t listen to what He has told us in His Word. This is a kind of knowing that no one should want, a knowledge of things in such a way that God told you this was coming, but you weren’t willing to listen to Him. This is learning about something by disobeying God. You know it now through your own experience. This comes with the regret of now knowing something that you wish you never knew. Dr. Caldwell gives the example of sexual sin and shares how this plays out in the devastating pain and consequences that follow.
He next explains how Adam and Eve would have had the intellectual capacity to understand(know) that there is right and wrong, there is good and evil. They would have understood the difference between what is acceptable and what is not. They both would have had the conceptual knowledge. However, as soon as they disobeyed by eating from the forbidden tree, they now knew evil differently. They now experience it because they have participated in it. This was a knowing they did not need to know (experience). God had already told and warned Adam. Adam knew what the consequences would be. What they now experience (know) is invaded with the devastating effects God had warned about and more.
Therefore, after their initial sin, Adam and Eve’s capacity to know good and evil grew negatively. That knowledge is negative because it is detrimental. They are no longer only aware (intellectual knowledge) of wrong and evil. They are now active participants. Their sinning was against God, His Words, the truth He had told them; it brought death. Satan crept in and told them things. He told them they would know things, things that they didn’t know. His shrewd deceptive words contained an element of truth. What Satan hid from them is that this new knowing would come with great loss and devastating pain.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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