Is Faith Growing Up Again?

I don’t usually post from my devotional time, but I was particularly struck by a reading today from the prayer book some of my friends and I have started using:

In his view, the Fall was essentially a matter of wrong growing up. St. Irenaeus believed,a s did many of the early Christians, that Adam was created as a young child. The reason why he was forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge was simply that he had to grow up first, and that takes time. Unfortunately, Adam was impatient; in trying to anticipate his adulthood, by seizing the fruit before the time was ripe, he thwarted the process of true maturing. St. Irenaeus recognizes that one aspect of this is the disorder that afflicts human sexuality, and in fact we might say that his presentation of the Fall is, essentially, as a mishandling of the crisis of puberty. The result is that man can now only grow up properly by a painful dismantling of his false grown-upness. To this end, the Son of God “came to be a child with us,” so that we could be led back to childhood and then grow up again, this time in a true way, till we come to the full stature of Christ himself (cf. Eph 4:13). — From Prayer by Simon Tugwell

BabyI’m captivated by the metaphor of growing up wrongly, that our sin is a manifestation of our immaturity. When we see CEOs taking advantage of those below them, it’s immaturity.

When we see two grown men bullying each other in election ads, and all their friends stand behind them and cheer them on, this is immaturity.

When we can’t understand someone else’s point of view, even if we disagree with it, that’s immaturity.

When we can’t control our sexual appetites, that’s immaturity.Continue reading