To learn how a machine operates best, we must consult the inventor. We must go to the source for instructions of success. In a similar sense, in order to understand how humans can flourish, we must look to our Creator. Ideally, the study of human thriving would be more objective and attainable rather than a seemingly subjective standard. My motorcycle instructor, Pat, once told me “In a perfect world, the neutral light would come on every single time you were in neutral…” Then pausing for another inhalation of his cigar and looking over his glasses he would say, “but this is not a perfect world.” Though Pat may not understand why, he is sure of the fact that something is wrong.
The biblical narrative would explain that God has always existed perfectly within the Trinity. God, created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). His creation was robust and wonderful. He gave special attention and specificity to humanity. God created people to have dominion over the earth. Humans were made in the image and likeness of the triune God (Gen 1:27). Genesis 1-2 is the only record we have of what true human flourishing looks like — what it looks like to live as our creator intended us to live, in work, marriage, rest, and eating. As we turn the page to Genesis 3 when sin enters the world, the nature of the curse that falls upon the whole world changes the capacity and possibility of flourishing. The conditions (both internal and external) affected by the curse of sin have made human flourishing impossible this side of eternity. What God intended in Eden is no longer possible because of sin.
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