On the strawberry:
Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.
This sentiment was penned over two centuries ago, yet doubtless there are many who would agree even now; however, it is interesting to note that such thinking exposes a curious hole in our beliefs about God.
This hearkens back to the God who can do anything. Consider: if God can always do anything, then we always receive second best from God, because he can always do something better than what he has currently done. Thus, we can state:
The God to whom anything is possible is incapable of perfection.
An earlier blog post mentioned that if God can do anything, his works become random. To simplify, think of it this way, if any goal can be achieved by any means, there is no reason to choose one means over another, and so the process of selection may as well be the roll of a die. Many people have a problem with suffering for precisely this reason. Why would God allow us to suffer if he didn’t have to? And why would he have to, if he can do anything? Suffering becomes an option we are made to endure, rather than a necessity that allows us to lay hold of a thing that could not be acquired in any other way.
This was heading in one direction, but I guess we must have taken a left at the strawberry fields, so let us see where this path leads.
Most teaching will tell you that man disobeyed in Eden and fell from his God given position. Then God laid down a bunch of curses, and one of these curses was upon the woman. She was told that she would bear children in pain.
You had better go read that passage again. We infer curse, because it suits our theology, but this isn’t actually stated. So let me pick you a different berry.
When God says he will make man in his own image, we see Adam as the finished product, not as the first step in a journey, the first fold of a spiritual origami. Notice it is man’s desire to be like God that causes them to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Perhaps they wanted a better strawberry, and thought that to be like God was to be someone for whom anything was possible. But, regardless of the reason, the problem was that they were oblivious to the facts about God. And one fact about God is that God bears children in pain.
So man began his God journey, and it was probably a fortunate thing that he was unaware of how arduous a journey it would be.