“Guilt, strife, and vanity seem to be the dominant terms in this sentence [God’s curse found in Genesis 3]. Instead of being eschatologically oriented toward Sabbath life with God, each other, and the whole creation, we grow increasingly aware that we are ‘being toward death’ (Heidegger). But this is not natural. This play was not intended to be a tragedy. There is no tragedy in God—no ‘dark side,’ since only good comes from God, ‘with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change’ (Jas. 1:17), but only unmixed blessing and fulfillment that God longed to share with creatures” (The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, 413).
So if we were never intended for tragedy, what happened? How is it that we all have an ending—and not a very pretty one if we’re honest? And how is it that the earth is so full of evil? Horton again helps us to understand:
“Evil is not a principle in creation itself, but the willful distortion of good gifts into an arsenal deployed against God’s reign. This perversity corrupts that which is noble, suppresses that which is righteous, smears that which is beautiful, and smothers the light of truth…. The creation had been placed at the disposal of Adam in a state of integrity, with a commission to be a steward. But now this power, too, is twisted by a perversity of will. Royal stewardship is twisted into tyranny. Every sign of human oppression, violence, idolatry, and immorality in the world can be seen as the perversion of an original good. The commission to be fruitful and to multiply, to work in, guard, protect, and subdue God’s garden so that its peace and righteousness extend to the ends of the earth is twisted into empires of oppression in order to secure a consummation without God" (page 411).