[Milton-L] tree of life

Harper, Dave LTC MIL USA USMA Dave.Harper at usma.edu
Sat Apr 5 11:29:28 EDT 2014

The arbitrariness of the injunction against the forbidden fruit (in parallel
with the perhaps equally arbitrary exaltation of the Son) has never bothered
me as much as the Tree of Life. I appreciate the bringing of knowledge of
good and evil into the world through the act of disobedience, the same way
that I sense that the parallel exaltation of the Son brings both the
potential for disobedience along with a revelation of angelic history (I
suspect Abdiel probably didn't know he was created by secondary hands prior
to the exaltation). 

The tree of Life bothers me not only because it seems to have an inherent
immortality-granting quality, but because (1) there was no injunction
against eating of it and (2) it would serve no purpose in an prelapsarian
world where apparently everything was immortal anyway. And yet, we know it
was there, and the narrator names it such when Satan alights on it as a

God seems to have hedged his bets by placing an immortality-granting tree in
an immortal garden, but then he takes it away when it is most needed. Any
allegorical reference to salvation seems strained at best.


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