The Garden of Eden, and our Sunday Worship

Garden Sanctuary, and our Sunday Worship

Jody Killingsworth, over at Warhorn, has penned a discussion-inducing piece on the connection between formal worship and the creation order. He points to an idea of theologian James B. Jordan, who suggests that the Garden of Eden may have been not merely the name of  Adam’s dwelling place ( or synonymous with the entire creation). Instead, the Garden was a temple. Jordan says:

“Adam and Eve did not start life in the outer world, the place of work, nor did they start life in the land of Eden, their home. Rather, they started in the Garden of Eden, the sanctuary, the place of worship. At the center of the sanctuary were two special trees, marking the place where God would meet with them for worship on the Lord’s Day.” (emphasis is Killingsworth’s)

This is a new and somewhat provocative idea. However, I realised that it is not entirely unusual. Peter Leithart (of Jordan’s posse) holds the same view, and G. K. Beale and John Walton both express similar theologies of a “garden sanctuary.” One implication is that the Garden itself was a temple! Adam and Eve met with God on the day of rest set apart by God himself. Each Sunday as we gather as a corporate body of people, we are following a creation ordinance; that is, we are participating in a pattern built into creation.

There are other theological rabbit holes to follow from here, but I’ll leave you with that as a starting point. Discuss.

(HT: War Horn. Picture credit: Some rights reserved by schmich.)