My other main concern about the ‘rebellion’ story we tell people is that it doesn’t follow the story we find in the Bible.
In Scripture, sin comes in because Eve and then Adam were deceived, tricked by the serpent. In their ignorance, they were led astray from faith in God, and put their trust in a lie.
It’s true that in this story Adam and Eve are offered ‘you will be like God, knowing good and evil’. But it’s far from clear that this amounts to an invitation to topple God from his throne. At the least, Adam and Eve are tempted to acquire a wisdom which is similar to God’s. It is probably too much to read a full-scale rebellion into this.
But however we read that temptation, the context in which it comes is one of a masterful serpent who overwhelms and hoodwinks the first humans with his craftiness. This leads them into ruin and misery. Adam and Eve do not emerge as belligerents in this story. They do not shake their fist at God: they hide from him behind bushes. They make a pathetic picture.
No, the main story-line is not one of rebellion, at least not from the humans. It is one of defeat and enslavement. Sin crouched at the door, an aggressive, hostile force, ready to master them. And master them it did.
When we paint the big picture of human condition as one of sinful autonomy, of little gods vying for self-rule – I can’t help feeling that we’re in the wrong story.