According to St Bonaventure, (Breviloquium, Ch2, not sure the exact reference) the 6 day creation can be broken down as follows:
Day 1) The creation of pure energy (Light)
Day 2) The separation of heavens (spirit) from the earth (matter)
Day 3) The separation of the seas from the earth
Day 4) The creation of specific energies (Sun, moon, stars)
Day 5) The creation of specific creatures in the air and sea
Day 6) The creation of specific creatures on land, including man.
I was thinking about this, and the fall described in Genesis 3-8 seems much more extensive than 1 sin. I had the idea that maybe the levels of the fall relate to the levels of creation. It strikes me that very few ideas about Scripture are brand new, so I was wondering if anybody had thought of this before, and if so, if it’s considered acceptable or heretical?
OK, so the first sin is a sin involving the abuse of a created thing on the land, a tree, a sin against the 6th day of creation.
The second sin, Cain’s murder of his brother, is a sin involving the murder of a creature with a spiritual being as well as a body. Remembering that the heavens/earth distinction is considered by Bonaventure to mirror the spirit/matter distinction, this makes it a sin against a particular spirit, the 5th day of creation.
The next major sin mentioned is the mixture of men and angels, angels being creatures of pure light, this is a sin against specific heavenly bodies, the 4th day of creation. This instigates the flood, the end of all the specific creatures of the 3 final days of creation, and their regeneration from the seed of Noah.
After the flood, Noah’s drunkenness and his sons’ seeing of his nakedness, a return to the sinful ways of the past, shows that they have abused God’s steadfastness in keeping the earth steadfast and regenerating it. It is an abuse against the creation of earth itself, the 3rd day of creation.
The 5th and final sin is the building of the tower of Babel, an attempt to assault heaven itself, the 2nd day of creation, and take it by force.
After that, Genesis turns to the story of Abraham and the salvation history of Israel begins. We cannot attack the Uncreated Light itself, because that is beyond our reach. Although in His mercy, and so that He can regenerate the whole creation, from Day 1 on, God Himself, the Word which spoke that light into being, came to us and allowed us to sin against Him and put Him to death.
Thus the resurrection is the new Day 1 of creation, the new “let there be light”, and from then until God’s final judgment, His new sabbath promised in Hebrews and Revelation, He is making all things new.
If Christ is the new Adam, our role in this is to be the new Abels (Martyrs), the new Enochs (talking to God instead of mixing with the demons), the new Noahs (evangelists), the new older sons, covering our fathers’ sins (penitents) and the new Abrahams (living in tents in this world in the hope of the next rather than building towers of vanity in this world).
Maybe this hierarchy isn’t useful, perhaps it suggests the world is more broken than it really is, I don’t know. Is there more than one fall? Is that heresy? It does seem that murder is more of a sin than disobedience alone, and that having the children of fallen angels is more of a sin again. Anybody want to help me out here before I drown in my own ill-educated thoughts?