It's Not about eve: looking at wm. paul young's "eve"

By Marcia Montenegro
First written September 23, 2015; modified June, 2016 (page 1 of 2)
 

[Note: This is a commentary on the book Eve, by Wm. Paul Young. It is not a full review but rather aims to address issues with theological and biblical themes in the book. As with Young's book, The Shack, although Eve is fictional, it is a story by a professing Christian that features God, creation, and man's fall into sin. These are foundational doctrines of the faith as given by God. Once that is on the table, a reader has valid grounds to examine what the writer has presented in light of God's word. Page numbers are put in parenthesis after quotes or references; edition, Howard Books, 2015.]

A teen girl, Lilly, is found in a place called the Refuge by some of its inhabitants. We learn that Lilly is a chosen "witness" to creation. The reader does not know who Lilly really is, nor why she is able to have visits with Eve (as in Adam and Eve of Genesis). There are other "witnesses," too, and apparently they are able to change what happened in order to change the future. Lilly is a teenage contemporary character, but is taken back to the beginning of time through what seem to be visions, but are also actual transports back into time. The plot swings between scenes with Lilly in the Refuge and her visions of/visits with Eve and witnessing creation.

Adam, a Baby Birthed by God

Lilly witnesses Adam being born as a baby (34), which is not how the creation of Adam is described in Genesis 1 or 2. Moreover, this birth is bloody (34, 42, 125). An Archangel uses a knife to sever Adam's umbilical cord (from God?) and while God holds baby Adam to his breast, "tiny threads of bloody flesh" hang from the knife. Adonai's garments are now "soiled with dirt and blood and water" (43).

Consequently, blood appears before any sin, before Adam is even able to act. Not only that, but Adonai is bloodied through the birth of Adam. Even as metaphor, this conflicts with the biblical teaching that God is unsullied by any stain or flaw. Also, the first blood recorded in Scripture is when God slays an animal to provide skins to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness (Gen. 3). This first blood is important because it foreshadows the shed blood of Christ for sins. Later in the book, even this act of God is altered and undermined by Young.

Amazingly, and distressingly, after this birth, Adonai states: "They are bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh" (43). This phrase "bone of my bone and flesh and of my flesh" is in the Bible, but where? It is in Genesis 2:23, uttered by Adam upon seeing Eve for the first time. It is disturbing that Young has God say this of Adam as though Adam literally came out of God and is the same as God. Anne Voskamp also uses this phrase wrongly in her book, One Thousand Gifts, saying that Jesus is "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." This is false because she cannot literally be a part of Jesus as Eve was of Adam. And here is Young's God claiming Adam has the relationship to God that Eve has to Adam.

Lilly later witnesses Adam appearing pregnant, and Eve being born from him (187). As disturbing as this is, Lilly sees Jesus, called "Eternal Man," nursing Adam at his breast, and later, nursing Eve. 

Eternal man proclaims: "Here in my arms and nursing at my breast is the highest expression of my creation" (42).

Later, it is explained to Lilly that

    "Adonai nursed him. If God could birth a baby, you think They couldn't feed him?" 


and Lilly's caretaker, John, tells her

     "Of course They have breasts, and full of milk according to the Scriptures. Mother's milk."

The Hebrew term "El Shaddai" used for God may come from the word "Shad," meaning "breast." This is perhaps what Young is referring to. However, there are other explanations for El Shaddai. (See a discussion of this at http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/El/el.html). 

Error on the Trinity

Young refers to God as "They" and "Them" as well as using the possessive "Their" (124, 186, 194). This confirms Young's confused and erroneous view of the Trinitarian God which was seen in his book, The Shack.

Although the Trinity is three distinct Persons in the Godhead, God is one; God is not a "They."

The Holy Spirit, Ruach (which means "spirit" and "wind" in Hebrew) is called "she" by Young (237). Although Ruach is a feminine noun, that in no way indicates that the Holy Spirit is to be viewed as feminine! Languages using masculine and feminine nouns are not always giving indications as to the gender of such words. La maison is French for "house" and is feminine, but this does not mean that a house is somehow related to the female gender. 

Creation in God: The Russian Nest Doll?

Lilly is told by John that "creation was crafted inside God" and man was made inside Eternal Man, "created and birthed" (141, also 157). This action of being made inside God is referred to several times.

The people at the Refuge laugh at Lilly when she says she thought Adam was created as an adult (141). 

Eve was "within Adam" (157, 187) for nine months during which "God fashioned the feminine side of Adam's humanity" (187).

So it seems that all creation was not created from nothing but rather was made inside God and Adam was birthed and nursed by God. Eve was inside Adam and birthed by God outside of Adam. 

God Not God Apart from Man?

One of Lilly's friends tells her that although God needs nothing, "God will not be God apart from us. To live inside God's life is to explore this mystery of participation" (100). 

To say that God cannot be God apart from man or apart from creation is to express Panentheism, a view that God is contained in creation though He also transcends it. The principle is that it is necessary for God to have His nature in some manner intermingled with creation. This is a heretical view of God. God has always been God apart from creation; none of God's being or essence is ever dependent on or a part of creation. 

Han-el, Mythical Archangel

One of the characters is an angel named Han-el. New Age angel "expert" Doreen Virtue states: 

    In the Kabbalah, Haniel presides over the seventh, or Netzach, Sephirah (emanation of God's will). This sphere is related to victory and represents our inner world of intuition, imagination, and emotions, from http://bit.ly/1NL5IyY.

A search will turn up numerous New Age and occult sites discussing Haniel. The Bible, however, only names two angels: Michael and Gabriel. Satan is not a proper name but rather a title meaning "adversary," so we do not know his true name. Haniel is a name from lore and non-biblical beliefs:

    Haniel (Hebrew for "Joy of God" or "Grace of God"), also known as Anael, Hanael or Aniel, is an angel in Jewish lore and angelology, and is often included in lists as being one of the seven archangels. Haniel is generally associated with the planet Venus, he is also the archangel of the Sephirah Netzach. The name Haniel probably derives from Hebrew hana'ah, "joy", "pleasure" (qualities associated with Venus) + the suffix -el, "God". Haniel is one of the archangels encrypted in the Sigillum Dei Aemeth of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly; from http://bit.ly/1WhjKvb

Please note that John Dee and Edward Kelly were involved in a type of ritual magic that calls upon (fallen) angels.

Han-el visits Lilly and is her guide in the Garden after Eve has been created (prior to that, Eve had been Lilly's guide).

Lilly/Lilith

When I first saw that the main character is named Lilly, I immediately wondered if Young was referring to Lilith. Lilith is a character of Jewish and Gnostic lore and was, according to some accounts, the first wife of Adam. However, she was independent and would not obey him. In fact, Lilith is the Hebrew word for "night creatures" or "night hag" and became the name for a demon in mythological tales. From the NET Bible:

    The precise meaning of lilit is unclear, though in this context the word certainly refers to some type of wild animal or bird. The word appears to be related to laylah, ("night"). Some interpret it as the name of a female night demon, on the basis of an apparent Akkadian cognate used as the name of a demon. Later Jewish legends also identified Lilith as a demon, from http://bit.ly/1gLOPan.

A mysterious character, Simon, calls Lilly "Lilith" early on in the story and Lilly does not understand why. Later, he tells her that maybe being Lilith makes her more than just a Witness (198). Eventually, she embraces the name and decides to call herself "Lilith" while at the same time feeling more and more unworthy (210).

 

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