I continue to enjoy an advance-endorsement copy of Paul Tripp’s book, Sex and Money: Pleasures that Leave You Empty and Grace that Satisfies. In the below quote, Tripp clarifies why there were boundaries in the Garden of Eden:
The rules [in the Garden of Eden] weren’t pleasure destroying or enjoyment inhibiting. The rules were there to protect the hearts of Adam and Eve so they would be free to liberally enjoy the pleasures of the created world without being dominated by, addicted, or controlled by them. The rules were there so they wouldn’t give themselves the pleasure but to God, as they enjoy the beautiful things you provided for them. Isn’t this a key place where our culture simply gets it wrong? There is an overarching philosophy in Western culture that tells us that authority destroys freedom and rules wreck pleasure. It’s the “pleasure is a really pleasurable when there are rules attached to it” worldview that has been a key ingredient in the insanity that this book is written to address. This view says that eating is no fun if you’re being told what to eat. Sex is not enjoyable if you’re being told how, when, and who you can have it with. Money is not pleasurable if required to spend it in certain ways. Creating things of beauty is not satisfying and pleasurable if you have to think about the message communicated by what you create. Eden was the most beautiful place that ever existed, filled with perfect pleasures of every kind, yet it continuance depended on Adam and Eve staying inside of God’s protective boundaries. It’s the horror of human existence that they decided not to. Boundless pleasure is a deception. By God’s design it doesn’t exist, and if it did it could never work.