Just wanted to share an excerpt from The Truth About Lies and Lies About Truth:
Unfortunately, the real value of Adam and Eve’s story has long been obscured because we have focused on the outcome and minimized the process. Grenz is typical of many theologians when he characterizes the story of the fall as a divine test in which Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. His focus is on the failure of the human pair to do the right thing. The closest he comes to identifying the role of deception is to say that the serpent “subtly raised doubts” which really fails to do justice to the story.*
This whole preoccupation with performance criteria and whether or not we get it right or wrong is pervasive in Christian thought, and it has a way of twisting the relational fabric of the Christian life into a moralistic evaluation of behavior. As a result, we end up with interpretations of this story that tell us how their sin damaged the relationship between Adam and God, and completely miss the point that it was actually the doubt cast upon the relationship that led to the sin! We keep making the relationship conditional upon our performance, when it might be much more accurate to say that the relationship with God is what makes or breaks everything else.
from The Truth About Lies and Lies About Truth (Chapter 3)
* Grenz, Theology For The Community of God, p. 191.