In his provocative article "The Dark Light of Thomas Kinkade," Daniel A. Siedell argues that Kinkade's paintings are "terrifying" and "nihilistic." He backs up his contention with this quote from Kinkade himself: "I like to portray a world without the Fall."
What's terrifying and nihilistic about that? Simply this: A world without the Fall is a world without grace.
Dorothy L. Sayers made this point over 70 years ago in The Devil to Pay, her retelling of the Faust legend. Sayers's Faustus bargains to remove the effects of the Fall from his life, but his attempt to return to the state of "primal innocence" results instead in a state of "primitive brutishness." If Thomas Kinkade had ever read that play -- particularly the following speech made by the "Judge" (Christ) in the final scene -- he might have learned something:
All things God can do, but this thing He will not: Unbind the chain of cause and consequence, Or speed time's arrow backward. When man chose To know like God, he also chose to be Judged by God's values. Adam sinned, indeed, And with him all mankind; and from that sin God wrought a nobler virtue out for Adam, And with him, all mankind. No soul can 'scape That universal kinship and remain Human -- no man; not even God made man. He, when He hung upon the fatal tree, Felt all the passion of the world pierce through Him, Nor shirked one moment of the ineluctable Load of the years; but from the griefs of time Wrought out the splendour of His eternity. There is no waste with God; He cancels nothing But redeems all.