What was God’s “Plan A”? If man had’t sinned how would things have turned out? But then wasn’t man bound to sin? How does it work if you have a first man bound to sin and then as a result all future humans (barring Mary) are bound to sin (Original Sin)?
And to add on to that, Christ would never have come or been the sacrificial lamb. It is so impossible for us to even entertain the thought of sin never entering the world. I can’t argue that it was part of God’s original plan, but I will gladly argue that He certainly has made the best of it. To quote my wonderful grandfather, “You’ve got to have Good Friday to have your Easter.”
I think there was always only one plan of God. He knew that man would have sinned. And it is my observation that man would have sinned with or without the devil. It is interesting to note the Eastern Church’s view on original sin is not as painful as it is portrayed in the West. The Eastern Church takes the view of her Church Father, St. John Chrysostom, that even though original sin entered into the world we are not guilty because of it or that this stain of original sin passes on to other generations. His views are quite remarkable and it is to my observations that he believes that Adam and Eve were not created at a very high height of sanctity but were created at the lowest level of sanctity and their sin was done at this level. It seems to this saint that man was created in oder to become a saint. His fall while it is noted does not impress the saint to believe it was done at a great height. He said that the sin of one person cannot condemn humanity but the radiant love of one man can transform humanity.
The Eastern Church while noting that sin is in the world takes a more merciful judgment on sin. It is interesting to note that the Eastern Fathers sees for instance physical death as a remedy to sin rather than a punishment for sin. If physical death comes to man because of sin then man cannot sin forever. God put limitations to sinning by permitting physical death to come as a result of sin. God can handle the sinful state of man for we see this in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ to give to man the necesssary way to get out what sin can do to the man. Paul in his letter to Rome chapter 5 says while it is the sin that can condemn us it is God who comdemns the sin. Paul is separating the sin from the sinner. What he is saying is God cannot condemn us. God condemns the sin which can condemn us. What God can do is remove the condemnation by which the sin can do to us. This is what He did for us on the Cross. What we need to do is the same.
Since our Lord has a treasury of His Grace to be made available for us it was available to come to us because of the nature by which He created man. Man’s ability to rise through God’ Grace is part and parcel by why God made Man in the first place. The sin of man was to come anyway. God determined for Man to be healed through the actions of His Son.
Regarding the Immaculate Conception of Mary which determines that Mary is freed from the stain of any sin it is to more recent theologians that this predetermined Grace was actually Mary receivng the Fullness of the Holy Spirit all at once. It was in fact her baptism but with a very noticable difference. Whereas we are only given a portion of the Holy Spirit at Baptism Mary is given the totality or Fullness of the Holy Spirit. It seemed to be a great head start for her and this explains that this baptism which occured at her conceivement would have cleansed her just as it cleanses us when we are baptised. Mary’s cooperation with this Fullness of Grace enabled her not to sin ever in her life.
Eden is generally considered to be a paradise of sorts. God does seem to be of the nature though, where the tests he puts man to could well be constant.
for example, when invited to pick a mate from the animals, and Adam did not, he passed that test. He and his better half failed the second one. God kept the tests up nevertheless, such as the story of Job reveals so well.
Passing the tests would put Adam and Eve on an upward trend most likely, just as Job passing the test put him on a second path upwards. The paradiseden would just keep getting better and better, with the pair eating from the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden eventually, and becoming immortal.
Continually failing the tests put us all on a downward trend
There was only one test for Adam just as there is only one Original Sin. Adam, the creature, had to freely live in submission to His Creator. When Adam chose himself over God and thus scorned his Creator, the relationship between humanity and divinity was shattered.
Genesis 2: 19 – God requested that Adam name the animals.
Genesis 2: 18 – While Adam was doing this, he listened to God recognizing that he needed a suitable partner.
Genesis 2: 20 – You are right. Adam did not find a suitable partner among the animals he had named----because human nature is peerless.
I, too, am very glad that Adam did not choose a hippopotamus because if he did, Adam himself would have been a mere animal without a spiritual soul.
Another thing these verses signify is that there were only two sole parents of humanity. Some people read Genesis 2-23 as Adam saying: Wow!
A good looking woman who has my nature. :hug1:
Wow! is a pretty good description of what the world would have been for Adam and Eve, if sin had not entered the world. Recognition of his human nature in woman is to marvel at the incredible work of God that was brought to life in mankind.
I would say though, that if Adam had chosen even the most magnificent of beasts as a suitable mate, he would not have become mere animal, but would have been mistaken about his own human nature.
Likewise it is noteworthy to note how Adam’s perception of Eve changes after sin enters the world. He no longer sees her as a full emanation of all that he is, flesh and bone, but there is almost a resentment that creeps in as he recognizes in her something that is someone that he is not, and names her as such. Mother of all mankind is something that he never can be, now that sin has changed his perception of her and their relationship becomes one of estrangement.
There is still the Wow! factor present, the awe that he is beholding the Mother of All Mankind, but he experiences that awe as a lack in his own nature, something that will drive him into finding modes of achievement and creativity of his own, such as what Cain became in his drive to express his creativity as a farmer.
The world before sin entered into the world then, was one where man recognized his nature in woman, and he was in a state of awe and wonder, and in complete harmony with the flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone.
The world after som is one of estrangement where Adam and Eve no longer recognize the concept of bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, but these is now room for resentment and envy in a world where man rules over woman, and woman has a power to create life from her very being in a way that a man can never even aspire too.
The world without sin is the one where men and women are in complete harmony and recognize the nature of each other as essentially their own nature. The world of sin is one of estrangement between man and woman, where men and women see in each other objects of desire that are now beyond their reach.
Brother, Creation is not God…it is limited. Is limitation “evil”? God does not define mere limitation as “evil” because He “saw that it was good” Therefore limitation can be good or evil.
(Thus the Tree of the Knowledge of Good/Evil is a picture of what God understood from “afar”…as is the Spirit of God hovering “over” the “dark” waters of chaos…because God–Light–is not really there but only imagining)
So we read that God chose to allow (create) a limited good to “play out”…perhaps knowing full well that it would collapse into evil. The question arises…did God thus choose futility…did God purpose evil?
The answer: a Perfect God looked into a sea of chaos and saw you (a limited good) and loved you…and then made a Perfect Choice…to express His Perfect Mercy in Jesus…who is the narrow Path through this stormy sea. (God holds back the “proud waves” for now…but later will allow the whole sea of chaos to “play out”…when all hell breaks loose.) Here is the amazing part…that"while we were yet sinners Christ died for us"…in other words…God’s Mercy is so great that He gloriously loves us when we are most unlovable.
Therefore, in answer to you query…Yes…God knew what would happen (good and evil would be unleashed in a sea of limitation) when He began the process of expressing Himself toward Jesus. However, did you ever notice that the Bible begins with the Sea of chaos…but the Bible ends with the curious statement “and there was no more sea”…and…'the River flows from the throne of God down to the sea where it makes the salt waters fresh". “There’s a river that delights the city of God”
May God gloriously flow toward you forever in Heaven.
What would happen if your use of the word “limitation” became the actual material universe including insects, animals, and song birds? And God, looking at His creation, this amazing material/physical world, recognized it as good.
Now, what would happen if God changed the “good” into not only better but “best”?
He would do this by creating a spiritual soul so that His best creature, the human being, you and I, could have a relationship with our Creator. His first human being, whose nature was an unique unification of both the material world and the spiritual world, is biblically known as Adam.
Adam is a limited good being in a limited good setting. (because God chose “good”.) Adam was as free as a person could be (since freedom requires the ability to choose atleast one evil…and the choice was not burdensome…but only a mere preference). Therefore, God made human freedom as delightful and easy as possible.
Now, here is something few consider…God’s influence on Adam’s free will…His presence and interaction seems “counter-balanced” by the tempter…Was that necessary for justice?
You and I have a complimentary take on God’s creation. I see God Prudently looking into the sea of possibilities with Wisdom. (Scripture tells us that God was at play with Wisdom before ever a thing was made) God and Wisdom delighted in “the sons of men” before creation. In other words, God saw you, loved you and found a narrow Path (Jesus) to rescue you via some Perfect Act–since God cannot choose imperfection.
I, therefore, view creation as an act of restraint…where God first allows limited good…within an overarching Perfect Plan of glorious rescue…But the sea of limited possibilities will be allowed to play out “and men will die of fright for the roaring of its waves”.
Then, God will say…“Behold, I make all things new”…in a new creation of stable good and sure peace.
I agree with the premise of this post…that God is not double-minded…He most probably has one Perfect Act in mind…(yet “who can know the mind of God?”)…A Perfect God’s purposes are not thwarted or redirected in any way.
Obviously, the sea of chaos bit does not relate to Catholic teaching.
However, I am wondering if you are using one of those ancient stories which seem to pre-date the writing of the first three chapters of Genesis. Wasn’t one of them about some creature pulling some other creature out of an ocean
or “sea of chaos” if you will?
When the real Adam who lived on a real earth committed the real Original Sin, he kept his real human nature, even though it was now a flawed one. Adam’s descendants multiplied and migrated. Some of these groups faithfully retained Adam’s experiences; others did not. That is why Catholics credit the Holy Spirit with sorting out the truth.