If Sin Had Not Entered the World

Catholicism uses the Bible. I use the Bible. The Spirit of God moved over the dark waters in Genesis…most theologians and scholars agree that it is a “sea of chaos”.

Is that not in the voluminous pages of Church Canon…anywhere? Maybe you missed it.

The Bible is filled with references to this original sea…with God using illustrations…like Noahs Ark…(saved from the waters)…or Moses…(saved from the waters)…or the Hebrews (the name means “water crossers”)…or the crossing through the Dead Sea with the water like a wall on the left and the right…etc…etc…the examples go throughout the Psalms…Wisdom literature…Prophets…even the New testament…with Jesus walking on top of the sea and rescuing Peter…all the way through Revelation.
Catholicism has not missed out on all this. It is there if you look for it.


May I gently point out that there is a difference between the first three chapters of Genesis and the other 47 chapters of Genesis. The beginning of human history is what is foundational to Catholic doctrines. Noah and subsequent humans, including you and me, do not have the significance of the first human person.

Certainly, it is admirable that you use the Bible and Catholicism uses the Bible.:thumbsup:

However, when I wish to know what the Catholic Church teaches, I study its doctrines.:smiley:

No one’s “bound to sin”, but I appreciate the Catechism’s input on this. With perfect wisdom we must believe that God would not have created this universe in any other way-there could be no options-this universe is as perfect as it should be, created “in a state of journeying” towards greater perfection. He knows every choice we’ll make without causing those choices. He’ll deal with it all with perfect justice. As a Catholic visionary, Julian of Norwich, was “shown”, regarding the fate of humans: “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Somehow He’ll work things out towards that end, and all will be satisfied that not a hint of injustice was done.
302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created “in a state of journeying” (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call “divine providence” the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:
By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, “reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well”. For “all are open and laid bare to his eyes”, even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.

310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.**

For our part it’s all a matter of our wills, wills becoming aligned with God’s will. He’ll help, but won’t force this to happen. We’re here to be educated, refined, molded, as we can and as we will, into beings who’ve come to obey because, unlike Adam (who may well have repented since, of course), they’ve chosen to obey as they’ve come to love Him with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, having finally recognized His goodness and the perfection of His will.

**311 Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil.176 He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it:

For almighty God..., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.177**

We would have these preternatural gifts:

*] Our first parents, before the Fall, were endowed with sanctifying grace. (De fide.)
*] The donum rectitudinis or integritatis in the narrower sense, i.e., the freedom from irregular desire. (Sent. fidei proxima.)
*] The donum immortalitatis, i.e.,bodily immortality. (De fide.)
*] The donum impassibilitatis, i.e., the freedom from suffering. (Sent. communis.)
*] The donum scientiae, i.e., a knowledge of natural and supernatural truths infused by God. (Sent. communis.)
and we wouldn’t have this:

The Devil posesses a certain dominion over mankind by reason of Adam’s sin. (De fide.)

Hi again Clem. To answer this question, we simply don’t know.
As I stated on another thread it isn’t possible for us to know everything about God-just what He chooses to reveal. Excessive curiosity and seeking after lofty knowledge can stem from the sin of pride, so it’s really important to watch out for that. Better to study what God HAS chosen to reveal to us and to live a life of humble, trusting faith.

Grannymh…I really want to thank you…because I’m preparing an article for First Things and you have been holding many of my posts to serious scrutiny…in the light of orthodox Catholicism. That is a real service you perform here at Catholic Answers.

God bless you and yours.

A similiar statement may have been put to “the Dumb Ox” before he wrote the Summa.

That being the case, you can serve CAF members and guests by stating the Catholic doctrines.:slight_smile:

Pugsly writes…

"Grannymh…I really want to thank you…because I’m preparing an article for First Things and you have been holding many of my posts to serious scrutiny…in the light of orthodox Catholicism. That is a real service you perform here at Catholic Answers.

God bless you and yours."

Grannymh replies…“That being the case, you can serve CAF members and guests by stating the Catholic doctrines.”

So…ever so humbly…I ask…even though agnostics and atheists come here to discuss matters…you don’t harrasss them because…only Pugsly needs to put under a microscope?

Well this is what I’m wondering. I can accept that there might be some things I can’t understand in my current form but is there anything wrong with demanding a reason for every single thing I believe? I don’t feel I should depend just on prayer and faith. Or is this just me being arrogant? What is the relationship between faith and reason?

Sorry if my style seems a little interrogative. I mean the questions to be addressed to everyone and anyone interested. :slight_smile:

Faith is a way of seeing into the layers of previously hidden reality. Reason puts order to what one sees. Consequently, if one sees only this natural world…then one who attempts to order what they see are said to be “reasonable”…But, I submit to you that one who tries to put in some order the hidden realities (as thomas Aquinas did) of God and things of the spirit…are also reasonable.

Faith does not exclude reason…it is hyper-vision for both child and scientist…thus Faith is accessible to all…but the scientific will use their faith to query deeper realities…as you and I are doing here.

My comments are directed toward statements which need to be clarified one way or another according to Catholic doctrines especially since you said you were preparing an article for First Things. As a peer reviewed journal, their Catholic standards are demanding. It is your free choice to honor or not my suggestion to state Catholic doctrines as a service to readers.

Nonetheless, I respect your right to post as you deem best.

Besides, I do not own a microscope.:wink:

Thank you. :slight_smile:

There are a variety of different perspectives that can be taken here. The perspective of the OP, for instance, takes the perspective of narrative. At the core of the story, there is a plot… this happened… then that… then the next thing, and so on and so on.

It is a historic perspective, and from it came the understanding of sacred history and the like. And like all historic discussions, counter-factuals become possible as points of discussion, for that is an aspect of time, and cause and effect.

For myself, my perspective focuses more on the social, and and the psychological and the anthropoogical.
*What is this story telling us about ourselves, who we are and our relationship to God and to each other? * These are the kinds of perspectives necessary to be able to understand what I am saying here.

Certainly in both the narrative perspective, and the anthropologic one, there will be limits. These are understandings from the human point of view, and we can only describe the aspect of the elephant in the dark room as our hands describe that elephant to our minds.

What is harder to grasp is that your perspective is not from the human point of view. What you in effect have taken is the point of view of God himself. The whole scroll of sacred history is laid out in front of you and the perspective of beginning and end, and then, now and next, are being regarded from a the point of absolute transcendence. Counter-factuals such as the OP cannot really be relevant to you, for all things that can be, have already been accounted for. Salvation exists for all possible choices in perfect plan of the Great I Am.

I am not sure if the Tempter is necessary for justice, but I am quite sure that without desire, and temptation, there could be no such thing as suffering.

And without suffering, compassion and pity and love cannot exist, not in a world with limits at any rate.

Some theologians, both East and West, suggest that Christ still would have entered the world even had we never sinned. Because it is not just our fallen state that needs to be restored by Christ’s sacrifice, but it is the union of the human and divine natures in the Hypostasis of the Logos that allows mankind to participate in the Divine nature. God became man, so that man may become god as the saying goes.

God’s point of view?

We may not be able to understand the how and why of God’s nature Who is Pure Spirit. But God’s point of view toward us is a no brainer once we grasp our own nature.

God calls us to share in His life. :thumbsup:

That is why there is a visible Catholic Church on earth.:smiley:

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