Daryll states…"…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 ou 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."
Brother…I love to study Wisdom…and Wisdom transcends everything…overviews everything…knows everything…even things to come. Sometimes…very rarely…She gives me a glimpse into deep realities…(always with myriad Biblical verse confirmation).
(I used to think myself especially blessed…but as I get older I realize such gifts are common to all of God’s children.)
If my posts seem arrogant…I beg your forgiveness…I only want to sound off some ideas and perhaps help an OP here and there…while keeping a watchful eye on possible heresy.
Yes God reveals Himself through certain people throughout history, such as Saint Thomas Aquinas. This is a grace. But the Scriptures also state that " I do not run after knowledge too lofty for me". This is not an exact quote, but is very close. I’m not able to look it up just now. The point is that we are open to knowing what God chooses to make known to us, but that we don’t attempt to chase after knowledge too lofty for us or try to figure God out- that’s simply not possible. A big part of humility is in accepting human limitations, including knowledge. This fact goes all the way back to Adam and Eve.
How is that evil? It is Christ’s incarnation which allows us to participate in the Divine Life of God. That is what Athanasius means when he says “God became man so that man may become god.” This is the classic position of the Greek fathers, and western fathers and some Latin scholastics like Scotus (I believe).
Psalm 139…David is delighting in God’s transcendence and burst forth with the claim…“that it is a knowledge too great for me”. Some translations say “I did not go after a knowledge too deep for me”…but the context fits with the prior quote.
Nonetheless, if you are warning me out of Christian charity to beware of pride…thank you kindly.
To follow up on some of the previous posters, here’s a link to a website explaining Blessed John Scotus’ theory of the Absolute Primacy of Christ: absoluteprimacyofchrist.org/
The gist of it, as I understand it, is that Christ would have come into the world whether Adam sinned or not. This is because God planned from the very beginning that all of creation be made for Christ. God’s end goal for making creation was to unite it with Himself and this would come to be through the incarnation of the Word. And, as Scotus suggests, this end goal is what God actually first “thought” of. It’s like He planned in reverse, beginning with the ultimate goal (Christ) and then working backwards from it. …At least that’s what I understood from it :D.
My memory may be playing tricks with me…I thought that the members of the Catholic Church moved toward God and an eternal union with Him–the perfect end or goal or purpose of our human lives. On the other hand, God in His great love for us does move, via His grace, to bring us to Himself. Still, we have to accept His call and reach out to Him.
How wonderful is the Catholic Church which gives us God, truly present in the Eucharist.
Just to look at the question philosophically, and recognizing that God is the being whom no greater may be conceived, to my way of thinking at least, God as Christians conceive him to be is greater than how Muslims and Jews conceive him. ‘God become man’ is inherently greater than God remaining fully transcendent to the human experience.
From our own point of view, the greatest human being is the hero, the one who gives his life for another. This is only possible if we are standing up against a power or an evil that is capable of killing us. There is no heroism in squashing bugs, for even the coward can do this without imperilling his life.
Conceiving an heroic God is conceiving a God greater than one whose transcendent state of omnipotent Being puts him above even the possibility of heroism. The nature of God as being that which none greater can be conceived necessitates that God become man therefore, in order to reveal himself as hero.
Heroism only becomes possible in the world of limits, our human world.
We cannot know exactly what the world would have been like without the Fall. We can know some things, however.
If Lucifer had not sinned in Heaven, he would now be the Bearer of Light to the whole angelic hierarchy. He was the most exalted of all the angels. It was NOT Necessary for him to sin.
If he had not sinned, then it is likely that Adam and Eve also would not have sinned, since they only sinned at Satan’s suggestion.
The world would not be filled with suffering, disease, starvation, poverty, war, etc., etc. None of the maladies introduced with sin and death would be with us.
Our Lord would not have deemed it necessary to undergo His Crucifixion to save us.
Would any of us exist? That is an interesting question. I think it is possible some would and some wouldn’t. Simply factual is that God can bring good even out of the greatest evil, and He did so. He made the very death that Adam’s sin brought into the world, the cause of our salvation, by suffering it, Himself. But the suffering and misery that has characterized the world for at least six thousand years amply justifies God’s condemnation of Satan and his legions of evil.
Not exactly snowball. You forget Jesus words to certain people who complained to Jesus in John 10:34 that Jesus who is a man claims to be God. He says to them “Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? (Psalm 82:6) so the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was adressed, and scripture cannot be rejected.” Jesus created humanity so that through the process of theosis or deification we can all receive the Holy Spirit towards that Fullness of Grace where we can be like our Lord Jesus Christ. We become “gods” by grace and if you can’t understand that says Jesus then you cannot understand Him.
"No, you shall not die the death. 5 For God knows that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. "
Notwithstanding the partial truth of the second part, the first part is clearly a lie. “You shall not die.” It is the same lie that Satan has been spreading all over the world since then, as well. It is the very basis of false religion. If we don’t really die, then there is no need for Jesus’ Sacrificial Death. But if He really died, then it is our task to really die to ourselves, so as to participate in the Life He won.
As I learn about the relationship between Adam, the creature and his Creator, I find that the only way Adam, as creature, can remain in that relationship is if he freely lives in submission to his Creator. Obviously, there cannot be two Creator Gods.
Yet, it would be normal for anyone to wonder what it would be like to rise above the creature status and be like God. In order to do that, Adam would have to refuse to freely submit to God. He would do this through the actual Original Sin whereby he would stomp on his relationship and crush it with his prideful disobedience.
What people forget is that the relationship between humanity and divinity was not a relationship between equals. That is why there had to be a person Who was both True God and True man in order to restore the relationship through the supreme obedience unto death. This act would conquer death, by His resurrection, and reopen the doors to an eternal relationship of joy with the Beatific Vision.
This seems sound, since God is omniscient. God wouldn’t strictly need a contingency, the way a human planner would.
That seems a strange way of saying it. He knew that man would sin. “Would have sinned,” implies that he didn’t. Now if in this thread we are discussing the hypothetical that he didn’t, I think a better way to say that is, “He would know that man would have sinned,” but this implies, of course, “except. . .” We can’t get around the fact that since man did sin, any world in which he had not sinned would be a different hypothetical world. It would have at least one difference — namely, that Adam did not sin. In such a world, this world the way it turned out would qualify as a contingency on God’s part.
Actually, maybe that’s what it is. It seems to me that God would have preferred not to need to go through the Crucifixion for us. Yet, He knew, with infallible foreknowledge, that He would. What love!
This, I’m not so sure about. Although, it does raise yet another hypothetical. If no angel had ever sinned, but man did, then perhaps man would be condemned without reprieve the way Satan and his angels were!
I think the Catholic teaching is not that we are guilty but that we inherit concupiscence.
If what you say about man being created to become a saint is true, then it seems that sanctification is a process he has to go through, so Adam and Eve were created, it would seem, in a “ground state.” The were created natural, and infused with supernatural grace. If increase in grace is sanctification, then it seems Adam and Eve would be created at a level 0 (lowest), and increase from there. Whether they sinned immediately after they were created or there was an interim time is a question. If there was an interim time, then it seems they would have increased in grace during that time, because the blessed in heaven continue to increase in grace and holiness, forever.
I guess it seems a little confusing to talk about a “very height” of sanctity — that seems like a possession of God alone. Human beings can be made more holy, more like God, but there is also always more holiness in store for us, since God is actually Infinite. So it seems Adam and Eve were created with a certain degree of holiness, and it seems they would have increased from there, but when they fell, it seems they lost what they initially had. In other words it seems that their state after the Fall was lower than their original state, if they were created in sanctifying grace and then lost that. So it seems sound to say that they fell from the greatest height of sanctity that they or any human had so far ever seen. Not that there are not greater heights — it is absurd to postulate an “absolute height” of sanctity unless we mean that possessed by God alone — but at that time, Adam and Eve, until they actually sinned at least in thought, were not on a decline in sanctity but an incline, the natural state of the blessed in God’s presence.
So it seems that, while Adam and Eve were certainly not created at any “very height” of sanctity, yet they were created without sin, so their sanctity, whatever the degree, was 100%. And they fell from that 100%. Perhaps, when they were created, they were kept in stasis with regard to their degree of sanctity, so that they did not actually increase beyond that in which they were created; perhaps, the choice of sin or virtue was first presented to them, before any increases of grace. Can it be that that was what Saint Chrysostom was saying?
Saint Paul wrote that condemnation came into the world through one man. While Adam’s sin does not condemn us, nonetheless Adam’s sin decided for us that we all are born into sin.
The Church, both in the East and in the West, is God’s instrument of His Mercy. There is no difference in the East and the West in that fact. You may say that some Eastern theological views strike you are more merciful, but to say that the Eastern Church is in fact more merciful than the Western, is to do violence to the concept of God’s Infinite Mercy. Mercy is Infinite, throughout God’s entire world on Earth.
Was Jesus then not punished in His Crucifixion?
Actually, according to my understanding of it, that simply isn’t true. Satan is guilty of an eternal sin, and so are the damned. To die in mortal sin, is exactly to sin forever. That is the reality of hell, the Second Death.
In hell, for example, they blaspheme and curse God constantly, which are sins.
Some say, death gives us “brakes.”
It seems to me that if the Divine Judge says to one, “Depart from me, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,” that is a pronouncement of condemnation from the Judge. So Saint Paul cannot be saying “God cannot condemn us.” This idea of “separating the sin from the sinner,” I’m not sure where it comes from, it seems like a “feel-good” philosophy kind of thing, like when Christians say, “we must hate the sin but love the sinner.” The simplicity of the reality is that it is up to the individual sinner to separate himself from his sins, with God’s help of course. His sins are going to be condemned one way or the other, and the operative question for the individual is whether he would rather hold on to his sins and experience condemnation with them, or accept God’s grace and let them go.
I like this last thing which you have said. Yes, Mary was conceived with the fullness of the Holy Spirit already indwelling in her. That is her unique privilege as the Immaculate Conception. Because of this, what you call her “advantage,” she did not experience concupiscence as we do. Adam and Eve also did not experience concupiscence, yet they sinned, with full consent of their wills. Mary, with full consent of her will, said, “let it be,” to God. So it is initially Mary’s free act of will, in giving her will completely to God, that repairs for Eve’s initial act of disobedience, which was just her refusal to give her will completely to God.
Mary is thus the real hero of the whole human race. It was her act of obedience that, in God’s perfect Justice, actually earned for us the right to receive our Messiah.