A.Suarez's Treatment on a Pope's Formulation for Original Sin's Transmission!

(Antoine Suarez) #731

This means that your body “as it was at 20” is now somehow internalized in your soul. So if you die your soul will take the internalized body with her. However after death your soul is no longer able to make choices between good and bad. This is precisely what death means.

Only the dust your soul uses to shape your body will be delegated to the scrap heap. Your body will be taken away internalized in your soul.

Your soul deserves “the title of Image” because it is a human soul, that is, a soul like the soul of Jesus Christ. And this is the same as saying that your body is like the body of Jesus Christ, and consequently your body deserves the title of Image as well.

I dare to propose you rather see things in a relational perspective:

By means of your body you have created webs of love involving your family, the families of your children, your colleagues, friends, etc. These webs, which will survive you and continue to grow till the end of times, are actually part of your body. So your body will only be complete at the end of times. All those who have chosen God in their earthly lives with help of Jesus Christ’s grace will experience the completion of their bodies through an immense web of love. This completion is nothing other than “the resurrection of dead at the end of time”, and the web of love uniting the so completed (“resurrected”) bodies will build the glorious body of the Son of God: “for we are members of his body” (Ephesians 5: 30)

So ”the resurrection of dead at the end of time” will be the fulfillment of the words by which God defines the beginning of humankind in Genesis 1: 26: “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”.

I consider the state of the resurrected bodies in heaven magnificently described in the following quotation of C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves:

When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. … All that was true love in them was, even on earth, far more His than ours, and ours only because His. In Heaven there will be no anguish and no duty of turning away from our earthly Beloveds… because we shall find them all in Him. By loving Him more than them we shall love them more than we now do.

(Randy) #732

Enjoyed this quote. Thank you

(Antoine Suarez) #733

Indeed, this quote of C.S. Lewis is interesting in many respects.

On the one hand it magnificently describes how people in heaven will be related to each other building a web of love which is the glorious body of Jesus Christ (see post 730 before).

On the other hand, it helps us to understand a bit better what hell means:

Those going to hell choose to remain alone, separated from God and therefore also from the consequences of their own good deeds: Being damned means to loathe even people to whom one has done some good while one was living in this world.

So one can say that in hell there is ‘no one’, because it is full of individuals without name.

There is a “Book of Life”, where are registered the names that people in heaven have forever (Revelation 2:17).

However, there is no “Book of Death” because there are no names that could be registered in it: Those choosing to remain outside heaven (Revelation 20:17) have no name, that is, are unknown to God for ever: I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (Matthew 7:23)

(Antoine Suarez) #734

Another interesting point this C.S Lewis’ quote suggests is the following:

We will find in heaven all the good that has been done in history and those who did it. In particular, we will find in God the people who have loved us and we have loved. Love remains forever.

Consider now a history without sin. Such a history is a real possibility in God’s mind, otherwise humans would not be free NOT to sin. In such a history the number of places in heaven would match the number of people who lived on earth from the beginning of humanity till the end of times; there would be no sinner in hell, that is, no one without name .

In such a history people would get to heaven in the state of original grace or righteousness. This means they would reach eternal life by means of God’s Incarnation without going through a state of “need of Redemption”.

Consequently, it is the first sin in human history who triggers the state of “need of Redemption” (the state of “original sin”) in which we all are since: “Adam’s sin (the first sin of history) is our sin”.

(Antoine Suarez) #735

In my view what “separates humans from animals” is God’s declaration (Genesis 1:26-27):

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”.

If we dispose of this fact, then there is no reason to assign humanity a dignity and value that non-human animals do not have.

Richard Dawkins himself takes for granted that we (humans) have to live and set our values differently from what non-human animals do:

“We should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives.”
“You are right when you say that aspects of what Hitler tried to do could be regarded as arising out of Darwinian natural selection. That’s exactly why I said that I despise Darwinian natural selection as a motto for how we should live.”

However, Dawkins does not give any reason for this.

By contrast we find the reason in Genesis (1:26-27; 5: 1-3; 9:5-6).

In my view you cannot found coherently why humans are accountable for murdering other humans while animals are not accountable for killing members of their own species, unless you assume that humanity is defined by God as being in His Image.

Since this definition referred to in Genesis the human body is in God’s Image and therefore has a value that other animal bodies do not have.

(Antoine Suarez) #736

Your comment reminds me the opportunity of summarizing the main opinions regarding original sin expressed in this thread and in related ones:

We all carry in us selfish tendencies of evolution, innate propensity to lust and greed.

Indeed, evolutionary tendencies can be mastered and even transformed into attitudes of love by means of righteous practices with help of Jesus Christ’s Grace.

The crucial question is whether or not in the beginning God created the first accountable Image Bearers in a state of original Grace to the end that they were strong enough to master propensity to lust and greed and the only sin they could commit was pride, that is, desiring to be like God without acknowledging Him as Ruler about good and bad,

It seems to me that in this blog there are two main opinions regarding this crucial question :

  • People who answer this question by YES, and consequently acknowledge that after the first sin humanity lost the state of original Grace or Righteousness and entered the state of “original sin” with “need of Redemption” (“Adam’s sin is our sin”).

  • People who answer this question by NO and consequently acknowledge that God created the first accountable Image Bearers in the state of “original sin”.

Opinion 1 amounts to say that all accountable Image Bearers are created by God “in the state of original sin”, but this only after the first sin.

Opinion 2 amounts to say that all accountable Image Bearers are created by God “in the state of original sin”, and this also before the first sin.

Both Opinions acknowledge that God creates people in “the state of original sin”, that is, with propensity to sin.

So the difference between the two Opinions consists in that Opinion 1 assumes that the primeval accountable Image Bearers were created in state of original righteousness, which they lost after a sin of pride, while Opinion 2 disposes of such an assumption.

So it may be useful to complete this thread by discussing which assumption is more appropriate: God created the first human persons in state of original righteousness or in state of original sin.

Notice that the state of original righteousness may have been of short duration, and thus both Opinions are in agreement with the historical data we have about the state of humanity.

(Antoine Suarez) #737

For me an important result of the discussion on “original sin” in BioLogos is that most posters actually endorse the following position:

Humanity as community of accountable Image Bearers is in the “state of original sin” in the sense of “state of need of Jesus Christ’s Redemption”.

Contributors like @Kathryn_Applegate and myself share the position that this state was caused by the first sin in human history (“Adam’s sin is our sin”). This amounts to assume that the accountable humans were created by God in a state of original righteousness before the arrival of the first sin.

Other contributors deny such a state of original righteousness. This amounts to say that accountable humans were in the “state of original sin” since the beginning and God is the only cause of such a state.

Thus acceptance or denial of the state of original righteousness seems to be the crucial question that leads to deviating positions.

As said, I would be thankful for discussing this question here.

If corresponding comments are not posted, it may be appropriate to close the thread here.

In any case, I warmly thank all who have posted to this thread for the most valuable contributions.

(Antoine Suarez) #738

Dear Albert,

Before this thread becomes closed, I would like to complete it by adding a comment to your quote above.

Actually I agree to what you say.

However, regarding humans I share Richard Dawkins’ statements:

“We should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives.” “[…] aspects of what Hitler tried to do could be regarded as arising out of Darwinian natural selection. That’s exactly why I said that I despise Darwinian natural selection as a motto for how we should live.”

So we can say that “God’s method of creation (via evolution)” is also sort of God’s revelation to humanity:

We are in God’s Image while non-human animals are not. So we should not set up our values according to Darwinian evolution. We have to despise Darwinian natural selection as a motto for how we should live.

(Randy) #739

Here’s a quote from GK Chesterton that helps me with illustration of our responsibility (after all, much of faith and religion also enables us to improve responsibility, does it not? Christianity also describes how we can come to the Father when we fail, as well, through His Son and gift)

“No man’s really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he’s realised exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about ‘criminals,’ as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away; till he’s got rid of all the dirty self-deception of talking about low types and deficient skulls; till he’s squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat.”
― G.K. Chesterton, The Complete Father Brown

(Shawn T Murphy) #740

This is just a 30,000 ft observation. I was expecting constructive discourse between science and theology. Why is so much energy being exerted on the unanswerable, theologic concept of original sin?


There are those of us who enjoy discussing this?

(George Brooks) #743


Original Sin, as interpreted by Augustine in Romans 5, is one of the most persistent obstacles to seeing Adam/Eve as figurative or allegorical narratives.

For the usual Creationists, Adam and Eve must be absolutely historical … or Romans 5 doesn’t mean what they think it means.

The fact that millions of Eastern Orthodox Christians have totally dismissed Original Sin, and they do just fine, doesn’t have much traction with Creationists in the Western tradition of Christianity!

(Shawn T Murphy) #744

This is a topic that I have written much about, but have restrained myself. The simple answer is both are partially correct. The Adam and Eve in the Garden are spiritual beings in Paradise (Luke 23:43). Starting in Genesis 4:1 Adam and Eve are now incarcerated as humans around 200,000 years ago. But no one wants to pursue a line of thinking that could unify Christianity.

(Albert Leo) #745


I’ve found this thread, which you started, to be the most productive of the many that I have followed on this forum. If one wanted to distill the most important conclusion to be reached from a review of the entirety of this thread it may be this: _“Just because a particular author has reached a worldview that is unappealing to you, does not mean that he/she has no wisdom to impart”_Richard Dawkins is a good case in point. As @Relates is quick to point out, readers of ‘Selfish Gene’, ’ The God Delusion’, etc. are easily misled as to how a belief in evolution should influence the relationship with our creator, but surprisingly, as you point out, Dawkins does express some insights worthy of careful consieration:

This is a clear statement that human nature is more strongly affected by evolution in the Noosphere (as proposed by Chardin some 50 yrs. earlier) than by Darwinian evolution in the biosphere. But Dawkins failed to grasp the wisdom Chardin was trying to impart._(This is not unusual, most of the readers of his of his original works in French readers struggle.). So Dawkins considered Chardin as a failed scientist, and ended up with, what I see as, a warped worldview.

Antoine, I believe that you and I and Dawkins–all three of us plus many contributors to this Forum–are trying to form a worldview consistent with what we perceive of the Universe “as viewed through a glass darkly”._I think both you and I look forward to an afterlife where we will attain a clear vision of just how magnificent and incomprehensible (to he human mind) our Creator actually is. I admire Dawkins’ mental abilities, but I pity anyone that approaches the end of their earthly existence without the anticipation of an eternal existence with one’s loving Creator.

Be well and God bless!
Al Leo

(Antoine Suarez) #746

To pursue such a line is the aim of this thread.
So let us try to join efforts for this.

What do you mean by this? Please elaborate:

Did Adam and Eve in Paradise have a body?
Were they in need of the Redemption by Jesus Christ?

What do you mean by “incarcerated”?

Why did Adam and Eve become “incarcerated”?

Thanks for contributing!

(Shawn T Murphy) #747

Adam and Eve were two of the ten fallen Elders of Heaven. The 24 Elders are shown on the Menorah and reflected in the human ribcage. We have 24 ribs and 14 of these are attached the sternum (Jesus) while 10 are false or floating ribs. Adam and Eve were two of these false ribs.

Paradise is the spiritual realm where Jesus went after His death on the cross. He went there in spirit and this is where Adam and Eve had once lived in spirit, before they failed their test. Yes, they had a spiritual body.

Adam and Eve were the first two of the fallen angels that wanted to reconcile with their King. The first test that God designed was to use these two as a proxy for all the fallen. The test was in the spiritual realm. But when they failed the test, the second test was implemented, but this time the material world. So, Adam and Eve needed to incarnate into a human body to start their redemption process.

We know from Genes 5 that Adam was not the first to complete his path of redemption. All of these needed to wait in Paradise for the coming of King to open the gates to heaven.

The King came down from Heaven, incarnated as Human to return the 1/3 of Heaven that had been long ago cast out.

I have met very few Christians willing to accept this story and the key tenets of Jesus’ teaching.

  • Not one will be lost! ( Luke 15:4-5 ) and even the Prodigal Son will be celebrated when he finally comes home ( Luke 15:11-32 ) .
  • We must repay our debts to the last farthing ( Matt 5:21-26 ) and become perfect as God created us ( Matthew 5:43-48 ). We need to learn to love our neighbors and eventually our enemies before we have become perfect.
  • While the only way to gain eternal life is by believing the Jesus is the King of Heaven. ( John 3:15 )

We all have the same spiritual ancestry.


Huh? How much time did they serve?

(Antoine Suarez) #749

I totally agree. From Richard Dawkins we can learn two important things:

  • It is impossible to establish at which moment humanity begins exclusively by biological means.

  • “We should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives.”

The conclusion of this two insights is that humanity begins at the moment humans become aware they should live respecting each other because they are in God’s Image. This is precisely what Genesis 9:6 tells us.

(Antoine Suarez) #750

Albert, what you tell here is also confirmed by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

Aquinas writes in Summa Theologiae I, Question 48, Article 3, Reply to objection 3:

as Augustine says (Enchir. 11), "God is so powerful that He can even make good out of evil." Hence many good things would be taken away if God permitted no evil to exist; for fire would not be generated if air was not corrupted, nor would the life of a lion be preserved unless the ass were killed. Neither would avenging justice nor the patience of a sufferer be praised if there were no injustice .

Aquinas actually states here the same Richard Dawkins states: “one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives. […] We should not live according to Darwinian principles”.

As you rightly point out this means that humans should not behave according to the Biosphere principles of Darwinian evolution, but according to Noosphere principles deriving from the fact that we are in the Image of God.

Thus, at the end of the day Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Teilhard de Chardin, and Richard Dawkins are all stating the same, cast in different words!

(Antoine Suarez) #751

“Augustine in Romans 5” and “Adam and Eve as the absolutely historical first sinners” are perfectly compatible with Evolution.

The most persistent obstacle to understand what the “state of original sin” is all about, is to think that all accountable Image Bearers must absolutely be genetically or genealogically descended from a single primeval couple.

Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Teilhard de Chardin, Richard Dawkins, you, me, and most people in BioLogos, we all share the same view regarding the state of “original sin”, that is, the state where humanity is today.

The difference is about whether or not the primeval accountable humans were created by God in a state of original righteousness.