Agree. With enough extra characters to make the software happy.
Then the history where none sins and is excluded from eternal life is in principle a real alternative contained in God’s mind.
In this history without sinners none would be in a stage of need of Redemption at any time. Nonetheless, it seems fitting to assume that also in such a history God’s Son becomes flesh as completion of Creation.
Thus Incarnation would remain the principal event in the work of Creation and be the source of divine help (Grace) transforming each human decision into an act of love to God.
In such a history there would obviously be no moral wrongdoing (wars, killings, deceit, adultery, etc.). Additionally it would be rather awkward on the part of God to allow human suffering because illness, bodily damages, etc.
Do you also agree upon this? Thanks in advance for confirming.
I would say it is in theory an alternative. But God would also know that it isn’t going to happen.
In this alternative, hypothetical universe yes.
This amounts to say that in any case and from God’s perspective, before the first sin happened in human history, God arranged things so that the alternative history was always possible, otherwise God would be the author of sin.
In particular, it could have happened that generations of accountable people passed till the arrival of sin. Accordingly in this period there would have been no moral wrongdoing, that is, humans would have been able to master their “human nature formed by evolution” to love God and the others. And, as said, one could fittingly even assume that in this alternative history God empowers the spiritual principle in humans to overcome any bodily pain or illness.
Here is where we part ways.
If it was possible for people to not sin, how could the fact that someone did sin suddenly make it impossible for anyone to not sin? If it was possible before why would it be impossible after?
[quote=“Bill_II, post:365, topic:35442”]
[@AntoineSuarez This amounts to say that in any case and from God’s perspective, before the first sin happened in human history, God arranged things so that the alternative history was always possible, otherwise God would be the author of sin.
@Bill_II Here is where we part ways.
Bill, in regards to this particular exchange of ideas, I must side with you rather than with Antoine–possibly because I can grasp simpler explanations rather than deep philosophy. First of all, isn’t it mostly chutzpah to examine the matter of Sin from God’s perspective?. Christians have no problem accepting the belief that God created everything in the Universe, and Sin certainly exists on this planet that is part of the Universe. Yet it seems to be an anathema to state that God is the author of Sin. Could it be possible that in the last 10K years humans, in constructing languages, have applied the label, Sin, to actions that, within the context of evolution, are not intrinsically evil? We are comforted by examples in evolution of symbiosis being rewarded, but we are repulsed by instances where selfishness and lust for power are equally rewarded–e.g. a bull elephant seal trampling newborn pups in his rush to “protect” his harem from being inseminated by a roaming male.
It appears that God is content to let both competition and cooperation work side by side in biospheric creation. But IMHO He has something more challenging in Mind for humankind: a creature that can choose to live in His Image, that can overcome animal instinct and lead a life guided by love and compassion. Failure to accept the challenge to construct that Kingdom on Earth is the true measure of Sinfulness. At least that is my poor attempt at guessing how God sees it.
I think the problem for some is if God is the author of Sin then we are not responsible for our sin and should therefore get a free pass (not my position at all).
I would word the four statements slightly differently:
A) Each person is free not to sin in any particular way, but that nobody once maturing to the point of attaining moral agency, no mortal is sufficiently disciplined to avoid all the ways of sin for more than a few days, let alone a lifetime.
B) All mortals attaining moral agency require redemption of their personal sins, and mortals that never attain moral agency require liberation from the mortality of their body.
C) The fact of “being in need of Redemption” is caused by the insurmountable challenge of avoiding all the possible ways of sin.
D) Mortals that have not attained moral agency are without sin, but are still flawed by their mortality.
After the first sin it is NOT impossible for anyone to not sin.
However, as George very well states:
I went back to your original statement and guess I misread you.
So what you are proposing is it was possible before the first sin that people lived for more than a few days and did not sin. Likewise it is possible after the first sin for people to live for more than a few days and not sin. Do I understand you correctly?
George’s comment seems to say it is impossible to live a sinless life.
Eastern Orthodox theologians say that even though people have Free Will (including Adam), the frailty of flesh is so pronounced that Adam sinned very soon.
The human inclination to sin is not because of one decision by Adam… but because, like Adam, we have bodies that are too difficult to discipline in the face of all the ways of sin.
Indeed I do ! @Bill_II, the longer one lives, the more likely he will make a sin.
Why is this so difficult to accept? Would we expect something more from an evolution of Homo sapien rooted in the rest of the animal kingdom?
What separates us from the rest of the animals is Moral Agency. Some appear to argue that Moral Agency is what Adam and Eve injected into the human gene pool. I’m not a huge fan of the concept, but I think it is workable.
I was raised Southern Baptist but I have come to agree with your position.
Hey I agree with you. Put down the bat. I was responding to Antoine’s statement. He keeps saying people can live a sinless life.
I believe what got injected into the human line was whatever it was that lead to behaviorally modern humans. Genetic or epigenetic who knows. It might even be just the development of complex language. But this is the point (or more like a wide gray line) at which we became separate from the rest of the animal family and had to potential to be image bearers. If you wish you could say Adam and Eve were responsible, but I don’t think so.
What makes it workable is the language we use to express the important concepts. We can readily accept that evolution in the biosphere has proceeded through a combination of competition and cooperation. Wolves cooperate in hunting as a pack, which promotes their survival as a species, but they do not knowingly care about the survival of their prey. As the canine line evolved into dogs, they ‘learned’ that if they cooperated with humans they ended up better fed. Eventually they ‘learned’ that if they cared for humans, becoming watch dogs for them and their domestic stock, they themselves were better cared for and eventually loved. So the concepts of love and consideration could emerge in in raw, survival-of- the fittest’ evolution. The balance, however, favored selfishness.
As soon as Homo sapiens was gifted with moral agency–Mind and Conscience–it changed the Game of Life completely. As St. Paul put it, “We have become a New Creation.” Or at least we have been invited to. How was this Invitation sent? Probably NOT through a mutation (or sequence of them) to the Homo sapiens DNA. Apparently it spreads through transmissible ideas. I prefer the term borrowed from Teilhard-- Noogenes. Some prefer Dawkin’s term, Memes. At any rate, it is evolution in the Noosphere–“Cultural evolution”–which should be our greatest concern for the future.
You understand me correctly.
My reason for this is that if I sin, the alternative that I do not sin is a possible story in God’s mind, otherwise God would be the author of sin, and this is absurd.
Nonetheless I state also that:
After the first sin in human history it is much more difficult for humans to live a sinless life than before the first sin.
The reason for this is:
So Bill is right stating that:
For this I can advance also Biblical evidence:
In the Old Testament: Melchizedek.
In the New Testament: “The All-holy Mother of God”, according to Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I:
“she succeeded, through the grace of God, in sanctifying herself in Christ and making herself worthy of becoming the house of God, as God wants all us human beings to become.”
For her to do this is equivalent to calling her a goddess. I like it. Keep the theme going… but don’t expect the Protestants in the room to applaud.
Melchizedek is thought to be an appearance of Jesus in the OT. He was worshiped by Abraham to indicate He was divine and human. See Hebrews 7.
I agree that Melchizedek was an appearance. However it would have been awkward for Jesus to appear before having been born.
Thus Melchizedek is an appearance of another human who:
Lived before Abraham;
Was without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life (Hebrews 7:3);
Was like the Son of God (Hebrews 7:3), and this implies he was seeing the Son of God like he is (1 John 3:2).
it seems you claim that Adam and Eve could have sinned without being responsible.
Di I understand you correctly?