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

(Antoine Suarez) #722

To be or not to be!

Either you assume that human Extraterrestrials can exist, and then you have coherently to discuss the theological implications of this assumption, in particular that transmission of original sin happens neither by genetic nor genealogical descent.

Or you reject in principle such a possibility, and this amount to deny evolution outside earth, and so you should not claim:

(Antoine Suarez) #723

Many thanks Randy, for this funny story: It caricatures quite well the dualistic misconception that the soul is sort of ethereal substance spread throughout the body.

So Lowry plays with the prejudice that the bones of dead people are somewhat permeated with the souls of these people, to suggest that when the bones are transplanted the soul becomes transplanted as well.

In my view, the correct explanation is rather that the body is contained in the soul as a highly sophisticated program to shape organic stuff into a human person. So when you transplant a heart of one person A to another person B, you do not transplant part of the soul of A. The transplanted heart becomes body of B because it is steered by B’s soul.

A human body is the human soul itself acting within space and time. God assigns to each human person a limited number of bodily operations through which everyone performs choices between good and bad. Once this limit is reached dead happens. So strictly speaking it is not the organism that is ageing but the soul itself by approaching the number limiting how many choices the person can make during her earthly life.

Accordingly, after death the matter what remains is not a human body but, as you very well state, a corpse or cadaver.

After dead the body remains in the soul, but the soul of a dead person can no longer perform bodily choices between good and bad since it has already reached its limit. So the resurrection means that the souls of the dead persons will be endowed by God again with unlimited capability of performing bodily operations although no longer to make choices between good and bad but to choose God forever.

(Randy) #724

Dr Suarez,

Thanks for your note. I am not sure exactly how God will do things–though this is probably an admirable attempt at assessing it.
It’s been said that humor consists of juxtaposing the unknown and fearful with the familiar. What do you think? That is perhaps why Mark Lowry is able to make us laugh best when talking about death and danger.

(Randy) #725

I know what you mean, but to take it out of context is another opportunity for humor that I hope you will laugh with me about as well: --what if we only had so many heartbeats?

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it… don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good!

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!! … Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO! Cocoa beans ! Another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! ‘Round’ is a shape! br /> Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

  1. The Japanese eat very little fat
    and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
    and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
    and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
    and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  5. The Germans drink lots of beer, eat lots of sausages
    and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
    Eat and drink what you like.
    Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

(Antoine Suarez) #726

In my view here you are deviating from Teilhard de Chardin, aren’t you?

(Antoine Suarez) #727

Thanks Randy for the “humor opportunity”
I had really a good laugh about it!

On my turn I take it as an opportunity to go a step further in our conversation:

The number of “heartbeats” God assigns may very well depend on the diet somebody is on.

All possible choices you can make define alternative histories that are all contained in God’s mind: You freely choose the history you want for you (also by planning your nutritional regime :slightly_smiling_face:).

But in any case you will not be able of prolonging your life indefinitely!

(Randy) #728

Exactly. Thank you.

(Phil) #729

So, guess I will stay on my beta-blocker. There was a study once done in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that jogging extended your life by about two years. A pundit did the math and figured the time taken to jog, and determined that yes, you would live longer, but you would spend all that time running.

(Randy) #730

that gave me a smile. I once read a quantification like that that was a tiny bit more favorable–7 minutes extra for 1/2 hour or something like that; and then rained on my parade by saying that each sausage decreased my life by 4 minutes, or something like that.

(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?