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


(Antoine Suarez) #763

Therefore “Adam and Eve” were Image Bearers.

And according to Genesis 2 and 3 they were aware of what is good and what is bad, and therefore accountable.

To this discussion Genesis 5:1-3 is crucial.

Putting together Genesis 1:26-27; 2:15-17, 3, 5:1-3, 6:1-4, 9:5-6 we are led to the following account:

In a first moment God makes two things:

  • Defines humanity by declaring that he makes human-kind in his own image and his own likeness.

  • Gives to some human Image Bearers “knowledge of good and bad”, who thereby become accountable.

Thereafter, till the Flood, God creates new accountable Image Bearers in two ways:

  • As offspring of the primeval Image Bearers.

  • Directly, like he created the first accountable Image Bearer “Adam”: These are the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2-4, who became accountable when marrying into the lineage of Adamite humans.

Nonetheless at the time of the Flood there are millions of Image Bearers who are NOT accountable all over the earth.

Genesis 9:5-6 is the moment when God completes the creation of humanity by making all Image Bearers accountable. Hence, the universal “taboo on murder”.

Two final points:

  • “Genetic or Genealogical Adam” is a strong symbol aiming to highlight the fraternity of all humans. Nonetheless in the light of Evolution we understand today that we are human because we are Image Bearers and share a body like the body of the Son of God, and NOT because we are genealogically descended from Adam&Eve. This is also the meaning of the “rainbow” in Genesis 9:13-16 (see a similar parable in the last Urbi et Orbi Address by Pope Francis).

  • It is fitting to assume that the first accountable Image Bearers (“Adam and Eve”) were created in a state of grace comparable to that we receive through baptism.


(Antoine Suarez) #764

Albert, I feel very much like you.

Me too I admire Dawkins’ mental abilities. He has helped me to understand what evolution is all about:

  • We cannot establish at which time humanity begins by biological means alone.

  • We should not live by Darwinian principles.

How can someone who acknowledges these principles deny the existence of God?

I think the reason for this denial is a misleading view of God that overlooks He is “one’s loving Creator”, as you very well say.

Dawkins rejects to be loved by God, and therefore is not ready to love God either.

He overlooks that this amounts to remain alone and without name forever, that is, to condemn oneself to be none.


(Antoine Suarez) #765

Augustine’s position is often misunderstood. What he advocates is actually that we are conceived with tendencies to pride, lust and greed (“triple concupiscence”) and to overcome them we need the Grace of Jesus Christ. The ordinary way to get this Grace is through Baptism.

Augustine’s “concupiscence” is nothing other than what we call today selfish evolutionary mechanisms or Darwinian principles.

So it seems to me that Augustine’s position amounts to what most people in this blog endorse.

Notice that Augustine’s position does not mean that “we are conceived in sin” in the sense that “if infants die without baptism they go to hell”. It should rather be understood in the context of his confutation of Pelagianism: Augustine highlights that Christ’s Grace is necessary for salvation, humans cannot earn salvation by their efforts alone. And if Christ’s Grace means help to overcome selfish tendencies in us and develop a virtuous life, it seems fitting to give this help to infants as well, the same way as a mother gives her baby her breast milk.

I am glad to see that the Baptist church you joined takes Baptism seriously, following Jesus Commission:

Mark 16: 15-16
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

And deciding to join this church and be baptized at the age of 33 you seem to take Baptism seriously as well :slightly_smiling_face:!


(George Brooks) #766

I think the orthodox church would say that infant baptism has no affect on an infant’s selfish tendencies.


(Antoine Suarez) #767

I quote from this Orthodox Christian resource:

Why not wait for the baby to grow and believe in Christ and ask for baptism? If we were to follow this line of reasoning, we wouldn’t inoculate the baby against diphtheria until he grows up and asks for it! But we know better. Baptising infants before they know what is going on is an expression of God’s great love for us. It shows that God loves us and accepts us before we can ever know and love Him. It shows that we are wanted and loved by God from the very moment of our birth. Nothing shows the nature of God’s grace more than infant baptism. The Orthodox Church does not belittle personal faith in an adult who seeks baptism, but instead insists that the whole emphasis of baptism is not on what the baby does or the parents or the godparents, but on what God does. The fact that we are Christians is not due to any act on our part; it is due to the act of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

In accord with this, I think that Christian life means struggle to overcome selfish tendencies in us, according to Jesus’ Beatitudes in his teaching on the mount (Matthew 5-7).

God created the world by means of Darwinian selfish mechanisms under higher-level ecological regulation.

By contrast, God calls humanity to regulate Darwinian tendencies by living according to the Golden Rule. The Grace of God we receive in Baptism help us to achieve this provided we do not freely reject it.

So Richard Dawkins’ statement: “We should not live by Darwinian principles”, is mere Christianity after all!

And his other statement: “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”, in fact means that evolution is a new and strong proof of God’s existence.


(George Brooks) #768

@AntoineSuarez

If you can perceive the meta-message of this text… it is essentially saying:

Nothing encapsulates the love and optimism for the future better than baptizing an infant - - BECAUSE it does nothing for the child, other than puts the infant in the embrace of Christianity’s heart and soul.

At the very least, this serves as the anti-Augustinian sermon!


(Antoine Suarez) #769

I agree. However, to put “the infant in the embrace of Christianity’s heart and soul” means for the infant to receive the help of Christ’s grace to live according to the Beatitudes. And this means to do a lot for the child! Indeed, it means to help him/her to overcome selfish Darwinian tendencies to pride, lust and greed (triple concupiscence).

This is clearly confirmed by the first part of my quotation:

Why not wait for the baby to grow and believe in Christ and ask for baptism? If we were to follow this line of reasoning, we wouldn’t inoculate the baby against diphtheria until he grows up and asks for it! But we know better. Baptising infants before they know what is going on is an expression of God’s great love for us. It shows that God loves us and accepts us before we can ever know and love Him. It shows that we are wanted and loved by God from the very moment of our birth. Nothing shows the nature of God’s grace more than infant baptism.

In any case this does not look like an

In summary, we see once again how evolution fits well to Christianity:

God creates the animal world by means of selfish Darwinian principles under control of higher-level ecological regulation.

By making humanity in His Image, God calls us to live according to the rule of love (as you rightly point out) and to this aim gives us the necessary help (grace) to resist against concupiscence.


(George Brooks) #770

@AntoineSuarez

Virtually any mystical paragraph in English can receive color and flavor by virtue of Roman Catholic Writings.

But that does not make the mystical paragraph into genuine Catholicism.

Say whatever you like.

But most Eastern Orthodox theologies are VIGOROUSLY opposed to Original Sin.

Some are so opposed to it, even illogical contentions are aggregated and enlisted in anti-Roman apologetics that are so extreme they can even make ME blush.

You and several others have attempted to personally reconcile centuries of Eastern Orthodox views as really “just a different flavor of what Augustine meant.”

No. Full stop. That is not correct.

Other than some Russian orthodox writings that do appear to bend towarfs Rome, most of the other branches appear to be of one mind:

That Augustine was wrong about Original sin… but not wrong that all will sin and come short of the glory of Jesus.