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


(Antoine Suarez) #824

This amounts to say that Adam’s sin “caused all of humanity” to be in a state of “struggle with God”, that is, a “state lacking original friendship with God” and therefore a “state of need of Redemption”.

I agree to this conclusion, which seems to derive from what you say.


(Tim) #825

Yes, that was the point, that I see as Adam’s role. The distinction though was not all of mankind were immediately subjected to Adam’s separation from God.

The distinction comes from the fact that Adam was the sole human responsible for “sin to enter”. The knowledge of evil as a singular event. I am not sure if the contrast of good and evil was the new concept as opposed to the evolutionary thought that good was not present either. If humans had no knowledge of good, then evolutionary development of the animal makes sense. My argument was that all had direct knowledge with God, therefore all knew what good was. No one knew evil, nor the contrast good and evil brought to creation.

I think that Satan was considered superior to humanity, because it was the creation to serve God without reason. But because Satan could reason, he thought it better that humans were given a choice, instead of being forced to only know good. I think that Satan attempted to convince God that humans knowing evil, would not choose God, but would choose their own reasoning.

What I do not get is the need to turn Adam into a figure representative of all humanity. Built into evolution is the distinction that not all animals in a particular species will mutate at the same time, and more than likely only seperation assures that a mutation will happen that will cause a change.

As a group, humans may have locked this chance of change away, and there would be no temptation to “sin”. The other interesting thing about Adam and Eve is we get the concept that with evil, there is also a separation of self. The other humans both male and female were on equal footing. There was no disparity between male and female. Not only did God set it up for one human to decide, but seemingly this man was also split perhaps in personality where he physically had to view life through Eve. Two humans had to come together in agreement over something. I think that was probably a more major thing than sin and death itself. It seems to be that we are finally getting to the point where this distintion no longer makes a difference.

I guess some would argue that God did it on purpose and that was natural law. The whole thing sounds more like an experiment with a predictive outcome. Either humans would see the need to come together in unity, or they would have to constantly blame others for their own mistakes. Adam and Eve essentially being independent, yet dependent on each other in coming to agreement. Instead of one partner being weaker, the emphasis should be in one person there is strength. In anology only is one considered stronger. In practice they need to build on that strength as one, regardless who is the stronger of the two. The male is not always the stronger in all things, but the burden, if the relationship is to survive, has to be that whoever is stronger spiritually, should be allowed to lead in that area, even if they fall short in other areas. I do not think that one side should dominate, because it is rare, one individual is the strongest in all things. I think the same can be applied to the human/God relationship. God will let you run with your strengths, but let God carry us in those areas we are weak in.

I think that Noah’s event, was the point, that God let humanity run with everything, instead of forcing humans in one area or another. But God removed any knowledge of God, except we had to take Noah’s word for it. God then once again separated out a human, Abraham. The plan was again on track, that God would let humans back into the knowledge of God. But it was change over time, and also with selection and separation. But not all of humanity was called, although no one is forced to accept, nor are they forced to reject. Up to the point, humans can convince themselves there is no God.


(Antoine Suarez) #826

This is an interesting point.
Could you explain your view about when and how Adam’s separation from God became transmitted to “all of mankind”?


(GJDS) #827

The discussion needs an understanding of what we usually term ‘human nature’. This is, briefly, what is common to all of humanity (not transmitted), as it (human nature) is formed in one man, so it is so in all humanity. Christ adopted the same nature and showed that we (through Christ) can grow into Godly attributes by avoiding sin and by Christ defeating death. This Christ-like nature then becomes all of humanity that repents and receives God’s grace.

Thus as in the first man Adam all have sinned, in the last Adam, all will be saved.


(Tim) #828

The separation was the physical from the spiritual. It was not a condition that was transmitted physically. Separation indicates loss of control over our spiritual side. Adam’s offspring from Seth on were “diconnected” from a spiritual ability to be in direct connection with God.

The image of God is not just being self aware and able to reason and understand. Humanity was actually God on earth. We were the likeness of God with fleshly bodies. Eating of the tree was not some exercise in gaining more understanding. The fruit did not impart anything intrinsically to the flesh. It was the act itself which resulted in Adam and Eve realizing they were evil and mere flesh, now in the sight of God. God immediately seperated the spiritual ability of Adam and Eve to the point they did not even know God any more. Being banned from Eden sealed any chance to return to a state in which they could be connected with their spiritual part, and a relationship with God.

Jesus and the early church seemed to indicate that the only way back to God was in Jesus the Christ. The firstborn and only born God, and God in the flesh way back to God. It was not a religion but a redemption. God redeemed mankind back to God. The spiritual connection was not resolved, but this time we had to engage with the Holy Spirit on a one on one basis.

Humanity were always fleshly bodies. What was not transmitted was the spiritual part. We were not told the specifics of birth before Adam disobeyed. We do know that the result of sin, was that birth now was all in the flesh and with a lot of sorrow and pain. That the means of birth forever changed, could be the means of transmission in a genetic sense, but we have no clue what birth was before that. It would seem to me the lack of transmission of the spiritual body was the issue. It was death and separation from this lack of connection that was passed on. Sin is not a genetic predisposition. It is a thought in the mind first, and an act if followed through to completion.


(Antoine Suarez) #829

I think your argument does not fit well the available data:

The basic principle of morality and to assigning rights is that each human being is accountable for the life of another human being (Genesis 9:5) but humans are allowed to kill animals for the sake of food (Genesis 9:3). God proclaims this principle stating that the reason for it is that “In the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6).

This principle entails that it must be possible for humans to clearly distinguish which creature is human and which is not, on the basis of observable data.

Such a distinction can be accomplished today because of the sharp gap between anatomically modern humans and chimps (the extant living form nearest to us). However, the more we go back in evolution the fuzzier becomes the distinction.

The recent discovery of Homo luzonensis increases to 4 the number of intermediate varieties between modern humans and chimps by about 50,000 years ago. Most likely more intermediate varieties will be found in coming years.

We have also data that Denisovan may have mated with modern humans as recently as 15,000 years ago. This means that Denisovans as intermediate variety between modern humans and apes did disappear only after this date, which also correspond to the disappearance of Flores man , another intermediate variety.

So the data lead us to conclude that the appearance of accountable human beings created by God in his Image did not happen before 15,000 years ago.


(Albert Leo) #830

Thanks for the link to the Cox et.al. publication. It surely deserves careful consideration, but I’m not sure the evidence is as conclusive as you maintain. In Ann Gibbons review of this work, she says the evidence “now suggests”. And further on:
Not everyone is convinced by the late dates Cox proposes. “There are definitely multiple Denisovan populations, but the claim that they interbred 15,000 to 30,000 years ago is extraordinary,” population geneticist Benjamin Vernot of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, told Science."

I certainly am NOT an expert in this very complex field, and thus I tend to pay close attention to the evaluations emanating from the Max Planck Institute

So…it would seem that in answering the question: “When did humankind first appear on earth?” you are more comfortable with “less than 15,000 yrs ago.” while I would prefer “between 30M and 50M yrs. ago.” No big deal. It is expected that you would be more influenced by finding concordance with ANE beliefs (including the O.T.) while I put more value on the evidence offered by Ian Tattersall and by Simon Conway Morris.

I just hope that God looks kindly on both our efforts to search for the Truth.
Al Leo


#831

But the appearance of anatomically modern humans dates to 200,000 years ago and they should have been able to recognize themselves. Based on the fossil reconstructions the other Homo groups would appear on the surface at least to be different. Your argument is basically saying humans couldn’t tell the difference so things had to wait until the different groups were gone and it just so happens that the date is conveniently close to a possible date match with the OT. If you want to go on a scientific, if I may use the word, determination I would argue, as Al does, that what matters is behaviourally modern humans which would be 50,000 to 70,000 years ago. After all, the major difference between us and chimps is in our behaviour.


(Antoine Suarez) #832

Thanks Bill for commenting again!

Different modern human groups today also “appear on the surface at least to be quite different” (see Darwin’s remarks about Fuegians!). History teaches us: Racism is always a lurking tendency.

According to Genesis 9:3-6 God commands to organize human social life and assign rights on the basis of the distinction between humans and non-human animals.

On the one hand we believe that this commandment holds for humans today. On the other hand, the distinction existing today between human and animals is quite sharp: We can unambiguously distinguish which creature is human and which is not on the basis of bodily features, to the extent that If someone asserts today that a human group is not fully human, he/she risks immediately to be convicted of crime against humanity.

Therefore, it is fitting to assume that God proclaims the commandment of Genesis 9:3-6 at a moment when the distinction between human and non-human was not less sharp than it is today. According to the available scientific data (disappearance of Neanderthal, Denisovan, Flores man, Luzon man) this moment has to be set later than 15,000 years ago.

If you go before you start blurring the distinction at the risk of stirring racism.


(Antoine Suarez) #833

What a magnificent statement!

You are absolutely in agreement with Saint Irenaeus’ teaching:

“For by the hands of the Father, that is, by the Son and the Holy Spirit, man, and not [merely] a part of man, was made in the likeness of God. Now the soul and the spirit are certainly a part of the man, but certainly not the man; for the perfect man consists in the commingling and the union of the soul receiving the spirit of the Father, and the admixture of that fleshly nature which was moulded after the image of God.” (Against heresies, book V, Chapter 6, Point 1)

Humanity was actually God on earth because humanity was called to become God’s body in Jesus Christ. The aim of Evolution is to bring about humanity and prepare a body for God’s Son, God’s Incarnation.

A history where humanity had not lost the “spiritual ability to be in the direct connection with God” is in principle possible from God’s perspective. In such a history humanity would have been brother and sister, and mother of Christ (Matthew 12:50).

This great gift of God provoked the angel Satan to be envious and jealous of humanity from the very beginning [see Irenaeus The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, Point 16], as the scene depicted in Revelation 12 suggests.


(Antoine Suarez) #834

Thanks for bringing ‘human nature’ into focus.

In my view ‘human nature’ means primarily that God has made humankind in God’s Image.

Humanity was called to do the will of God Father in heaven and thereby be “mother of God’s Son”, that is, form His body (see Matthew 12:50): If no human had sinned, humanity would become the body of Christ at the end of time.

In this sense, we can say with Tim:

After the arrival of the first sin, God decides to keep sinners on earth to give them time to atone and reach Redemption. To this aim:

God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all (Romans 11:32).

In this sense God’s redemptive will would explain why “in the first sinner (whoever he/she was) all have sinned”.

In a history with sin humanity is Image of God because God prepared a human body for His Son, who became flesh to redeem us: Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), and humans are in the image of Jesus Christ. As you very well state:

Also in the history with sin we are living in, humanity through God’s grace will be transformed into Christ’s body at the end of time.


(GJDS) #835

I understand what you mean by ‘the distinction …’ but it is worth remembering that during the early days of Christianity, sinful man was often spoken of as beast or the same as a beast (see for example, Anastasias and the Incarnation).


(Antoine Suarez) #836

Are you referring to St. Athanasius “On the Incarnation of the Word”?
In any case I would be thankful for a more detailed quotation so that I can fittingly answer.


(GJDS) #837

quotes:

For of what use is existence to the creature if it cannot know its Maker?
How could men be reasonable beings if they had no knowledge of the Word and Reason of
the Father, through Whom they had received their being? They would be no better than the
beasts, had they no knowledge save of earthly things; and why should God have made them
at all, if He had not intended them to know Him? But, in fact, the good God has given them
a share in His own Image, that is, in our Lord Jesus Christ, and has made even themselves
after the same Image and Likeness.

So great, indeed, were the goodness and the love of God. Yet men, bowed down by the
pleasures of the moment and by the frauds and illusions of the evil spirits, did not lift up
their heads towards the truth. So burdened were they with their wickednesses that they
seemed rather to be brute beasts than reasonable men, reflecting the very Likeness of the
Word.


(Antoine Suarez) #838

Thanks for this: It is a quote from Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word, Chapter 3.

Once could complete it with this quote from Chapter 1:

Indeed, they had in their sinning surpassed all limits; for, having invented wickedness in the beginning and so involved themselves in death and corruption, they had gone on gradually from bad to worse, not stopping at any one kind of evil, but continually, as with insatiable appetite, devising new kinds of sins. Adulteries and thefts were everywhere, murder and raping filled the earth, law was disregarded in corruption and injustice, all kinds of iniquities were perpetrated by all, both singly and in common. Cities were warring with cities, nations were rising against nations, and the whole earth was rent with factions and battles, while each strove to outdo the other in wickedness.

And this other from Chapter 2:

We saw in the last chapter that, because death and corruption were gaining ever firmer hold on them, the human race was in process of destruction. Man, who was created in God’s image and in his possession of reason reflected the very Word Himself, was disappearing, and the work of God was being undone.

Athanasius is stating that the wickedness of men consists in disregarding that humans are in God’s Image, transgressing the Golden rule, and treating other humans as non-humans. In doing so men involve themselves in corruption and degrade themselves to brute beasts.

The “evil spirits” try again and again to destroy humanity by deluding humans to treat other humans like non-humans.

To help humans not to fall into this temptation God established a sharp gap between humans and animals and then declared:

from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. (Genesis 9:5)

All this supports the view that the gap between human and apes existing at the moment of Incarnation and today, was the same gap existing at the moment when God defines humanity to be in His Image, that is, to share the body of His Son “our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Accordingly it is fitting to assume that God made the first accountable humans in His Image later than 15,000 years ago.


(GJDS) #839

We agree that corruption degrades human beings into brute beasts, but I do not think that orthodoxy can be modified or twisted to accommodate a timeline sought by evolutionists. It may well be the case that 15,000 years is relevant in some fashion, but this would not be derived from theological musings.

I have stated at times that human degradation and destruction far exceeds that of beasts in a jungle, and this aspect also throws doubt on arguments that seek a link of some sort between human nature and apes (or any other species).


(Antoine Suarez) #840

In my view the relevance of “15,000 years ago” derives from “theological musings” together with evolutionary evidence.

Theological Premise A:

The Commandment that each human being is accountable for the blood of another human being (the universal prohibition of homicide) was given by God at the time when He defined that humanity was the Image of God (Genesis 9:6), and from this time the Commandment holds till our days.

This Commandment obviously presupposes the fact that humans are capable of sharply distinguishing which creatures are human and which not.

Evolutionary Premise B:

The sharp distinction between humans and apes existing today becomes established after 15,000 years ago, with the disappearance of intermediate varieties between humans and apes like Neanderthal, Denisovan, Flores Man, Luzon Man, and possibly others not yet known.

Conclusion:

From Premises A and B we are led to infer that God made humanity in His Image later than 15,000 years ago.

Accordingly:
Evolutionary science helps us to a better understanding of the Bible and promotes theological thinking.
And the other way around:
Bible and Theology help us to understand the crucial evolutionary result that the begin of humanity cannot be established by biological means alone.


(GJDS) #841

It is not possible to infer any time from this:

_Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. 6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image. 7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it.”

The Revised Standard Version .

Evolution does not have any evidence regarding B as somehow concluding any image in man. Evolutionists instead claim interbreeding and various other assumptions to try and account for the appearance of humans and the disappearance of other species. There is no correlation with scripture.


(Antoine Suarez) #842

These Bible verses you quote reveal us that God proclaims a Commandment establishing a fundamental difference between humans and animals: It is forbidden for a human to kill another human, while it is permitted for a human to kill an animal and use it as food. The reason God gives is that He makes humans in God’s Image and thereby gives them a dignity and value animals don’t have.

God’s Commandment (Genesis 9:3-6) obviously implies on the part of God that he creates humans and animals in such a way that humans can clearly distinguish which creatures are humans and which are not. Otherwise God would command something absurd.

We acknowledge that God’s Commandment holds for us today, when we perceive a sharp gap between humans and apes allowing us to clearly distinguish humans from animals.

So, from Scripture we can infer that God created humanity in God’s Image and accountable at a time when the gap between humans and apes was as sharp as it is today.

Evolution has clear evidence regarding the time when the gap between humans and apes became as sharp as it is today. From evolutionary evidence we can set this time at about 15,000 years ago.

The correlation between Scripture and Evolution results from the fact that:
Scripture states that God created humans in God’s Image at a time when the gap between humans and apes was as sharp as it is today,

and Evolution provides evidence that this time is 15,000 years ago.


(GJDS) #843

I am sorry but I cannot follow your reasoning. God made a covenant with Noah (after that with Adam that he did not obey, and human wickedness increased). The first covenant provided for Adam and Eve in a garden where they could eat all except the fruit of good and evil - we may discuss what that means, but clearly they did not require meat. The second covenant with Noah included details of using animal for food and as you say, a distinction between animals and humans.

At no point does the theory of evolution consider this distinction and provide a time at which humanity became distinct in this way. A weak aspect of evolution is that human being “suddenly” arose (in terms of geological time) and no one has provided a biological reason for this sudden appearance - this has caused strange speculation.