Different claims by Christy in another thread (already closed) are highly relevant also for this thread and it may be useful to compare them to the principles that have been highlighted here in preceding postings:
Quote by Christy:
I understand spiritual monogenesis to mean that one human pair was initially given immortal souls that were corrupted by sin and this spiritual corruption was inherited by all their offspring.
I find this statement quite fitting. Nonetheless I think one should also explain which was the fate of the other (presumably hundreds of thousands or millions of) “humans pairs” (Homo sapiens creatures) that were not given immortal souls and lived at the same time as those who “initially” were endowed with “immortal souls”. When were they given immortal souls?
Quote by Christy:
Many people link spiritual inheritance with biological ancestry. Some traditional teachings on original sin and the fall do require this belief.
As we have seen the core of the teaching of St. Paul, Church Fathers like St. Augustine and theologians like St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas are the following three principles:
- To reach Salvation humans require Redemption by Jesus Christ.
- Moral evil can never be caused by God.
- Everyone is free NOT to sin.
These are also the key principles of the Catholic papal Magisterium and the Council of Trent. It seems to me that they are the basic principles endorsed by BioLogos, What we believe as well.
It is true that certain formulations of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas seem to link “inheritance of the primeval spiritual corruption of souls” with biological ancestry, but this is not essential to their teaching. As Pius XII declares in the encyclical Humani generis such a link should be maintained only if otherwise one could not explain the universal need of Redemption. In other words what is crucial and unquestionable is that all humans are in need of Redemption.
Quote by Christy:
Other traditions, including my own, teach that although “the fall” (human sin and rebellion entering the world and corrupting relationship with God) was a real historical event in redemption history, humans do not inherit Adam’s guilt. Rather they are born into sinful human community and identity (they have a “sinful nature,” a human propensity to sin and disobedience), but all humans by their own free choice sin against God and are held accountable for their personal rebellion.
I fully agree to the first part of this quotation:
“the fall” (human sin and rebellion entering the world and corrupting relationship with God) was a real historical event in redemption history.
However the second part requires careful analysis:
If by “humans do not inherit Adam’s guilt” one means that humans cannot be personally held accountable for Adam’s rebellion against God the same way as Adam was, then I fully agree, and as far as I know all Christians traditions agree in that: Suppose that after sinning Adam had died without atonement; according to Christian faith he would have been condemned to hell. By contrast Christian traditions professing that infants are conceived in state of original sin have NEVER professed that infants deserve eternal damnation if they die without Baptism.
Similarly I fully agree to the claim:
“Rather they are born into sinful human community and identity (they have a “sinful nature,” a human propensity to sin and disobedience)”.
By contrast I am less enthusiastic about the last claim:
all humans by their own free choice sin against God and are held accountable for their personal rebellion.
The reason is that here is assumed that:
Humans are NOT free NOT to sin: Either everyone is predetermined to personally sin, or sin propagates from sinners to innocents necessarily like sort of spiritual contagion.
And this is contradiction to Principle 3 above.
So, if we want to keep to this Principle 3, then we can’t help accepting that the first sin in human history is the reason why humans have a “sinful nature,” and “a human propensity to sin and disobedience”. And this is the core of the traditional teaching about “the state of original sin”. By the way, the first sin of humanity was not necessarily identical to the sin of the first human pair endowed with immortal soul.
Now how can “the spiritual inheritance” of the corruption caused by the first sin become transmitted to the “immortal souls” of humans of all times?
Well, after “the fall” God was faced with a choice between these two alternative worlds:
Send those who sin immediately “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), so that only righteous people remain on earth.
Let the sinners in this world to move them to atone, and then organize things so that all people on earth (the sinners and the righteous) share “a human propensity to sin and disobedience”, that is, have immortal souls that are not endowed with the original grace the primeval human souls initially had.
Apparently God chose the second possibility and according to Romans 11:32: “bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” These words define very accurately what transmission of original sin means: It is a consequence of the first sin wanted by God in His mercy in order to make Salvation possible for all. In this sense it is important to stress that the real cause of the “propensity to sin and disobedience” humans are born with, is the first sin of humanity and not God.