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CHNetwork Online Community Forums Christ and the Holy Trinity Would the incarnation have happened without the fall?

5 replies, 4 voices Last updated by Profile photo of cosbap cosbap 2 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • #23041
    Profile photo of cosbap
    cosbap
    Participant
    @cosbap

    I’ve been taught that Christ entered the world to save us from sin. He brings people to glory through himself by reconciling us to God. He is God’s rescue mission for creation after the fall.

    Today I heard something about John Duns Scotus; he proposed that the incarnation was always intended as the ultimate aim or pinnacle of creation. Creation was to prepare for the incarnation where God and creature are united perfectly. All creation brought to glory through Christ, who is God’s loving union with creation even if there had been no fall.

    Is that mainstream Catholic thinking?

    #23042
    Profile photo of David W. Emery
    David W. Emery
    Keymaster
    @David W. Emery

    The question you pose is speculative, and it is not directly covered by divine revelation, but the general belief among Catholics is that it is reasonable to suppose that God’s intent was to enter his own creation regardless of whether sin was present or absent. His goal would be the glorification of the universe, including mankind, even if redemption from sin was not a factor. His motive? Love — because without overflowing love, he would have no reason to create the universe in the first place.

    David

    #23050
    Profile photo of zaida
    zaida
    Participant
    @zaida

    There are some interesting videos on you tube from a group of priests who follow Dun Scotus carefully – I believe you can find the videos if you put in “Primacy of Christ” – I don’t think (as indicated above) there is any firm Catholic belief, but as David pointed out, the “general” belief is that God was always going to send His son to us in Love.

     

    #23051
    Profile photo of cosbap
    cosbap
    Participant
    @cosbap

    Thank you David and Zaida,

    I’m finding it an appealing way to think about it. I’ve heard people ask what would have happened if people hadn’t sinned in protestant discussions, and this has never been proposed. It avoids the difficult implication that God changed his mind by the incarnation, and it suggests a loving plan for relationship with humanity that wasn’t abandoned despite our actions. But I see that its all speculative, and rather more complex than we could understand anyway!

    I will watch some of those videos, it was a video by the Franciscan Friars (about Mary) where I first heard about this. I must look into Franciscan theology more when time allows.

    #23058
    Profile photo of Mary Clare Piecynski
    Mary Clare Piecynski
    Keymaster
    @Ave_Girl

    What a great question.  As David mentioned, there is no defined teaching on this in Catholic theology.  But different theologians have different opinions.  Taylor Marshall has a good reflection and summary of this topic at http://taylormarshall.com/2010/03/would-christ-have-become-man-if-man-had.html. 

    I personally like to think that the pinnacle of creation and the goal to which it is ordered is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and that it would have happened regardless of man’s sin.

    Blessings,

    Mary Clare

    #23062
    Profile photo of cosbap
    cosbap
    Participant
    @cosbap

    Thanks Mary Clare,

    I personally like to think that the pinnacle of creation and the goal to which it is ordered is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and that it would have happened regardless of man’s sin.

    That does seem “right” somehow. I’ll have a look at the link.

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