« The Wrong Shall Fail, the Right Prevail | Main | An Economist Argues for Sex-Selection Abortion »

December 24, 2012


Who or what is being quoted in the blocked portion of your post? I'm curious about this statement:

If Jesus had been born of two fallen human parents, He would have inherited the same sin problem that plagues all of us as descendants of Adam.

What is the basis for the claim that both of Jesus' parents would have to have been fallen before Jesus could have been fallen? Why not just one? Mary was fallen. Why didn't Jesus inherit her fallen nature?

I would look at this, with an analogy to genetics. In genetics, you have recessive and dominate genes. Since God is the Creator of all things His DNA is "dominate", while the traits of his creations are "recessive". If we look at sin as a "recessive" trait with respect to God, then by Jesus being born from God, His holiness "dominates" the sinful nature of man. I hope this makes sense.

Hi Sam, I'm going to wing an answer for an opening respose to your questions. When I say "wing" as in "wing it", I am not going to go to creeds or historic confessions just yet but would want to confirm anything I write by scripture and historic documents at a later time.

Also, Edwards alanogy--and I dont doubt he's not trying to be precise and acknowledges the limitations of analogies, but Nicene and Chalcedonian creeds do require separate and distinct natures, but one reasonable Soul or Person, not mixed nor separated natures, one person

I dont think sin nature is just in the flesh itself. Mankind is physical and soul. I think Jesus suffered fleshly desires just as all men do, so He didn't escape a sense of hungerphysical desire or temptation mental desire I also think that Adam as representative suffered the nature of man even to within his soul, an inability to withstand the lie that prevails upon the earth, namely to challenge Gods authority. Jesus' soul is preexistent, even before Adam, His soul doesn't challenge Gods authority it'd be self defeating. He laid aside His diving perogatives, not His divine nature. I wont go on winging it any further, but....

I think the early church considered this a mystery at its deepest level, and a mystery that we ought not spend too much effort trying to solve. If scripture goes further than Nicea or Chalcedon, we should pursue it, if it doesn't, we should be content to affirm the church father's affirmation of these creeds.

Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas to all associated with STR and its blog readers.

First, I didn't mean to say the Jesus laid aside any diving perogatives, but DIVINE perogatives. Also, another correction due to haste, church "fathers'" would have been correct, I think.[in the post above.]

I just got done reading the Gen 3 account of the fall, read the curses, found it interesting, especially:

"Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."

In some sense, innocent man was not like God, but fallen man was more like Him, though certainly unfit to be in communion directly with the Holy.

Also, Adam's curse seemed more to do with his futility with the creation, instead of his being master over it with skill and knowledge, the creation would be against him, even though a remnant of dominion is expressed in mans attempt to constrain wild nature.

Luther's answer is that God healed that part of Mary's flesh that went into Jesus so that it was not fallen. Luther does not explain why God did not simply do that for all for all of fallen creation.

Though if you take Luther's route, I would be inclined to say that Mary's fallen flesh was healed in exactly the same way that all fallen flesh is ultimately healed: by his stripes.

How could this be? Christ was not yet crucified!

Well, He wasn't dead when Abraham's faith was reckoned to him as righteousness either. God does what He wants with all of His creations...including time.

Why couldn't God also have healed Joseph's flesh, so that Jesus did not inherit sin from either His father or His mother?

Well, in that case, Jesus would have been nothing more than an unfallen man. While an unfallen man, Adam, was sufficient to make all of us fall in his fall, an unfallen man could not redeem all of fallen humanity. That took the God-Man. To get God and Man in one, you need either God as a father or as a mother.

hey Jim merry Christmas. I hope the change over to STR goes smoothly. Just had a quick question i have a friend who i really dnt kno what he believes, he reads the bible but he is heavy on astrology and Egyptian stuff. Every year he sends me this message. Can u tell from this what he believes i have and idea but was wanting ur opinion. ------ HOTEP MOABITE...MAY THERE ALWAYS BE MANY BLESSINGS 4 U AND UR FAMILY, which is really my family to... no more than 10 to 20 generations ago..i just haven't crossed that ancestral road yet.. we're "Melonites, Children of the "SUN of GOD", Remember 2day is the SUNS B-Day..it died 3days ago (22ND) on the cross(sumer & winter solstice).. the start of winter symbolizing the death...and 2day it was born and has risen 4rm the dead..exiting that cave in about 3months..all nature, plants, flowers, leaves, etc. bloom & bow down to it..The Pagans, the Euros/Christians call it Easter ...our story has been told every yr for millions of years..b4 the Euros were even civilized by Jacob/Yacub...these are indisputable FACTS...nevertheless "STAY GOLD", & PEACE 2 U ALL.!!!

I'm not sure we have solid ground to stand on to "insist" the human-ness of this amalgamation between the immutable and the mutable was un-fallen. I see no problem with it being fallen. The A to Z houses, well, the A to Z and there is no such thing as God-And. He pours Himself into His creation and He Himself is there in Christ ransom-ing the world to Himself, pulling it up into Himself, or, pouring Himself down into it, and the Immutable fills up the Mutable. How else can Power create the Immutable? Power cannot create Himself in one step; for there must be the created, which cannot be Immutable, that is until or unless He Himself fills such. Did we ever think Man's road to Immutable could be otherwise? In one magical step? Power cannot create God. Further, Not My Will but Thy Will is also not a problem, given that we know that within the Triune Perfection itself and Will itself do not exist monolithically but in and by multiple distincts. This is not to say the "My Will" therein was that of the human-ness, it may have been, but, that such Distinct Persons have such Distinct Wills cannot in and of itself negate the status we call the Perfect. Regarding Time, well, that is another item, a time-ly item for which I do not have the time now......


Regarding Power creating the Immutable. Power can do such; only, such a thing cannot house His Image, that is, the Image of that Triune Fabric wherein we find those uncreated motions among and between Distinct Selves within the Singular We. The move into Self, being Good within the I-AM wherein Self-Sufficiency just is, is necessarily Death for any created Self, for such a Self just cannot be Self-Sufficient. It must be, to be such, forever Filled Up by, or, Forever Within, the Uncreated. Self is Good, and to be loved, only, there is a necessary problem of sufficiency or mutability here between the uncreated and the created. God-In-Man, Man-In-God just never could have been otherwise. Only in Christ do we find coherency in Man's journey towards an actual Everlasting joining with actual Personhood. All other descriptions anywhere try to cheat with a single magical step whereby Power creates His Image, which is obviously impossible when we realize what His Image houses.

Word-Corporeal. All else is incoherency.

Thanks Brad and hopefully you will also have a joyous New Year...and that goes for all who blog here.

I think that even in the way that God chose to come into the world was in a way a typology of the joining of human nature with God's nature, which we see in Jesus. So that, that which was not perfect joined with that which was in a way consistent with the idea that Jesus had both a divine and human nature. Not only did he have those two natures, but the way that came about, serves to illustrate that he did.




My congratulations: you managed to discuss the virgin birth of Our Lord without even mentioning the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary-I understand she had something to do with it. One should never underestimate the ability of a Protestant theologian.

I sometimes think that the gospel of St. Luke should be re-written so that the Magnificat has the line:" All generations will call me virtually ignored" to make the Protestants feel better. By the way, the entire rationale of the Catholic theology of the Immaculate Conception is spurred by the abhorrence of the early Church for the idea that any human tainted by original sin would be the vessel of the Incarnate Word of God-you can find that in Protestant apologetics under the category "Heresy" or "Mariolatry".

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The difficulty with the Immaculate Conception, Robert, is that if Mary could be conceived in this way, without her parents being conceived immaculately, why shouldn't Jesus also be conceived in that way?

BTW, I am not denying the possibility of Mary being (conceived and) born without Original Sin. I obviously believe that Jesus was born without Original Sin. It follows that it is possible to be born without Original Sin.

The question is really: How? The Traducian notion of Original Sin, taught inescapably by the Bible and accepted by all Christian believers, seems to make it impossible. In Sin did my mother conceive me. We're not just born sinners, were conceived as sinners. Sin is an hereditary disease with an infection rate of 100%.

The Immaculate Conception of Mary is offered just as you did, Robert, in answer to this conundrum.

But at first blush, it is no answer. For that conception must be explained somehow. In order for the theory of the Immaculate Conception of Mary to explain how it is that Christ did not inherit Original Sin from His mother, Mary, you are going to have to explain how Mary herself did not inherit Original Sin from her mother and father.

Now, you might argue that, Baptism saves infants, but does so because it is a means of grace that connects the recipient through faith to the work of Christ. In the same way, Mary might have, in essence, been given a 'one-off' sacrament connecting her to the saving grace won by Christ. She received this Sacrament, not just as an infant, but at conception. She then had to be given grace, at least through the conception of Christ, to refrain from individual sins. In this way, she was preserved from being stained by sin and preserved from passing that sin along to Jesus.

One way you could look at it is that it's not that Mary was conceived unfallen, she was conceived saved (and then committed no sin, at least until after the Holy Spirit overshadowed her).

But that by itself isn't going to work. If it's just that Mary was saved, why aren't all the children of believers born without Original Sin? If you like, we may limit the query strictly to the children of Christians who have confessed and been absolved immediately prior to the sexual acts that result in their children.

Mary was also healed of the stain of sin. Not just anybody has that happen to them on this side of Heaven. And there is certainly nothing that any believer can do to receive that healing.

But this problem remains. Granted, unlike a believer's confession, the healing is a clearly unilateral act of God. Even so, like a believer's salvation, the healing need not have happened before the conception of the child. It could happen any time. It could happen moments before the conception of Christ. But when you look at it that way, the Luther-inspired view, mentioned a few posts up, seems to work just as well. In fact, this is that view:

Mary was healed by the stripes of Christ, for the purposes of the conception of Christ, of all the traces of sin.
Notice that there is nothing to say when this healing occurred. The healing of Mary could have occurred in the womb and been maintained by God's grace through faith in Christ throughout her life until the conception of Christ.

So the healing might have occurred along the lines of the Immaculate Conception. But it might also have occurred 1 second prior to the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

What's critical is not how Mary was conceived. What we must say, if were take seriously the idea that Original Sin is inherited like a disease is that Mary was healed by the stripes of Christ, for the purposes of the conception of Christ, of all the traces of sin.

The Bible is silent on exactly how God managed to pull off this healing (except that, like all healing, it can only come through the suffering of Christ). Where Scripture is silent, we too should remain silent.


How many other women do we know from that time? Do we know Mary's mother? It would seem to me that for her name to be passed down the eons is a tremendous testimony of her participation in the act of incarnation and the enormous significance of that. I think that we are all quite aware of the kind of honor was bestowed on her. But there is no reason to make more out of it than there was. She no more deserved that honor than any of us deserved the salvation we received. Both are gracious gifts from god.

The comments to this entry are closed.