Saturday, October 2, 2010

Is this the moment Original Sin arrived on the moon?

Is this the moment Original Sin arrived on the moon as Neil Armstrong climbed onto its surface? (Well if it did, it probably arrived a little earlier when Apollo 13 touched down.)  Were the ancient boundaries of original Sin limited to mountain climbers?  If Sin is essentially human, in that you can't hand me a box of sin, its intangible, how does it change our world? Does the corruption of Original sin containment our planet, the moon and Alpha Centuri?   (Secondary but related issues is existence of physical death before the fall and possibility of Volcanos etc in the new heavens and the new earth.)


Andrew Bowles said...

I don't think the curse is geographical, it is based around humanity. The issue is similar to what Paul means by the term 'spiritual body' in 1 Cor 15. I take this not to mean some kind of 'super-body' that we receive in the resurrection, but a material body perfectly transparent to and filled with the Spirit that therefore partakes of eternal life. And that is the same transfiguration that will happen to creation when it happens to human beings, that is why creation groans with longing waiting for our redemption to be revealed. So if we were free from sin and full of God's glory, yes, the world could return to Eden and we would take paradise wherever we went. Otherwise, we can take sin and death to the ends of the universe.

Luke said...

So you'd downplay the remaking of the universe, "new heavens and the new earth" and all that?

Andrew Bowles said...

Is it 'new' as in 'completely separate from the old' or as in 'renewed'? I would argue for renewed, since that is precisely what happens for humans. God doesn't completely supersede us by making a new version of humanity, he renews us and transforms us. And 'as above, so below', the same would apply to the universe which we have condemned to corruption. The new heavens and earth is described more specifically in Rev 21 as God making his home with people and perfecting their existence, which is exactly what I am describing.

Andrew Bowles said...

See also on this topic the miracles of Jesus - healing, calming the storm, etc. He was the perfect, Spirit-filled man, reversing the curse and announcing the Kingdom. These things happened on our world, not in some other new universe separate to this one. Imagine what a a renewed and Spirit-filled humanity could do.

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts

1. There was a serpent in the garden before the fall. Evil was somehow present before we took part in it.

2. Related to this, but distinct, is that creation was not perfect (ie, complete) before the fall. The work of Christ was always necessary; God has always had more in store for creation. As guys like Irenaeus have picked up, there are at least two threads to redemption: not just correction, but also perfection, God's eternal drawing of creation into the life of God.

3. We were always meant to take part in extending the garden-temple of God's presence (a thread running between Gen 1-2, Ezekiel, and Rev 21-22). Now, in his incarnation, ascension, and return, Christ knits together heaven and earth in a new heaven and earth. The newness of the new creation is largely in heaven and earth united.


Andrew Bowles said...

It's all in Athanasius. What do they teach children at these schools?

[Narnia reference alert]

Jon said...

@ Arthur, re "evil being present before we took part in it" - I'm with Luke, "you can't hand me a box of sin". Evil was an is not present because it's not a thing. Evil is an adjective, not a noun. You can do something evil, but evil does not have an existence independent of the people who commit it. Hence Christ didn't come to remove evil (except in a metaphorical way) but to save us from the consequences of our evil actions and ultimately to stop us from doing them.

Hence Luke, Original Sin did not arrive on the moon - but sinful people did, and we will behave sinfully wherever we go.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon

"Evil is an adjective" -- exactly. The serpent isn't just a metaphor. The insurrection against God is wider than us.

jereth said...

I agreed with what Andrew said in the other thread, that God's original intention for Adam was not only to subdue and fill the Earth but to subdue and fill the entire universe. The size of the universe makes this seem impossible now, but if we were immortal (as Adam was before he sinned), a 100 year space flight would not be an issue.

So I understand "all creation groans" to mean, at the very least, that all creation (including Mars, Alpha Centauri and the Andromeda galaxy) is experiencing frustration because "At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him" (Heb 2:8). All creation is waiting in anticipation for the day when Man will fulfil his mandate to rule over the whole cosmos.

Note: Psalm 8 says "you have put all things under his feet", having just talked about celestial objects.

The New Testament talks in numerous places about Jesus (the second Adam) ruling over the whole cosmos, for instance Eph 1:21-22 and Eph 4:10. He has accomplished what Adam failed to do and when we are glorified with him we will take part in his rule over the entire universe (Rev 20:4). If the new heavens are anything like the present heavens, I presume that this will include space travel and colonisation of other worlds. The fact that the colonisation of Mars is conceivable even in this fallen universe makes this seem very likely.

Jereth said...

"If Sin is essentially human, in that you can't hand me a box of sin, its intangible, how does it change our world?"

Arthur has made a good point -- sin is not "essentially human". The devil and other spiritual beings were in rebellion against God before we were.

The Bible doesn't make it clear, however, exactly how the rebellion in the spiritual world has disordered the material world. The Bible indicates that Satan (with God's permission) can inflict disorder on the material world (eg. Job 1-2) -- so it would be reasonable to think that some of the natural disasters we experience could be inflicted by demonic powers. There certainly does seem to be a degree of disorder and chaos in the universe (you mentioned volcanoes) that would not have been part of a sinless paradise.

But how far we can go with this, I am not sure.