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I seem to recall JPII referring to the depiction of creation from Genesis as being allegorical in nature yet true nonetheless.

I'm not sure what encyclical that was though.

If he did, that would be problematic.

As someone once said, Jesus was the second Adam, not the second allegory.
I wouldn't compare Jesus to Adam.
(07-03-2018, 02:54 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]I wouldn't compare Jesus to Adam.

Well Typology is a pretty major part of the Catholic Faith so I don't know why you would avoid the comparison/contrasting. Pretty sure St Paul compares them...

Jesus is the second Adam. Mary is the second Eve. Adam damned us. Jesus saved us. Eve brought sin into the world. Mary brought our salvation into the world. Etc.
(07-03-2018, 02:47 PM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote: [ -> ]I seem to recall JPII referring to the depiction of creation from Genesis as being allegorical in nature yet true nonetheless.

I'm sure what encyclical that was though.

If he did, that would be problematic.

As someone once said, Jesus was the second Adam, not the second allegory.

Genesis can be non-literal as long as we believe in an actual Adam and Eve, and that God created the universe from nothing. We've never been required to interpret six days as a literal 144 hours, and that's true even before Vatican II.

There are plenty of problems with evolution both scientifically and philosophically, but to hold to some sort of macroevolution where God designed DNA to mutate and evolve into new forms isn't heretical, as the Church has never formally defined the matter.
(07-03-2018, 03:22 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]Genesis can be non-literal as long as we believe in an actual Adam and Eve, and that God created the universe from nothing. We've never been required to interpret six days as a literal 144 hours, and that's true even before Vatican II.

There are plenty of problems with evolution both scientifically and philosophically, but to hold to some sort of macroevolution where God designed DNA to mutate and evolve into new forms isn't heretical, as the Church has never formally defined the matter.

I accept microevolution, but Pope JPII did make room for macroevolution.

Also, this could contradict what MM said about the Garden being an actual place rather than an allegorical place.
(07-03-2018, 12:43 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]
MagisterMusicae Wrote:If there were no Original Sin, men, after a time on earth, would be translated to heaven with the gift ofiImmortality, without dying. Adam, Even and their children, after accomplishing their work vis à vis the next generation, at the time determined by God would simply be "assumed" into heaven, where they would, like the blessed see God Himself in the Beatific Vision.

While this is a valid theory, there is nothing to support this inference.

We can reason backward and certainly exclude many things, but we know that God purpose in creating man was to ultimately glorify Himself and increase through his creatures His extrinsic glory, especially by creating intellectual creatures who could freely love Him. Thus the first questions in the Catechism : "God made us to know Him, to Love Him, to Serve Him, and thus to be happy with Him in Heaven."

Unless man lived an early free existence during which he did not see his ultimate goal clearly, thus his will was not fixed, he could merit and freely Love God.

There are several principles that Fr Garrigou-Lagrange (The Trinity and God the Creator but also mentioned in Reality) and St. Thomas (in the various questions on Original Sin throughout the Prima Pars and Secunda Secundæ) lay out with regard to Original Justice and Original Sin :

  1. In the state of Original Justice, Nature could not fail.
  2. What is Natural cannot be acquired or forfeited by sin.
  3. Nature must be held to have followed its natural course unless some revelation indicated it was superseded.
  4. Sanctifying Grace and the Præternatural gifts were free gifts to human nature and not in any way caused by the principles of that nature.
So if we want to know what the state of Original Justice was like, what the consequences of Original Sin were, and if we want to accurately speculate on how things would have proceeded without Original Sin, we must start by applying those principles, eliminating the impossible or unfitting answers, and then looking at the possible or probable options.

While what I propose is not the only option, it is the one which is most clearly supported by St. Thomas and Thomistic theologians.

(07-03-2018, 12:43 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps God meant for Creation to be like Heaven, and He would visit now and then. Genesis mentions God visiting Adam and Eve in the garden.

Knowing that man's goal is Supernatural Beatitude, it would be unfitting if the Beatific Vision were a reward thanks to infidelity, and that instead by fidelity man would be rewarded with some natural beatitude or would never reach his goal. This is the only logical outcome of this idea that Paradise was like Heaven.

Firstly, it is clear that Paradise and such "visits" did not include the Beatific Vision. Adam and Eve never saw God as he is, face to face. Thus their knowledge and vision of God, even though it came by infused knowledge was imperfect. If their knowledge was imperfect, then also their love, since love follows upon knowledge.

This would mean that if they were meant to live forever in Paradise, they would be deprived of supernatural happiness.

God visiting from time to time could also not be by the Beatific Vision, because to be deprived of this vision from time to time would be a punishment and great evil (it is the primary punishment of Hell), thus God would from time to time because of their fidelity subject Adam and Eve to the pains of Hell, if this scenario were possible.

It also violates Justice. If Adam and Eve were faithful, they would not be rewarded by the Beatific Vision, but live forever in a natural happiness. Instead by their infidelity men were granted, if they repented and were faithful the Beatific Vision and perfect Supernatural Beatitude? That would be absurd.

Further, those visits of God in the garden could not have been by the Beatific Vision because if they had the Beatific Vision before the fall, then they could not have fallen. Thus the earthly paradise was not heaven.

It is necessary therefore to assert that Paradise was a place of natural happiness where man was perfectly ordered and which was a foretaste of heaven, but that eventually without death (since by the gift of immortality man could not die), man would be translated away from Paradise to Heaven and reach his ultimate goal : Supernatural Beatitude.

(07-03-2018, 12:43 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps God meant for Creation to be the dwelling place of men, but men could visit Him whenever they liked.

As above, even Paradise was not man's ultimate dwelling place, unless somehow by man's sin, he changed the very nature of things, which means by sin he gained a power that even God does not have. 

(07-03-2018, 12:43 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps God meant Creation to be a test, after which, if passing, men would go on to enjoy Heaven.

Which is no different than saying that after a time on earth in Paradise, if faithful, men would be translated to heaven (which is what I suggested above).

(07-03-2018, 12:43 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]It is hard to speculate what would have happened should Adam not sin, and many conclusions are possible.

Yes, but we can easily reject, because absurd, certain unreasonable conclusions which arise more from pious imagination than theology. So long as principles are maintained we can come to different conclusions and discuss the support for them, but a lack of certainty in the matter does not mean that countless possibilities exist.

(07-03-2018, 12:43 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]Additionally, what reason would God have for keeping humanity on earth for a time? If for the purpose of procreation, He Himself could just spontaneously put into being an infinate amount of human beings. Moreover, if humanity did nothing wrong, why detain them on earth for even a second, unless earth was originally meant to be a test?

Why did God create irrational animals? They serve no purpose except to help intellectual creatures glorify God, but this requires that he see them, and then contemplate God by them. God gave men certain faculties, and if He never gave them the ability to use those faculties even correctly, it would war against God's Wisdom. If God created men in Heaven without a sojourn on Earth, then men would never have the choice to Love God, and never have the opportunity to use those powers to contemplate Him imperfectly in preparation for the perfection of Heaven.

Procreation (which by its very name indicates a sharing in the power of creating) is a power not even given to the angels, in which more men are created by the participation of the spouses, and thus the extrinsic glory of God furthered by more souls loving Him. God could have miracled thousands into being, but He chose to allow men to participate in the diffusion of His Goodness. This alone would then help man to love God more because God was sharing His own powers with a creature.

Man is not owed heaven, so detaining man in the place where, naturally, he has a home and place is not a punishment at all. It is also fitting that those whom you give a reward merit that in some degree. You can buy a house and give it to your newborn son so that when graduates from medical school he has the reward for his hard work, but it's probably better that the reward follow the meriting of it. Same with Heaven. It is fitting that God allow man to love Him on Earth, and thus to afterward reward him for this merit with Heaven.

(07-03-2018, 12:43 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]Adam and Eve were created knowing. They did not have to learn to walk, eat, sleep, etc. They were created knowing those concepts. If Adam had not sinned, argueably the next generation (perhaps created by God) would have no need of instruction and Adam and Eve could then proceed to Heaven after passing the test.

Adam had infused knowledge. This is clear since he named the animals (he knew their nature, and have them a name which was not merely arbitrary, but corresponded to that nature), and knew what a father and mother were, even though there were no such concepts yet (Gen 2.24). He needed to know all that men could naturally know in order to be the head of the race.

Eve did not have infused knowledge beyond a very basic amount necessary to interact with Adam, such as language. She was not head of the human race and could easily have learned from Adam all that she needed to know. Clearly she did, since Adam was warned about the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 2.17) and named the animals (2.19) but Eve was created after this, yet knew what a serpent was (3.13), and knew the command given to Adam and not to her (3.3).

From the principles above (and from St. Thomas ST I q. 101, a. 1), we know that the children of Adam and Eve, even in the Paradise, had they not sinned, would be tabula rasa. Children would not have been born with infused knowledge, because this is not the natural way that man acquires knowledge, and by sin nothing natural was forfeited, and we also must hold that nature followed its course, unless we have revelation that it did not, and we do not have such revelation with regard to the children.
(07-03-2018, 03:29 PM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-03-2018, 03:22 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]Genesis can be non-literal as long as we believe in an actual Adam and Eve, and that God created the universe from nothing. We've never been required to interpret six days as a literal 144 hours, and that's true even before Vatican II.

There are plenty of problems with evolution both scientifically and philosophically, but to hold to some sort of macroevolution where God designed DNA to mutate and evolve into new forms isn't heretical, as the Church has never formally defined the matter.

I accept microevolution, but Pope JPII did make room for macroevolution.

Also, this could contradict what MM said about the Garden being an actual place rather than an allegorical place.

I don't think Paul is saying that Paradise is an allegory, but rather that Genesis 1 admits of a broad interpretation as regards certain aspects.

The discussion of the garden of Paradise, though, is clear enough that it is impossible to write it off as a parable without doing serious injury to biblical exegesis. If the garden is a metaphor, then one could just as easily say Christ is a metaphor or allegory.

One would not be a heretic for claiming Paradise was a mere metaphor or allegory, but they would certainly be saying something proximate to heresy, or at least favoring of heresy.

Regarding macroevolution, it's not well-supported, but not impossible if we take it in a non-Darwinian sense. Still, it is not easily reconciled with certain aspects of philosophy or theology, but not verboten if we admit a divine guidance of some kind. Even if it is permitted, I do not like the conclusions that result and personally think it would need serious scientific support from Catholic scientists who are good Catholics and good philosophers before it could be really considered outside of theological circles safely.
Thanks, MM!


Quote:I don't think Paul is saying that Paradise is an allegory, but rather that Genesis 1 admits of a broad interpretation as regards certain aspects.


I was referring to JPII's statement (which I can't find now) that the creation account is allegorical in nature but true nevertheless.
(07-03-2018, 02:54 PM)ServusDei Wrote: [ -> ]I wouldn't compare Jesus to Adam.

I'd urge you to look into typology. Christ as the new Adam who undoes the original disobedience is an idea that has deep scriptural and patristic roots.

Many other examples can be drawn, and many of these are best enumerated in the antiphons of the liturgy. 

Such as the brazen serpent God commanded to Moses erect in the desert which when looked upon healed the Isrealites from the bite of the fiery serpents, this was a type of the Cross which is life-giving to us.

Jonas' being swallowed by the whale for three days is a foreshadowing of Christ's decent into hell and resurrection, Christ himself makes this comparison in Matthew 12.


The tree in the garden, the "tree" of the cross. The sacrifice of Isaac, the sacrifice of Christ. 

Scripture is replete with this.
(07-03-2018, 02:47 PM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote: [ -> ]I seem to recall JPII referring to the depiction of creation from Genesis as being allegorical in nature yet true nonetheless.

I'm not sure what encyclical that was though.

If he did, that would be problematic.

As someone once said, Jesus was the second Adam, not the second allegory.

The creation account may be allegorical but certain things are definitely not eg. Adam and Eve, Original Sin, etc. It's not 100% certain that the world was created in precisely 144 hours, or that Satan took the form of an actual snake and that the first sin involved literal fruit. This is almost certainly what he meant. JPII definitely believed in Adam and Eve.
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