Since I first heard of John Duns Scotus and Franciscan theology of the Incarnation I have been captivated by what Seamus Mulholland, OFM has written about it. I have attempted a couple of times lately to put it in my own words and I’ve not articulated it as well as I’d like so here it is in the words of Seamus himself.
The Incarnation is the model for creation: there is a creation only because of the Incarnation. In this schema, the universe is for Christ and not Christ for the universe. Scotus finds it inconceivable that the ‘greatest good in the universe’ i.e. the Incarnation, can be determined by some lesser good i.e. Man’s redemption. This is because such a sin-centred view of the Incarnation suggests that the primary rôle of Christ is as an assuager of the universe’s guilt. In the Absolute Primacy, Christ is the beginning, middle and end of creation. He stands at the centre of the universe as the reason for its existence. In this sense the universe has realised its creational potential more than Man, since it is created with the potential to bear the God-Man and the Incarnation has taken place historically and existentially. Man, as yet, has failed to reach his potential to ‘love one another as I have loved you’.
If you look at the universe from a different theological perspective it is possible to live and react differently and still be a Christian. If you want to read the full article by Mulholland click here.