Blessed by design

“He did not hold to original sin by a single couple and instead opted for the notion of the primacy of Christ formed by the Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus. Scotus held that God’s love could not be undermined by a defect in creation such as original sin. Rather, from all eternity, God willed a creature to grace and glory so that whether or not sin ever entered into creation, Christ would have come. God is love and Christ is first in God’s intention to love; the whole creation is structured on the incarnation.”

— A Hunger for Wholeness, A: Soul, Space, and Transcendence by Delio, Ilia, OSF

I’m enjoying another book by Ilia Delio and the quote which was about Teilhard de Chardin, succinctly explains something I heard Fr. Lou McCormick, OFM say in a homily nearly twenty years ago. I remember sitting in the chapel at Mt. Irenaeus at the time I heard it. It just made sense. The idea that God would create a universe with an intentional flaw that would require the death of his son to redeem never made any sense as an adult. Many years later I learned that the doctrine of original sin was a creation of St. Augustine. How many times have you heard well meaning religious folks tell you that you were damned if you didn’t accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. I remember a discussion with a local pastor about that topic. I said to the guy, “What about the apostles? What about the unborn?” The chap made an exception for the unborn and infants and that’s when I knew that the doctrine was flawed.

Most of my adult life I’ve thought that the reason for the incarnation was to show us how to live. Love your neighbor. Do good to those who harm you. Take care of the poor and the rest of the gospel message should be the real focus. Reducing Jesus to merely a sacrificial atonement for sin is a disservice to his earthly ministry. The Sermon on the Mount, The Beatitudes and Matthew 25:31-46 are the most meaningful for me and always have been.

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