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Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?
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Author:  Will Storm [ Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

Im wondering if God is all-powerful, why the chalice couldn't be passed?

it seems there was something absolutely necessary about Christ's suffering and crucifixion...

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

It could not pass because the Passion was the Father's will. It was nit logically necessary, even after (in order of thought) God chose to redeem His people.

Author:  Will Storm [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

why was it the father's will?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

To demonstrate the depths of His love for us.

Author:  Will Storm [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

so this specific event (the passion) must have been necessary snd sufficient form human beings to feel that God's depth of love for us was demonstrated.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

I would be very cautious in applying the word "necessary" to anything that God does. It is possible that He could have shown the depth of His love in some other way; this is the way He chose.

Author:  Will Storm [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

got it. thank you father.
im just struggling with understanding what combination of things are supposed to move me to a firm faith in God. It seems Christ's death is one of them.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

You are quite right in thinking that.

Author:  Dominic [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

As father noted, it was God's Will, but not necessary.

Salvation could have come about another way in order for it to work. He could have been born and died naturally and it would have sufficed.

Author:  MengTzu [ Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

I think I read or heard - but I might have mis-read, mis-heard, or mis-remembered - that the Franciscans (such as John Dun Scotus) suggested that even without the fall of humanity, Christ would still have incarnated, because we would still require grace acquired by Christ for our sanctification. If this is true, would Christ have suffered and died in such a scenario, and does it follow that even the original state of holiness and justice of Adam and Eve would have been merited by Christ and retroactively applied?

Author:  Champion [ Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

My answer is this, there is no limit to the eternal wisdom of our Lord .which goes to say that of all the possible ways our salvation could have been effected the infinite wisdom found this most perfect. Mans fallen nature ever seeking its own satisfaction in all things now has the means of growing in grace and virtue through the ever constant effort one puts into dying to self.-That thief of Gods glory- so we have grace yes, we have unlimited daily opportunities of contradictions to our self love and gratification-and best of all in His wisdom he our lord himself is our teacher what love he has for us -he came to suffer and to teach us how to suffer every contradiction.

Author:  Will Storm [ Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

if i am not already firmly endowed with faith, how am i supposed to know when "the means of growing in grace" are made accessible to me...

Author:  Champion [ Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

i cant help but think that you ask questions to which you already have an answer. however i would say that wherever christ has been preached ,those people have the means the only means to be acceptable to God the father. through the knowlege of christ.as to knowing when the means are offered it wouldnt matter if a person had no faith some faith or confirmed in faith.The desire to know God is a grace in itself.and he himself gives it.

Author:  Champion [ Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

I would like to add that faith comes through hearing and it may be useful for you to look up st. josemaria escriva on you tube .A saint who died in 1975 but who was a true example of christ. and he teaches how live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way.

Author:  Will Storm [ Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

how do you know that Faith comes through hearing

Author:  anawim [ Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

Will Storm wrote:
how do you know that Faith comes through hearing


St. Paul in his letter to the Romans: "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ." ~Rom. 10:17

Author:  Will Storm [ Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

So i should there is inherent truth in what St. Paul says... This just feels so circular...

Author:  doulos [ Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

God made us as perfect people, but then we decided to give into sin. That set off an unbreakable chain of people sinning. Humans were slaves to sin. In the OT, people had to repent for their sins by sacrificing animals. That was the only way they would be forgiven. Then God sent His Son to be the ultimate sacrifice, to pay for the sins of all who put their trust in him and honestly repent. It wasn't only to show his love; he gave us Jesus because of His love. He had mercy on us and gave us the Way to avoid Hell. Jesus's sacrifice is a payment for our slavery to sin, so once we accept Him, we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to God. :)

Author:  pax [ Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

doulos wrote:
God made us as perfect people, but then we decided to give into sin. That set off an unbreakable chain of people sinning. Humans were slaves to sin. In the OT, people had to repent for their sins by sacrificing animals. That was the only way they would be forgiven. Then God sent His Son to be the ultimate sacrifice, to pay for the sins of all who put their trust in him and honestly repent. It wasn't only to show his love; he gave us Jesus because of His love. He had mercy on us and gave us the Way to avoid Hell. Jesus's sacrifice is a payment for our slavery to sin, so once we accept Him, we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to God. :)


We are His friends and fellow heirs :fyi:

Author:  melkman [ Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Could Man have been saved without Christ's suffering?

doulos wrote:
God made us as perfect people, but then we decided to give into sin. That set off an unbreakable chain of people sinning. Humans were slaves to sin. In the OT, people had to repent for their sins by sacrificing animals. That was the only way they would be forgiven. Then God sent His Son to be the ultimate sacrifice, to pay for the sins of all who put their trust in him and honestly repent. It wasn't only to show his love; he gave us Jesus because of His love. He had mercy on us and gave us the Way to avoid Hell. Jesus's sacrifice is a payment for our slavery to sin, so once we accept Him, we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to God. :)


Although I have come to appreciate more certain aspects of the type of substitionary atonement stated above, as an inquirer it did not really seem to acknowledge the seeming arbitrariness of the process. It is a bit overly divine commandish for me, so to speak--God decreed a particular penalty, God's decrees must be fulfilled, so the only way we can overcome serving the penalty established by the decree is if God somehow Himself pays it for us--and He does through Jesus, etc. The difficulty is that it begs the quesiton as to "why this decree," and so on.

I have found ideas developed by St. Maximus the Confessor helpful. In short, the "penalty" of our sin is not siomply death as a decree, but death as a result of breaking the harmony of our being created in us by God. That is, sin disrupts our whole "psychosomatic unity," and thus, we are prone to corruption and decay. This is built into the created order of what we are. So, once sin is out there, the natural consequences begin. From this, I'd say God cannot just arbitarily decide the consequences don't apply, because there is basically a logical necessity between violating our nature by sin, and suffering negative effects---by definition, if one does not live as designed to, then one is malfunctioning, and malfunctioning by definition is manifest by tangible dysfunction (in this case, the maintenance of health and life). So, the key is that God can only reverse this by somehow taking the consequences on Himself, since He alone is powerful enough to endure them without being transformed by them. Once He endures them, if we can participate in His bodily reality (think sacraments, esp. Eucharist), then we take into ourselves the means for overcoming these effects as well.

The question still remains, then, why do we die? (This is still a problem on the pure penalty model as well--if death is decreed punishment for sin, and our sins are paid for by Christ, then why do we still suffer the penalty? The Augustinian approach to this, to the point I understand it, never worked well for me--something along the lines of justice still requires temporal consequences, but the eternal consequences are overcome. It seems that if death is a peanlty and the penalty is paid, we should be saved from all consequences, temporal and eternal). Here Maximus is helpful as well, though I don't have material handy to give reference. Basically, we still must die because Christ died, and in imitating Christ, we must desire to imitate Him in all things, including death. So, we are led to a fascinating "loop"--death is a consequence of sin (vioplating our created nature), and it can only be overcome by God taking on the consequences for us, enduring them, and then uniting this enduring flesh with ours sacramentally. However, in so uniting, we desire imitation of Him, and this requires death! Hence, we no longer die as a "consequence," but for a whole different purpose--imitating Christ. We are "crucified with Christ," as Paul would say. Of course, what we are imitating is death for the sake of others--thus, our deaths too can participate in a sense in Christ's redemptive work--but only through His glorifying us, and inviting us into, this process.
In short, our death ceases to be a penalty/consequence, and becomes part of a redemptive process for the world, though still completely centered in the redemptive work of Christ. He doesn't NEED us for this work, though WE need to part of this process to be fully saved (i.e. Christlike).

To me, this helps explain the necessity of the atonement to me in a way that handles some of the dissatisfaction I use to have with the "simple" substitutionary atonement view. I think the models can ultimately be reconciled (including inb Anselm, who is sort of the standard for substitutionary atonement), but I'll leave that for another time.

Peace, Melkman

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