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Friday, May 21, 2010



Interesting. A specific related question would be, why did God create the physical world?

After all, he created many spiritual beings of which the angels are a part, and the fallen angels also.

Why then create beings in a physical universe which are both spiritual and physical and in time? Is it not time that is the measure of motion and change? It could not simply be that he wished to give us free will because angels, as we know, were given free will as well.

If we consider that death for us existed in potentiality before the fall of mankind, and became the reality afterward, and also consider the scientific principle that the only constant in the physical universe is change, which involves death; the death of one thing to become another in the conservation of mass and energy, then perhaps we can answer the question, speculating of course, with two observations.

First, we can get a sense of the wonderful forethought of God insofar as the potential of Satan's choice was always there, and that humanity may well follow suit, as indeed we did.

But secondly, and more importantly, the sentence of death on Adam and Eve, as God withdrew his eternal sustenance, was in reality a blessing in a bitter disguise. By allowing us to sink utterly into the physical world of change and death, into time (the fall), the hidden gift was that we can also change our mind, precisely because we are in time, and we are only in time because we die.

Satan's choice, as we know, was made, is made, outside of time and is irrevocable. That is the nature of being outside of time. But inside this world of time and bound by it, we have been given the very means we need, using our free will, to respond to his overtures to us. We can repent, we can seek forgiveness, we can change, precisely because we are in time.

So in our very sentence of death God was planning our reconciliation.

On a related note, I'm with Duns Scotus in that I believe that the Word would have become flesh anyway, even had we not sinned. God loves us his creation that much. Which is also why I am skeptical of sentient life anywhere else in God's extravagant universe. If he wanted other beings like us in another world, he could well have created another universe just for them.


I don’t remember the exact source of this quote but a Physicist during a debate about Creationism vs. Atheism stated, “If you want to bake an apple pie, the first thing you have to do is create the universe”. Whenever I hear someone ask why did the physical universe come in to being I like to think it might have had something to do with fresh baked apple pie. I can remember that smell as it emanated from my mother’s kitchen on a late summer Sunday afternoon and you knew that “God was in his Heaven and all was right with the world”.

Charles E Flynn

In addition to apple pie, if you are both fully human and fully divine, and you have had a particularly trying Friday afternoon, you might want to have some grilled fish with your friends, after you come back from the dead.

If I recall correctly, it was Hans Urs von Balthasar who wrote that the creation cannot be understood except through the eyes of divine love that created it. If true, this statement seems to put an upper limit on what we can hope to achieve by building ever more powerful particle accelerators.

We all know that Wikipedia has its limitations, but see what one person said about von Balthasar at his funeral:

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