Re: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Mar 22 2008 - 17:38:23 EDT

Bernie -

I'm afraid no, on a couple of counts. 1st, certainly "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (I Tim.1:15) & "for us & for our salvation he came down from heaven" (Nicene Creed). But that doesn't have to mean that he would not have come into the world, that the Word would not have become incarnate, if humanity had not sinned. While the belief that Incarnation was contingent upon sin has been the dominant tradition (as witnessed by the "happy fault" line I quoted), it has not been held universally & Eph.1:10, as I pointed out, suggests the contrary. In the Middle Ages there were theologians (e.g., Albert the Great & Alexander of Hales) who held this view, & in the 20th century Karl Barth was a strong exponent of it. Creation is for the sake of Christ - God made a world in which "flesh" could come into being so that the Word could become flesh & unite "all things" with himself. (This can be called a "Theanthopic Principle" - cf. my article at .

N.B. - this is merely a theological opinion. I am not arguing that those who think that the Word would not have become incarnate if humanity had not sinned are heretics or anything of the sort. OTOH the church has never defined the latter view as dogma either. It is also a theological opinion, & I think not as good a one as that of Barth et al.

2d, for intelligent creatures who were created through the evolutionary process, sin was inevitable though not a logical necessity. It doesn't take omniscience or divine foreknowledge to see that. Thus the possibility that humanity would not have sinned is quite unrealistic. This does not mean, however, that "we were built by God as sinners."

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dehler, Bernie
  To: ASA
  Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008 3:56 PM
  Subject: RE: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

  Hi George- I thought Christ came for the sole purpose of redeeming man. If no fall, no redemption is necessary. Christ came to reverse the curse-no sin, no curse, no redemption needed. no Christ entering the world to redeem it, since it doesn't need redemption, therefore no relationship or knowledge of Christ. Christ did come because we sinned, and God knew it would happen (in this world), so he knew from the start He would send Christ.


  But if we believe there was no real Adam, he's a metaphor, then there was no historical fall event and we are sinners and still need Christ, because we were built by God as sinners.


  Of course, we all agree this is nonsense (multi-verse), right? Therefore, all the multiverse speculation is nonsense, correct?



  From: George Murphy []
  Sent: Friday, March 21, 2008 7:00 PM
  To: Dehler, Bernie; ASA
  Subject: Re: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology


  Your 2d paragraph assumes that the Incarnation was contingent on human sin. I think that that is not the case, but that the Incarnation is the purpose of creation - cf. Eph.1:10. (I am very happy to have excised from the Exsultet at our Easter Vigil tomorrow the line "O happy fault that deserved to have so great a redeemer." That doesn't express a profound mystery, as sometimes thought, but just a misconception. We didn't earn Christ's taking flesh by sinning!)




  ----- Original Message -----

  From: "Dehler, Bernie" <>

  To: "ASA" <>

  Sent: Friday, March 21, 2008 6:13 PM

  Subject: RE: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology


  Christine- to take it further- could there be a world were God forgives
  Satan? He forgives everyone? No need for hell?

  Also, in a world where the fall never happened, Christ never came to die
  on the cross, so there would be no relationship with Christ. If the
  fruit of the "knowledge of good and evil" were never eaten, would
  everyone be perpetually ignorant?

  -----Original Message-----
  From: [] On
  Behalf Of Christine Smith
  Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:36 AM
  Subject: [asa] Multi-worlds, parallel histories, and theology

  Hi all,

  I was pondering the multi-worlds hypothesis last
  night, and came across a question that I don't think
  has yet been specifically addressed on the listserv

  As I understand it, the multi-worlds hypothesis states
  that there is just one universe (with one set of
  physical laws), but that within this universe, every
  possible outcome at a quantum level (and by extension,
  the macroscale level) occurs. Assuming my
  understanding is correct, would this imply that in
  other "worlds", Biblical events such as the Babylonian
  exile, the crucifixition and resurrection of Christ,
  the conversion of Paul, etc. would not happen?
  Likewise, would that imply that of the multiple copies
  of "me" in other worlds, some would be Christian and
  some would not? What would this then imply about the
  nature of heaven and hell, and of God's plan of
  salvation? Indeed, would there be some worlds where
  "the fall" never happened?

  In short, although multi-worlds could be broadly
  consistent with Christianity (or perhaps Theism is the
  better term here) in the sense that it does not
  contradict the doctrine of God as a sovereign Creator
  of a rational universe, how would/could it be
  consistent with other Christian doctrines, if at all?

  In Christ,
  Christine (ASA member)

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Received on Sat Mar 22 17:40:52 2008

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