Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Clarification or Retraction

Recently I wrote that human beings are not immortal by nature, but only by grace. By nature, I said, they are mortal.

That is actually incorrect, and the mistake is important. It's important because, as I wrote earlier, if death is a natural part of us, then our Creator created death and it's God's fault we die.

On the other hand, if we were created immortal, it's again God's fault we die, since nobody and nothing else could kill immortal creatures.

Yet nobody who truly knows God can assert that death comes from Him! Death is of the devil, of whom Jesus said he "was the murderer from the beginning."

What the Fathers teach us is that mankind was created neither mortal nor immortal, but with the potential to become either; yet he was created for immortality, oriented toward it, specially designed to acquire it. While in the beginning we were not subject to death, neither had we yet (before the first sin) eaten of the Tree of Life.

Another way to state the matter acceptably is that we never had life in our own right, as our own property, but were created in His own image and likeness for receiving it from the Life-Giver, "Who alone has immortality" in Himself.

Sorry to have been misleading.



123 said...

I think I heard once the distinction between our being immortal (with beginning but without end), whereas God is Uncreated and therefore eternal (without beginning or end)