Christ's Sinless Nature. Question

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Staphlobob

Puritan Board Sophomore
I know why Rome developed the (infallible) doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, with all of its silliness. But my concern: If Mary was a sinful creature (and she was), and Jesus received His human nature from her (and He did), why did He not also receive the taint of her sin? Is original sin something that comes only from the male side? Or do we simply take the Word's assertion?

The question makes me wonder again about the Immaculate Conception. Not that I believe it, but I have a better understanding of their desire to protect the sinless nature of Christ.

I'm speaking with some Muslims and although they've not yet hit on this issue, I can see they'll realize it and come around to it soon enough.

Thanks ahead of time for whatever help you can give.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I know why Rome developed the (infallible) doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, with all of its silliness. But my concern: If Mary was a sinful creature (and she was), and Jesus received His human nature from her (and He did), why did He not also receive the taint of her sin? Is original sin something that comes only from the male side? Or do we simply take the Word's assertion?

The question makes me wonder again about the Immaculate Conception. Not that I believe it, but I have a better understanding of their desire to protect the sinless nature of Christ.

I'm speaking with some Muslims and although they've not yet hit on this issue, I can see they'll realize it and come around to it soon enough.

Thanks ahead of time for whatever help you can give.

Sin was imputed by Adam, not by Eve.

1 Corinthians 15:22 22 For as in Adam all die,

When Adam sinned, he did so as the fair and just representative of the human race. Adam's sin became what Reformed theology calls, "original sin." It is as though we sinned with Adam, not just that Adam sinned in our stead.

By not having a human biological father, Jesus was not tainted with sin. Mary was a sinner, but as explained above sin was not imputed by Eve, it was imputed by Adam.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
I know why Rome developed the (infallible) doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, with all of its silliness. But my concern: If Mary was a sinful creature (and she was), and Jesus received His human nature from her (and He did), why did He not also receive the taint of her sin? Is original sin something that comes only from the male side? Or do we simply take the Word's assertion?

I think taking the Word's assertion is probably the best route as usual.

The question makes me wonder again about the Immaculate Conception. Not that I believe it, but I have a better understanding of their desire to protect the sinless nature of Christ.

But by making Mary sinless they create all sorts of problems - and the means by which God could make Mary human, yet sinless at conception can just as well be used to make Christ human, yet sinless at conception - no?

-----Added 1/14/2009 at 12:03:16 EST-----

Has anyone else ever been asked if sin is part of the 'Y' chromosome?

I'm sure some enterprising young geneticist might someday claim to have found the "sin" gene.. Although if it were solely located in the Y gene that would say something interesting about women.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm sure some enterprising young geneticist might someday claim to have found the "sin" gene.. Although if it were solely located in the Y gene that would say something interesting about women.

Believe it or not that is precisely where this fellow was headed. He made comments to the effect that women are never the greatest transgressors of the world, that basically they are tainted by the sin of men and that mars their innocence. Crazy. But it is out there.
 

Dieter Schneider

Puritan Board Sophomore
I know why Rome developed the (infallible) doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, with all of its silliness. But my concern: If Mary was a sinful creature (and she was), and Jesus received His human nature from her (and He did), why did He not also receive the taint of her sin? Is original sin something that comes only from the male side? Or do we simply take the Word's assertion?

The question makes me wonder again about the Immaculate Conception. Not that I believe it, but I have a better understanding of their desire to protect the sinless nature of Christ.

I'm speaking with some Muslims and although they've not yet hit on this issue, I can see they'll realize it and come around to it soon enough.

Thanks ahead of time for whatever help you can give.


The unbiblical dogma of Mary's sinlessness pushes the problem further back - was her mother also sinless? Whether sin is transmitted physically is debatable. What is your biblical basis for this?
 

Dieter Schneider

Puritan Board Sophomore

Rev. Todd Ruddell

Puritan Board Junior
Adhering closely to the text of Luke 1.34-35 will help here.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Christ was formed in the womb of the virgin Mary, and of her substance, as our LC affirms, yet it was the Holy Ghost who operated as the agent of this conception. Hence, her "profane-ness" could not taint the "holiness" of the Divinity of Christ. His holiness, in His own "true body and reasonable soul" could not be touched with her uncleanness, which she inherited from Adam.

Think of it this way: It was impossible for Christ to touch a leper. One might say, "but He healed a leper by touching him". Precisely--at the instant Christ touched him, He was made every whit whole, for Christ *could not* be affected by His defilement--Christ's holiness pressed out the defilement of the leper at His touch, for it was impossible for Him to be defiled. In the same sense then, the holiness and immutability of Christ, as the Second Person of the Trinity, is unassailable by Mary's imperfection. He is perfect in His humanity by virtue of the hypostatic union, not by anything in Mary.
 
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Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Of course, there's also the traditional Anabaptist alternative, the heavenly flesh Christology. I deal with that in this article:

De Bres vs. Simons: A Sixteenth Century Debate that Still Matters

At the end of the day, I think the only way we can explain Christ's sinlessness is to chalk it up to the mysterious involvement of the Holy Spirit in his conception.

I think your term 'Anabaptist' is misleading. Not all Anabaptists taught this!

It is Anabaptist in as much as it is a doctrine found exclusively among the Anabaptists, whether or not all of them held to it.

It is not a doctrine that will be found among any of the Roman or Reformed theologians.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I know why Rome developed the (infallible) doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, with all of its silliness. But my concern: If Mary was a sinful creature (and she was), and Jesus received His human nature from her (and He did), why did He not also receive the taint of her sin? Is original sin something that comes only from the male side? Or do we simply take the Word's assertion?

The question makes me wonder again about the Immaculate Conception. Not that I believe it, but I have a better understanding of their desire to protect the sinless nature of Christ.

I'm speaking with some Muslims and although they've not yet hit on this issue, I can see they'll realize it and come around to it soon enough.

Thanks ahead of time for whatever help you can give.

Sin was imputed by Adam, not by Eve.

1 Corinthians 15:22 22 For as in Adam all die,

When Adam sinned, he did so as the fair and just representative of the human race. Adam's sin became what Reformed theology calls, "original sin." It is as though we sinned with Adam, not just that Adam sinned in our stead.

By not having a human biological father, Jesus was not tainted with sin. Mary was a sinner, but as explained above sin was not imputed by Eve, it was imputed by Adam.


So, sin is spread through the sperm but not the egg?
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
That would be inherent in the seminal view. But it does not necessitate what Lawrence was referring to.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Similar to what Rev. Ruddell said, one way of looking at this is that just as God overpowers our sin and makes us completely sinless, so also the Holy Spirit could have completely overpowered Mary's sin and made Christ completely sinless.

As a sidenote, the only way a Muslim could say this is an inconsistency within Christianity is if somewhere the Bible establishes that sin is some material, natural, or genetic characteristic passed in our DNA, which would necessitate that Christ have some type of sin. In other words,, there's no way a Muslim can comprehensively understand the imputation of sin in such a way that Christ's sinless birth could be deemed impossible. It's the same thing as the hypothetical objector in Rom. 9:19-20.

It may some kind of stumbling block where the Muslim doesn't understand, but not an objective inconsistency in the Christian schema.
 

Ronnie

Puritan Board Freshman
I know why Rome developed the (infallible) doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, with all of its silliness. But my concern: If Mary was a sinful creature (and she was), and Jesus received His human nature from her (and He did), why did He not also receive the taint of her sin?

Actually, I don't think Rome came up with the immaculate conception so much to protect Christ as to exalt Mary. This is shown in that they not only promote the immaculate conception, but they even teach her perpetual virginity and her living an entire life and never sinning. But that is not the main point.

Is original sin something that comes only from the male side? Or do we simply take the Word's assertion?
I'm a bit uncomfortable with saying original comes only from the male side. Original sin is based on Adam being our covenant head in the covenant of work and not on something unique about male sperm. Christ was not represented by Adam because he existed before Adam and He was a covenant head Himself.

The question makes me wonder again about the Immaculate Conception. Not that I believe it, but I have a better understanding of their desire to protect the sinless nature of Christ.
If Mary's parent were not required to be immaculate conceived to protect her from the stain of sin then why is it required of Mary to protect Christ from the stain of sin?

I'm speaking with some Muslims and although they've not yet hit on this issue, I can see they'll realize it and come around to it soon enough.

Thanks ahead of time for whatever help you can give.

Should be easy for Muslims to understand since they believe God can do anything by the simple fact that He is sovereign. Point being all humans are born in Adam as their covenant head except for Christ who proceeded the 1st Adam. Though he took on a human nature it was without the stain of original sin. I'm not sure if we need to speculate about the role of the male in determining if we are born in Adam.
 

Dieter Schneider

Puritan Board Sophomore
Of course, there's also the traditional Anabaptist alternative, the heavenly flesh Christology. I deal with that in this article:

De Bres vs. Simons: A Sixteenth Century Debate that Still Matters

At the end of the day, I think the only way we can explain Christ's sinlessness is to chalk it up to the mysterious involvement of the Holy Spirit in his conception.

I think your term 'Anabaptist' is misleading. Not all Anabaptists taught this!

It is Anabaptist in as much as it is a doctrine found exclusively among the Anabaptists, whether or not all of them held to it.

It is not a doctrine that will be found among any of the Roman or Reformed theologians.

It would be better to say 'SOME' Anabaptists. The term itself is derogatory and was presumably invented to distinguish this group from the Magisterial reformers and the papists.
 
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