The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Irenaeus' optimistic view of Original Sin fits with EU

The following quotes are from:

I think this fits neatly with EU, as does the following. According to Irenaeus:

Thanks for the article, Alex; this looks interesting. I will give it some time and attention. The comment: “… for Augustine original sin was a disaster repaired only partially by Christ. Whereas for Irenaeus the sin was more like the first fall of a baby just learning to walk.”

That’s exactly as I see it. Sin is not a disaster; it is a fall which was required in order to walk. God has used metaphor and allegory to bring forth a mystery; which is also required, as everything relative to God is mysterious.


Yay :smiley:

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: and thrice yay!

Much as I admire much of Augustine’s theology, I’m with you on this one, Steve. I have long had a problem with the orthodox doctrine of original sin. I don’t believe Christ was God’s ‘plan B’ to deal with the unexpected consequences of sin. There was only ever a plan A - Christ the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, who takes away the sin of the world.

Thank for posting this Alex.

All the best


We’ve just been discussing this issue on another thread - so there is a synchronicity here :smiley: . Also it dovetails into something that Jason was saying a few months back about an argument in Prof. Ramelli’s Book - doesn’t she argue (to the surprise of some) that Irenaeaus was actually a universalist in terms of human salvation (it was only the rebel angels he had doubts about)? That makes sense to me - given Irenaeus Doctrine of the atonement being effected by the Incarnation (‘what is not assumed cannot be redeemed’) that makes enormous sense.

And guys and gals, since it is Christmas, check out the Anglican carol ‘Adam lay ybounden’ which celebrates Iranaeus’ doctrine of the fortunate fall that merited so great a redeemer.


Dick :slight_smile:

Hi Johnny,

I have really enjoyed reading the article in Alex’s post. I have read Ireneaus, but I never picked up that view of his. I have found a similar subject discussed here:

A similar view to which you stated is found there…

And again:

This view of the priority of the Incarnation seems to be implied in your ‘Plan A’ and ‘Plan B’. If the Incarnation was only to address the fall, then Augustine and Calvin are right. If, however, the Incarnation was to draw all men to Himself, and the fall was part of that process, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”, then it modifies the outlook of much in scripture. It also shows how God can conceal His ‘will’ from our minds so easily, just because we look with our own preconceived bias and expectation. The object can be sitting right under our nose and we cannot see it. God is remarkable!

I had arrived at the same conclusion by noticing that the *Kingdom of God *was always apart of God’s plan in Christ, not just an afterthought. Christ had always intended to be King; for the entire world was created through Him and by Him and FOR HIM! Christ has now an eternal body which is going to be shared with other faithful co-rulers of the Kingdom. This was not Plan B. This was always Plan A: “There was only ever a plan A.”

Hi Steve

Thanks for the scholarship on this one. I haven’t read any Duns Scotus, but I really like the quote you gave. For what it’s worth, my own view of the atonement and the Incarnation is that they are essential to God’s overarching plan, only not for the reasons usually cited in orthodoxy. I believe that if Christ had not come we would be utterly and forever lost. I also believe that we were - are - always and forever utterly saved. I think the Bible teaches that, and it makes sense to me morally and philosophically.



I found this chapter of the book so interesting that I copied all of the chapters into a word file and created a PDF e-book. If anyone would like a copy, let me know.