Many thanks to the Energion Discussion Network (EDN) for publishing my latest post.
Bishop Irenaeus suggests that God did not create humanity in a state of perfection because perfection requires a maturing process. Irenaeus states that by necessity human beings have a beginning in time and, therefore, must be “inferior” to the one who created them. Humanity is not simply able to receive such perfection; it is something attained over time as one grows in love and grace. Such a lack of perfection is suggested in the Garden of Eden story where Adam and Eve are forbidden to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fact that they lacked such knowledge prior to their disobedience meant they lacked perfection. As is clear from the narrative, the problem with the first couple was not their humanity, it was their disobedience. There is an immaturity, writes Irenaeus, that goes hand in hand with a lack of perfection. In the same way maturity and perfection are indispensably connected. Since maturity cannot be had instantaneously, neither can perfection. One moves toward it.
The entire post can be read here.
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)