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Ave Maria!

Welcome to what is probably the only website in the world exclusively dedicated to the absolute primacy of Jesus Christ according to the teachings of Bl. John Duns Scotus and the Franciscan school (“Franciscan” because, like the Immaculate Conception of Mary, they have championed the doctrine of the absolute primacy of Christ the King in all creation, but they are by no means the first or only ones to propose it; rather, as can be gathered from this website, this doctrine is found in the Scriptures, Fathers, Doctors, Saints and Mystics of the Church of all ages because it is simply the truth!).

Please note that all Christians are united in attributing a universal primacy to Christ; after all, He is God, the Eternal Word, made flesh! But is His universal primacy as the God-Man a relative primacy, in other words, occasioned by the sin of man? Or is His primacy absolute and unconditional and not dependent upon man’s need for Redemption? It is a question of God’s creative plan. Was Christ willed as the center of creation or was His coming due exclusively to man’s sin?

The Franciscan school has always proclaimed that God’s Masterpiece, namely Jesus the Son of God and Son of Mary, was at the center of God’s creative plan regardless of sin. And that is precisely what this website is all about – here we want to look at this sublime truth, like a sparkling diamond, from many angles, under different lights and with the aid of a variety of experts so as to see its dazzling beauty and appraise its infinite worth.

The text of the different pages is taken entirely from my book, A Primer on the Absolute Primacy of Christ (available for five bucks, if you’re interested), with occasional new comments or references in brackets, and the videos of my series The Cornerstone, are conveniently situated near the text that I’m explaining. In this way both the text and the videos are coherently linked according to subject matter which should make it easy to find and select the material related to the argument that interests you.

On this subject there are great minds, yes, even Doctors of the Church, on both sides, so we, like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, need to respect both positions, even if we take a stand on one side or the other.

Thank you for visiting and let us pray for one another.

In Corde Matris,

fr. maximilian mary dean

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Bishop Grosseteste (+1253) – 16 arguments for the Incarnation even if Adam had not sinned

Bishop Robert Grosseteste (+1253) was an amazing figure in England during the scholastic period, both as Bishop of Lincoln and Professor of Theology at Oxford University. If you want to learn more about him or look up his writings (in Latin), there is an amazing website you can visit called Electronic Grosseteste.

In Part III of his volume De cessatione legalium – “On the Cessation of the Laws” he gives sixteen arguments for the Incarnation even if Adam had not sinned. As much as I would like to post all of his arguments here, it seems best to limit myself to a few highlights. Thanks to Dr. Stephen Hildebrand and CUA Press anyone who would like to read Bishop Grosseteste’s full presentation on the subject can purchase the English translation of this work here.

From the pen of Grosseteste:

“… let us suppose that man had not fallen and that God did not become man; the created universe would not be as good, as perfect, as beautiful as it is now, would it? …” (P.III, Ch.1, n.8)

“Again, when God, who is supremely generous and from whom envy is supremely banished, creates every kind of creature that can exist (in order to show that He, who must be participated in by every possible nature, Himself shares with each inasmuch as its nature can receive it), and does not leave even the nature of the insect or of some kind of fly or reptile uncreated, how will He not all the more make one Person to be God and man, that is, one Christ, because one Christ, God and man, is an incomparably greater good than all of creation by itself? He does not omit the nature of the insect lest the whole of creation be imperfect and less honorable; would He omit Christ, the greatest honor for all creation [if Adam had not sinned]? … How could He [Christ], being such, be omitted in such a way that He would never have existed if man had not sinned, when even the lowest species of reptile would not have been omitted?” (P.III, Ch.1, n.9)

“In addition, if there were not one Christ, that is, God and man in one Person, the Church would not have the head which it now has, nor would it be as the Apostle says, ‘The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church’ (Eph 5:23); and again, the head of man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God, but the Church would be headless and so would man.” (P.III, Ch.1, n.10)

“In addition, if the God-man, who suffered, through Himself justifies fallen man, and if this cause is precisely proportionate to this effect, then, if you take away the ‘fallen’ and ‘suffering,’ the precise cause of man’s justification, the God-man, will, it seems, remain. For if man had not sinned, he still would not be able to be just by himself, but would always need someone who is just by nature to justify him.” (P.III, Ch.1, n.11)

“What the Apostle says about Christ seems to contradict this line of thought [that we are justified by God, not the God-man], that for us He was made by God to be wisdom, justice, holiness and redemption (cf. 1 Cor 1:30). Therefore, He redeems, sanctifies, and infuses justice and wisdom according to His becoming [man], not because as God He infuses holiness, justice, and wisdom; rather, He does this only through the assumed man, because of whom He is the mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tm 2:5)…” (P.III, Ch.1, n.13)

“So then, if the formation of justice always happens in one way, because the cause of one thing is always one, justice always and simply descends from God through Christ, the God-man, into every rational creature who is made just. On account of this, it seems, angels and men are not justified from the beginning except through the Son of God, God and man…” (P.III, Ch.1, n.14).

A summary of Bishop Robert Grosseteste’s position on the primacy of Christ By Fr. Eric Wood will be posted soon…

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