The traditional Christian understanding is that Jesus Christ “paid the price” for the original sin of humanity.
However, we must discover a new relevance for this interpretation. If we want to make an intelligible integration of our Christian faith with the modern world of science and cosmology, we will have to tread a new path.
We have experienced a marked decline in Church attendance and a sharp rise in the number of people claiming they are “nones,” meaning they are unaffiliated with any religion. In fact, “nones” are the fastest growing cohort of young adults in the United States. It’s not as if there is less interest in spirituality; rather, there is less commitment to prior institutional forms and narratives, save perhaps for Christian fundamentalists. Devoted Christians outside of that category find that they must renew their faith in Jesus Christ and in church institutions so it makes more sense to them.
As the interconnectedness of all of Life becomes increasingly apparent, so too does the awareness of an evolutionary trajectory. Changes can be seen in the transformation of our species, and they can be seen in changing and emerging views and understandings of almost all aspects of human life, e.g., medicine, religion, spirituality, education, finance, technology, psychology, etc. For those who have eyes to see, this can be realized as God’s ongoing birthing and sustaining energy, that which is of the Holy Spirit. How this plays out in full vitally depends on how we participate in the process.
A primary task for us to maintain a devotion to Jesus Christ is to form an integration of our devotion and faith, including all of the changes that have occurred as traditional tribal Christianity and formal church institutions have declined. Failing to do so will result in a compartmentalized schizophrenic-like existence where we try to function with a spirituality that is separated from everyday life and that may well be at odds with our deeper morals and values. As the idiom goes, “one cannot ride two horses at the same time.“ Or, as our Lord said, “No one can serve two masters.”
Thousands of years ago, Jesus asked his disciples a timeless question that we can still envision him asking us today, “Who do you say that I am?”
Suggested Reflection: Try deeply contemplating this question and forming a written answer.