Taking On Theology Pt. 1:Original Sin, And Why I Think Christians Have Misread Scripture.

Posted on June 14, 2011. Filed under: Apologetics, Atheism, Original Sin, Personal, Religion, Rob Bell, Universalism | Tags: , , , |

Authors Note:  Before deciding to comment on this post, please read other posts on this blog.  I was going to hell (or not) before I wrote this post, and my personal opinion of a longstanding Christian doctrine is the least of my problems, assuming you have some brilliant insight into the veracity and mind of your God.  This post is meant to challenge the doctrine of original sin, and if you think it falls short-the comment box gives you a place to argue your case.

From What Is Clearly Seen…..

When I was a boy, my mother used to read “Bible Stories For Children” to me at bedtime.  The second story in the book was about Adam, Eve, and a talking snake.  It was a watered down but engaging version of the story of “The Fall” from Genesis 3.   When you are a child, you don’t worry yourself with talking snakes, or eternal curses.  What I took away from it is four simple things:

  1. When you are given an order, even if it seems stupid and unreasonable, you may not fully understand the reason why it was commanded, or the consequences

    She obviously grabbed the wrong "low-hanging fruit"

    of disregarding it.

  2. Peer pressure can get you in trouble.
  3. If a snake starts talking to you, you should really just walk it off.
  4. God should have made the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil bear walnuts instead of fruit, at least then it would have made it difficult to eat.  Or at the very least mangoes, because they taste like crap.

As I got older, and started becoming active in church, I learned that other people had interpreted the story entirely different from myself.  There were a few new lessons that I guess I was supposed to garner from Genesis 3.

  1. Women ruin everything.  They are incorrigible.  Men are the head of the household because just look what happens when you let women get their way.
  2. I am born evil.  Adam passed his evil homunculus down to every succeeding generation, making me and my progeny forever culpable from conception for displeasing God.  Way to go, Jackass!

Here’s the thing though.  I read that story in my storybook and in my bible.  I just was not seeing it at all.   So I read it again.  Still not seeing it.  I asked someone else.  They said “Ahh, read Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, and it will all make sense.”  So I ran to my bible, thinking I had finally got the key that was going to unlock this whole issue.  I read Romans.  Then 1Corinthians.  Then Romans again.  Then I thought, “really?”.

I’m looking at the text, and I’m not seeing man as having a “curse of Adam”, or being born sinful, or depraved. I think there is something instructive about the comparison between the two, or else why would Paul draw the comparison.  Something is being taught here, I just want to examine what that is.   Let’s go verse by verse (All passages in red are from NKJ Version):

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

Sin entered the world.  It was not passed down, it was a reality of being cast out of a place where there was no inevitable capacity for sin.  Death came into the world as a result of “sin”, and I think this is a hint of what we are supposed to get out of the passage.  I’m going to come back to this passage in a minute, because the last three words are the strongest case that can be made for original sin, but I want to put them in perspective.

13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

I’m going to say that this verse makes an elegant case against “Evil Infants”.  I’ll let you folks discuss this.

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

So sin could not be imbued on those who did not have the law, yet sin existed, and death, before the laws of God were passed to Moses.  Also important: Adam is a

"Why is a Saviour like a Sinner? I don't know either..."

contrasting parallel to Jesus….

15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Here is where we get into what makes them different.  I’m going to argue that either “by one man’s offense many died” is a gross understatement, or that “the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many” was a gross overstatement.  Either that or they are not parallel.  OR….sin is not automatic but the result of a choice (granted a forced one) just as grace is the result of a choice.

16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

More differences.  The offense resulted in condemnation, the free gift was the borne of a need to wash the slate clean.  Check.

17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

So death reigned because of a transgression, and we can beat that death through the gift of Jesus. Got it.

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Whoa.  Just as the judgement (remember, we are talking about something that was thrust upon us by a single act) came to all men, the free gift came to all men. Is “all” the same as “all” in this verse?  So my question is this:  Is the similarity that these acts are applied unconditionally to all people?  Is the similarity that they were both available to all people?  There needs to be a similarity, or else our foundational foreshadowing from v.14 means nothing, not to mention the whole analogy.

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Here is that “many” being entirely different from “many” again.  Is it the same many?  Or is it a different kind of many?  Shouldn’t it read “For as by one man’s disobedience all were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience some will be made righteous?

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So the law kept track of transgressions, made them “evil”….if you will.  Right. Sin abounded, and grace abounded much more (because, of course the ratio of sin:grace is not 1:1), and just as (but obviously not quite the same as) sin reigned in death, grace might reign through righteousness.

I’m telling you that there are really only three little words in Romans 5 that we can use to justify Original Sin: because all sinned.(v.12)

So That We Are Without Excuse…

I want to take this opportunity to first tell you why I read that passage differently, and then go through the steps to get there.  First, I approached this text with a fixed and unwavering belief that salvation through Jesus is a choice we are given, it is not forced upon us by virtue of being born after the crucifixion.  So when I read that passage, I’m looking to make parallels that fit my understanding of the gift of salvation. 

So when I read Romans 5, I was contrasting two similar actions; one that condemned us to sin, the other that brought us righteousness.  I walked in with the assumption that if salvation is a choice, then our sin must be a choice as well.  Since the passage does not claim that the difference is one of choice, and since it rhetorically implies the opposite- that these two actions are mirrored by each other- I have to read that they are the same in this important respect.

So I made my own explanation of what Paul meant in Romans 5, just as  Augustine had done when he postulated Original Sin:

Adam was cast out of the Garden into a world of sin.  Sin was brought into the world by his transgression, yes.  It was not written on him and his seed.  God cast them out of a world where sin was not necessary into a world where sin was inevitable.  How was sin created?  God created economics!  Read Genesis 3.  Pay attention to the fact that God explicitly says that in order to breed, you will feel pain.  In order to feed yourself, you will need to work the land.  In other words, in order to survive, you will have to make hard choices.  You will have to do something you don’t want to do in order to get what you need.  In order to live, you will need to make trade offs.  This is the “curse of Adam”….in order to live, you must die- in order to survive, you must trespass- in order to thrive, something must suffer.  We are all sinners because we exist in a place where our choices necessitate sin.

When I think of  “original sin” like this, Romans 5 makes sense.  We do all sin.  We can’t help it.  Not because we have a sinful nature, not because we are depraved, but because we live in a world of economics- a world of trade offs.  The actions of Adam left us with nothing but bad choices.  The actions of Jesus leave us with a righteous, purely moral choice.  They are perfectly parallel.

Could I make my case stronger? Sure.

What is a transgression?  Well, one way is to define it as a breach of a law or command, a “sin”.  Since Romans 5 says that sin existed with no law or command, maybe we should investigate what other meanings “transgression” has.  Like to go beyond a boundary or limit.  If we assume that Paul was correct, that transgressions could exist with no law, then we have to assume that sin was inherent because of natural boundaries and limits.  That may sound like “fun with words”, but transgressing a finite boundary or limit seems to imply exactly what I am talking about.

In the process of putting this post together, I tried to anticipate the resistance to my argument.  I knew “all have sinned” would come up, and I was preparing to contrast the “all” in the case of Adam with the “all” in the case of Jesus. (v.18)  I knew that someone would bring up the condition explicit in verse 18 of “the free gift came to all men”, but in Young’s literal-as well as other versions-it is not there:

18So, then, as through one offence to all men [it is] to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous’ [it is] to all men to justification of life;  (Young’s Literal)

This makes my case all the more pressing.  If Original Sin is understood as being borne not of action but of birthright, and as the bible says in Romans 5:14 that Adam is a foreshadowing of what was to come, then it follows that by birthright we are justified to salvation.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  If by original sin we are born depraved, then by salvation we are born forgiven.  Either “all” means “all” or it doesn’t,”many” means “many”, or it doesn’t.  But if “all” means that all are born into a world where we can choose to never sin-but it is impossible in practice-then all can also mean that each of us is born into a world where we can choose to

"Maintain eye contact.....for the love of Me- Maintain eye contact..."

let Jesus carry the burden of our sins- the impossible is made possible.  If you believe in Original Sin(in the sense that Adam’s sin was written on you from conception)- and you believe that Paul was teaching us something of value in Romans 5, if you believe that (as Paul says unambiguously) Adams transgression was a foreshadowing of the saving gift of salvation, if you believe all these things then you have to believe in universal salvation.   I don’t see how you can accept one without the other.

With my conception, you can believe in heaven and hell, salvation through faith alone, that Jesus is a choice you make and not a birthright.  Heck, you could even believe in universal salvation still if you want to.

Let’s take my conception of “original sin” and contrast it with the traditional understanding by plugging them into 1Cor. 15:

Me:    20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man(sin became a necessary choice and with it) came death, by Man also(salvation became a choice and with it) came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die (as a result of their inevitable choices), even so in Christ all shall be made alive(as a result of the choice to accept grace). 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

Traditional Original Sin: 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man (sin became our birthright and with it) came death, by Man also(salvation became a choice? and with it) came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die (as a result of their birthright), even so in Christ all shall be made alive(as a result of the choice to accept grace). 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

When I plug my understanding of “original sin” into 1 Corinthians 15, we are left with a perfectly parallel story, where we will choose sin by necessity of living and we will choose Jesus in order to have eternal life.  If you believe in Orthodox Original Sin, we are left with a disjointed comparison, where we are damned by birthright but saved by a choice;  where “all” is not equal to “all”, where in order for me to believe the very heart of the doctrine-that all die by the inward stain of Adam’s transgression- I must by rights believe that all shall be made alive in Christ in a way that is worthy of comparison.

Most pointedly, my case is made by a plain reading of the text.  If you read Genesis 3, there is no mention that Adam had any curse on his seed, other than that their relationship with the world had changed: that there would be consequences to each action from then on.  There is no mention that man was to be born with an inborn stain, but an outward struggle.

In regards to Romans 5, a plain reading impels us to believe that just as through Adam our relationship with the world has changed, so too through Christ our relationship to the world has changed yet again.  If we are born into a world where sin is assured, then by the same choices that create our sin we can make a choice that absolves it.

It boggles my mind that a doctrine that has spawned terms never found in the bible, “original sin”, “sinful nature”,” total depravity”: how ideas that impel us to assume the absolute worst of mankind- that babies are evil, that someone has sinned from conception…..that all these ideas are the result of two passages- just nine words in the bible.  How, from a plain reading, do you get from “As in Adam, all die” to total depravity, from “because all sinned” to babies are evil?

There is no good reason to accept Original Sin as the Orthodox doctrine is established.

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40 Responses to “Taking On Theology Pt. 1:Original Sin, And Why I Think Christians Have Misread Scripture.”

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Woop, woop! You’ve got it baby!

If by original sin we are born depraved, then by salvation we are born forgiven. Either “all” means “all” or it doesn’t,”many” means “many”, or it doesn’t.

This is a perfect laying out of the true teaching of the Gospel–that the 2nd Adam came to restore what the first Adam lost. You are so right George, it is not really a choice of “if,” but only a choice of “when” all people will acknowledge that they are ALREADY forgiven and restored from Adam’s consequence, which is death. It’s important to look at all those words coined from the Catholic Church–salvation, sin, total depravity–and unravel them. Salvation (Greek “sozo”) means to deliver, heal, make whole. “Salvation” then, is nothing more than being healed of death. Sin is nothing more than missing the mark or getting off the path of God’s best plan–love and justice.

It’s also important to know that in Romans 5:15 where it talks about “many,” the Greek actually reads “the many” with the definite article. It has the same “the many” for both sides of the equation, and it means the same many. There are many other parallel verses that reveal this powerful truth you have uncovered! It can’t possibly be one all without being the same all for the effects of both Adams. In both cases, there is no choice offered in the ultimate fate. Death for all. Life for the same all. Why? You know I think it’s because we have to fully have knowledge of good and evil before we can fully experience LIFE. Two trees. Both become our fate.

I might add the beautiful metaphorical story in Genesis. If you remember, Eve ate first, yet Adam is attributed with the sin. Why is that? Adam and Eve play out a beautiful picture of Jesus and His unfaithful, fallen Bride. Adam takes the hit for Eve. He chooses to “sin” in order to be her sacrifice and so that he might “be with her.” Jesus does the same for his fallen bride. There are many beautiful parallels between Adam and Eve, and Jesus and His people (all of us).

Great post Geo! I’m going to send my friends here to read it b/c you have really captured it beautifully!

Very interesting and fun.

I am interested in hearing what our more conservative brothers and sisters might have to say about this. Mind if I point some your way?

Dan,
I wrote this post more for that audience than any other. Please send me whomever you feel might have something to say.
I was actually more interested in the reflections of you and Julie, and people like John Shore. I’m relatively convinced that I don’t need your conservative brothers and sisters to type one word; I could write their responses for them.
I could just use the verbatim response of my pastor when I pitched this concept as a youth sermon….”You don’t get to tell people they are either a heretic or a heretic, I don’t think this adds constructively to the dialogue in our church.” No explanation necessary.

My opinion is that I don’t have a strong opinion.

On matters of extra-biblical tenets/ideas that strive to explain biblical ideas, I think they can be interesting, sometimes helpful and sometimes weird, but nothing I sweat over too much. By that, I mean that there are SOME Christian tenets that just aren’t found in the Bible. “Original sin” as a term, does not appear in the Bible. “Penal Substitutionary Atonement,” “Ransom Theory of Atonement,” “Christus Victor Theory of Atonement,” etc, these terms don’t appear in the Bible.

These are theologians’ attempt to explain what does appear in the Bible. Theories that sometime make some sense and sometimes just seem wacky (for instance, the “Ransom Theory of Atonement,” as you may or may not know, means that God had to pay a “ransom” to the Devil to “buy” our forgiveness and freedom… Do people really think the almighty God of the Universe would have to LITERALLY PAY A MERE DEVIL in “perfect blood” for our liberty?).

These theories can help us think some things over a bit more, but I’m a bit more simplistic than that. I think we are saved BY GOD’S GRACE through faith in Jesus. “Atonement” is just a way of trying to explain that grace, but I’m fine with stopping at, “For it is by Grace that you are saved through faith in Jesus…” That’s all I need to know. It makes sense.

Blood payoffs to the devil don’t really make much sense and it’s an example, to me, of someone over-thinking an idea.

On “Original sin” – a concept which does not appear in the Bible directly, but is extrapolated out of the Bible by theologians trying to explain sin and humanity – I’m fine with the basic underlying concept: That we are a fallen people, an imperfect people who, while created in the image of God and found “good” by God, still are not perfect, still make mistakes, still sin and do wrong. I can go that far down that road logically and biblically.

But from there, people go to some strange places that don’t really seem to me to be either biblical or logical and sometimes, not even moral. “Babies are evil,” would be one example of that.

Did we “inherit” a sinful condition from Adam? I think those sorts of verses make most sense as an allegory – they’re just pointing out the reality that humanity has this tendency towards sin. “Sin” is not a literal genetic condition passed down from generation to generation. Sin is about choices, not inheritance.

So, having said all of that: I think I can agree with a great deal of what you’ve said. AND, what you’ve said has the advantage (an advantage to some, anyway) of coming from a fairly straightforward literal biblical reading. It would seem difficult to argue against your points logically or biblically, it seems to me.

I’m still digesting/thinking on your post, but for the most part, it sounds valid to me. I might say that either I’m not quite getting your sin-as-economics take on sin (as opposed to humanity simply having a sinful nature, a bent towards sin). I think I disagree with the conclusion, “We are sinners because we are in a place where our choices necessitate sin,” although I think I sort of get what you’re suggesting.

As I said, I’m still digesting. If you wanted to flesh that out some – HOW does our place necessitate sinful choices? – that might help. Give some examples of unavoidable sins (if that’s what you’re saying).

Still, it makes TONS more sense than “evil babies,” just on the face of it.

Dan T.,
What I am saying is that from a plain reading of scripture one must assume that The Garden was a place free of “economics”. Death did not exist till Adam. Before the Fall, man had a bountiful harvest without laboring a stitch. If this is not so, then the “Curse of Adam” as proclaimed in Gen 3 is meaningless.
What causes us to sin? Selfishness? Wanting? Coveting? If there is infinite resources, these things are moot. In the Garden, to eat of an infinite supply, to covet something of no value (because it is ubiquitous) doesn’t seem to me to be sinful at all. Would we have war if there were infinite resources? Would we hate if we were all equally endowed? I think that sin is almost exclusively about “economics”, and that being cast out of a world of abundant plenty into a world of the finite is all the explanation we need for why we are “cursed” to sin.
The only sin available to someone in the Garden would be to be dissatisfied with a perfect earthly existence, to strive for more than just mere existence. In other words (and this is entirely another topic) :we committed the sin of being human- we stopped being content with “It is so”, and asked the question that separates us from all of creation- “Why must it be so”. We fulfilled the promise of our humanity by stealing the sweet juices of curiosity.

I hope you understand that this entire post is called a Taxi Cab fallacy. When you get to your “destination” you just jump out and proclaim your arrival. You must discount the entirety of the Bible to get to your point. For this point to be true you MUST discount verses such as Luke 13:3-5, Ephesians 2:8-10 and the Barren Fig Tree parable, if not all parables. Without repentance you’re tying God’s hands. Keep free will in mind. God loves you so much he will give you what you wish for. A world without Him. Its called complete despair, or more familiar as Hell. I am sure you all will not listen to all 7 parts, but you might want to check out 4:45 of part 7. “People are making philosophical mistakes of a heinous moral character. Philosophical mistakes that lead to very bad Christian living.”

Like the Taxi Cab fallacy reveals, you’re being extremely selective and therefor illogical and wrong…yet again.

I hope you understand that the whole Orthodox doctrine of Original Sin is called the Taxi Cab fallacy. When you get to your “destination” you just jump off and proclaim your arrival. You must discount the entirety of the Bible to get to your point.
An example:Luke 13:3-5

3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

If you believe in Original Sin in the Orthodox fashion as revealed in Romans 5, you have to believe that “all” means “all”, that the Curse of Adam and the Gift of Jesus are parallel. You have to believe that all are saved through Jesus, unconditionally- just as all have sinned through Adam, without condition. If you believe in the “truth” of Original Sin, you also MUST believe in the “truth” of universal salvation. I’m not endorsing universalism DAN….you are! Luke 13 makes no sense in this light. You, DAN, are a heretic.
Another example, from Eph. 2:8-10

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

This passage clearly says that saving grace is given as a gift from God. We can accept it or reject the gift, but it belongs not to us, it is God’s. If you believe in Original Sin in the Orthodox tradition as revealed in 1Corinthians 15, you also believe that just as man had no choice but to be stained by Adam’s transgression, so too we have no choice but to be saved by the sacrifice of Christ. I will admit that this passage still makes sense in that light, but you are arguing, DAN, for universalism- which I cannot accept without more evidence.

If you want to come onto this blog and make a case for universal salvation you are free to do so. But please, be prepared to back up your assertions. Just like yourself, Julie makes an argument for universalism- but at least she backs it up.

Like the Taxi Cab fallacy reveals, you are being extremely selective and therefor illogical and wrong….yet again ;7)

George,

>>I’m not endorsing universalism DAN….you are!

Are you insane! Your entire post is trying to make such an argument. Are you messing with me? Or are you just a cuckoo?

>>I will admit that this passage still makes sense in that light, but you are arguing, DAN, for universalism- which I cannot accept without more evidence.

What!? From taxicab fallacy to equivocation? How can you possibly get from what I said to Universalism? Please explain.

>>You have to believe that all are saved through Jesus, unconditionally- just as all have sinned through Adam, without condition.

NO!!!! You have to understand that its available to you, not forced upon you. Is force love to you? How many were saved in Noah’s boat? Was everyone saved? Nope. I am certainly NOT claiming universalism. Hebrews 11:6-40, and the rest of the Bible and God’s Word, demands the opposite, and that is my point here. Without trusting in Christ, you’re lost and will perish. No Georgy, when you speak of a taxicab fallacy, you sir, MUST look into a mirror. Same with Julie apparently.

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith…”

Also I thought I would point out the letter to the Corinthians. ( your claim of 1Corinthians 15) was to people that ALREADY believed. This is not the people that you are claiming are saved, nonbelievers. Your entire thesis is lacking. Back to school you go.

So then you are saying you cannot read?
What does my title say? What does the body of the text say?
Do you even understand what this article is about?
Can you read?
The doctrine of Original Sin is a Taxi Cab fallacy, if you want that fallacy to have any meaning. You are willing to follow Paul’s analogy to get to Original Sin, and then you get out there and say “See? We are born sinful!” You won’t go for the entire ride and see that that conclusion necessitates believing in universal salvation. I didn’t make the equivocation of Adam’s transgression to Jesus’ sacrifice….Paul did! Are you saying that there is a FALSE equivocation in the Holy Scripture? That sounds like heresy…..
You cannot logically defend the Orthodox doctrine of Original Sin without accepting what that says about the nature of salvation. You cannot do it. Unless, as you say, you use the Taxi Cab fallacy. Either “all” means “all”, and “many” means “many” in Rom. 5, or the nature of Adam’s transgression was not that it was forced upon us but made our world a place where the only way to live was to choose sin. Just as the only way to live is to choose salvation, as we both agree is the spirit of The Word.

If you believe in Original Sin: in the “stain of Adam”, and “total depravity”- you are have a fatal flaw in your worldview.
Read the post again.

George,

>>Read the post again.

Ugh, I did. Here I where I see the problem. Its the same problem, I am just restating it to drive it home. You are leaping like a frog here:

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

>>Whoa. Just as the judgement (remember, we are talking about something that was thrust upon us by a single act) came to all men, the free gift came to all men. Is “all” the same as “all” in this verse? So my question is this: Is the similarity that these acts are applied unconditionally to all people? Is the similarity that they were both available to all people? There needs to be a similarity, or else our foundational foreshadowing from v.14 means nothing, not to mention the whole analogy.

The free gift can be and often is, as in your case, rejected. It was a choice to live with Christ forever. “The free gift came to all men” indeed, some just returned the gift for cash. Sad really. To wait in line that long at the return center for a few bucks. Prioritize! I am talking to a girl who is saying even if God is a reality because of His treatment of others, would choose to be apart from Him.

Look, let’s just say that my Great great grand dad was an alcoholic, and his son and his son’s son were both also drunks who had a boy that was also an alcoholic and in his drunken stupor had me as his son. By genetics and environment the likely hood of me being a drunk is very very high. I could just submit to my destiny. But that does NOT mean I will be a drunk. I don’t have to be one even though I have been given the gift(?) of alcoholism. I still have choices.

Get drunk with Christ? Wait, drink until you stink of Holy. Wait…what is my point? Never mind. I guess my point was, If God is huge about freedoms and free will then there must be choices. Its Biblical.

OK my analogies are wearing thin and I am getting punchy. Long day, sweet dreams and don’t die before figuring all this out. :7) I just watched Brotherhood Highly recommended. Great flick! Its about choices in life. Are you sure you’re making the right ones? Poignant for this crew. I apologize for the stream-of-conscience writing. I will have a coherent thought someday soon.

So you are saying that you agree with me that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is wrong then? Good. We finally agree. I knew it would happen some day!

If the free gift can be rejected, and it is equivocal with Adam’s transgression, as Paul says, then the sin that entered the world through Adam is not inherent and forced,but a choice of free will. We sin because Adam’s sin made God change the rules, just as Jesus’ sacrifice changed the rules. But neither one rigged the game. So you do not believe in “the stain of Adam” in the sense that we all have sinned from conception. You do not believe in total depravity.
I didn’t really think you were a universalist, I just was poking fun at the obvious fact that a) you didn’t read my post. You actually thought I was advocating universalism by denying the doctrine that necessitates it. A misunderstanding on your part, I guess. b) you seemed to previously support sin from conception, which you have now obviously thrown away along with the “false teaching” of universalism.
Here I thought I would get resistance from you for questioning a long held and beloved doctrine of the Christian Church, when in fact you agree that sin is conditional just as salvation is.
I’m glad you chose heterodoxy over heresy!

I wish to make a couple points here to D.A.N. First of all, all of the verses you point out about having “faith,” the Greek word “pistis” actually means “obedient trust,” as defined in the Greek papyri. And all those verses about obedient trust are to the called out, not the world. So your arguments about repenting and having a choice are really invalid as you apply them to the “world.” The called out (today the Church is an extension of the called out, through Paul) are the ones being held to the higher standard of obedient trust to the things they have been given–knowledge, invitation, understanding, revelation.

As to your statement about Noah: How many were saved in Noah’s boat? Was everyone saved? One could easily make several points about how this story can not possibly indicate that eternal suffering/destruction was at stake. First of all, the people were not properly warned of hell (only of mortal destruction). Noah was the only person indicated on the boat as being a “righteous person.” In fact, Ham is considered the lineage of the “antichrist” throughout Scripture. Soon off the boat he has sex either with Noah or his wife (it is difficult to determine which based on the law) and his offspring is cursed. So we can gather that righteousness or even faith was not the prerequisite for being “saved” out of the flood. This story has much deeper implications.

What is passed down from Adam that Jesus undid FOR ALL is death, mortal death. Not hell. “In Adam, all are dying, so in Christ, all are being made alive, but each in his own order…” (1 Cor. 15:22-23). The whole point of 1 Cor. 15 from start to finish is the conquering of the grave by the second Adam. Death is swallowed up in victory. “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us [all] the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

OK Julie,

This has to be my last comment tonight.

Faith equals obedient trust, I completely concur and agree.

>>And all those verses about obedient trust are to the called out, not the world.

OK, you’re arguing my point but alright I am playing along without studying the verses.

>>First of all, the people were not properly warned of hell (only of mortal destruction).

Are you claiming God was being too harsh if true? Judging God, not recommended. So what? Are you saying they didn’t KNOW better with their debauchery? Hogwash. If you claim people do not have consciences then you may have a point. Otherwise, your argument falls apart. They certainly knew they were wrong and going against God. Remember God revealed Himself to ALL mankind. We all know right from wrong. Its universal.

>>Soon off the boat he has sex either with Noah or his wife (it is difficult to determine which based on the law) and his offspring is cursed.

Did you just hear a clock? I did. >->56 but thanks be to God, who gives us [all] the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

You do understand that YOU injected the [all] for that verse. Adding to the Bible? Not recommended.

>>O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?

So how is it that the verses about obedient trust are for the elect but not these verses? Anyway, I completely agree. Nothing in this universe has power over Christ. Christ is Just though. People spitting in His face kicking and screaming will not go to Heaven. They will get their wish. Do you really think Regan from the movie The Exorcist wants to be in Heaven? And wouldn’t that be Hell for her anyways? It does not compute. Night night.

Amazing isn’t it? 😉 Is Adam’s transgression more powerful than Christ’s victory? There are plenty of critics on this perspective, but when it all comes down to it they will say it’s a “lie from the devil”..umm ok so the devil would want mankind to rejoice that Christ saved them, believe it to be true, and embrace Jesus as the ultimate lover of humanity? oh ya that’s exactly what the devil wants. {insert sarcasm} The “devil” (as they know him) would want people to think there is a hell and taint God’s love with needing a threat of abuse to win them. While Jesus needs no such tactic, he simply loves in love’s purest form. Excellent point on the consequences in this lifetime.

Sisterlisa,

The “devil” would want people to think there is no such thing as hell or even a devil and taint God’s love with coddling love to ‘win’ them. While Jesus needs no such tactic, he simply loves in love’s purest form. He is loving and Just. Perfect love is a constant confronter. It takes far more love to confront then to ignore the situation.

Hmmm. The Garden of Eden story as a metaphor for economics. An unconventional and neat interpretation.

And mangoes don’t taste like crap. I love crunchy, slightly underripe mangoes.

Was Adam a clever fellow or a total moron? What is the justification for all of us suffering because of the choise of just one man? Or is there none? If there is none, is the god of Moses, who alledgedly sets all these rules, not a moral entity?

The choise to believe in Christ is not equal to all. There have been and exist even today billions of people who have not even heard of him. Do all these people go to Hell to suffer for an eternity? What is the justification to that? What about all those people who have heard of him, but do not believe in him, because from our cultural perspective, the story of salvation through Jesus is not a plausible story at all? What is the justification for us to be sent to Hell? Is the god who sets such rules not unjust? Does that not make the whole story of salvation by belief absurd?

I have not chosen to not to believe the salvation fairy tale. It simply is not plausible to me and never was, how could I choose to believe it? Would any of you believe me, if I told you the moon is made of cheese, and the only way for you to be saved from eternal pain is by believing the moon is made of cheese?

YOUR VERSE AND COMMENTS: “18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”

“Whoa. Just as the judgement (remember, we are talking about something that was thrust upon us by a single act) came to all men, the free gift came to all men. Is “all” the same as “all” in this verse? So my question is this: Is the similarity that these acts are applied unconditionally to all people? Is the similarity that they were both available to all people? There needs to be a similarity, or else our foundational foreshadowing from v.14 means nothing, not to mention the whole analogy.”

MY RESPONSE: Adam represents our pioneer of a vastly peculiar species of creatures. Adam modeled for us how the human species might most expediently function. Adam chose to do this “on his own will power,” through a parting of his will from the company, companionship, and authority of the will of God the Father. Christ re-represents our human pioneer, modeling for us how the human species might more effectively function (while imputing us with life as well…that is rumored to be powerful enough to one day raise us from our allotted curse of death)… with his will being strictly interested in, and resolutely loyal to the will of God the Father. Jesus Christ sought to align his will with the will of God the Father; Adam sought to run his own life on his own “self-will” and/or “steam.”

The consequence of our human pioneer, Adam, cutting himself off from the source of life was…death. The consequence of Christ as the re-representation of a supposedly more superior pioneer…the consequence of his re-connecting man to the source of life…WAS AND IS…LIFE.

YOU SAID: “More differences. The offense resulted in condemnation, the free gift was the borne of a need to wash the slate clean. Check.”

MY RESPONSE: The decision of Adam to “force his will” over and above the will of God the Father, resulted in our being “cut off” from the source of life and happiness. The free gift was not born of a mere need to “wash the slate clean.” Here is an analogy. Adam, Eve and God were all on board a vessel. God was the logical captain of that vessel. The fall was really a rebellion…it was our first human pioneer—Adam’s decision to BEGIN a very long and drawn out mutiny, on board the vessel. Of course, every son or daughter born to this man, Adam, was to be born onto this massive sea-going vessel…and because we were each born of the man who had cut all of us off from the source of life, we were destined to die, regardless of whose side we chose to take in this mutiny (there was the option of surrendering to the original captain).

In other words, even if we WANTED to defect from our first human pioneer…who was Adam…and join God the Father, even God the Father was powerless to change the facts of who we were…who we were begotten from…our heritage.
(C. S. Lewis on God’s Omnipotence: “You may attribute miracles to God, but not nonsense”).

We would need a new pioneer. That pioneer would have to be different from us, in that he could not be “of this race,” which exists as a separate entity from God the Father…meaning that our new pioneer could not also be “cut off from the source of life,” as we quite naturally were. Our new pioneer would need to be someone who was indeed still “connected” to that source of living and life.

Yet at the same time…this new pioneer would have to somehow be “of our race,” as well…which sets up conditions that do not make such a new pioneer seem very probable at all. Unless—God were more than just some detached, cold, sterile, isolated “fact of divinity.” What if God were a society? What if God had always been a society…all along? What if the whole concept of “society” happened to be a mere inevitable fact about our reality, resulting from the objective fact that the complex form of intelligent society to which we are currently familiar…has been existing, all along, way prior to the advent of human societal history?

And what if this Society of God had already planned for all of this in advance? (The Mutiny). The only logical action that could be taken…would involve THE INCONCEIVABLE! God, Himself, would have to become our new pioneer! Well, that sounds plain weird…and yet, this is exactly what all of the rumors seem to be murmuring…weird whisperings of some member of a divine “society of three” leaves the domain of the divine…he becomes a human being (our new pioneer being both 100% God and 100% Man)…he does a bunch of stuff with his life for 33 years…then this “bunch of stuff” that he had been doing causes a huge controversy and he becomes a threat to certain humans…who, then seek to find some lawful/civil way to finally get him to “shut up,” and they succeed by having him put to death, by crucifixion.

YOU SAID: “20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

“So the law kept track of transgressions, made them “evil”….if you will. Right. Sin abounded, and grace abounded much more (because, of course the ratio of sin:grace is not 1:1), and just as (but obviously not quite the same as) sin reigned in death, grace might reign through righteousness.”

I’m telling you that there are really only three little words in Romans 5 that we can use to justify Original Sin: because all sinned.(v.12)”

MY RESPONSE: The righteousness referred to is an “imputed righteousness,” it is imputed to us through Christ. Christ’s death is rumored to have “reconnected us” with the Divine Society, reconnecting a relationship that had been severed, as a direct result of Adam’s choice to begin the human trend of MUTINY.

Incidentally, the Hebrew/Chaldee for Curse or Cursed means “to place a curse upon,” which is derived from the Hebrew/Chaldee “urim.” Urim were devices used by High Priests to make God’s will known, possibly related to radiating or reflecting light.

The curse may have been a RESULT OR CONSEQUENCE of Adam’s mutinous beginning, as our pioneer…the curse may have been God handing us over “to our own will.” The curse could represent the consequences of a replacement of “God’s will” with “self will.” Having “cut ourselves off” from the source of life, the choices you spoke of…the economic choices…could have resulted. Maybe God did not suddenly create an economic system…maybe the curse was not some sudden, unplanned “creation of something that did not exist before.” Maybe the curse was the result of interactions between “that which creates” and “that which was created.” Man is handed over to “his own devices” or will…the light of God’s will is then obscured or blocked, as a direct result!?

YOU SAID: “The actions of Adam left us with nothing but bad choices. The actions of Jesus leave us with a righteous, purely moral choice. They are perfectly parallel.”

MY RESPONSE: Actually, the actions of Adam may have left us “cut off” from the light of God’s will…as we would naturally come to “prefer” our own will to God’s…hence the MUTINY.

YOU SAID: “If by original sin we are born depraved, then by salvation we are born forgiven. Either “all” means “all” or it doesn’t,”many” means “many”, or it doesn’t. But if “all” means that all are born into a world where we can choose to never sin-but it is impossible in practice-then all can also mean that each of us is born into a world where we can choose to

“Maintain eye contact…..for the love of Me- Maintain eye contact…”

let Jesus carry the burden of our sins- the impossible is made possible.”

MY RESPONSE: I was just focusing for a moment on the phrase you chose, “…we are born depraved…” Have you contrasted “The Doctrine of Original Sin” with “The Doctrine of Total Depravity?” They are not one and the same thing. For the record, I wanted to note that I do not in any way support “The Doctrine of Total Depravity.” There is freedom for “all.” Remember in my past posts when I put up the Christian’s Moral Standard Weight and Measure? The one thing that every Christian must measure all of his/her moral decisions/actions against? It was the decision to surrender the whole self to one’s Maker…I’m not sure if you remember. I’ve got a whole address over on my site that talks of this. It is called “The Riddle of Morality.”

“All” of us, past present future…can make the decision to “surrender” self will in exchange for God’s will. Thus far, the ONLY HUMAN WHO HAS SUCCEEDED IN FULLY PULLING THIS OFF, WAS JESUS CHRIST—our new Pioneer. Every other human has, at some point or another, failed in their attempts to fully surrender!!

YOU SAID: “…if you believe all these things then you have to believe in universal salvation. I don’t see how you can accept one without the other.”

MY RESPONSE: THE GIFT OF SALVATION IS FOR…ALL WHO BELIEVE, which I do believe is a choice…a choice, astonishingly, between “self-will” and “God’s will.” Does that make sense? Hence the verse, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be called the children of God”—John 1:12

Here is a web address with a ton of salvation verses, most of them are very universal…granting that you believe…the universal gift is conditioned upon one’s faith in that gift…

http://carm.org/verses-showing-justification-by-faith

I stopped when you began to go into 1 Corinthians 15.

Hey, George…sorry so long. Kind of going through something tough right now, and needed something to distract my mind…I love how you make me think. You are very challenging and you stimulate some fantastic dialogue!!

Katie.

Katie,
I don’t think you really understood my post. If the sin of Adam and the sacrifice of Jesus are dissimilar in scope, in what way are they similar? Paul goes to great lengths and broad language to draw the similarity between the two events, even saying that Adam foreshadows Jesus. How so, if not in act, scope, spirit or result? I think this is a serious question, and one that either makes the idea of universal salvation true, or a hereditary sin false.

I used to take the story to be about arbitrary rules and blind obedience, but now I see the story more as, well, more of the same, but with the addition that once you can understand the difference between good and evil, you have no need for a god.

As a kid, I was always confused by the Cain and Abel story, since the acceptance of the offering seemed as arbitrary as anything and it seems that Cain was set up – but it was the part of him going off and marrying some woman from another kingdom, when the story only has Adam, Eve and Cain in the world.

So the other kingdom, becomes as tantalizing as the commandment about not worshiping other gods – in that it suggests that there are other gods.

Which of course there are, since Christianity was just one religion in the marketplace of religions – no better or worse and certainly with the same evidence as all the others, which is to say, none at all.

Just wanted to respond to the latest argument…

RANDOM NTRYGG SAID: I used to take the story to be about arbitrary rules and blind obedience, but now I see the story more as, well, more of the same, but with the addition that once you can understand the difference between good and evil, you have no need for a god.

MY RESPONSE: This is our natural human trend in thinking…your statement, here, is a modern example of exactly what was at back of God making such a seemingly “unnecessary fuss” over something that man’s limited logic took to be pretty much equivalent to “nothing.” It is the human trend to conclude that this God had obviously “made a mountain out of a molehill.”

Of course you no longer have a need for God once you can supposedly “understand” the difference between good and evil. After all, now that “the cat is out of the bag,” regarding such sensitive information, there cannot possibly be anything whatsoever EVIL about starting a mutiny aboard the S. S. Society of Creature & Creator!

Because Eve was thus convinced by a “someone or a something,” which was rather abstract (but appropriately and analogously depicted, as a slithery, slimy, subtle, crafty serpent)…this “serpent” was apparently able to convince Eve that God had been all along “holding out on her and her husband (when in fact God had established a sort of Co-Regent reign among them…putting them in charge of the garden and all).” It may be pointed up, that God truly would not have been necessary anymore, had this “serpent” been speaking the sensible, honorable truth unto Eve!
W
hat the “serpent” had asked Eve was, “Did God REALLY say: you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?… (translation—Can the words of this “God” of yours truly be trusted?).” Of course, Eve goes on to explain to the “serpent” that this was not the case, exactly…but, instead, “God” had instructed them (for SOME reason) not to eat the fruit of the tree that was in the midst of the garden. In response to this, the “serpent’s” words were truly a “seed” that he or it or whatever…had quite easily and with very little resistance from Eve…had planted within the woman’s mind, by saying “You are not going to die (translation—God is not being entirely honest with you guys), but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened (translation—opened to what is “really” going on) and you will be like divine beings (translation—you will be suddenly and more authentically empowered)…divine beings who know good and bad (translation—good and bad, on your terms, of course…and according to your logic—to hell with the logic of this so called ‘God.’ Eve will need to confront Adam with news of this certain “betrayal.” I do believe that a mutiny may, in fact, be in order.”).”—Translation that I am using is “The Jewish Bible: Tanakh the Holy Scriptures.”

It is interesting that you employ the term “blind,” Random Ntrygg… and that you seem to be referring to the logic of God as “arbitrary,” in nature, as opposed to the far superior logic of man (not to mention that of slithery serpents)! The reason this is ironic is because the whole nature of what is back at the small five letter word “curse” is very much related to the LIGHT of God’s Will…and our decision to part company with that Will.

The humans made the “mole-hill” decision to detach their will from that of their Creator…who happened to be (probably just a rumor, anyway) the source of everything from life…to light. These humans, feeling suspicious that they were being “tricked” or “fobbed” by this “God,” allowed themselves to be utterly plundered by the so-called, “prince of darkness!” (So the rumors go…and, AS IF this “serpent’s” logic were obviously far more superior than that old, stale “God-Logic!” And, AS IF this “serpent” could be more “logical” to place one’s “trust” into. Surely the words of this character represented by a “serpent” were more sensible to consider and obey, than the words of this “God-Character!?”

Obedience has such a bad rap. It is vastly misunderstood. Life is full of choices. The choices we act on are the ones we “obey.” We ALIGN our will with what we CHOOSE, and thus we act. So, we think it was no big deal that Eve “obeyed” this serpent, as opposed to “trusting” the one who may have merely been “falsely claiming” to be the “Father of Lights,” (as if the Being responsible for quantum reality could be trusted, after all? Way to go, Eve). But, then again…the “uncertainty principle” seems to teach us that the very foundations of our material reality have an “appearance” (according to man’s limited logic) of being grossly arbitrary in nature/behavior, after all!

The short of it is just this. If we are certain that God is no longer necessary, now that we have so cleverly and obviously solved the whole “riddle off morality,” then our WILL is certainly not going to choose to align with GOD’S WILL, and if it is not aligned with God’s will, then rumor suggests that we have unplugged ourselves from the actual POWER-SOURCE of moral reasoning (among other things, such as life).

I say, when I evaluate all of this… in this “light,” it rather makes Adam and Eve look like they were very cruelly “ripped off” by “the devil,” if you ask me! I think that the modern trend in thinking today is one that has shifted philosophy away from religion…and theism, period! This shift has, indeed, made it so that God truly IS NOT NECESSARY, to “light the blue touch paper…” or otherwise! He is not necessary, period. For, when we say, “…once you can understand the difference between good and evil, you have no need for a god,” all that you are truly doing is falling for the same damned trickery that fooled Eve!

Don’t worry…I do this myself…all of the time, so I am not judging, just informing…it is just human nature to fall for this trick—because it better appeals to our human EGO than the morality of this “God-Character” ever did.

We were utterly untroubled by “obeying” our Creator…UNTIL that seed of skepticism was planted in our minds… Neither Adam, nor Eve had considered turning their God-given “skepticism” (Christ called this shrewdness, and encouraged it in his disciples) upon that subtle, crafty “tempter.” The ironic part? Keep reading the Bible, and guess what this trusty “serpent” becomes, in relation to the humans? The original Hebrew/Chaldee translation of the English word SATAN is synonymous with PROSECUTOR/ACCUSER!

So, this “devil” fellow, supposedly comes in and, with all manner of “chivalry,” “politeness” and “slithery kindness,” he “tempts” us to begin a mutiny on board our otherwise smooth sailing ship…and then, this “serpent” turns round and ACCUSES us before our Maker (the book of Job clearly models this fact…er, I mean…rumor) of doing the exact thing he had so craftily succeeded in tempting us to do!

Anyway…Good points, just wanted to contribute.

Katie.

I didn’t mean to suggest mountain from molehill.

I meant to say that it was a set up for failure and punishment,

so why bother with a selfish and insecure god like that?

Hey George! I tried to re-think…I hope I got it right this time.

First of all, Paul goes to great lengths and broad language to COMPARE and to CONTRAST the two MEN and the two EVENTS.

How is the man, Adam a symbol of the man, Jesus Christ? In what way does the man, Adam represent the man, Jesus Christ?

Words signaling SIMILARITY are “man” and “through.” If I were to expand my “pioneer” analogy it might help explain things for both of us (I am still learning, here…you do quite challenge me, George)!
BOTH the man, Adam, and the man, Jesus Christ were as “gates” through which the human race would walk (in the case of Adam), and could walk (in the case of Jesus Christ).

How is the sin of the man, Adam a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of the man, Jesus Christ?

The first arch was put into place by Adam…all humans are born of Adam, and therefore, all humans enter through Adam and are suffered to “experience” the pioneering work of directing the human vessels on their own steam…unplugged from God (who is rumored to be the source of light…and life). All human beings are suffered the opportunity to “experience” what it is like to conduct their lives apart from the will of God the father…apart from the will (and logic) of their much rumored about Creator. This is an arch though which we all, as human beings born of Adam, must walk through…we all have the opportunity to experience firsthand where Adam’s sort of “pioneering” will eventually lead.

Many humans discover that this “archway” does not lead to—happy. These humans become sorrowful…and often experience a “change in heart.” They often experience a desire—on an individual basis—to seek and find this rumored about God, in hopes of “plugging” back into Him. However, as noted in Romans 5:20-21, prior to the law having been given, the humans were not quite able to experience an awareness of the results of their tenacity to run the ship…they were scarcely aware of any “mutiny” at all!

Therefore, the LAW was put into place so the humans could attempt, on their own willpower (which was disconnected from the power-source of their Maker)…on their own steam and willpower, to obey this law. Failing that…the people found themselves sinning more and more…

This was quite disparaging for the humans who were experiencing a “change of heart.” These humans discovered that no matter how stalwartly they applied their will to this law…they absolutely could not practice it! THIS IS WHAT FORESHADOWED THE MAN, JESUS CHRIST. This is how the sin of the man, Adam foreshadowed the sacrifice of the man, Jesus Christ.

(Because Paul is comparing AND contrasting—the scope of each has SIMILARITIES and DIFFERENCES; they are similar, in that there is an “all” assigned to each…they are different, in that the “all,” which refers to the sin of the man, Adam, includes the entire human race, by default, whereas the “all” which refers to the gift of God through the man, Jesus Christ is attended by choice, and not default).

The brilliance of such a plan of sacrifice is as follows. Love does not force itself upon the non-consenting creature. The Love of God is not colonizing. IN SHARP CONTRAST, the sin of Adam was absolutely colonizing…we did not “ask” to be born as “sinners.” Our consent was never procured for such a default state of the human species…this why we often resent it! We often resent God for this…but, really, all that this shows us is that the LOGIC of GOD knew from the very beginning that it did not matter if God had designated Adam or Eve or George or Katie (etcetera) as the “pioneer” human—NONE OF US WOULD HAVE FARED ANY BETTER THAN ADAM AND EVE…according to the LOGIC of GOD. This is verified by the scripture that teaches us that the plan of redemption involving the man, Jesus Christ, had been conceived prior to the foundations of our universe ever being set into place. (1 Peter 1:20 “God chose him as your ransom before the world began…”)

The pioneering work of the man, Jesus Christ is CONTRASTED against the pioneering work of the man, Adam—providing us with two options. 1. Do we continue on to the bitter end, walking in the pioneering steps of the man, Adam, conducting our lives on our own steam, unplugged from the source of light and life? 2. Do we abandon this way of life and, by choice/will, enter instead through the new archway of this new pioneer…the man, Jesus Christ? Does this new pioneer offer we humans a “better way?” What results does Christ’s archway lead to? Christ shows a new life that CONTRASTS sharply with Adam’s. Christ models a life where the man’s WILL is aligned (plugged back in) with the Father/Creator.

Furthermore, this archway is not imposed upon us to walk through, as the LOVE of God is not colonizing, as the sin of Adam, certainly IS.

GEORGE SAID: If you believe in Original Sin(in the sense that Adam’s sin was written on you from conception)- and you believe that Paul was teaching us something of value in Romans 5, if you believe that (as Paul says unambiguously) Adams transgression was a foreshadowing of the saving gift of salvation, if you believe all these things then you have to believe in universal salvation. I don’t see how you can accept one without the other.

MY RESPONSE TO THIS: This is where you are mistaken. One of the main CONTRASTS between the archway of our pioneer, Adam and the archway of the new pioneer, Jesus Christ, was that SIN was imposed on us…we were defaulted to this archway without our consent, WHILE the GIFT provided for us by this new pioneer is an archway that will never be imposed upon the NON-CONSENTING creature.

Because man needs this gift (because the sin of Adam foreshadowed the gift of God), DOES NOT equate with being defaulted to all human beings, without the consent of their individual WILL. Just as no one will be FORCED through the archway of our new pioneer, no one will be ALLOWED to walk through that archway apart from cognitive processes which involve some pretty critical thinking and decision-making on the part of that individual. There are conditions and they are as follows—you must decide that you want to abandon the ways of our old pioneer, Adam AND with this, you must abandon all condemnation and judgment against your fellow creatures (in other words, you must forgive and you will be forgiven…judge not, lest you be judged…yadda, yadda…).

Anyway, one must choose. One can not have both archways or “ways of life.” In other words, one cannot hold onto resentments against his brother, while simultaneously expecting God to answer to his own begging for forgiveness. The new life is no longer about SELF-RIGHTEIOUSNESS—this must be abandoned, for it is gotten at by self-determination. This must be abandoned for an imputed righteousness that is freely given (though it was costly to achieve)…the gift is not earned/deserved. It is given because God is Love and God desies mercy, as opposed to the discipline and sacrifice of self-righteousness (which gives one a feeling of “entitlement” as opposed to “gift”).

Hypocrisy would cease to be a problem for the Church Proper, if we were all able to enter through Christ’s new archway with the proper attitude—as a sorrowful criminal who has just been mercifully bonded from his prison cell, who had been “unfit” for such a society as God had in mind. The man who walks through the new arch is restored through Christ to right standing, instead of erroneously believing that he has somehow earned this! This is why we are not to concern ourselves with our brothers “cross,” but are commanded to pick up our own “cross” and follow this new pioneer, the man, Jesus Christ.

You continue to challenge and inspire, George…always learn something when I visit your site…
Katie.

GEORGE SAID: I didn’t mean to suggest mountain from molehill.
I meant to say that it was a set up for failure and punishment,
so why bother with a selfish and insecure god like that?

MY REPLY: So, George, entertain me for a moment while I just “invent” a really weird “god.” I will invent it based on all the (rumor-based) information and knowledge I possess to draw from, so it will be limited…
If I, personally, were to imagine/invent an ideal god, that god would be the source of all good morality. In this way, it would need to be a sort of “society of god,” where there could actually exist a morality (for, morality is difficult to define without referencing some “other” or “others,” or without referencing society). Now, this god would need to be capable of answering to the most harsh and ego-shattering of its own moral demands.

I do not know about you, but the harshest of moral demands for me is the one that demands me to surrender my will or my “self” to the service of one or more of the “others” outside of my “self.”

If I were to turn this invented “god” really, really good, here is what I think it ought to have done to prove that it had answered this ego-shattering moral demand. The perfectly good “god” would be capable of humbling itself in such a manner as to not only bring a bunch of creatures with our human sentience into existence, but by setting those creatures absolutely and unconditionally free.

Hmm, since I am just “making things up,” here is a make-believe theory: Now, in reality, we each know that Charles Darwin discovered, detailed and named biological Evolution…

In my “fictitious narrative” I am going to submit that my imaginary “god” invented, not only biological Evolution…but a sort of Cosmological Evolution…and these are mechanisms by which this “god” of my invention has used in order to answer that most harsh of his own moral demands—HE “lit the blue touch paper and set the universe going” (quote borrowed from Stephen Hawking). He WILLED this…which does not prove that my imagined “god” is less powerful than we should all like me to have invented…but quite more powerful than we had predicted!

How audacious is my imaginary “god!” Why, my all-powerful “god” has CHOSEN, of its own free WILL to set us free, being the POWER that is behind the request of modern physicists for “a new mathematical language to describe quantum reality…”

Being this POWER, still, in that state and position of power, this “god” has WILLINGLY submitted its societal “SELF” to the humiliating messiness of surrendering its own handiwork…absolutely “letting it go,” and allowing that handiwork to discover the only options that truly matter in this sigh and pine universe of ours: 1. Do the individual “selves” created by “god” decide to exclude HIM from their own “societies of self?” 2. Do the individual “selves” created by “god” decide to plug themselves into this divine society, which includes the will, the life, the power of this “god,” and so rule in the universe CO-REGENTLY with this “god?” This is what a very good “god” would be edging on! It would not matter as much as we thought what Planks constant was…or, say what the “uncertainty principle” was. No, the thing that mattered most was how the creatures would fare with regard to these two options.

So, in my imagined theory…what you take to be “punishment” this invented “god” takes to be “protection.” How do I mean? Well, the source of all society and morality would then be “the society of god.” And when any creature—regardless of how cute or adorable—begins a mutinous rebellion against this “society of god,” then the dreams of my invented god, to take the creatures up and into ITS divine society, and employ them in a CO-REGENT REIGN within Reality…these PLANS of “the society of god” would become, then, spoiled. This is because bringing a mutinous creature who has no regard for uniting its will with the WILL of “the society of god” …bringing that mutinous creature into that society would mean the CORRUPTION OF THAT DIVINE SOCIETY. Therefore, it stands to do battle. It stands to guard and protect the sanctity of that divine social “environment,” where no such corruption can be permitted to enter in…for it would mean THE CORRUPTION OF GOD, if it did enter in…for this society, itself, IS ENVIRONMENT…it is a TABERNACLE…ect.

This would not be a “setup for failure and punishment.” It would be a setup of PREVENTING the colonization of creaturely “selves” by God! It would include in its design a forethought—a plan for inviting the humans into such a society, such that those creatures might CONSENT to “coming up hither!”

YOU SAID: so why bother with a selfish and insecure god like that?

MY RESPONSE: Well, the “god” you have invented is not one I would bother with, either. However, the one I have invented is not selfish or insecure. He is SO secure that he has devised a plan for raising us (his creatures) up and into his non-corrupt-withstanding society…AND so selfless and generous, that he has devised a plan to establish us in a co-regent reign with him. Perhaps we creatures do not think this half so much the serious affair or intolerable honor/compliment that this “society of god” KNOWS it in fact to be!

This “god” was willing to take up into itself the reality of HUMANITY. This is partially what is meant by “the sacrifice” or “the gift of God.” It meant business, too. This “society of god” waved no magic wand to make this happen. IT sent one of its society from the stern splendor of Glory, down and through the dark humiliation of the female birth canal! The seed of Adam did not fertilize this female egg. The Holy Spirit caused this female to conceive. No magic wand was involved.

God did not do this so that he could procure my soul or yours in order to force us to capitulate in stroking his desperate or dying EGO. God did this to take our asses up into that divine society and share with us HIS wealth, dominion, and society!

kt

George.

Hopefully this will format correctly from word?

First, to try and make or refute a doctrine of scripture from one specific verse, chapter, or even book of the bible w/o considering the Bible in totality is… silly at least, and at worst, what cults are made from. So…

Concerning Rom 5 you said:

“I’m looking at the text, and I’m not seeing man as having a “curse of Adam”, or being born sinful, or depraved.”

“Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin…”

The simple answer… Do people die? Isn’t that what the consequence of Adams transgression was? Or,
does the text have to say those words exactly for it to be so? That man by his very nature ‘is‘ sinful (Eph 2:3). There’s enough elsewhere in the Bible to bury oneself with.
For example, David said in Ps 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Yes, even infants are evil. “Vipers in diapers!”
Do babies die? Sign of the curse! Rom 5:13 which you cited. Also, have you ever met a perfect person? People come from babies.

Many, many. All, all. Rom 5:15ff

“15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.”
The key to reconcile this particular passage is in the first four words of verse 15: “But the free gift…”
What free gift? The gift of salvation!
Salvation is the gift God bestows upon the ‘elect’ (i.e. those chosen before the foundations of the world to be in Christ Eph 1:4). That is why Paul can say “the many died” (because not everyone are elect (i.e. chosen) to receive the free gift, therefore to “The many” the free gift abounded!
This also blows out of the water the idea that Grace is the result of a choice (unless of course you are saying that Grace is God’s free choice), because if Grace is obligatory, it is not Grace. Grace cannot be demanded.
Here’s a definition of Grace & Mercy. Grace is getting something you ‘don’t’ deserve, and Mercy is ‘not’ getting something you ‘do’ deserve.
“All & All” (A response to Rom 5: 16-18)
“18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”
Answer: Rom 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men…” i.e. all men WITHOUT EXCEPTION are condemned, or, under Judgment.
“…even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men…” all men ‘WITHOUT DISTINCTION’ or, of race, gender, social standing, slave, free, rich/poor receive “the gift” of eternal life.
Pertaining to the Lamb of God… Rev 5:9b: …And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation…” i.e. all ‘types’ of men/women.
The Word of God is not contradictory, and is consistent!
“I’m telling you that there are really only three little words in Romans 5 that we can use to justify Original Sin: because all sinned.(v.12)”
This has already been blown out of the water.
The Bible is a complete whole. The book of Romans is an accurate synopsis of the O/T. To disregard the entire context of the Bible is poor scholarship. There are plenty of good commentaries that could assist you such as Gill’s, Calvin, Matthew Henry etc… if you care about accuracy.
Response to… “So That We Are Without Excuse…”
First, I’ve already shown that original sin is Biblical (there’s more if need be). People sin, because they are sinners! Actually, to press the point further George, and, contrary to the majority of X-tians, the Bible tells us that unbelievers can do nothing but sin! Every benevolent, loving, kind, deed an unbeliever does though they are good from a human standard, is sin to God, because it is not done in faith to His glory. Unbelievers do not have the gift of ‘faith’ (faith is a gift, Eph 2:8-10, not all have faith 1 Thes 3:2, repentance unto faith is granted by God 1 Tim 2:24-25, the Bible teaches us that “whatever is not of faith is sin” Rom 14:23b). Belief in Christ is something that is ‘granted’ to the unbeliever: “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him…”
“So I made my own explanation of what Paul meant in Romans 5, just as Augustine had done when he postulated Original Sin:”
Difference being, Augustine ‘exegetes’ scripture, yours is an isogesis of Scripture! I wonder if you interpret the bills you pay at home this way? If the power bill states you owe $328.98, you say hmmm… I believe this actually say’s .30 cents! Excellent! Hmmm…Why is it when it comes to the Bible the hermeneutic principles seem to change? Your interpretation already crumbled at the beginning with my opening sentence, but, all press on a little further just to point out some more of the myriad of mistakes you’ve made.
“Read Genesis 3. Pay attention to the fact that God explicitly says that in order to breed…”
Where does it say: “in order to breed?”
The actual verse reads: “ “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;…”
“When I think of “original sin” like this, Romans 5 makes sense. We do all sin. We can’t help it. Not because we have a sinful nature…”
Excuse me? And the standard you base this on is… You? This is exactly what Adam did in the garden! He would determine what is good and what is evil! This IS the “original sin!” This reminds me of the coyote who chewed three legs of and was still caught in the trap!
“…not because we are depraved…”
Where do you derive your standard of morality? Does it come from… Matter? Motion? Time? Chance? Please “enlighten” us foolish X-tians?
“In the process of putting this post together, I tried to anticipate the resistance to my argument. I knew “all have sinned” would come up, and I was preparing to contrast the “all” in the case of Adam with the “all” in the case of Jesus. (v.18) I knew that someone would bring up the condition explicit in verse 18 of “the free gift came to all men”, but in Young’s literal-as well as other versions-it is not there:
“18So, then, as through one offence to all men [it is] to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous’ [it is] to all men to justification of life; (Young’s Literal).”
“This makes my case all the more pressing.”
This makes no case for you whatsoever! Justification by faith is the whole point! Justification by faith “is” the free gift! Salvation is by faith, not by works lest any man should boast! To the Jew it is a stumbling block, to the Greek (read gentiles) foolishness! The Just shall live by faith! Gal.
“…if you believe that (as Paul says unambiguously) Adams transgression was a foreshadowing of the saving gift of salvation, if you believe all these things then you have to believe in universal salvation…”

Wow Lamont,
That is quite the cumbersome post you got there! Thanks for commenting, I hope you make it a habit- but maybe limit your post to one argument at a time.
Your response is a classic Gish Gallop, where you rapid fire as many objections as possible in the hopes of overwhelming your opponent. Here is the problem with that strategy:
1. I’m not your opponent. I want to have a discussion. We are all civilized here.
2. you risk having me avoid discussion in exasperation. Maybe that is the hope, but it does not bode well for dialogue.
3. You risk losing the attention of those who are following (or attempting to follow) the post.

I know that it seems difficult to properly treat a long post without being long winded yourself, and I respect that you tried to give it a proper response. What I will try to do is wade through your arguments in order, and hopefully we can make headway. I’ll try to break up my responses into smaller snippets so that it is more conducive to discussion, thereby allowing you to reply to sections of my argument separately. Shall we begin then?

First:

to try and make or refute a doctrine of scripture from one specific verse, chapter, or even book of the bible w/o considering the Bible in totality is… silly at least, and at worst, what cults are made from.

See, I was under the impression that the bulk (bordering on the whole) of the doctrine of original sin was found in Genesis and Romans, with only some out of context hat tips in other books in the Bible. Maybe because those are the scriptures that are repeatedly quoted, the scriptures my pastor pointed me to, and the only ones that make specific claims about original sin and the Fall. I will gladly look at your additional source material for original sin.
Have at ‘er.

“I’m looking at the text, and I’m not seeing man as having a “curse of Adam”, or being born sinful, or depraved.”
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin…
The simple answer… Do people die? Isn’t that what the consequence of Adams transgression was? Or,
does the text have to say those words exactly for it to be so? That man by his very nature ‘is‘ sinful (Eph 2:3). There’s enough elsewhere in the Bible to bury oneself with.

Well Lamont, here is the thing. People do die. Very astute observation on your part. Do other living things die? So you would say that the “stain of Adam” on the world was global in scope? That it did not just make man born in sin, but all of creation? So would you say that Adam’s transgression did not change man so much as the whole of creation? If you answered “yes”, then we agree on the theological significance of Original Sin from a plain reading of scripture.
Let’s stop there for now.
What do you think?

George

I had sent my response to you first, but, apparently it didn’t arrive.
Here it is…

Well Lamont, here is the thing. People do die. Very astute observation on your part. Do other living things die? So you would say that the “stain of Adam” on the world was global in scope? That it did not just make man born in sin, but all of creation?

Yes!

Rom 8:20ff .” 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation,…”

“So would you say that Adam’s transgression did not change man so much as the whole of creation?”

No. I would not say that.

Per the Westminster Confession of Faith (Which my church would hold to) we read:

“2. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God,a and so became dead in sin,b and wholly defiled in all the (29) faculties and parts of soul and body.c
http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescontext.html

It (the fall) changed every aspect of the “Imago Dei” in man. Even the will. Hence “slave to sin.” Man is born spiritually dead and morally incapable (Jn 6:44,65) of coming to Christ apart from Divine intervention i.e. “must be born from above” i.e. new life.
That is why I wrote so much on the subject. Not necessarily for you to answer, nor to pad my answer, but, to give you an idea as to where I’m coming from theologically. I refuted your argument in my opening statement when I quoted Romans 5:12 and stated the obvious: “do people die?” to Rom 5:12: “sin entered the world, and death through sin.”
I was being astute for your benefit. I expect someone like yourself who probably rarely reads the Bible to not see certain details, but, many X-tians who ‘should’ see these things do not. We are all at different stages of growth, knowledge, sanctification, etc… according to the plan of God (Heb 6:1).

I want you to know that I’ve prayed for you, because, it’s important that my motive for doing this isn’t about being right, but, that it’s about the soul.

Thanks! L.

Lamont,
First, I think it’s a huge assumption to assume I rarely read the Bible. I edited a book by a Christian author not four months ago, I run a blog that regularly deals with Christian theology from my own perspective, and I was a youth/lay pastor at my church before my apostasy. I read the Bible. I’m familiar with it, I still read it with regularity, and I am willing to humbly state that I know the Bible better than a good many Christians. Do I read it every day? No.
You didn’t really refute anything in your answer to me. You pointed out that the wages of sin is death. I’m unsure where I denied or didn’t take this into account.
The whole point of this post is to compare the use of the words “all”, “many” and also to ask if Paul could really use Adam as a foreshadowing of Jesus.
I’m conceding for the sake of a conversation with the Christian that “the wages of sin is death”, it is entirely understood. What I’m saying is that the wages of sin is death precisely because God made Creation a place of finite resources and trade-offs. I’m saying that the wages of this “original sin” is a world where we may have free will, but we will be sinners in spite of our best efforts because there is no way not to sin.
I’m saying that we are not born sinners, and I’m at a loss as to why that even matters. We are born into a world that has been set up so that no matter how pure our hearts are, or how much we wish to avoid sin, we cannot because of the nature of Creation. I’m saying that traditional Christianity has honed in on an explanation of scripture that contradicts Paul’s speech to the Romans.

George.

Rom 5:12

“You didn’t really refute anything in your answer to me. You pointed out that the wages of sin is death. I’m unsure where I denied or didn’t take this into account.”

“Sin entered the world. It was not passed down…”

“I’m looking at the text, and I’m not seeing man as having a “curse of Adam”, or being born sinful, or depraved.” (Rom 5:12)

What I pointed out w/my acute observation skills, was that the very verse (Rom 5:12) itself answers what you say you do not see i.e. man born sinful, or, “having the curse of Adam.”
Death is the evidence of being born in sin/curse of Adam. Babies die too, therefore, they are born w/a sinful nature inherited by the 1st parents, so… how is that not “passed down?”
I also quoted King David in Ps 51:5 as well, in which he states “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
I suppose by writing such a large response to your attempt at correcting Christians, that you didn’t take the time to read it? I also dealt w/the “all/many” problem, and didn’t hear any response to that.
Also…
Paul used the comparison/contrast of Adam and Christ, because, the 1st Adam was called to keep the law of works (obedience) given to by God (“You shall Not Eat”), but he rebelled plunging the world into sin. The 2nd Adam (Christ) perfectly fulfilling the law of works (I did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill… Mth 5:17 See also Eph 2:14-16), so that His (Christ’s) perfection is imputed to those who trust in “His” righteousness, and not in their own self righteousness, which, of course, man has no righteousness, or, right standing w/God, and therefore there is no “pure heart” in any sense. Where do you get that?

Editing some Christian’s book, reading the Bible, being a youth pastor, doesn’t mean you grasp what the Bible teaches. I’m sure you’ve read what Jesus said in John 3, that; “unless one is born again he cannot see (read “perceive”) the kingdom of God.” Then, in vs 12-13 he makes it clear that being born from above is not an act of mans will, but a sovereign act of God. (So much for libertarian free will! See also Jn 6:44ff Rom 9:16).
Once its Christian theology from your perspective, it’s no longer Christian theology, and that is painfully obvious. Paul rightly states in 1 Cor 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

“I’m saying that we are not born sinners, and I’m at a loss as to why that even matters. We are born into a world that has been set up so that no matter how pure our hearts are, or how much we wish to avoid sin, we cannot because of the nature of Creation.”

I’ve shown that we are born sinners, and the reason it matters is because of the whole redemptive plan of God through Christ to the Glory of God. Through one man sin entered the world, and by one Man (the God Man) men are redeemed and escape the just wrath of God.
No. The nature of Sinful man is why he can’t avoid sin. He is enslaved to sin. You/I /we sin because we want to sin. It’s our nature to sin like it’s a rabbits nature to eat herbs. The “new birth” is where God changes our sin nature that hates God, to a new nature that recognizes its rebelliousness repents and actually wants God, hence, “new creation.” The “new birth” is a supernatural act of God where He takes a dead sinner and makes him “alive in Christ” Eph 2. Belief in Christ is “granted to men” (Phil 1:29).

How pure are our hearts? I was under the impression that only God knows the human heart? And God say’s that the heart of man is evil above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?

Lamont.

Gosh Lamont,
It’s like you are so interested in holding to dogma that you can’t even consider that there are other ways to read the passage.
You still have not refuted anything I have said. Not one.
I need you to explain why “The wages of sin is death” is a clear refutation to the possibility that by Adam’s transgression, the whole of creation changed, and through this change sin entered the world, and with it death.
I need you to explain why Romans 5:12:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world,
and death through sin, and so death spread to all men,
because all sinned-

is any kind of an establishment of a “Curse of Adam on the seed of man” or a doctrinal establishment of “born sinful” or “total depravity”. Those ideas are a Howard Huge leap from the text. My post- outlining that “The Fall” was a change to creation and not to man- fits just as easily (if not more so) with this text. Lets walk through it together- I’ll be easy on you, I’ll hold your hand…I promise:
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world,

Sin entered THE WORLD. Did you catch that? Not entered man, not all men were born sinful, but ENTERED THE WORLD. I like to think of “the world” as being kind of like creation. You might think “man” and “the World” are synonymous, but I lack that kind of unyielding arrogance. So this first part seems like a point for me- unless you object to the Word of God- as breathed by Paul. My argument explains why animals die even though they never sinned against God, why living creatures all labour through birth- not just us. My argument explains natural disasters, pestilence, illness, disease. Yours explains why we are all “bad people”.
I’m saying that the sin of Adam was the cause of a world where perfection was unattainable, where trade-offs were a necessity, where all of creation was ordained to die- and you’re saying that we are merely depraved.
Next.
and death through sin, and so death spread to all men,

Death came through sin. Do rabbits sin, Lamont? Do redwood trees? Last I checked, they died. It’s almost as if there is something more to this Fall thing than men being born with sin in their hearts; there is something more significant than “total depravity”. It’s almost like The Fall is about a change to the whole of creation- and man is not born sinful, but is bound by the world to sin. Almost. Well, not almost…..more like actually. Death spread to all men. You know, because they are part of creation.
because all sinned-
Because all sinned. Shit. That looks like a nail in the coffin for my whole idea. But wait….
What if there was something in the grammar that made that last bit sound more like “because all after Adam will sin”, something that made it sound like the sin that all of us did from this verse was post-Fall. You know, like a follow-up verse that says something like “by ‘all’, we should point out that even men who lived before before the Law sinned like this, even if there was no commands to break”—-if only there was a verse like that, something that took the “all” from the end of Rom. 5-12 and expanded on the noun so that we had an idea of the nature of the sin that we all committed. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? To have a follow-up verse that says that the sin from the end of 5:12 was sin committed after the transgression of Adam. Alas, we might never know…. 😉

Listen Lamont, when I gave you my Bible-cred, I was trying to dispel this idea you have: “ someone like (George) who probably rarely reads the Bible” .
Your Words. Not mine. I didn’t say that I had an experts grasp on the bible. I said that I read it, I comprehend it, and I likely have a better grasp on it than a good many people who consider it the Word of God but can’t be bothered to study it. That is what I said. You said I don’t read it often. Now the charge changes to: Yes, you obviously READ the bible, but that “doesn’t mean you grasp what the Bible teaches.” Again, your words. If I go to the trouble of proving that I grasp what it teaches, what will be the charge then, Lamont? Will it change once again?

Once its Christian theology from your perspective, it’s no longer Christian theology, and that is painfully obvious. Paul rightly states in 1 Cor 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

I’m not twisting the teachings of Jesus, I’m not twisting the teachings of Paul. You say it is painfully obvious that my perspective is un-Christian, and I say it is painfully obvious that Original Sin and Total Depravity are un-Christian. They are the doctrines of men, they are Christian theology from the perspectives of men. Why should my perspective not be equally open to scrutiny as that of Irenaeus, or Augustine- Tertullian, Luther or Calvin? Are you aware that St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Anselm of Canterbury questioned concupiscence? I count myself in good company. Are they, too, guilty of heresy? Are they “natural men”, without God, unable to discern the Word? What makes these two “natural men” and Calvin et al. “Spiritual men”? Is it that they agree with you? Or that they won the battle of history to have their doctrine raised above the Word of God?

You don’t show that man is desperately wicked in the eyes of God- nor that man is evil in His eyes. You take the Word and attach to it the trappings of men. I’ll respect their theology when you can explain clearly that it is biblical in entirety and not just biblically consistent if we assume a whole shitton of superfluous ideas. Otherwise, your theology is as guilty as mine- except mine explains a whole bunch more with less assumptions.

George.

Lamont,

Excellent post! It’s nice to see a theist agree that it’s not my fault that I’m going to hell. I sin because I was born to sin, and God determined over 13 billion years ago that I would not be extended the gifts of faith or salvation.

Yahweh: biggest. asshole. ever! (And yet you still think this guy is worthy of worship? The mind boggles.)

Sinned34

“Excellent post!”

Thank you! All glory to God though!

“It’s nice to see a theist agree that it’s not my fault that I’m going to hell.”

Where did I say that? Missed the quote? Read Romans 9.

“I sin because I was born to sin…”

You were born “in” sin, and you sin because you want to sin!

“…and God determined over 13 billion years ago…”

The Elect were determined before the foundation of the world i.e. before creation (Eph 1:4).

“…that I would not be extended the gifts of faith or salvation.”

Please cite Ch/vs where it states that Sinned34 is reprobate? I must have missed that one?

“Yahweh: biggest. %$#@*&^. ever! (And yet you still think this guy is worthy of worship? The mind boggles.)”

What boggles the mind, is, that someone allowed Himself to be crucified to save people who hate Him enough to murder Him for being perfectly good, and you’re angry about that? Splain please? He saved a wicked piece of dung like me? He is absolutely worthy of my worship!

The good news is… Your not dead yet!

So humble yourself, confeee your sins, repent and trust Christ!

I’ll keep you in my prayers!

L.

Lamont,
Are you interested in discussing the post?
Would you just prefer to play “sarcasm tag” with someone who is clearly commenting to get your goat?
I did start the discussion with you in my previous comment, feel free to respond.

Though I don’t use the same tone as Sinned (though I have been known to do that, too), I think his comment does address several problems an atheist might have with Christianity, and I thank you for at least taking some steps to address his points.

Fear not! I plan on returning to the discussion. I definitely had my tongue (keyboard?) pressed firmly in cheek in my previous comment, which happens often and is probably why I have a noted skill at killing conversations. Unfortunately, life interferes sometimes, and I’ve been insanely busy lately, bu have no reservations, George, I’ll bring the snark so that you can continue to foster productive conversations!

George,
Have you seen my response?

I used to think that this story was about blind obedience and blaming women – but now I see the story as something entirely different.

By eating from the tree, the knowledge of good and evil – being able to tell the difference for ourselves.

by being able to do this, we don’t need god(s).

So there is nothing more that any god can offer to us, what we are able to do for ourselves.

and that’s what separates believers from non-believers – non-believers don’t need a list of rules to follow when we can know and tell the difference between right and wrong ourselves.

this is why believers continually assert that it’s god who stops them from running out and raping, stealing and murdering – they need rules and structure, because they are choosing to rely on external guides than trust themselves and make a decision of what kind of action to take.

Your Randomness

“– non-believers don’t need a list of rules to follow when we can know and tell the difference between right and wrong ourselves.”

How do you know the difference between right or wrong?

It’s pretty ridiculous to assume that “non-believers” don’t know the difference between right and wrong and therefore must all (at least secretly) be pedophiles and axe murderers, yet this is how many Christians think. Paul graciously and beautifully addressed this very issue, just as Random asserted: “For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law (will not be judged by the Law!), and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…” (Romans 2:12-15).

Lamont, above you said, “Editing some Christian’s book, reading the Bible, being a youth pastor, doesn’t mean you grasp what the Bible teaches…” I will say in George’s defense that in his search for more authenticity and honesty in his approach to the true teachings of Jesus, he grasps more what the Bible teaches (and lives it) than many Christians I know. The New Testament has the biggest emphasis on loving your neighbor, and George really gets that. And that, is “the Law” by which Paul speaks, the Law that Jesus defined in Matthew 23:23: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, (religious people) hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. This is the New Command–Love people and treat them justly. It is repeated at least 4 times in the NT.

Julie

Let me pose the question differently, since I know that RN nows right and wrong (Rom 3). Since what I was asking of him went right over your head. I did ask him “if” but “How” he new?

Random Ntrygg said :

“– non-believers don’t need a list of rules to follow when we can know and tell the difference between right and wrong ourselves.”

Funny, Ntrygg say’s he/she knows the difference between right and wrong for his/her self, yet, fails to live up to his/her standard of morality? Splain please?

Ntrygg confirms what the Bible teaches.

George.

I do apologize for the long wait, but… work, a surgery, and a couple of death’s later…
Viola!

A story…
During the summer I sleep w/my bedroom windows open for the fresh air. One night whilst I was falling to sleep, I was startled wide awake when a bat flew in through my open window. The bat had slipped out of my sons hands when he was swinging at the ball.
When I tell that story people first assume the bat to be a winged mammal. Because words can have more then one meaning, the context is necessary to determine the specific meaning of a word.

World Def: “Κόσμος kosmos kos’-mos
Probably from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, “INCLUDING ITS INHABITANTS,” literally or figuratively [morally]): – adorning, world.
Ref Strongs (emphasis i.e. caps mine)

The use of the word “kosmos” in scripture. An example: http://www.carmichaelbaptist.org/Sermons/pink5.htm

Rom 3:19 “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the WORLD may become guilty before God.” (caps mine).

The use of “WORLD” in Rom 3:19 must refer to “mankind.” Note the context. Esp from Rom 1:18ff. Unless, of course, you can find a verse of scripture where God holds any creatures, mommy earth etc… other then mankind, or angels, morally responsible for their actions (which you pointed out yourself)?
If not, shouldn’t that be considered when reading the whole Bible in its context when interpreting Romans 5:12.

Rom 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the WORLD, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”— (Caps mine).

Do I believe the above use of the word ‘WORLD’ includes all creation? Yep! Sure do! Especially man (Again, sin is never imputed to any creatures other then men & angels). Rom 5:12, Rom 8:20.
How did sin enter the world? Through one man. Adam, to be Specific.

“Sin entered THE WORLD. Did you catch that? Not entered man, not all men were born sinful…”

As I have shown above… Yes, sin entered man, and, yes All ARE BORN SINFUL! How can I say that? I will address this below, but, for now, how many times did you have to ignore the obvious? Paul repeatedly (8 times) shows in verses 15-21 that he is not comparing us w/Adam, but Christ w/Adam and that the cause of our death was not “our” trespass (offense), but Adam’s.

“…through one man sin entered the WORLD”

“…For if many died through one man’s trespass…”

”… and thus death spread to all men”

“…by the one man’s offense many died…”

“…For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation…”

“…by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one…”

“…through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation…”

“…For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…”

Rom 5:13a “…for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given…” (Gen 6:5, 11-12).

Rom 5:12b “…but sin is not counted where there is no law.”

Does that mean that there was no law?

“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, BY NATURE do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them…” Rom 2:14-15

How can I say “ALL ARE BORN SINFUL?” Imputation! God imputed the sin of Adam to all mankind through Adam. Therefore, God in His Word can say (in a future sense, or tense) that “all sinned!” Adam is the covenant i.e. federal head of humanity. Just as God can say that all those in Christ are righteous, not because they are righteous in themselves, but, because Christ’s righteousness is “imputed” to them who believe!
In my previous response I quoted David in Psalm 51: 5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
How do you account for the fact that David was “brought forth in iniquity,” and, “conceived in sin” whilst in the womb? Was it something that mommy earth made him do? Did Adam rebel against mommy earth, or, against the Thrice Holy God? God!

Now, for you to say that “Original Sin and Total Depravity are un-Christian, that they are the “doctrines of men…” “…Christian theology from the perspectives of men.” Of course it’s from the perspective of men. The question is of interpretation! Did they interpret it correctly? Hence, when I called out John Barron Jr. to prove me a “Hyper Calvinist” on Oscars blog, the only response we could hear, was the sound of crickets rubbing their hairy legs together! Arminians are all talk, but when called to put there scripture where mouth is… the sound of Crickets!

Since the doctrine of total depravity is Biblical, and has been written about for at least 1000 years, there is no need for me to go through it myself, but, I will use Nathan Pitchfords Doctrines of Grace – Categorized Scripture List.
What is meant by “Total Depravity?”
Total depravity doesn’t mean that man is as evil as he could be. What is meant by total depravity is that every aspect of the Imago Dei in man was affected/tainted by the fall of Adam. Such as mans will, reasoning ability, ability to love, obey, do good &etc…
Also, I think what you will see is that this is, by no means, the “Doctrines of men!”
It’s not a matter of whether it is their (our) interpretation, but, whether it is the correct interpretation, compared to Arminians, and, apostate Pelagian Arminians?

Here’s the link.
http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/gracelist.html

I suggest a reading of the above link, esp concerning the Total depravity and affects on man. I could have copied and pasted it, but… you’d vapor-locked if I had done that!
So, if there (in the above article) is something that you could possibly say is not what the Bible actually teaches on the subject, and, is the Doctrine of men… lots of luck to ya!
What I love best about the Bible and the reformed faith (i.e. Calvinism) is… Its consistency!

“Are There Two Wills In God?” Very helpful!

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/are-there-two-wills-in-god

Lamont.


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