The New Christians

The New Christians


Original Sin: Jesus’ Ambivalence

posted by Tony Jones
The Original Sin Series
Intro-Intuition-Definition-Genesis-Jesus-Paul-Augustine-Calvin-Conclusion

First, let it be said that Jesus is not recorded in the gospels as saying anything that can be construed as particularly supportive of the doctrine of Original Sin.  Jesus did talk about sin, to be sure (and n.b., dear readers, I am not disputing the reality of sin, just the doctrine of Original Sin).  Probably the closest he came to tackling the idea of inherited sin is the pericope of Jesus healing a man born blind in John 9:1-12, which begins:

Jesus+and+the+man+born+blind+Icon.jpgAs he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’

Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. (TNIV)

As usual with Jesus, his primary point seems to be subvert the conventional wisdom of the day.  His interlocuters assume that the man’s blindness is a direct result of either A) his own sin, or B) his parents’ sin.
 


Option A indicates that Jesus’ questioners did consider it possible that sin was present in an infant: this man was born blind, and they wonder if it was his own sin that caused his blindness; since we can assume that they did not mean that he volitionally sinned in utero, they are asking Jesus about some inherited sin passed down through the generations.

Option B indicates that the man’s blindness is a direct result of his parents’ sins, whatever they may be.

The ideas of inherited and generational sin were topics of debate among rabbis in Jesus’ day, so it isn’t that surprising that Jesus’ disciples would want him to weigh in on the matter.  The Hebrew Bible itself is ambivalent on this notion.  In Exodus 34, just after Moses chiseled the commandments,

And [the LORD] passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the
compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and
faithfulness, maintaining
love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he
does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and
their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth
generation.”

Yet in Ezekiel 18, the Lord repeatedly announces through the prophet that the sins of the parents are not imputed to the children,

“Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’
Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to
keep all my decrees, he will surely live.
The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the
guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child.
The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the
wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”

We can see why the disciples’ want Jesus opinion on the matter. 

But, as usual, Jesus doesn’t pick A or B, but instead replies, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” A bit of an odd response, and one that has implications for questions about theodicy, but surely not one that supports the notion of inherited guilt (Augustine) or total depravity (Calvin).

In sum, Jesus speaks several times about the reality and consequences of sin, but he does not seem to support the doctrine of Original Sin as it developed in the Early Church and the Reformation.

So, what say you, dear readers?  How does Jesus support or not support the doctrine of Original Sin?



Advertisement
Comments read comments(75)
post a comment
Your Name

posted February 9, 2009 at 8:57 am


I have a problem with the statement “as developed in the early church and the reformation.” These are not the same thing. Even though the reformers were using Augustine, it doesn’t mean “the early church” taught the same doctrine in the same way. That’s a key reason the eastern and western churches differ on this point. Which is to say, as usual, there are resources for your part in the conversation within the tradition, which I realize is much less sexy than ditching the tradition altogether but it’s true.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted February 9, 2009 at 9:02 am


I suspect that the Gospels can cause some problems for some Pauline-derived/Pauline-based doctrines and Christologies, if one doesn’t first filter such things through the lens of what has come to be regarded as “orthodox” theology and Christology.



report abuse
 

Chris Rosebrough

posted February 9, 2009 at 10:27 am


Tony,
Talk about an adventure in missing the point!
The issue in question in this text is legalism and its false ideas regarding temporal punishment of sin. This text is NOT about original sin. The Jews in this passage were believing in some type of skewed version of Karma. The believed that if someone was born blind or born with a birth defect that the only explanation was that the person being was being punished from God.
According to their neat and tidy, cause and effect legalistic calculations: having a disease (especially one that kept you ceremonially unclean) was always a direct punishment/curse from God due to sin.
There are plenty of passages that show that God can and does punish people’s sins here on earth. In fact, Jesus himself said as much:
John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”
In John 9:3 Jesus is teaching a much wider view regarding suffering. R.C.H. Lenski’s comments on this passage are very enlightening:
–Sin works out its painful and distressing results in many ways that are beyond our ability to trace. Jesus does not attempt enlightenment on this wide and intricate subject, either here or elsewhere. Instead, he opens up an entirely new view in connection with the particular case before him. The disciples are not in every case of suffering to look back to find a possible cause of sin but to look forward to the divine purpose which God may have in providentially permitting such suffering to come upon a person.–
In the greater context of this narrative, Jesus is the one reaching out to one whom the Pharisees and teachers of the law had declared to be cursed of God. The cursed one becomes the blessed one while the ones who think they are righteous and blessed have their legalistic house of cards blown over by Jesus.
If you want to see what Jesus taught about original sin then a passage like Mark7:20-23 is the one that you should be reviewing. It states:
Mark 7:20 And Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”



report abuse
 

myles

posted February 9, 2009 at 10:54 am


What the other commenters have said: this passage is about karmic retribution, not a commentary about a fundamental condition of the world. How do you reconcile the prologue of John, which speaks of the rejection of the Logos by the world, which for John is a cosmic claim about the condition of creation? I agree that Jesus is trying to get beyond the “who’s fault is it that things have gone wrong” question, but this doesn’t mean that he’s rejecting that things have, in fact, gone wrong.



report abuse
 

Lee Shelton

posted February 9, 2009 at 10:55 am


All scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), so Christ’s spoken words are no more or less significant that what’s found in the rest of the Bible. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” What Paul wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is just as relevant and important as what Jesus said in John 9:3.
By the way, Christ’s response was in no way odd. The very existence of sin itself is so that the works of God might be displayed. Consider the greatest sin in the history of the universe: the crucifixion of God in the flesh. Through that sinful act comes the salvation of sinners.



report abuse
 

Theresa Seeber

posted February 9, 2009 at 11:18 am


And now for a brief comedic interlude. Tony you wrote,
“As usual with Jesus, his primary point seems to be subvert the conventional wisdom of the day.”
To which I counter with,
“As usual with TONY, his primary point seems to be subvert the conventional wisdom of the day.”
Tee hee. Peace brother.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted February 9, 2009 at 11:47 am


All scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16),
“Scripture” for the author of 2 Tim was the Old Testament, and specifically the LXX translation of the OT (which he quoted from 2x as Scripture), and included the Apocrypha, since the author also quotes from the Apocrypha as Scripture (see margin notes of NA-27).



report abuse
 

Joe Carson

posted February 9, 2009 at 11:51 am


Objective reality, common sense, Biblical accounts and today’s newspaper comport with “stuff happens.” Why does “stuff happen”? Because it just does, ultimately. We are limited time-space models of an infinite God incarnated in a complex, largely unforgiving, natural world. So “stuff happens” consistent with God’s will for His created order.
To advance God’s kingdom on earth, in face of “stuff happens,” which now includes human volition for evil, “suffering for righteousness’ sake” is essential, which is why it may be the human choice that most “turns God on,” according to Gospel.



report abuse
 

Blake Huggins

posted February 9, 2009 at 11:52 am


Hmmmm….legalism…and IRONY! I’m just sayin’. :)



report abuse
 

phil_style

posted February 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm


As usual I note that people are quickly jumping to Romans 5.
1, plaase read the whole series first.
2, This post is specifically adressing Jesus’ words on the subject of O.S.
3, It is clear fromt he post header that Paul’s thoughts that could be related to O.S.(Romans 5) are an upcoming part of the discussion.
you’d think that in sucha literate age people would take the time to read . .



report abuse
 

Dan H

posted February 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm


Hmm. I would agree that Jesus never articulates an Augustinian understanding of ‘original sin’. But I would also agree with some other commenters that the passage in John 9 does not really address the question one way or the other. The question: ‘do bad things happen to us because of our sin, or as a punishment inherited from our ancestors’ sins?’ is different from the question ‘do we have sin woven deeply into our nature as a result of an initial Fall?’
I will also say, though, that there seems to be a persistent lack of clarity (in myself as well as others) as to exactly what we mean by “sin” as distinct from “original sin”. I did read the definition that Tony posted from the BBC, and it does seem clear that Jesus did not articulate that specific definition. But I wonder just how much that specific definition of “original sin” is really crucial to other aspects of evangelical theology?



report abuse
 

phil_style

posted February 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm


Dan H, you make a good point thet there needs to be some clarity about the difference between “sin” and Original Sin”.



report abuse
 

Jeremy B.

posted February 9, 2009 at 8:37 pm


Well, I believe the issue of original sin is very simple to understand and makes plenty of sense when all Scripture concerning it is taken into account.
The difference between sin and original sin seem pretty elementary:
Sin is sin…original sin is sin humanity is born into…that is, sin!
Again, sin is sin, right?



report abuse
 

Scott M

posted February 9, 2009 at 11:45 pm


I’m not sure I have anything to add to this segment. I’ve already made it pretty clear that I agree with the ancient church and the modern Orthodox Church and do not accept the Western concept of ‘Original Sin’. So naturally I don’t ever see Jesus talking about it …



report abuse
 

emergent pillage

posted February 10, 2009 at 2:04 am


–As usual I note that people are quickly jumping to Romans 5.–
And why is that a problem?
–1, plaase read the whole series first.–
Considering that the whole series has even yet been written, how can we read all of it first?
Or, if you mean, read what has been written up to now, you must…
1. Show that those who are responding have not read it all
2. Show why we must have read what comes before to make comment about the current point (or lack thereof) being made.
–2, This post is specifically adressing Jesus’ words on the subject of O.S.–
And as has been pointed out, Jesus was not referring to original sin at all in the passage Jones referenced.
–3, It is clear fromt he post header that Paul’s thoughts that could be related to O.S.(Romans 5) are an upcoming part of the discussion.–
And many of us are waiting for Jones to stop tiptoeing around the major passages that deal with original sin, waiting for him to get off various and sundry rabbit trails, and finally address things like Romans 5.
So far, all we’ve had are his “intuition” (that and a couple of bucks will get you a cup a coffee at the local java spot), some rabbit trails, and something like a halftime break for him.



report abuse
 

Ethan

posted February 10, 2009 at 4:12 am


Scott M,
Do you mind expanding a little bit on what those beliefs are? Wikipedia doesn’t really do this topic justice. :-)
Cheers!



report abuse
 

phil_style

posted February 10, 2009 at 9:36 am


Emergentpillage,
Like you, I am waiting for Tony to address Romans 5. I, perhaps like you, think this is where the rub lies.
It’s clear that he’s giong to attempt this (as stated in pervious posts, and demonstrated in the title). I’m just a little frustrated at seeing differnet monikas repeating requests for Romans 5 to be addressed . . . it will be. Whether or not the coverage will be satisfactory, remains to be seen.
Thank for your point by point analysis by the way. I made me laugh.



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 10, 2009 at 9:47 am


An essay by an Orthodox Christian on the false dichotomy between the Western/Roman Catholic/Protestant “original sin” and the Eastern/Orthodox “ancestral sin”:
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-vs-original-sin-false.html



report abuse
 

Ryan

posted February 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm


It’s usually agreed among Christians that Jesus was fully God, but if he was also fully man and entirely human, then he must have possessed original sin if it is a reality. Since the Christian tradition also agrees that Christ was without sin while on this earth, then it’s logical to me that humans do not possess original sin since Christ, the ultimate human, had no original sin. Am I making sense?



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm


Ryan:
Have you wrestled with Hebrews 4:15? http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1488



report abuse
 

Scott M

posted February 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm


Or, rather than an individual entry from someone’s personal blog, here is a link from the Antiochian Church to an article on the distinction between original and ancestral sin.
http://www.antiochian.org/ancestral-versus-original-sin
And here are several from the official OCA site:
http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=3&SID=3
http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=4&SID=3
http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=5&SID=3
Or from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8153 (Augustine is a saint of the Church, but several of his ideas were not accepted by the Church, original sin among them.)
Those are just a quick handful of easily accessible and reasonably ‘official’ English documents discussing it. Since all of the Western perspective of original sin is more or less derived from the Augustinian view in one way or another (and Reformed theology collapses without its ‘total depravity’ derivative), they are all relevant.
There are also a pretty fair number of podcasts at ancientfaith.com which discuss original vs. ancestral sin.
There are also brief resources like this one:
http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.html
It’s really not hard to find official writings on the distinctions.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm


Original sin is original to Augustine. While his stuff was written too late to be included in the canon, Augustine has certainly had an impact on the development of Christian thought in the West.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted February 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm


Brian February 10, 2009 8:09 PM Original sin is original to Augustine. While his stuff was written too late to be included in the canon, Augustine has certainly had an impact on the development of Christian thought in the West.
Did you read the entire essay I linked to in my 1:16 PM post? He makes some valid arguments that counter your contention that OS is original to Augustine.



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 10, 2009 at 9:25 pm


Brian:
My error; I meant the link in my 9:47 AM post, i.e.:
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-vs-original-sin-false.html



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 11, 2009 at 11:28 am


There is no such thing as original sin in the book of Genesis. Judaism has no such doctrine. Christian theologians, however, read that theology back into Genesis via the work of Augustine. Original sin simply isn’t original to the original text. Perhaps an exploration of Judaism’s understanding of sin might be helpful in this conversation.
Sin in Judaism is understood in terms of actions instead of in terms of human condition. There is no doctrine of original sin nor is there a theology that suggests humans are basically sinners. Instead human nature is conceptualized by two different inclinations: the good inclination (yetser hatov) and the bad inclination (yetser hara). Humanity has the “free will” to choose either of these inclinations. This theology of choice is grounded in the Torah. For example, in the Garden of Eden, primordial humanity was described as being given the choice between the Tree of Knowledge (i.e. way of death) and the Tree of Life (i.e. way of life) (Genesis 2:9, 15-15). Similarly, in the desert, God is portrayed as giving Moses and the people the choice between life and death – and inviting them to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:11, 15-20). God’s invitation to humanity is the same today as it was in Scriptural times: “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Therefore, humanity is given a blank slate with the freedom to choose their actions, not infused with evilness that cannot be overcome. Nor is there an evil being like a “devil” that competes with God’s sovereignty and/or interferes with humanity’s freedom.
Choice always remains for God’s people. Choosing the good inclination (yetser hatov) helps humanity to live up to their full potential as good creations made in the image of G-d (Genesis 1:27). Conversely, choosing the bad inclination (yetser hara) causes humanity to fall short of their potential. Acts of falling short are named as sins and are described in two basic ways: chait and aveyrah.
Chait, the most common word translated as sin, is best described as “missing the mark” or “making a mistake” in the Hebrew Bible (e.g. Judges 20:16). In short, chait is missing the target. Since the goal of humanity is to aim at Torah, God’s call, and living according to our full potential, the stray attempts are what are understood as sins. Since life is an ongoing process of change and development, human life is characterized by a continuous activity of shooting arrows as well as the ability to improve one’s “shot.” In other words, it’s within humanity’s ability and responsibility to improve. In this perspective, humanity is not a sinful, depraved being that has no hope of betterment. Instead, humanity is in a perennial state of freedom with the responsibility to improve our aim.
Aveyrah is the Hebrew term, often translated as sin, which means “walking off the path.” Like chait, this term means that humanity’s actions are sinful but not their essence. Humans have the freedom to choice their path as well as the responsibility to walk on the best path(s). The Halachah, the collection of Jewish law including the written and oral Torah, offers a map and guide to the right path(s) to follow in life. As humanity travels, God supports humanity on our way so we can be led to the best paths. Moreover, like the term above, it is ultimately humanity’s responsibility to get on the right path(s). Such a theology of betterment is commended in Genesis 4:3-7: “Surely, if you improve yourself, you will be forgiven. But if you do not improve yourself, sin rests at the door. Its desire is toward you, yet you can conquer it.” Humanity can choose and follow better paths.
Sins, understood as chait or aveyrah, are atoned for in two different ways in Judaism. First, sins against people are atoned for when one reconciles with them with his/her words and deeds. Second, sins against God are atoned for when one reconciles to God in prayer.



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 11, 2009 at 11:43 am


Brian:
So the question then becomes: Did Paul misread/misinterpret/misapply the Torah/Tanach when he revealed and treated the Law as merely a pedagogue to protect us until the coming of faith, and not as something capable of telling people what is and isn’t sin and enabling them to “do the right thing”? I.e., when he (or the author of Hebrews) said that no sacrifices take away sin, and no Law could be given that would result in righteousness, because the problem was “sin in the flesh” and therefore when the Law came it killed us – was he stating the finally-now-revealed-and-explained truth about the Law, or was he distorting the facts?



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 11, 2009 at 11:45 am


Augustine’s theology of “original sin” became normative as Christianity fell into favor with the Roman Empire in the late 4th century C.E. No longer were equality and freedom important theological concerns for the now dominant group. Things needed to be toned down. Christians needed to be more friendly toword the Roman Empire. Pride in one’s self became seen as sinful as patriotism to one’s Empire became seen as faithful.
Augustine stated that original sin resulted from Adam’s prideful attempt to establish self-rule, a perversity to Augustine. From Adam all people inherited both a sinful nature and sinful sexuality. Moreover, Augustine argues that humans need governments – as a necessary evil – in order to maintain order against the forces of sin. This theology lent itself well to a growingly institutionalized church and a religion that was favored by the state. Original sin theology justifies – and in some ways ordains – governmental bodies. John Chrysostom attempted to offer a counterargument – stating that God honored humanity with sovereignty – but to little popular avail. Thus, Augustine’s once minor theory had become the dominate theology of the Catholic Church, which carried it into modern Western history. Humanity was now originally sinful according to the Western Church.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 11, 2009 at 11:59 am


According to some people, Genesis 2-3 is thought to address theodicy by suggesting that humanity suffers and dies because of Adam. This gives Christians an explanation for the bad things in life while addressing the longing people have to be free from death. Julian presented a more optimistic depiction of humanity, stating that pain and death are simply a part of nature, not original sin. However, people seem to rather feel guilty about themselves than helpless in life. Thus, Julian was dismissed as a heretic and Augustine’s theology became dominant in the church as well as Western society, politics, ethics, etc.



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm


Brian:
You still haven’t answered my question re: whether Paul was revealing/explaining the true meaning and understanding of the Law and sin as intended/purposed by God, or if he was reinterpreting and distorting the Tanach. I’m not talking/asking about Augustine or Julian or Chrysostom; I’m talking about their source and ours, i.e., Paul’s epistles (including Hebrews) vis-a-vis the Torah/Tanach.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm


Hebrews is – and always have been – a contraversial part of the Scriptures. Pauline authorship is disputed. The “letter” was not included as part of the New Testament by Church Fathers such as Irenaeus. In fact, it wasn’t thought to be Pauline until Augustine, yes Augustine, gave his support to the version of the canon organized by Athanasius. Even many years later, theologians such as Martin Luther did’t think this letter was written by Paul. Let’s be realistic, Hebrews is very different than Paul’s letters. (Where’s all of Paul’s usual discussion of justification?) Perhaps one could say that Hebrews is an interpretation of Paul like the other pseuto-Pauline letters. Such diversity shows the various theologies in the early Church before “orthodoxy” was established. It was literally an emerging Church! So, I understand the author of Hebrews as having one of the many different voices in the New Testament.
The author of Hebrews clearly argues that Jesus is a unique person, priest, and scrifice. I agree with the author on all of that. But I cannot agree the author that the new covenant renders the old covenant “obsolete.” Nor can I agree that Christ is superior to the Torah. This supersessionist theology grew out of a time and context when Christian Jews were distingishing themselves from other forms of Judaism. The Christian Jews, like the author of Hebrews, was trying to adapt Judaism to a new theology – a new understanding of their traditions. It’s understandable that the Christian Jews would use strong language while trying to describe their new movement. For them, Jesus was a central part of their emerging tradition. But that was not the case for other Jews.
For other Jews, the Torah and original covenant was still vitally important. And for good reason. Hebrews was probably written about 80-90 CE. This would mean Hebrews was written just 10-20 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and temple. This would have been a tragic event for the Jews at this time. They understood the temple as the dwelling place of God (e.g. Psalm 26:8). Psalm 48 provides an image of the city of Jerusalem and the temple as a sign of God’s protection, love, and justice. This destruction would have been deeply traumatic on many levels. The city whose citadels show God as a “sure defense” (Psalm 48:3) had been ruined. Matthew describes the location of the temple after its destruction by Titus and the Romans as a “desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place” (24:15). Since Rome devastated the sacred city and compromised the holiness of the temple, the Jewish people needed an alternative spirituality. It’s that spiritual need that uniquely positioned the Pharisees. They were a progressive, reform movement within Judaism that suggested that God could be worshiped in local synagogues. Unlike the priestly Sadducees who were part of “the establishment” of temple life, the rabbinic Pharisees were a separatist group that suggested people could gather around the Torah in synagogues. Suddenly, this fringe group provided the Jewish community just what it needed: a new theological understanding. As the Pharisees grew in influence, they began to shape Judaism according to their values. As the Pharisees began to reestablish Judaism, they developed the Yavneh Academy. Thus, Hebrews would have been written at a time when the Pharisees were attempting to establish a new Judaism too. Herein is the tension for the author of Hebrews, a different kind of Jew – a Christian Jew.
The author of Hebrew was a Christian Jew with yet a different vision of Judaism that s/he wanted to get established. Christian Judaism was a reform movement that was competing with the Pharisees’ reform movement. This was an intramural battle within Judaism. This battle got heated. The Pharisees wrote a “Prayer Against the Heretics” to oppose those who they considered apostates as the author of Hebrews wrote her/his letter as her/his own sort of “Prayer Against the Heretics.” The Pharisees were establishing a new understanding of the Torah in the form of the Oral Torah as Christians were establishing Jesus as a new Torah. The lines were drawn. Instead of appreciating the dignity of difference, some authors wrote in a polemical style. For example, the author of the Gospel of Matthew called the Pharisee Jews called “false prophets” (7:15), “lost sheep” (10:6), “wolves” (10:16), etc. So, things got heated between the competing forms of Judaism. But that doesn’t mean we need to repeat their rhetoric today.



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm


Brian wrote:
This would mean Hebrews was written just 10-20 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and temple.
If that were true, Hebrews would have mentioned that the Temple no longer stood, since that would have sealed the deal re: his thesis that the new covenant was better, and that there was a new priesthood from Judah, not Levi.
So forget Hebrews. I only mentioned it because it’s the epistle that says that sacrifices can’t take away sins.
But take the rest of my question(s) to you (with the Hebrews remarks removed and … showing where they formerly stood):
Did Paul misread/misinterpret/misapply the Torah/Tanach when he revealed and treated the Law as merely a pedagogue to protect us until the coming of faith, and not as something capable of telling people what is and isn’t sin and enabling them to “do the right thing”? I.e., when he…said that…no Law could be given that would result in righteousness, because the problem was “sin in the flesh” and therefore when the Law came it killed us – was he stating the finally-now-revealed-and-explained truth about the Law, or was he distorting the facts?
Again, you still haven’t answered my question re: whether Paul was revealing/explaining the true meaning and understanding of the Law and sin as intended/purposed by God, or if he was reinterpreting and distorting the Tanach. I’m not talking/asking about Augustine or Julian or Chrysostom; I’m talking about their source and ours, i.e., Paul’s epistles…vis-a-vis the Torah/Tanach.
And now I’m not even talking about the Epistle to the Hebrews anymore, either.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm


I have fully answered your question above, but I will expand a bit more. Your question needs to be understood in context. Paul was a Christian Jew attempting to establish Christian Judaism at a time when Phariseeic Jews were attempting to establish Phariseeic Judaism. This was an intramural battle within Judaism. As this battle got heated, exlusive rhetoric was used by both sides.
The Phariseeic Jews wrote polmic theology, such as “Prayer Against the Heretics,” to oppose the Christian Judaism. One of those statements read, “For the apostates there will be no hope unless they return to God’s Torah.” They wanted to draw a line in the sand the distinguish themselves as a distinct group.
The Christian Jews wrote theology, such as “Hebrews,” to oppose Phariseeic Judaism. One of those statements read, “The Torah was our disciplinarian until Christ came.” They wanted to draw a line in the sand to distinguish themselves as a distinct group.
Those two forms of Judaism have now formed two different religions: Judaism and Christianity. We no longer have to work at distinguishing them as seperate expressions of religion. They are different. We no longer have to repeat their polmic rhetoric. Now we are free to celebrate our commonalities and common heritage. We are different from each other. But we can be distinct without being exclusive. Jesus is the Way of Christianity. Torah is the Way of Judaism.



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 11, 2009 at 8:54 pm


Brian:
Your last post still evades answering my questions. Why not just admit that you reject Paul’s Christology and Torah beliefs, and that Jesus is not the way, the truth and the life, and the only name given under heaven by which all men, Jew and Gentile, must be saved? :)
Since you have an apparent interest in Jewish studies related to the New Testament, you might want to read Jacob Neusner’s Rabbinic Literature & The New Testament: What We Cannot Show, We Do Not Know (Trinity Press International 1994 – dedicated to H. E. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, no less!) where he asks and answers the question: “What Do I Have to Know about Rabbinic Literature* to Study the New Testament?”



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm


Eric, we clearly have different perspectives. Thankfully we’re in good company. Christians have had different perspectives for the past 2,000 years. Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Zingly, etc. Like all of these who have gone before us, we’ll have to realize that, in the words of Paul “we see through a glass dimply” and “know only in part.” We serve an enigmatic God.



report abuse
 

EricW

posted February 11, 2009 at 10:21 pm


Brian:
Well, then, let’s get back to an earlier point I made/asked. How do you support a post-Temple-destruction date for the authorship of Hebrews when the book in many places suggests that the Jerusalem Temple was still standing and its priesthood was still operating? I.e., the internal evidence suggests a pre-73 (70?) A.D. date.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm


Eric, we clearly have different perspectives. Thankfully we’re in good company. Christians have had different perspectives for the past 2,000 years. Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Zingly, etc. Like all of these who have gone before us, we’ll have to realize that, in the words of Paul “we see through a glass dimly” and “know only in part.” We serve an enigmatic God.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 12, 2009 at 9:04 am


Eric, your questions and statements present two very interesting circular arguements:
(1) Your God is the only true God because your God says so. (2) Your God provides the only true Truth to humanity because your God says so. (3) Your people are the sole recipient of God’s Truth because your God says so. (4) Your people alone have the world’s only true Truth and that Truth cannot be challeneged because your God says so.
(1) Your God is the only true God because your God says so. (2) Humanity’s problem is sinfulness because your God says so. (3) Humanity’s only solution to sinfulness is provided through Jesus because your God says so. (4) All people who follow different religious paths will go to Hell because your God says so.
I understand your desire to remove ambiguity and seek certainty, but we as humans cannot. As Paul says, “we see though a glass dimly” and “know only in part.” We cannot know the fulness of the Holy One with clarity. We are not God. God is enigmatic. There is mystery invloved. All theologians and denominations have different theologies. All creeds and doctrines record perspectival statements of faith made in particular times and contexts.
We must avoid making our ideas about God into a false god. That is idolatry (Exodus 20:4-6). In faith we must follow God even though we can never see God (Exodus 33:17-23). Maybe that’s way Martin Luther wrote the song “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” not “A Mighty Fortress is Our Doctrine”!



report abuse
 

Rick

posted February 12, 2009 at 9:41 am


Brian,
I find Deuteronomy 29:29 to be of great help in this matter:
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law (ESV).”
Most certainly we serve a God who is infinite (no boundaries) and any attempt on our part (with our finite minds) to wrap everything about Him up in a nice box and have it all figured out will only result in the creation of heresy.
However, there are things God has revelealed to us about Himself and ourselves through His Word. Our job is to proclaim those things truthfully and unabashedly, never to question them.
Grace and peace,



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 12, 2009 at 11:05 am


Rick, thank you for your note. I appreicate your words and the quote from Scripture. However, I disagree with the idea that the “Truth” about God has been revealed to us in an objective, unambiguous, and univocal way. The Scriptures are a library of genres and theologies written by people of faith from many different times and contexts. The gift of the Scriptures is its subjective, passionate theologies written by many different people who were inspired by God. The Scriptures are important to me because they are so ambiguous and filled with meaning. Each time I read a passage I am enlightened and inspired anew. Throughout the journey of my life, the Scriptures remain meaningful because they are so rich with meaning. Throughout the journey of Christianity, theologians through the years are compelled to write perennially evolving theologies. We are part of a “cloud of witnesses” throughout the centuries who have found the theologies in the Scriptures to be richly meaningful and truthful. All of this is a testimony to the Spirit of God continually at work in the world. Praise be to God!



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 12, 2009 at 11:16 am


The Quaker theologian Parker Palmer says it well: “Truth is an ongoing conversation about things that matter.”



report abuse
 

Linda

posted February 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm


If you do not believe in original sin, then go work in the church nursery for one hour, you will change your mind.



report abuse
 

Linda

posted February 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm


The Lord Jesus Christ said unless you repent you will perish, this could not be true unless people are by nature born sinners. So the words of Jesus does support the doctrine of original sin.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted February 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm


Linda, thanks for your comments. I can understand your thoughts about children sometimes. They can really be energetic. But I think children are a reminder of the sacredness of life. They remind us of the miricle of life. Holding an infant is truely a sacrement.
The word “repent” simply means “change.” Jesus calls on us to change our lives. If we don’t change we’re going to parish. You’re right about that. Just look at the enviorment. If we don’t change the way we live, God’s whole Creation is in danger. Jesus and Al Gore are both inviting us to repent in various ways.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted February 12, 2009 at 11:12 pm


Jesus and Al Gore are both inviting us to repent in various ways.
Jesus and Al Gore. Yeah, they each had beards at one time, didn’t they?



report abuse
 

Robert Helfman

posted February 13, 2009 at 9:49 pm


Original sin is to say that we are born sinners, which is to say that we are mortal beings, which is to say that we are going to die. We are not immortal. The rest is simple enough. We need s savior if we are going to survive death and inherit eternal life. The idea of original sin suggests that it is our true condition and universal to the human condition. It is not helpful, in my view, to parse the significance of the idea in any significant way, as this gets into semantics and not reality.
If there is no original sin, conceptually, what changes about life, and what about life is different from what it already is? Not much. The temptation is there to rely on our inate goodness, which is not enough to get us past ourselves and into helping others.
And loving God. And that is hard enough to do well that we don’t need any other commandments, period.



report abuse
 

emergent pillage

posted February 13, 2009 at 11:26 pm


–Jesus and Al Gore are both inviting us to repent in various ways.–
I’m thinking of making a list of “The dummest things I’ve ever read (and I’m not lying)”. Can I use this quote in that list?
Pleasepleaseplease??? Truly, it may even make the top 10.
– I can understand your thoughts about children sometimes. They can really be energetic.–
“Energetic” has nothing to do with it.
–But I think children are a reminder of the sacredness of life. They remind us of the miricle of life.–
Yes they do. That doesn’t keep them from being rebellious and disobedient. The Bible tells us that we have been “shaped in iniquity, and conceived in sin”, and that we “come out of the womb speaking lies”.
–The word “repent” simply means “change.” Jesus calls on us to change our lives.–
Oh, yeah, that’s all it means. Recycle, hug a tree, yadayadayada.



report abuse
 

Jake

posted February 14, 2009 at 12:36 am


Original Sin is a concept not developed by Jesus or by the Jewish community, but by St. Augustine. Its purpose was to try to explain the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
Original Sin does not exist. Humans are not inherently good or evil; they have the capacity to do both. Genesis illustrates this perfectly with the story of Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Before eating, Adam and Eve were neither good or evil. Afterwords, they were granted the knowledge to distinguish between good and evil. This story was not written by the Hebrews in order to convey original sin, but teach future generations that humans are neither completely good or evil, but have the capacity to do both.
Jesus believed that humans did not suffer due the faults of the previous generation, neither did he believe that sin was passed down directly from Adam. He understood that humans have the choice to commit evil or good. He spent his entire public life trying to persuade people to follow their better natures.



report abuse
 

Kathy

posted February 14, 2009 at 8:01 am


I sit here and read this and wonder how anyone can live by judgeing themself all the time. Orginal sin , sin .Well I belive very simply that Jesus came to stop all all the laws that humans added on to and on to.
We cause the pain and the down spirit by drowning it all out under law after law after law…
Why not try just loving and caring and start with your self..God will do the rest and he will guide us though this life to him if we just listen..and love……



report abuse
 

Ronald Murphy

posted February 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm


I will be brief in my comment. The whole bible proves that we all were conceived in iniquity as King david testifies in the Psalms. Jesus said to his disciples when they asked him who could save themselves, when He said: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”, which of course refers to Christ’s atonement for our sins when He shed His blood on the cross. Also, the apostle John makes it in his first epistle: 1John 1:9 If any man says that he has no sin, he deceives himself and the truth is not in him. Didn’t Isaiah declare in God’s Word that our own righteousness is as filthy rags? Thank you. Ron Murphy



report abuse
 

Obiora

posted February 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm


I think this part of the bible and the choice of Jesus in His response was obviously a way of telling the people the very truth that existed. Adam was cursed, Eve was cursed and the serpent in reverse order in Genesis. There was a warning and reason for the ejection from the garden of Eden. Man has remained under the curse of the first parents. This is exhibited through generations in the fact that -
said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. -
the works of God, God’s creation and multitude of options can be experienced and lead us to the knowledge that time is short to recognise that we can cure all and do all in faith, but must submit yet to the will of God. Hid will being eternal life with Him.



report abuse
 

Ed

posted February 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm


I agree with no ‘original sin’ in Jesus’ teachings, HOWEVER, could this question of the deciples be associated with the belief of reincarnation?



report abuse
 

Stephanie Cheah

posted February 16, 2009 at 9:15 pm


Original Sin.
Most Scientists would think that the Human Genes play an important role in developing a human body.
Yes, nowadays many amazing miracles happen without any reasons.
Being chinese I believe that we have a chinese god and the chinese and the Saints do not mix, spiritually.
Being a church goer for many years, I discovered that the “Bread of Life” little round bread may affect everyone differently..One has to experiment closely to make a decision whether to eat ordinary bread or the spiritual kind.
No original sins here ..only the clash of different spiritual foods



report abuse
 

Jake

posted February 16, 2009 at 9:20 pm


I have never heard of Jesus’ disciples believing in reincarnation. Could you explain the association between the disciples and their belief in reincarnation?



report abuse
 

SuzanneWA

posted February 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm


A close friend of mine went to Jerusalem, and was following a tour that led to the Holy City. She had the opportunity to question the rabbi about reincarnation. The elder told her that, yes, the Orthodox Jews did believe in reincarnation; how do you explain Nicodemus’ query of Christ that he re-enter his mother’s womb to be “born again?”
Also, when the disciples were asked by Christ who they thought He was, they answered, “John the Baptist, or Elijah…”. Jesus answered “Elijah has already come with John the Baptist.” This phrase has always concerned me, as I, personally, do not believe in reincarnation.
The Catholic church believed that even an infant was infused with sin; how do you explain the fact that unless a baby is christened AT BIRTH, he is not saved? They also believe that premature babies who die before they are christened, are NOT saved.
The doctrine of Original Sin is still alive and well in the world today.



report abuse
 

Michael Lucas

posted February 18, 2009 at 9:17 am


I’ve always wondered why a child at birth who has no knowledge of the world, should be tainted with the sins of his father. I look at it in the like he/she was guilty before they were even born.



report abuse
 

Amanda

posted February 18, 2009 at 11:01 am


Linda,
I resent the comment about children. I do work part time at a church nursery, actually a weekday program for babies thru 4′s. Yes, children do misbehave but we have learned in the last 40 or 50 years through child psychology that what we sometimes call “misbehavior” is actually age-appropriate behavior. Very young children are just beginning to realize that they are individuals. Their brains are slowly beginning to grasp that concept. They do not have a concept of other individuals in their lives. What I mean is, they see and know there are other people in the world, and they feel feelings for some of them, but they can’t conceptualize that those people also have feelings.
Additionally, small children do not have the ability to realize that maybe they’re hungry, or tired and that’s why they feel bad – or “off” as I like to say. All they know is they feel “off” and that they need to express that to their caregivers. Sometimes that expression comes off as misbehavior.
Simply, children express their emotions in the only ways they know how. Unlike adults, who can recognize their negative emotions and keep them in check, children do not choose how to express these emotions, they just express them. And we know that emotions are not sins.
Many child experts say that a mindful caregiver can actually keep “bad” behavior in check, by making sure little tummies are full, providing enough stimulation, and making sure little ones get enough rest.
I want to also say that if children are so sinful, what about their capacity to love and trust? It can only be broken by adults who break it. I have found in my job that it only takes one or two times of caring for a child before they remember you and begin to show affection. I am amazed at the memories of one year olds!



report abuse
 

Elijah A. "NatureBoy" Alexander, Jr.

posted February 18, 2009 at 12:29 pm


It is my findings that there is no sin whatsoever. It is like eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, no such tree exist, it was a metaphor. To eat knowledge is to mentally consume knowledge and judge it good or evil, in doing that one dies, i.e., is unable to comprehend the purpose for the knowledge or activity.
Yeshua realized that, however, he passage in John mentioned in the writing suggest the belief in reincarnation where the disciples asked who sinned, the man or his parents. Accepting reincarnation suggest he did something in a past incarnation and reaped it in that incarnation.



report abuse
 

donna

posted February 18, 2009 at 1:59 pm


The original sin that you speak of was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, thus the “origin of sin”. God told them they could eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree in the center of the garden. When Eve was deceived into eating the fruit Satan told her it was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and God did not want them to eat of it because then they would become like Him, knowing the difference between good and evil. Thus the choice was made because Satan offered them something they could not refuse, (becoming like God). As far as the sin of the father passing on the the next generations, I believe this was a consequence of what went on at this time and only lasted until the 4th generations of these people. Jesus knew that this was no longer in play, because as individuals we make the choice of whether we follow Christ or not, just like Adam and Eve did in whether they were going to follow the instructions of God or go against Him in eating of the fruit that He explicitly told them they were not to eat. As far as children being born into original sin, all this means is that because of the first sin that Adam and Eve initiated, all of us when we are born, are born with a sin nature, if left without wisdom and knowledge taught to us by our parents of the differences of good and evil, when we grow up we would as Adam and Eve did, choose to do those things that are pleasing to the eye, and desirable to the lust of the flesh. I also do not believe that the example of the man who was blind and the reasons given were an indication that the apostles believed in reincarnation. As later it is written in Scripture that “man is to die once and only once.” Children can love and yet be sinful. You have heard of talking back to parents, throwing tantrums etc. Sin as defined in the Bible is any wrong thought, word, or deed that we do, I love my children unconditionally, but at times with some kinds of behavior, my actions are not that of a loving mom.



report abuse
 

irene

posted February 19, 2009 at 3:57 am


Just a trial and error method…sometimes you give someone benefit of the doubt,that would be nice!



report abuse
 

skip martis

posted February 19, 2009 at 6:47 am


it all depends if your talking about adam and eve cause what they did was not a sin it was the plan of the lord so that they would have knowledge of good and evel they did not sin they fell from the sight of god meaning they could no longer be in gods precence the first sin was cane killing able that was murder one of the comandments



report abuse
 

Zeila

posted February 19, 2009 at 9:38 am


It is the mind set of man to connect things in a organized effort to understand the how and whys of a situation or circumstanc. We must remember that Jesus came as a representative of His father God and in understanding that all things work for the good of those who love the lord, it must be acknowledged that no matter what the situation or circumstnace nothing happens without God’s direct knowledge or permission. WE so easily shout, “Thank you God for blessing me,” when we receive money, material items or things tangible and aggreeable to who or what we want to represent, and then cry, “Why the curse?,” towards those things that we deem negative. But if all things come from God then isn’t it God who allows these things and if he allows these things then what is the reason. And if He loves us so deeply then wouldn’t stand to reason that He is working to move us to a better place in our relationship with Him. For should not God get the glory, the honor , the praise no matter what and we look to find a way to better worship and praise him no matter what?



report abuse
 

Jim

posted February 21, 2009 at 9:07 am


Whether or not original sin exists, that is that we carry with us the sin that Adam and Eve created against God in the garden of Eden, it could only be so until Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus Christ gave his life and died for all of our sins, that none of us may perish, but have everlasting life. So if we did infact carry original sin prior to Christ’s death, we no longer do because through His death we were all forgiven of it.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted February 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm


no, that was the old testament covenant people back in moses days , also threw the years to backsliding isrealities like the control jersulaem took over by the gentiles – romans. we all have sin up on us at no right from wrong age…. spirtual sin…. not from our relatives or generations…. god sent jesus his son in flesh .john 3.16 new convenant and new testament….many are spirtual blind ,not physical blind. no sin for that, jesus meant that he showed his miracles to people and his discplies to prove he was the messiah – son of god come in flesh for all people sin offering, his teachings, will of the father- his father god sent him. john 3:16. and he showed that god was his father and working miracles threw him with pray….amen….



report abuse
 

john rankins

posted February 21, 2009 at 9:56 pm


why discuss this matter, why not believe what Jesus said, this man is to be used for the glory of God. Thats what its all about, God getting the glory…right ? Not only in that mans life, but also in our own lives…



report abuse
 

Jeff

posted February 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm


Perhaps this post has something to do with something or other, but none of these passages, despite the best attempts of Mr. Jones, has anything remotely resembling the idea of original sin. Jesus doesn’t say the man was born sinless, just that his sin had no bearing on his blindness. The question is about the effect of sin. This post represents a poor attempt at logic, if in fact that was the aim of the post.



report abuse
 

Jake

posted February 23, 2009 at 11:40 pm


This passage is about breaking down cultural barriers. Jesus was pointing out the error of preconceived notions and the power of random consequences. I interpret this passage to mean that unfortunate events happen to good individuals and we have to hope that circumstances will improve overtime.
One of Jesus’ main objectives was to breakdown the cultural barriers of his age and to show people to think beyond themselves and family to the common suffering of humanity.
Jesus never spoke of original sin. By his actions, he did not believe in it, because he was always about lifting people up out of their present circumstances and giving them a second chance.



report abuse
 

Jake

posted February 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm


Please do not belittle the Hebrew Scriptures by calling it the “old” testament or call Jews “backsliding”. Don’t you think that is a little insensitive? Please do not forget we receive most of our modern values from the Hebrew Scriptures. When Peter discusses “scripture” in his letters, he is referring to the Hebrew Scriptures.



report abuse
 

Anthony Hankins

posted February 27, 2009 at 9:59 am


He doesn’t have to say anything about it because his very existence substantiates it. He is the lamb slain from the foundations of the earth. Which in turn speaks to Gods foreknowledge of mans fall. This was a Christophony from creation in Genesis where the mist came up from the earth and watered the whole earth and thus God formed man from the dust of the earth that just happened to be wet. Which is the reason why he spit on the ground first. If we begin to understand that all scripture points to Jesus in some way or another then we don’t have to trivialize everything. Blessings



report abuse
 

Pingback: Things To Ponder | Illuminate

plantar fascitus

posted June 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

Retha Betacourt

posted June 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm


Fantastic site. Lots of helpful info here. I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you in your sweat!



report abuse
 

blue ruin télécharger

posted July 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm


Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend
your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog website?
The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast
offered bright clear concept



report abuse
 

Erik Kneeskern

posted July 11, 2014 at 10:49 am


hi!,I really like your writing so a lot! share we keep in touch more about your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to unravel my problem. Maybe that is you! Looking ahead to peer you.



report abuse
 

qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au bon dieu télécharger

posted July 12, 2014 at 7:25 am


Wonderful blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?

I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
Any recommendations? Kudos!



report abuse
 

qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au bon dieu télécharger

posted July 12, 2014 at 7:28 am


Excellent post. I certainly love this site. Thanks!



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

My Blog Has Moved
Dear Readers, After a year with Beliefnet, I've decided to move to my own domain for my blogging.  It's been a fine year -- some things worked, other things didn't.  But in the end, I'll be a better blogger on my own.  My thanks to the Bnet editorial staff; they've been very supportive. Ple

posted 12:13:57pm Nov. 13, 2009 | read full post »

The Most Important Cartoon of the Year
By Steve Breen, San Diego Tribune, October 18, 2009

posted 8:51:22am Oct. 25, 2009 | read full post »

Social Media for Pastors
Following up on Christianity21, we at JoPa Productions are developing a series of boot camps for pastors who want to learn about and utilize social media tools like blogging, Twitter, and Facebook.  These are one-day, hands-on learning experiences, currently offered in the Twin Cities and soon

posted 10:45:52am Oct. 22, 2009 | read full post »

Ending Christian Euphemisms: "Fundamentalist"
I've taken some heat in the comment section for using yesterday's post on "unbiblical" and a "higher view of scripture" as a thin foil for my own disregard of biblical standards. To the contrary, I was pointing to the use of the word unbiblical as a stand-in for a particularly thin hermeneutic. Ther

posted 10:15:41am Oct. 21, 2009 | read full post »

Why You Should Get GENERATE
Last week at Christianity21, GENERATE Magazine debuted. With the tag line, "an artifact of the emergence conversation," it fit perfectly at the gathering. When I actually got around to reading it last weekend, I was truly surprised at how good it is.There have been several efforts to begin a paper j

posted 3:14:37pm Oct. 20, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.