The New Christians

The New Christians


Original Sin: Paul, Romans 5, and the Heart of the Issue

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

Well, now we get to the heart of the matter, and the passage that so many of my blogopponents have been waiting for: Romans 5.  It’s in this chapter that Paul writes most specifically about the inherited nature of sin, and it is from this passage that the two most articulate proponents of inherited guilt (Augustine) and the total depravity of humankind (Calvin) get their material.

200px-StPaul_ElGreco.jpgWhether we like it or not, Romans is Paul’s magnum opus.  While it’s not the systematic theology text that some make it out to be, it is his most theological and most systematic epistle.  As he states in chapter 15, Paul is concerned about the conflict between Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus the Christ in the Roman church, and he writes this letter in order to clear up some of the issues that have provoked the conflict.  And, it seems, the understanding of sin, justification, guilt, and salvation seem to the source of the conflict.

In other words, yes, this is a letter about how the human being is justified before God.  But it is, first and foremost, a letter about the relationship between Jewish and Gentile Christ-followers.

Although Paul was, famously, a Roman citizen, he was first and foremost a Jew — what we today would call and “observant Jew.”  That is, prior to his conversion to Christianity, Paul (Saul) knew and followed the Law (Torah) and considered himself to be in good standing before Yahweh.

Paul’s Jewishness is important to remember when approaching Romans 5.  Jews in his day, as today, consider Jewishness to be a matter of matrilinial descent: If you’re mom is Jewish, you are Jewish; if your dad is Jewish but your mom is not, then you are not Jewish.  In Jesus and Paul’s day, there was much debate among rabbis about how, exactly, this happened, and even about how semen was involved.  As one New Testament scholar recently emailed me, “In the air at the time of Jesus and Paul was a Jewish belief in the physical transmission of one’s status through reproduction.”

So, with that in mind, let’s see what Paul wrote.

 Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death
through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all
sinned–

    13
To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is
not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14
Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses,
even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who
is a pattern of the one to come.

    15
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the
trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift
that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the
many! 16 Nor
can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The
judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift
followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one
man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of
grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one
man, Jesus Christ!

    18
Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all
people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life
for all. 19
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made
sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be
made righteous.

    20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign
through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord.

Immediately we can see why Augustine, Calvin, and so many others propose that Paul is authoritatively writing about inherited guilt.  Paul states clearly that Adam’s sin resulted in every one of his descendants being sinful, too. So it seems that part of our interpretation of this passage in Romans hinges on exactly how we interpret and understand Genesis 2-3.  Were Adam and Eve real, historic persons?  Are they, indeed, the father and mother of the entire human race?  (Did they really live into their 900s?  Who was Cain’s wife? Etc.)

If one believes that there is some kind of spiritual nature that is passed from mother (or father) to child by a biological process, as Paul likely believed, then this passage will be taken one way.  If, however, one does not believe that the taint of Adam’s sin is genetic but is instead an archetypal account of the human condition, then it will be taken another way.

As I’ve stated before, I do not deny the reality of sin.  What I want to do is make the best sense of the biblical account of the human condition, and to ask whether the authors of the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity rightly understand this biblical account.

So, my question to you is this: Does your understanding of Romans 5 indeed hinge on your interpretation of Genesis 2-3?  Do you think that something changed in Adam’s genetic code when he ate the fruit, and this genetic mutation was subsequently passed on to every human being (except Jesus and, possibly, Mary)?



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EricW

posted February 16, 2009 at 11:36 am


Paul states clearly that Adam’s sin resulted in every one of his descendants being sinful, too.
Many have pointed out that Augustine mistranslated Romans 5:12d. The Greek is not “in whom,” but Augustine translated it thus and taught that all sinned “in Adam.”
Others argue that the common translation “because” can also be challenged. The Greek is “eph’ hô,” which could quite rightly mean “on the basis of which” – meaning that “and on the basis of this spreading of death to all men, all sinned.”



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Tony Myles

posted February 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm


The question we must ask before your question –
Why are we about to talk with assurance about what Paul really meant/wrote while prefacing an implied skepticism about Genesis? (Come on, T – you certainly implied a context to Genesis while trying to throw in some objectivity at the end via a question.)
Or as Tickle might ask, “Who defines what is and isn’t authority/authoritative?”
To me that is the deeper question here versus what is/isn’t sin.



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Angela Harms

posted February 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm


I’m really struggling right now with Paul and his view of salvation. His view seems simplistic, and it looks to me like he’s very clearly saying what most of our churches have been saying for centuries. “You suck, and God would smite you, but for the lobbying efforts of Jesus Christ. Oh, and if you can’t make yourself believe this, even Jesus can’t save you.”
What if Paul just got that part wrong? Can I say that, even though his words are enshrined in the Bible?



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rick

posted February 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm


This is so stupid. There is no such thing as original sin or sin period…since sin as a concept implies breaking divine mandate…and there is NO source of revelation, at least any of that sort. So how can one break a mandate that doesn’t exist? I’m open to Tillichian notions like estrangement, alienation or separation…but sin? Thats an archaic and worthless concept if there ever was one.



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Scott M

posted February 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm


To me this passage says what it has always said. Death is the consequence of sin and it is into death we were born and thus sin. Adam here seems to pretty clearly be a type. With Adam as our source, death reigns. When Christ replaced Adam as the source of humanity, life reigned instead. It was no longer our nature to die.
I understand how Augustine, steeped in Platonic philosophy as he was, and fueled by some Latin misinterpretations of the Greek text, connected this passage to the philosophy of seminal reasons and reached the conclusions he reached. I somewhat understand how Calvin, steeped in his culture and philosophy of Natural Law, read the text through the lens of both Augustine and his philosophy, and arrived at the conclusions he reached. But the text doesn’t actually say what either of them wish it to say here.
Nor is that the traditional interpretation of the Church. I have a copy of the new English Orthodox Study Bible. I checked their notes. They pretty much interpret the text the way I’ve always read it. It makes it easy for me to agree with them, of course. No argument there. However, I find it baffling that so many today, who reject both the philosophical idea of seminal reasons and the Enlightment philosophy of Natural Law, nevertheless embrace Augustine and/or Calvin.



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Virgil Vaduva

posted February 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm


“Does your understanding of Romans 5 indeed hinge on your interpretation of Genesis 2-3?”
Tony, this question is really at the heart of the issue, and my answer is an emphatic YES! Our understanding of the Creation story, and the nature of the fall is at the center of this debate. A “fall” which has physical consequences demands a physical sort of restoration, so as you can see, this issue has even bigger implications because it ends up affecting the doctrine of resurrection and eschatology as well.
However, as you pointed out, a Jesus born out of Mary, a human, fallible and sinful as she was, seems to negate the doctrine of original sin. Could it be that God chose this avenue for the arrival of Jesus to demonstrate what the nature of the “new creation” is not about physical kingdoms, armies, and cities? Perhaps Christ born out of a human is indicative that spiritual redemption is here…that “in Christ, we are a new creation?” That the old has passed, and new things have already come?
How could someone fit original sin into this “new creation,” which is real, here, and now?



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Dan H

posted February 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm


What makes the question really thorny is that it is both an issue of “how do we interpret Genesis 2-3?” and also “how did Paul interpret Genesis 2-3?” If we interpret the original Genesis story as more paradigmatic, but Paul didn’t, then our own moves from Genesis to how we understand sin may be different from Paul’s. Which goes back to the whole question of authority, and to what extent are we in the church best off by following Paul’s lead in understanding these things?
That all said, I think all these questions are open questions. While I would that that a literal interpretation of Adam and Eve would be a necessary part of a sense of ‘inherited’ guilt (at least in a biological sense), I’m not sure that it would be an essential part of a view that still maintains a pervasive or universal guilt among humanity.
While I find Scott M’s (and, by extension, the Orthodox view) pretty compelling: it does seem, at least in verses 12-17, that the focus is on the reality of death, not so much an inherited guilt. The issue that ‘we all die’ seems to be more the obstacle that needs overcoming, rather than ‘we’re all sinful’. However, I don’t think this holds up absolutely: the language in verse 18 and 19 does seem to link death with the sinfulness of all of us in a pretty strong way.
I’ve been asking myself, what is the real cash value of this discussion of sin, as we live our lives and try to follow Jesus and want to live a life trusting God and enjoying his love and living in his spirit? Why not just say that we have equal opportunity to choose good things or bad things, and sin is just when we choose bad things? I think that what Paul’s teaching tries to get at is that our propensity to not trust God, to act in our self-interest at the expense of others, and also our participation in wider systems of injustice, is very deep. To the extent that it colors all of our actions, and cannot be escaped easily by just being better informed or making better decisions. There is a real sense in which we need rescue. And I do see this articulated a bit more in Romans 7. While I do accept that the thrust of Romans 7 is what it is like being under the ‘old covenant’ as opposed to living in Christ and the Holy Spirit, there is nevertheless a sense of *why* it is so impossible to live under law, because “sin is right there with me” and “the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing”.
However we understand the context of that passage with regard to law/grace old covenant/new covenant or whatever, what is undeniable for me is the intuitive resonance of those passages personally. And a look at the world-wide situation resonates with a reading of Romans 5 where all die, yes, but also all have sinful tendencies, and the world is in need of a Savior, to save us from strong tendencies in ourselves. Whether this tendencies happen through “inherited guilt” or not, they are there–beyond that I’m not 100% sure exactly what the mechanism was that made us that way. I’m not copping out on that discussion–I think it’s an important question, but I do think there’s plenty of mystery there to be plumbed.



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Chris Rosebrough

posted February 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm


I’d like to present a very good conversation that took place on the radio last week that was focused on the topic of original sin. This conversation took place on Issues, Etc. and is a great pastors roundtable on this topic.
Since, Tony seems hell bent (pun intended) on denying the historicity of Genesis 2 & 3 despite the fact that Jesus taught and believed that it was literal historical, I thought it be of benefit for people to hear a group of Pastors discussing this topic and NOT ONE of them denies the historicity of Genesis.
Here is the link.
http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/164021209H1p.mp3



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Joe

posted February 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm


Original sin is clearly taught throughout the bible. If you are a Christian you know this. If you’re not, compare yourself to some of the commandments and you will see you have broken most if not all. Why? Because that is your nature, bent on sinning. You’re not a sinner because you sin, you sin because you’re a sinner.
Where are the Christians? Please stand up and proclaim rhe truth of the word of God so we can shutdown these bogus teachings. Degrees, doctorates, and phd’s don’t let those intimidate. There are plenty of educated false teachers.
Wake up!!



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EricW

posted February 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm


Joe February 16, 2009 4:31 PM Original sin is clearly taught throughout the bible. If you are a Christian you know this. If you’re not, compare yourself to some of the commandments and you will see you have broken most if not all. Why? Because that is your nature, bent on sinning. You’re not a sinner because you sin, you sin because you’re a sinner. Where are the Christians? Please stand up and proclaim rhe truth of the word of God so we can shutdown these bogus teachings. Degrees, doctorates, and phd’s don’t let those intimidate. There are plenty of educated false teachers. Wake up!!
But that is precisely what Paul does NOT say. “Your nature” is not bent on sinning. Read Romans 7. There is a hostile power/force, what he calls “sin in the flesh,” a force that gets its strength from the Law and makes mortals captive to sin and sinning. This force/power causes Paul to do the opposite of what he – i.e., his “nature,” his true self, his mind – believes and agrees is holy, righteous and good.
READ THE BIBLE.
People don’t have a “sin nature” and/or their “nature” isn’t naturally sinful. They are in bondage to sin because sin derives its power from the Law, the same Law that is too weak to free bound men and women from the power of sin.



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Joey

posted February 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm


Eric W…..I read Romans 7 (NASB) and I’m not following you. Can you elaborate more on this?
What exactly am I to read besides Romans 7 that clearly states that people don’t have a “sin nature”?



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EricW

posted February 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm


I don’t know that anything clearly states that people don’t have a sin nature, but on the other hand, I don’t know anything that clearly states that people do have a sin nature. E.g., read the Bible and see if you can find the phrase “sin nature” in it. The Greek word for sin is hamartia, and the Greek word for nature is phusis/physis. See if the Bible ever conjoins the two. Don’t use the NIV – the NIV chose at many points to translate the word “flesh” (sarx) as “sinful nature,” IIRC. (“Sinful nature” may be better than “sin nature,” since it’s saying that our nature is “sinful” – i.e., prone to sinning – without identifying us as having “sin” as our “nature.” Of course, that could all just be semantics.) Read Romans 5,6,7,8 re: what Paul says about sin and deliverance, and about Adam and Christ.
I, too, may just be playing a semantic game. There may be no real difference between “sin nature” and “sinful body” and “sinful flesh.” But Paul in Romans 5-8 presents sin as an alien force from which Christians can get delivered and be set free. If that’s true, how can Christians be said anymore to have a “sin nature” if they have been set free from sin, having died to the Law and having died to sin? Perhaps unregenerated, unsaved, unbaptized, unspiritual people have a “sin nature.” But do those who have received the Spirit of Christ, having been baptized into His death and been raised up to walk in newness of life, who have put on Christ and have been set free from the law of sin and of death, have a “sin nature”?



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Joey

posted February 16, 2009 at 9:25 pm


EricW………Wouldn’t your last question you posed then, be the never ending battle of the flesh vs. the spirit on this side of Heaven? This is what I’m understanding Paul to say about it.
Back to the OP’s topic at hand, if sin did not enter the world through Adam, then how did it enter the world?



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Justin

posted February 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm


Joey said”Back to the OP’s topic at hand, if sin did not enter the world through Adam, then how did it enter the world?”
That’s the point of Tony saying that HOW you read the Gen. Story is important. If the story is historically true (historicity), then that would seem to be the very question that the story is addressing. However, if it was not historically true, but was a cultural story passed down to give a metaphorical truth to how the Jews understood the problem of evil/sin/transgressions (I think the latter is a better word, less baggage), then we need to look at and understand this new (for us), yet ancient understanding of the text.
There is no real evidence that this story was meant to explain the history of sin. Rather the narrative seems to give a picture of our tendency to pull away from God. We have raised this story to be this ultimate explanation of how Sin entered into the world, but if we look at it through the lens of Jewish history and understanding, it is another story that falls into the reoccurring theme of “turning from God”. This theme pops up again and again throughout Israel’s history (golden calf, fall of Jerusalem, etc…). However, the beauty and significance of this passage is now open to new understandings because we’ve freed the text from our tendency to read our doctrine back into the text to make it mean something it never did.
Now the text (in light of the common theme of Israel’s independent streak), now show us that 1) that it is not always a nation that turns from God, it happens on an individual level first, and then can easily spread through an abuse of relationships. And 2) that even in the midst of “perfection” (the Garden), we would find some way to try and pull away from our dependence and relationship with God. We would, and always will “break the covenant”. However, God never will turn from us, even if we urn from him. Yes, there will be consequences for our actions, but even in the midst of those consequences we can see the hand of grace reaching to us. Even though the “Garden” (ideal) doesn’t exist, God’s covenant relationship with his creation will always remain.
I think there is far more to teach from this passage but one can begin to see the untapped richness (at least untapped in modern Christianity) when a text like this is freed from our held-fast doctrines and allowed to speak life, hope, and truth once again.
Just my $.02



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Justin

posted February 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm


Sorry, didn’t answer the question I began with (whoops)
It seems that, for the Jewish tradition at least, “how” is not a question they ask. People acting in transgression and brokenness just IS. “How” is more of a modern and contemporary question that ancient texts do not seem concerned with. Why? because the truth found in the narrative is more important than the “nuts and bolts”. It wasn’t until enlightenment and afterwords that the scientific method became our template for thinking and understanding. Again, we are bad about reading backwards into the text things that prob. were not there.
So, like it or not, the “how” is a mystery. But perhaps the lesson here from the scriptures is that we should spend less time on uncovering the “how” and concentrate instead on healing, loving, and relational living (both with God and other).



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Jeoy

posted February 16, 2009 at 10:20 pm


So are you saying the account of the garden didn’t exist? Am I understanding this to mean that the Bible is figurative and not literal coming and it’s to be studied from a Jewish perspective?
G-d’s covenant relationship with his creation will always remain…..sorry, not understanding that either………..
Geeze I sound so uninformed of what exactly it is I’m suppose to be doing/learning/applying……Help me understand this…



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Joey

posted February 16, 2009 at 10:26 pm


Justin, I think you just answered my question before I got mine posted. Thanks….
But what does this mean? It wasn’t until enlightenment and afterwords that the scientific method became our template for thinking and understanding.



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Brian

posted February 16, 2009 at 11:26 pm


According to the religious tradition who wrote Genesis 2-3 there is no such doctrine of “original sin.” Humans do sin, just like Adam and Eve sinned. But humans aren’t only sinful. Humans have a mixture of good and evil, so we must choose the good. I think a look into the Jewish understaning of Genesis would be very helpful for this conversation.



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emergent pillage

posted February 17, 2009 at 1:55 am


–What if Paul just got that part wrong? Can I say that, even though his words are enshrined in the Bible?–
You may say whatever you want, but if that is what you believe, then at least have the integrity to not call yourself a Christian.
Perhaps best for you would be to say that Paul got it right–it may be hard, it may not be nice, but truth is true even it doesn’t really taste good at first. We may like sweets, but it is the things that don’t always taste as good that are best for us.



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emergent pillage

posted February 17, 2009 at 2:00 am


–Paul states clearly that Adam’s sin resulted in every one of his descendants being sinful, too.–
At least you admit that, Jones.
Now, let the spin begin.
–So it seems that part of our interpretation of this passage in Romans hinges on exactly how we interpret and understand Genesis 2-3. —
And since you “know” that Genesis 2-3 is just a “myth”, then Paul is just pre-enlightened pre-post-modern idiot who thought miracles happened and people were raised from the dead, right?



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Ethan

posted February 17, 2009 at 5:03 am


Tony,
How are we going to arrive to a conclusion that Adam was not a real, historical person when he is mentioned in MULTIPLE genealogies with specific ages? If we start discrediting Adam’s historical existence, we can just go ahead and start questioning Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s, as well as David’s and even Jesus Christ’s because they’re in the same genealogy.
Genesis 5 – Adam to Noah
1 Chronicles 1 – Adam to Abraham to Noah’s Sons
Luke 3 – The Genealogy of Jesus
Scott W,
I think you have the most put-together argument, IMO. From what I understand, you are stating that death is inherited and not sin. But because of this death, we sin. Am I being true to what you are saying?
The only problem I have with that is the Bible is pretty clear that death is the result of sin (“wages of sin is death”) and not the other way around. So if death is reigning through Adam, it is understood that sin is also reigning and is the cause of this death.
I think the main danger in this argument is how we view ourselves and how we view God. Do we view ourselves as someone who is merely crippled by sin, or do we view ourselves as one who is completely broken by sin? And do we view God as a God who chooses us or as a God who is chosen by us? If we are merely marred by sin and not totally broken (or “depraved”, as Calvin would say), then we can choose God of our own accord without any help of the Holy Spirit. But if we are completely enslaved, or depraved, by sin, then the Holy Spirit must do an incredible work within us before we can believe.
Another danger, of course, is when we start to discredit the authors of the New Testament, e.g. the apostle Paul, in favor of our own views that may make us feel better about ourselves.



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Your Name

posted February 17, 2009 at 9:30 am


Is it possible that it’s not the original sin itself, but the result of that sin? When Adam and Eve sinned, everything changed. All of God’s creation changed. The garden changed. Child birth changed, humanities worldly responsibilities changed. They became biologically mortal. They suffered biological death. They suffered separate from their Father – their creator. Before sin, the garden was perfect – the Father was ever-present. There was no death. If you really think about it, there was no reason to even consider sin.



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Brian

posted February 17, 2009 at 10:30 am


Romans is important to the conversation about the doctrine of “Original Sin” for several reasons. First, many other people have brought it up in their comments. Second, Augustine (the person who developed “original sin”) was converted to Christinity after reading Romans. So, perhaps a wider conversation about Romans might be helpful to add to the focus text highlighted by Tony Jones. So this comment is going to highlight one way to overview Romans. Romans tends to have three main types of interpretations.
First, forensic interpretations explore the theological arguement whereby Paul describes the logic of how both Jews and Gentiles are sinners and can only recieve the God’s grace through God’s own justification/aquittal in Christ. All are equally sinners. All are equally guilty. All are aquitted through Christ. The problem is that this interpretation doesn’t focus on sanctification/change. Someone who is a rapist or racist is aquitted through Christ, but they are not necessarily overtly challenged to change their behavior and make restitution for the pain they have already caused. A sense of quick and easy forgiveness can enable people to remain stuck in unhealthy and anti-social behaviors. This is called cheap grace. Bonhoeffer wrote a great book about this problem. This is where the other interpretations are important.
Second, new covenant interpretations explore the rhetoric whereby Paul calls on people to change their behavior by imitating the self-giving love of Christ. Both Jews and Gentiles were supposed to be humble. Both were supposed to guide and encourage each other in love. People with different levels of power were supposed to adapt so they could work together as a community of equals. Powerful nations such as the USA need this message so that they remember that other nations must also have a voice in our shared world. This idea is ephesized in a great hymn, “My country’ s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine; but other lands have sunlight too and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.” All must be seen as co-equal, the strong and the weak together.
Third, apocalyptic interpretations explore the discourse whereby Paul attempts to empower people in their daily life by discussing God’s ongoing, saving power in Christ. Sin and evil are still present in the world, even in Christian communities (3:23, 7:18-20). Paul always seems to suggest that people are between saint and sinner; and between already reconsiled yet still needing saving. So living the Christian life is an ongoing process. This ongoing process is carried out by sharing God’s saving revelation and gifts “from faith to faith” (1:17) as the “body of Christ” (12:5), with each member having a “measure of faith (12:3). The contibutions of each member is needed for the betterment of the whole community (12:3-8). Therefore, when having conversations on blogs, we all need to remember that each of us has important gifts, thoughts, and theologies to share. Each of us is important for the good of the whole. Since we all are limited and “see through a glass dimly” and “know only in part” (I Cor. 13:9-12), the best way to see more clearly and fully is to work together mutually as the body of Christ.
Paul seems kind of postmodern here with his idea of mutual ministry and communal knowlege. Maybe he was an Emergent Church leader. Oh wait, he was! The Church was literally emerging while Paul was writing. And the Church continues to emerge today. The question we face is whether we’re going to idolize only a few doctrines or whether we’re going to continue to emerge through a “renewing of our minds” (12:2).



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Justin

posted February 17, 2009 at 11:36 am


Joey “the scientific method became our template for thinking and understanding.”
I think this would have been better said by me worded: “the Scientific method became humanity’s (esp. western culture’s) PRIMARY way of thinking and understanding.” The way we use logic and a hypothesis-> prove method of understanding was not a part of the culture that wrote these scriptures. The search for “how” was not a primary question in ancient times. Don’t get me wrong, Paul uses a logical approach, but he was after Aristotle and the likes. modern philosophy, logic, and the scientific method approach (which assumes that all things are provable without doubt if true, which is not the case with God at all)became our primary way of understanding and approaching our world. It became our Zeitgeist. So we have read the Bible with our Zeitgeist and assumed that those that wrote the Bible and the characters in the Bible shared the same Zeitgeist as us. They didn’t, and it isn’t realistic to read them like they did. My mind is blanking on books that speak about this (most Postmodern Primers, perhaps McLaren, Grenz, Tony??) So the question becomes, what was their template for understanding these stories (whether they happened or not).
This is why it is important to understand the Jewish context and understanding. No, we are not Jews, but these are Jewish stories before they are Christian. Yes, we can read them in light of Christ, but remember he understood them in a Jewish/Ancient context as well. So, not only is “how” not the correct question, neither is the question, “did it really happen”? The best question is, regardless of IF it happened or didn’t, WHY was this story important to the Jews? What deep truth(s) did it have to teach that were worth preserving (we’ve lost more Jewish teachings, wisdom and stories than we’ve salvaged). I won’t say, like Gordon Fee does, that the Bible can’t mean what it never meant, I think it can because I consider it a living document(s). But Knowing what it meant reigns in our outlandish interpretations that we adhere to at times. So yes, Jewish understanding is important because the Bible wasn’t written in a vacuum, it was written in a specific sociological and theological context.
Personally, I think this is why genealogies are so important to the Jewish tradition. Yes it goes back to Adam, but are we reading too much into that? Perhaps the simple message is not to forget where you came from, and that there is a whole rich (narrative) history to the story that you are now writing. Knowing your heritage will help you to write your story in a productive and loving way.
The last parts were to all, not just to Joey…but Joey I hope that helps.



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Joey

posted February 17, 2009 at 11:45 am


My question becomes, why exactly is the doctrine of original sin an issue? What would be the point in proving that it’s not Biblical?



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Brian (translating Romans for this discussion)

posted February 17, 2009 at 11:54 am


Welcome those who are traditional in faith, those who still believe in original sin, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Emergent Christians believe in deconstructing all theologies, while the Traditional Christians only deconstruct certain theologies. Those who deconstruct must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who deconstruct; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own God that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for God is able to make them stand.
Some judge one traditional doctrine to be better than emerging theologies, while others judge a variety of theologies to be of importance. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who preserve traditional theology, observe it in honour God. Also those who explore new theologies, explore in honour of God, since they give thanks to God; while those who conserve tradition, conserv in honour of God and give thanks to God.
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to God, and if we die, we die to God; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are God’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that no theology is un-deconstrctable in itself; but it is un-deconstrctable for anyone who thinks it’s un-deconstrctable. If your brother or sister is being injured by the theology you deconstrct, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let the theology that you deconstruct cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not about certain theologies or particular dogma but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification. Do not, for the sake of theology, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed deconstructable, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you deconstruct; it is good not to deconstruct theology or challenge tradition or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they deconstruct, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
The Emergent Christians, who are progressive in faith, ought to put up with the stagnation of the Traditional Christians, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbour for the good purpose of building up the neighbour. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’ For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify God.
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of those of Traditional Christians on behalf of the truth of God in order that they might confirm the promises given through tradition, and in order that Emergent Christians might glorify God for his mercy.



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Justin

posted February 17, 2009 at 11:56 am


IMHO, Joey,
It helps us to see that people are not inherently evil/bad, and helps us to see the best in people. The hope that people are inherently good (because they are made in God’s image and called “good”) allows us to 1) not be judgmental, and 2) to help us understand that although this world is broken, that it wasn’t because people were born sinful, but that the environment in which they were brought up in, the exposures they had, and perhaps some genetic factors (not the “sin gene”, but other psychological dispositions) ALL work together in a person. When approaching someone who is “sinful” we learn that the best way to understand them and help them is through a the long process of relationships, listening, and providing them with a new environment outside of the suicidal system that they are stuck in.
Some believe that people in bad situations are a “product of their own choices and sinfulness”… but I think that freedom from the doctrine of “Original Sin” allows us to see that they are both a perpetuate and a victim. Unfortunately, belief in Original Sin leads to apathy in a lot of situations.
Also the original sin doctrine is a BIGGY for those of more Calvinistic beliefs. At the same time, it ties us to certain views of atonement rather than allowing us to look at the full spectrum of theological discourse on that subject.



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Joey

posted February 17, 2009 at 12:15 pm


Justin……Thank You
To all…..I’m not trying to split hairs, I’m really trying to understand your POV and why you believe the way you do……That’s why I’m asking questions……….



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EricW

posted February 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm


Take off your theological spectacles, whatever they be, whether Calvinist or Arminian or Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, and read Romans 5-8 afresh. Diagram Paul’s thought-flow as you do, trying to follow his arguments, his comparisons, his contrasts and his conclusions. Note which words he uses, and where he uses different words for the same or related thoughts. Pretend you never heard the term “original sin,” and also let your understanding of “justification”/”righteousness” (same word in the Greek) come from what he says/writes; i.e., don’t predetermine its meaning by what your particular theology says.
AFTER you have done this thoroughly so you have a basic inductive idea of what he’s saying and setting forth, then take your theological grid and see how well its teachings about original sin and justification, etc., map to your conclusions about what Paul is saying.
If you can’t read NT Greek, you will not be able to do this as well as those who can; in that case, at least use an interlinear.



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Brian

posted February 17, 2009 at 1:56 pm


John Crossan, in his book “In Search of Paul,” has an interesting quote about Paul’s theology in Romans:
“Justification is the process whereby the justice and righteousness of divinity becomes the justice and righteousness of humanity.”



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Justin

posted February 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm


Joey,
Thanks to you also. Glad I could help. Disagree or not, these conversations are worth it. New perspectives are what Christ was all about!
May I suggest Marcus Borg’s “Reading the Bible Again For the First Time.” It helped me a lot with perspectives in scripture. May not agree with it all, that’s ok, but it is a good book to engage! Also Kugel’s “The Bible As It Was” is worth a read! you can find them and their description on Amazon.
peace man!
j



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Korey

posted February 17, 2009 at 2:54 pm


The text may say that sin entered the world through Adam’s sin, because of Adam’s sin, or as a result of Adam’s sin, but to me the point is that we are all sinful. Whether the first man was Otis or Korey instead of Adam, he too would have sinned at some point. If Adam’s nature changed as a result of his sin, and this altered human nature on down the line, then how did Adam sin in the first place? Or if it was always in Adam’s nature to be capable of sin, why were we to be somehow exempt until he actually did sin?
Ultimately, if the Doctrine of Original Sin means that Adam was capable of sin unlike some other humans might have been (had they been in his place) and by sinning Adam ensured that we are all sinful by changing ALL of our natures, then I reject it as unbiblical. I simply do not think that is what Paul is trying to say in Romans. On the other hand, if the Doctrine of Original Sin means that Adam was simply the first sinner by whom we were all made sinners because we are all humans descended from Adam, then I accept it. Moreover, the many were made sinners because the many were made from Adam the first sinner; they like Adam are human.



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phil_style@hotmail.com

posted February 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm


Joey, I think earlier you asked the question regarding why we should even try to demonstrate that the doctrine of original sin is extra biblical.
For me, the reasons, broadly are:
1. It is incredibly hard for me to accept the idea that once apon a time there were two humans who were the sum total of the entire humans race, that these two humans were ‘immortal’ due to their total obedience to God. But one day the broke their obedience and death resulted. Now, the reason humans die is becasue of them. This is not, as some in this post would suggest, becasue this idea is morally repugnent to me (or a non-sweet). The reason is becasue this would force me to hold to two things that contradict each other (what I know of biology, geology, history from inquiry and what I know of of those things from a single set of religious books). This is impossible to do.
2. I believe the Bible to be my faiths authoritative book. I want to belive it is truth. However, what am I to do when it seems to say something quite clearly that I know to be wrong based on other facts. Perhaps I am reading it wrong? Perhaps I need to adjust my definitino of authoritative?
3. Sometimes the most efficient path to resolving 2. is to question whether or not the things I think the bible are saying, really are what it is saying. If I’ve got the interpretation part wrong, then it lets the Bible off the hook (as it were). This is, for me, the first path to reconciliation. The next step would be to consider my definition of “authoritative”, but as seen from some of the responses, doing this can result in you being branded an outcast from the faith, even though the bible itself (as a whole) makes no specific authoritative claims, authority is justified using logical argument – which conincidentally is the framework used to develop our scientific understanding of the world. . . . .



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EricW

posted February 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm


phil_style:
1. I think the (Eastern) Orthodox belief is that Adam and Eve were neither mortal nor immortal before the Fall. If it’s not the official belief, it’s one that is taught or mentioned.
2. Perhaps when Adam and Eve “fell” they collapsed the quantum wave function, thus affecting everything and putting it in (or condemning it to) a state that it neither had nor didn’t have prior to their sinning. I.e., when their eyes were opened, they “observed” the state of things, collapsed the quantum wave function, and it became what we know it to be. See Schrödinger’s Cat. ;^)



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JBozeman

posted February 17, 2009 at 8:53 pm


I think that we inherit something of the soul of our parents. This seems to make sense from a Biblical perspective, in that we aren’t some sort of detached souls before we are born. We are the product of the union of a man and woman, through whom God works a literal miracle in the formation of a life. This life is taken from the body and soul of our parents to form a new person.
Even with this inheritance, it is not necessary to follow in the misguided footsteps of Calvin or Blessed Augustine. If what I said above is true, and if our parents are not perfect, then we will inherit that imperfection. I think any contemplation into a “genetic change” in the primordial couple of Adam and Eve (whatever they were or weren’t) is unnecessary.
We may inherit the tendency toward sin, but we cannot possibly inherit their guilt. Adam and Eve’s fallen nature produce a distortion in their persons that required healing, not a legal solution (I’m referring to a screwed up view of ‘justification’).
And regarding the question of Adam and Eve being “real” and “really” living to be 900 years old. I think that we have to see those scriptures as somewhat historical, but that very history is of secondary importance to the revelation of Christ in those scriptures. People get so hung up on the history that they fail to see the actual point of those scriptures in Genesis: we were created for perfection, but fell and still fall needing someone perfect to fix us and lift us up to perfection (i.e. Christ).



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jhimm

posted February 24, 2009 at 10:34 am


Has this series been abandoned? Will the Augustine, Calvin and Conclusions be coming? Maybe I misread but earlier I thought this was a one week thing.



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Benjamin

posted February 27, 2009 at 6:06 am


2 Timothy 4:3
i am truly saddened to hear philosophy and emotions overtake scripture and doctrine



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John Umland

posted March 10, 2009 at 11:46 am


You seem hung up on a materialist explanation of the transmission of sin from Adam. Perhaps we inherit some of our parents’ spritual essences as well. However, it does seem mysterious, but why should mystery prevent us from accepting plain doctrine?
God is good
jpu



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Marc

posted September 17, 2009 at 7:04 am


Romans 5 is THE passage for grounding the doctrine of Original Sin. But apparently nobody has noticed that Paul does not say “all are guilty because Adam sinned” which is the traditional view. Instead Paul says “death entered the world because of Adam’s sin” and “death came to all because all sinned”.
We only get to traditional Original Sin (e.g. as Mike Wittmer defines it “all are guilty because Adam sinned”) when we read Paul as a small footnote to what Reformers or Church Fathers wrote. Ironically, tradition is the leading hermeneutic in conservative circles as John Piper’s critque of Wright’s view of justification shows. Piper’s complaint is not that it’s bad exegesis but that it’s new exegesis.



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Cameron

posted October 18, 2009 at 12:20 am


Romans 5 is something of a mistranslation, actually. I highly suggest you read Chapter 18 of Daniel Gracely’s book, A Closer Look at Calvinism.
http://www.xcalvinist.com/category/chapter-18/
I personally hold essentially the same views as Gracely: man inherited the knowledge of good and evil from the Fall. I find it telling on the doctrine of original sin that at the Fall God said, “the man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil”, not “the man has now become completely corrupted and so all of his offspring are horribly guilty” or “now all of mankind is totally depraved.”
I believe that God does allow us the grace to choose between good and evil (as it says in Deuteronomy, the word is very near you, in your mouth and your heart so you may obey it) but during this hard life it’s impossible for us to make the right choice every single time over the course of our existence. I am in between Augustine and Pelagius. Augustine held that man can do no good whatsoever thanks to the fall of Adam, whereas Pelagius held that man can morally perfect himself and so become righteous and saved.
Unlike Pelagius, I believe that once you sin, you’re done. That’s it. No more saving yourself. And no one can claim to be sinless. Like James (I think) says, if you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourself.
But unlike Augustine, I don’t hold that since the Fall of Man God does not extend the grace to us to be able to do good. It’s just a very steep uphill climb now, and no one can make it all the way, which is why Christ’s death was necessary for anyone at all to be saved. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t climb and shouldn’t try to climb the hill of righteousness.
So like Pelagius, I say that man can still do good even after the fall, but like Augustine, I say that it is only by God’s grace that we can do anything, including breathe, move, and have our being.



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Thomas uthimattathil

posted April 9, 2012 at 1:57 am


Introduction
Sin’s reality impresses itself upon us every time we read the newspapers, watch the evening news, or even experience evil in our daily lives. “Believing” or faith enters the picture when we consider the ways to resolve the impact of sin. Christians believe in a saviour who addresses our sinful human condition and gives us grounds for hope. I will attempt in this theses to illustrate this by examining what St Paul says about sin, especially in his letter to the Romans.
1.1 Biblical Understanding of Sin
Sin is lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4) or transgression of god’s will, either by omitting to do what god’s law requires or by doing what is forbids. The transgression can occur in thought (1 Jn 3:15), word (mat5:22), or deed (Rom 1:32).mankind was created without sin morally upright and inclined to do good (Eccli 7:29). But sin entered into human experience when Adam and eve violated the direct command of God by eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (gen 3:6). Because Adam was the head representative of the whole human race his sin affected all future generations (Rom5:12-21). Associated with this guilt is corrupted nature passed from Adam to all his descendants. Out of this prevented nature arise all the sins that people commit (Mt15:19); no person is free from involvement in sin (Rom3:23). Sin is not represented in the bible as the absence of good or as an illusion that stems from our human limitations. Sin is portrayed as a real and positive evil. Sin is no more than unwise inexpedient, culminations behaviour that produces sorrow and distress. It is rebellion against God’s law, the standard of righteousness.
1.2 St Paul’s Understanding of Sin
There are more than thirty words in the new testament that convey some notion of sin, and St Paul employs at least twenty- four of them. He makes very little use of the “guilt” terminology in the psychological sense, but it may fairly be said that many of the things he says about sin include the thought that sinners are guilty people. After all to commit a sin is to be guilty of that sin. While it cannot be said that Paul has a morbid preoccupation with sin, it can be pointed out that he recognize that the evil that barrier to fellowship with God and that unless some way is found of dealing with the problem of sin, all people as sinners face a time of moral accountability(Rom2:16). But with this we must also says that Paul’s prevailing attitude is not one of unrelieved gloom and pessimism. Rather, he continually rejoices that in Christ sin has been defeated so that the believer has nothing to fear in this world or the next.
1.3 Sin in Letter to Romans
Paul presents a massive treatment of the problem of sin in his letter to the Romans , where he uses the noun for “sin”(hamartia) forty eight times, the noun “trespass”(paraptoma) nine times, the verb ”to sin” (hamartano) seven times, “sinner” (hamartolos0 four times, “bad” (kakos)fifteen times, and “unrighteousness” (adikia) seven times . In addition Paul uses a number of other words with similar meanings which individually do not occur frequently, but which when taken together add up to a significant part of Romans. Paul does not define sin, but clearly he does not see it as primarily an offence against other people; for him sin is primarily an offence against god (Rom8:7). The disruption of a right relationship with God has its results in hindering right relationships with people, but it is the offence against god that is primarily.
1.3.1 The Fall
Paul does not give much attention to the origin of evil; he does not, for example , speak in set terms of the fall as though he could explain the origin of evil. The one place where he describes the stage setting of human kind’s fall is second Corinthians 11:3, which is a common with Jewish thinking traces Adam’s fall to eve’s influence. But he has important treatment of Adam (Rom-5) in which he makes it clear that he accepts the truth that sin was no part of the original creation. Romans 8:19-23 may suggest that the cosmos is affected by the man’s downfall. He sees sin as having been brought into the world by Adam and having been practiced by the whole human race ever since, for all have sinned (Rom 3:23). All commit their own sins to be sure, but in some way all are also caught in the sin of Adam, for by the one man’s trespass the many died (Rom 5:15).Paul does not see sin as part of human nature as God created. God is not responsible for a flawed creation. It is this that made Adam’s sin so serious. It meant the bringing of sin into a creation that originally was unflawed.
1.3.2 The Universality of Sin
As he begins Romans the apostles has a strong argument in which he shows that Jews and gentiles alike are all under in sin, for he says “there is none righteous not even one” (Rom 3:10). The whole human race is involved in sin. Paul does recognize that people on occasion act kindly and do good (Rom 2:7-10, 14). But that is not a problem. Sin is and it is no minor problem, for it covers the whole human race and has calamitous consequences for every sinner. Paul is suggesting that sin is a power that entered the world with the first human act of defiance against god. Adam provides an image by which Paul relates the universality of sin.
1.3.3 Sin and Law
As faithful Jew, Paul had accepted the law as a gift from God, a mark of divine favour. But as a Christian he came to recognize that law taught some uncomfortable things about sin. The law make the entire world guilty before God: “as many as are of works of law are under curse” (Gal 3:10). Through the law comes the recognition of sin (Rom 3: 19-20) indeed Paul would not have known what sin is apart from the law (Rom 7:7). He does not see the function of the law as the prevention of sin and he can even say that it multiplied sin (Rom 5:20). Its function was to make clear what sin is; its sharp definition of right and wrong made it plain that many things were sinful which people in every age have been quite prepared to overlook. The law could not bring them salvation, but it could bring them to Christ so that they could justified by faith.
1.3.4 The Effects of Sin
Paul sees a link between sin and death; indeed he says that “death came through sin,” and further that , since all have sinned, death comes to all (Rom 5:12). He recognize that, although some people’s sins are not alike Adam’s transgression, nevertheless death reigned over the entire race (Rom 5: 14) because all humankind seems to be represented in Adam (Rom 5:12). Elsewhere he says simply, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). He was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, law sprang into life and I died (Rom 7:9-10). Paul brings out that seriousness of sin another way by insisting that sinners are slaves to sin. They may fancy that when they commit an evil act, they are free and are doing what they choose to do, but Paul would not agree. He reminds the Romans that in their pre-Christian state they were “sin’s slaves” (Rom6:17, 20) he says that he himself is “fleshly. Sold under sin” (Rom 7:14) and “captive to the law of sin” (Rom 7:23.he also says sin creates a gulf between sinners and God, as Paul makes clear in Romans 1:21-25. He specifically speaks of being “alienated from the life of god”, and says that the Colossians had been “alienated and enemies in their minds and engaged in evil works” (Col 1:21).

1.3.5 Overcoming of Sin
That sin is all-pervasive and that Christ has died to deal with its effect are two points that Paul makes with some emphasis. He also has a number of statements that make it clear that he does not envisage Christians as people who continue to sin (Rom 6:1, 15), though with added knowledge that their sin is forgiven. He is well aware that sin is so firmly rooted in human nature that in this life if is presumptuous to claim to be free of every sin. But he is also clear that ‘sin will not lord it over you” (Rom 6:14), adding, “for you are not under Law but under grace”. It is not the submission to some set of rules that marks the Christian, but the presence of the grace of God. It is by grace that the believer is saved, and it is by grace that the whole Christian life is lived. Indeed Paul can go as far as to say that Christians, now freed from sin’s dominion, have “become slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:18).
1.3.6 The Judgment of Sin
Sin inevitably leads to final judgement. Some anticipation of the future is a present judgement, for to commit sin means to make oneself a sinner. The dreadful consequence of being a sinner is brought out in the threefold “God gave them up” in Romans 1:24, 26, 28, with its horrifying lists of the consequence of sin here and now. Paul further says makes it clear that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).he also points out that we reap what we sow and that to sow to the flesh means to reap corruption (Gal6:7-8). This means that sin brings judgement here and now. But Paul also insists that sin will be finally dealt with at the judgement at the tribunal of Christ, a truth he brings out forcefully in, say Romans 2:1-12. This judgement is part of Christian truth and points to the final dealing with evil (Cor4:4-6).
1.4 The Basis of Theology of Sin
There three notions underlie Paul’s understanding of sin as developed in Romans 1-8; the perspective of genesis3; the old testament idea of a representative of humanity; and Paul’s understanding that through faith we participate in the death and resurrection of Christ. Paul’s argument proceeds on the basis of genesis 3 which describes the effect of Adam’s sin. A basis element of Old Testament faith is that death is the major consequence of sin. Death has limited and defined human experience since the beginning, since Adam. Death came through one man (Rom 5:17). Paul rejects the idea that we are somehow responsible for Adam’s sin or that sin is inevitable. But Paul does accept the notion that all share in the condition that resulted from the sin of Adam. From the fact that all die, Paul concludes that sin fundamental to the human condition. This observation is based on genesis 3, but goes beyond it. It adds the Old Testament notion of the servant of the Lord as described in Isaiah 42:1-7; 49:1-6; 50:1-11; 52:13-53:12. Isaiah featured a ‘servant’ who could represent all humankind and intercede for us. The prophet gives God’s description on this envoy, saying, “Here is my servant, whom i uphold, my chosen one with whom i am well-pleased(isa42:1). Because of Him we hear God’s comforting words, “fear not, for i have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine”(isa43;1). And the mission of this Servant would extend beyond Israel: “ i will make you a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the end of the end”(isa49:6). The redemption Isaiah describes id though suffering so intense that many will reject the Servant precisely on the ground of His uncomeliness. If death is a consequence of sin, then the death of the servant suggests the servant was sinfulness. But it was “for our offenses or for our sin” that the servant was afflicted (Isa53:5).
Paul relates these two biblical ideas, from genesis and Isaiah, to the death and resurrection of Christ. So, for example, Romans 5 connects Jesus’ death and resurrection of our “dying wit “and “rising with” Jesus. This sharing in Jesus’ death is expresses in Paul’s combination of syn verbs ( syn=”with” in Greek). These verbs link believers not only with the person of Jesus but with these saving actions. Paul’s theology of the resurrection reinterprets the cross of Jesus and links it to the death and resurrections of Christians.



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Norman Walford

posted May 24, 2012 at 9:55 am


Clearly Paul’s understanding of Romans 5 reflected Paul’s understanding of Genesis 2-3. Paul understood Genesis 2-3 in the only way possible for someone of his era, background, education and knowledge – literally. e have other possibilities, clearly.
There’s nothing in 12 – 14 to support the idea of a fundamental change in human nature akin to ‘changes in genes’. As for 15ff., it’s probably worth noting that if Paul emphasizes here the unity of the human race with Adam’s sin, he does so only because the wants to emphasize the counterpoint, which is the unity of the human race with Christ’s redemption.



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