Re: Apologists and other salesmen

John Misasi (
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 23:10:19 -0500 (EST)

> John Misasi wrote:
> If Genesis
> > 1-5 are supposed to be allogorical then what are we to learn? We learn
> > that some men have a tendency to sin and that God punishes them for it.
> > But, how does that affect me, where is the concept of original sin (the concept that
> > we are in need of salvation because of the the original sin). If genesis
> > 1-5 are a myth then the need for salvation comes into question.
> > Barring Roman 3:23 (for all have sinned...), i could grow up perfect
> > without need the need for salvation.

George Murphy Wrote
> I recognize that you can speak for Sailhammer only in a limited
> way, but it seems to me that this hypothesis about the earliest chapters
> of Genesis (for which I can see no positive basis) quite fails to do
> what you yourself want - i.e., connect the creation story with your own
> life. It would apply only to descendants of those original
> inhabitatants of the promised land.

> Genesis 3 does _not_ set out an understanding of "original sin_
> or "sin or origin_ as it later came to be understood in the Christian
> church. But Genesis is not the whole of Scripture. It is only in the
> context of the whole of Scripture, including Romans, and, in fact,
> reflection by the Christian church beyond the formation of the canon,
> that a doctrine of original sin was set out thoroughly.

I would only ask the following to your statement, and that is if there is
no concept of original sin in the old testement, what is the need for
sacrifice? Sacrifice was an atonement for sin, which was in itself
a part of their salvation. Also, Psalm 51:5 (when david commits adultry)
says, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother
conceived me." This sinful nature was inherited from somewhere. I doubt
God would create a creature that natural tendency was to rebel against
Him. But i do find it concievable that He would make a ceature that is
capable of rebellion, but once that rebellion occurs all his (man's)
decesndents would be cursed through adam's (and eve's) curse.

>Note also that while Paul refers to Adam in Rom.5, he does _not_
>in his very strong statement about the universal character of sin in
>Chapter 1.
> So - accepting Gen.1-3 as a literal historical account is
>neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for a doctrine of
>original sin.

If one does a study on Romans, you see that Paul's is writing to the Jews
in Rome. He starts off the commentary in his condemnation by
acknowledging the sins around the jewish christians in Rome. You can see
that he is setting them up. He discusses the sins of the gentile's first
(what you are refering to) and says they don't have an excuse for their
sin because they should have knnown of God (Rom 1:18-22). He describes
this to the roman jews to show that they are not any different than those
'gentiles' around them, and that in fact they will face the same
judgement. Discussing original sin or the concept of Adam would not have
served the purpose in discussing the sins of the gentile's. Lastly,
Pauls big gun in Romans is the concept of justification by faith and not
the Law, and that "many died by the trespass of one man, how much more
did God's grace and the gift that came by grace of the one man, Jesus
Christ, overflow the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result
of the one man's sin: The judgement followed one sin and brought
condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought
justification." (Romans5:15-16.)

Therefore, the concept of original sin is important. And, we must always
look at scripture as a whole, if not, why have it. If you say one part
of the scripture is fiction(Genesis 1-3), and then another part (i.e.
Romans) bases its theology on it, you are essentially invalidating
Romans. My statements were simply meant to say, before you say one part
is fiction, look how that will affect the 'big picture' of scripture.

John Misasi