Re: Apologists and other salesmen

Murphy (
Thu, 31 Oct 1996 16:20:16 -0500

John Misasi wrote:

> I am not saying that the idea as we know it today as quote, unquote
> "original sin" is the same term used, but the idea must have been present
> in Jewish culture of being born with sin, otherwise there would have been
> no need to repent of sins as John the Baptist preached or the idea stated
> by Paul in Romans 3:23. We can argue whether or not it is us reading
> original sin into the OT, but what of Paul. I guess we should agree to
> disagree on whether it can be found in the OT.

If we're going to talk about original sin at all, we have to
distinguish between it - i.e., a sinful condition - and the commission
of actual sins. One cannot argue, "The OR recognizes sin, and therefore
teaches original sin."

> You assume my standpoint on human evolution. My statements are in no
> regard meant to be a validation or invalidation of human evolution. The
> statement I was and still am arguing is that at all times, when debating
> whether a passage is meant to be read in one way or another, we must
> examine its place in the context of scripture as a whole. That is, if we
> note that in other parts of scripture (that we take as being historical),
> a referring to a previous section we think may be fictional (i.e.
> non-factual) as though it was fact, we cannot judge the section as
> fictional. By doing so we may invalidate another section. My ultimate
> concern is that we remember the inerrency of scripture. We cannot do as
> Thomas Jefferson did and cut out sections we don

I didn't assume anything about your views on evolution. Mine
are that it's happened, and I think the question of original sin needs
to be thought through carefully because of that.
The Epistle of Jude refers to a writing of "Enoch, the seventh
from Adam." The quotation comes from the Book of Enoch which was not
written by an antediluvian patriarch.

> Also, Who is Pelagius???? (seriously) I have no idea who he is
> and what he has to do with this discussion I am making my own argument,
> it may be similar to this fellows, but I have never heard of him.
Pelagius was a British monk of the late 4th century who became
an opponent of Augustine in the matter of sin and grace. As
with many whose views were judged heretical, Pelagius himself
may not have been guilty of everything that has come to be called by his
name. In any case, "Pelagianism" has come to mean the idea that human
beings are able to satisfy God's demands without any kind of special
grace. There is no original sin. Adam set a bad example for his
descendants and Christ gave us a good example. Pelagius had the
laudable intent to encourage moral seriousness and not let people just
have the excuse that they couldn't help their evil actions, but simply
did not take the sinful aspect of the human condition seriously enough.
It was in response to Pelagius and his allies that Augustine formulated
his hardline position on original sin and the idea that it is
transmitted because of the inordinate desire involved in the sexual act.
(Augustine's views on sexuality weren't the healthiest.) The Council of
Orange set out a position a bit more more moderate than Augustine's
for the western church in the 6th century.
George Murphy