Re: [asa] Theological Perspectives Without a Literal Adam

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Date: Mon Aug 20 2007 - 18:08:36 EDT

Yet, if being "bent" towards sin is not a necessary condition of human existence, and is imputed to us because Adam in fact sinned rather than because of anything we have done ourselves; and, if being "bent" towards sin means we all will inevitably sin, without any possibility of not sinning; and, if even one sinful act alienates us from God for all eternity -- then it does seem that the deck is stacked rather unfairly, doesn't it??


Hi David,

(Sigh) this is the Federal view again, right?? I'm a bit frustrated because I keep being asked to defend a view that I was not even talking about, and which I don't even claim to believe.? Is it because I have not clearly explained the Augustinian view, which I was discussing, well enough to distinguish it from the Federal view?? The Augustinian view attempts to answer the very questions you raise about the Federal view.? So I'll try to say it again, but more clearly.

Of course we all know the facts:? we actually are sinners who inevitably sin.? That is just as empirically sure as any theory in physics, and we sure don't want to create theories that go against the empirics.? Rocks don't disobey gravity and children don't grow up sinless.? So we have to accept that the?deck really is stacked against us.

As monotheists we believe that it was not stacked unfairly.? So the only question here is to discover what was the fair set of events that stacked it against us.

The Realist or Augustinian view?says that you and I were actually "in" Adam when he sinned so that we really did "staple our feet to the starting line by our own free will" as you say.? Put the emphasis on the word "really."? Think of the Augustinian?view as the analog of?nonlocality in quantum mechanics.? If subatomic particles can be entangled and indistinguishable and non-locally correlated, even behaving as though they anticipate things outside of the time sequence (in the delayed choice experiments), then perhaps, just perhaps, human souls might also be related in such atemporal and nonlocal ways.? If so, then maybe our souls and Adam's soul were somehow together as one in the garden (or in whatever scenario from prehistory someone may think the garden symbolically represents).

Here is a pithy way to oversimplify it.? The Federal view says Adam sinned in our place; the Augustinian view says we sinned in his place.? (i.e., in the garden)

I'm not saying I believe that this Augustinian view is right, nor that the Federal view is right or wrong.? I just think the Augustinian idea is interesting and might merit more thought.?

Also, think about the MWI interpretation of QM.? In that view, there really are multiple versions of consciousness for each person.? I don't tend to believe MWI, but who knows how strange reality actually is?


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Received on Mon Aug 20 18:10:08 2007

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