Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically (was Re: [asa] (introducing... sin) "Evolutionary Creation" book comments)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Fri Oct 02 2009 - 20:45:52 EDT

Murray Hogg wrote:
> Here I have to say I find it curious that conservative evangelicals
> maintain such a strong attachment to an Augustinian view of the
> atonement whilst rejecting an Augustinian view of human nature - no
> wonder there's confusion about the issue of sin and atonement!
> Personally, I think Luther was right when he emphasised that our choices
> arise not out of our free-will, but out of our enslaved will - i.e. out
> of our desire to please ourselves rather than to please God.

PS: I might just add to this, lest it be misunderstood that the notion of the bondage of the will must necessarily lead one to adopt a Reformed or Lutheran theological perspective...

Even John Wesley (the Arminian theologian of the Enlightenment!) acknowledged that humans are, by nature, in bondage to what he regarded as "fallen" human nature (personally, I think of it as just "natural" human nature).

His point of distinction with Calvinists was not that they espoused bondage to sin whilst Wesley espoused free-will. Rather the point of distinction lies (crudely speaking) in the order of salvation.

Calvinists (crudely speaking) think of spiritual enlightenment coming AFTER the moment of repentance whereas Wesley (again, crudely speaking) thought of spiritual enlightenment coming BEFORE the moment of repentance.

Wesley did NOT (as is often erroneously charged) think that humans in their natural state have free will, rather he believed that humans under the prevenient action of the Holy Spirit were delivered from the bondage of sin in order that they might be able to respond to God's gracious offer of salvation.

I don't really know where the idea that we choose - of our own moral compulsion - to follow God or not, but I believe it correct to state that no major theologian prior to about the middle of the 19th century would countenance such a notion.

Historically, "bondage to sin" is Christian orthodoxy - what's been debated is how we escape from the desires of our sinful nature.


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Received on Fri Oct 2 20:46:23 2009

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