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Author Topic:   Importance of Original Sin
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 58 of 1198 (634095)
09-19-2011 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by purpledawn
09-18-2011 8:28 AM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
jaywill writes:

The Bible does not teach that we are sinners because we sin. Rather it really teaches that we sin because we are sinners. We are constituted with a sinning nature.

Purpledawn writes:

You aren't really saying anything different than I am. Humans are capable of breaking the rules of civilization. Getting into why is more of a psychological discussion, not Bible Study.

The A&E story tells the audience that people will go against the laws of the land if it suits their purpose. It also tells us that people suffer consequences for breaking the laws of the land.

The main point of this thread though is that the A&E story isn't necessary to the Jewish religion. The story can be removed and it won't damage the religion. It isn't the foundation of the religion. Jar also commented that it wasn't necessary even for some sects of the Christian religion.

IMO, the Paul's arguments do not depend on the A&E story either. We can remove the part with Adam in it and it wouldn't change Paul's point concerning sin.

Paul's argument is that all mankind stands guilty before a holy God (rather than an unholy civilization). He could simply state it - as one could the answer to a math problem - without showing his work. But the argument is better made by showing how it is you come to make the claims you do.

If setting out the remedy to a problem it might be considered important to establish that there is indeed a problem to be resolved.

-

It may be in our nature to break the rules, but I don't see in the OT or the NT the idea that we don't have control over our "sinful" nature. Even in the story with Cain God said Cain didn't need to give into the "evil" nature. Paul's point also is that we are all responsible for our actions. Belief doesn't absolve responsibility.

The argument appears to be that we have control over our sin in the same way that the pilot of a stricken aircraft has control over the place where it ploughs headlong into the earth. No amount of control can avert the crash and so the offer is put that the pilot bale out.

-

I showed in Message 25 that using Paul's writing as a proof text was done many many years after the fact. The idea of original sin wasn't developed by Paul or from Paul's writings.

The Original Sin Doctrine was influenced by Platonism according to this article: The Original View of Original Sin

The question isn't where the idea might or might not have arisen. The question is whether we can conclude original sin today from the text. I think that's certainly a possibility.

-

Paul stressed that we are saved by faith alone, but this faith is inseparable from following God's rules on how we are to live. Right behavior is still necessary. Sin intentionally and one still suffers consequences.

If you are defining saving faith as involving 'believing in what God says' and if believing that God says he has provided you a sure salvation from your failure to adhere to his rules then faith and rule-following are separable.

You are saved despite failing (and continuing to fail) to follow God's rules.

-

Removing the A&E story or realizing that it is a myth, doesn't change Paul's teachings or the teachings of Jesus. It really wouldn't have a negative impact on the Christian religion overall. How it impacts individuals may be a different issue. People tend to have varying depths of belief concerning various parts of a religion. It depends on what one's foundation is built upon.

How crucial is the A&E story to the Christian Religion? That is the question.

Establishing man as constitutionally unholy is, I think, vital. A proof of this comes from a myriad of world where man is told that if he tries hard enough, he can make himself right with God.

Someone convinced that their very constitution prevents them from ever meeting the standard will be forced to seek another solution. Salvation by (Christian-style) faith is the single alternative to various shades of working for your salvation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by purpledawn, posted 09-18-2011 8:28 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by purpledawn, posted 09-19-2011 8:23 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 61 of 1198 (634098)
09-19-2011 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by purpledawn
09-19-2011 8:23 AM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Purpledawn writes:

We know the point of Paul's argument, but the creation story doesn't present mankind as constitutionally unholy.

Paul's interpretation of the creation story see's man rendered constitutionally unholy. And rendering man constitutionally unholy is critical to the Christian argument.

-

quote:
Paul could still make his argument by using the songs and prophets as he did. The creation story isn't vital to his argument. Even before Jesus there was Biblical criticism and Jews who understood that the creation stories were legends, not fact.

Paul could have used any other disobedient person to contrast Christ.


What the Jews understood the creation stories to be isn't the issue, it's what Christianity (with Paul as expositor of our understanding) understands them to be.

Paul pointing to this or that disobedient person doesn't quite explain the constitutional element of sin. For constitutional things you have to go back to the start and heart of the matter.

-

The concept wasn't passed down from Paul. The lack of a creation story doesn't negate the teachings of Jesus or Paul.

If sin a foundational issue, where else but to it's root do you go to illustrate it thus. So what a man crying out that he was "conceived in iniquity" if we don't know why that is so?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by purpledawn, posted 09-19-2011 8:23 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by purpledawn, posted 09-19-2011 9:05 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 65 of 1198 (634107)
09-19-2011 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by purpledawn
09-19-2011 9:05 AM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
David was praying for forgiveness. Exaggerating one's level of unworthiness is not uncommon. It isn't necessarily a statement of fact.

My point with "conceived in iniquity" was to illustrate the question begged. Conceived begs the question as to the situation that brought about the conception being so. It's a regression that must go back to the start. As Paul does.

Paul makes use of all these things whether they are fact or not. I still don't think it changes Paul's teachings. I realize it does make a difference for those who feel sin is part of the foundation. I don't.

We were examining whether the A&E story is critical to Christian thinking. You can appreciate why it is: the good news is as good because it deals with bad news. The bad news is made as bad as it is because of mans very constitution.

Anything less than constitutional sin is perhaps self-resolvable. The denial of this is critical to Christianity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by purpledawn, posted 09-19-2011 9:05 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 10:18 AM iano has responded
 Message 67 by purpledawn, posted 09-19-2011 12:22 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 68 of 1198 (634125)
09-19-2011 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by jar
09-19-2011 10:18 AM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Jar writes:

Original sin does not enter into the story at all and is unneeded.

If defining sin as human beings knowingly and wilfully disobeying God then the story does give us an account of the original sin. It presents us with the first two human beings knowingly and wilfully disobeying God.

Afterall.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 10:18 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 2:34 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 69 of 1198 (634127)
09-19-2011 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by purpledawn
09-19-2011 12:22 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
purpledawn writes:

Unfortunately believing in God or Jesus doesn't change man's constitution.

Fortunately, in God's eyes it does. The term is 'new creation'. Whatever about the whys and wherefores of the new creation sinning, his constitution is indeed changed.

That humans are capable of good and bad behavior is common among many of the creation stories. It's just observation put into a story. Even pagans could appreciate the comparison.

Paul using Adam is a creative way to say that it has always been in our nature to sin. Without the creation story, Paul could still make the same argument. Not having Adam wouldn't change his argument, just his example.

Without the Adam story Paul has no foundation to work back to in terms of the constitutionality of our sinfulness. And the constitutionality of our sin is central to the good news of the gospel he is in the process of presenting and explaining.

If you suppose he has another potential explanation then perhaps you could suggest one? "It's in our nature" only kicks the can up the road. I mean, "it's our nature" doesn't explain anything.

I agree the story is critical to some Christian thinking. As I said before, it depends on one's foundation. If one's foundation is based on the creation story, it is critical. If it isn't, not so critical. I don't believe it was critical to Paul in that his belief would have been affected.

It just so happens that he places this explanatory element into the book of explanation. You might suppose his including it a by-the-by but that doesn't really stack up - unless you are supposing Romans a by-the-by piece of work.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by purpledawn, posted 09-19-2011 12:22 PM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 2:59 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 72 of 1198 (634137)
09-19-2011 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by jar
09-19-2011 2:34 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
jar writes:

S0orry but that is not in the story and in fact the story says just the opposite. Until after they had eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they were not capable of knowingly or willingly disobeying anyone.

God said not to eat. Disobedience is doing that which you are told not to do.

Unless you figure that they didn't know that they had been told not to eat (Eve admits she had been told not to eat) I'm not sure what leg you hope to stand on here.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 2:34 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 5:11 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 73 of 1198 (634138)
09-19-2011 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by New Cat's Eye
09-19-2011 2:59 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Catholic Scienstis writes:

He could've just used a different creation myth. You don't think the events described in the story of Adam and Eve actually happened, do you?

This presumes the story a myth. Paul doesn't given any hint that he thinks it is so I've no reason to suppose it other than true.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 2:59 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 3:27 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 75 of 1198 (634148)
09-19-2011 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by New Cat's Eye
09-19-2011 3:27 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Catholic Scientist writes:

The only reason you could have for supposing it other than true would be if Paul gave a hint that he thought it was?

Correct.

Whilst there is good external reason to suppose he isn't speaking of factual events I don't detect that from an internal reading. Then again, there are good external reasons to suppose God does exist at all.

Paul's treatise on gospel mechanics is a sober stitching together of fact. Why would I suppose him suddenly inserting a mythical componant (which happens to work perfectly as far as gospel mechanics goes) to convey an idea for which no other working mechanism is posited?

What about the fact that it couldn't have actually happened?

A fact? Perhaps you mean a scientific fact?


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 Message 74 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 3:27 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 5:12 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 78 of 1198 (634156)
09-19-2011 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by jar
09-19-2011 5:11 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
jar writes:

The leg is that they did not have the capability to know that they should obey.

There is no 'should' element required in order that a person be deemed to have disobeyed. To disobey someone merely means not doing what someone tells you to do.

("Should" and the like find it's root in a knowledge of good and evil. They hadn't got a knowledge of good and evil at the time of choosing and so, weren't in the realm of should/should not)

They could not willfully or knowingly disobey God.

Back to the drawing board you go.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 5:11 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 5:43 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 80 of 1198 (634158)
09-19-2011 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by New Cat's Eye
09-19-2011 5:12 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Catholic Scientist writes:

Why? Don't you see how silly that can get... I don't believe you'll stick to it, so I claim: Iano does not only reject false things because Paul hints they're true.

The only way you can prove me wrong is by showing where Paul says otherwise., which he doesn't... So now you can't suppose my claim is other than true.

I thought I clarified my considering him to be speaking in factual terms. I have a positive reason to suppose adam & eve real - not just his omitting to mention that he was introducing myth.

-

Two things: Just because someone mentions a fictional story does not mean they believe it actually happened. Or, maybe he did think it actually happened and he was just wrong about that.

Although, I suppose you'd have a problem with Paul being wrong about something... who do think this guy is? God incarnate? What about Jesus? Shouldn't he be your man?

Two things: Paul is writing factually (from his perspective). In laying out the detailed componants of the system and showing how they all fit together he won't go and throw in a mythical componant to fulfil a crucial function. Not without saying so.

If he is wrong about this thing then he could be wrong about a lot of things. In which case chuck the book away.

When you say Jesus is 'my man' surely you mean Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are my men - since I've only got what others record Jesus as saying. And so, must assume them correct too. Not that I see conflict between Paul and Jesus - but it's Paul who's tasked with deconstructing the gospel mechanism.
-

No, just a fact fact. The events in the story could not have actually happened as described.

Go on..

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 5:12 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 6:07 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 81 of 1198 (634159)
09-19-2011 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by jar
09-19-2011 5:43 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Of course there is a "should" element.

I don't see that it's required.

If a stranger instructs me to do something and I know nothing about him, there is no particular reason why I should or should not follow his instruction. If I don't obey his instruction I've disobeyed him. Or ignored his instruction if you prefer.

-

You were the one that specified "willfully" and "knowingly" not I.

Knowing you are disobeying and expressing your will unto disobeying don't require a should element. I knowingly and wilfully disobeyed the stranger above.

-

Without the capability to know that they should choose one behavior over another they were incapable of doing wrong.

I agree. But we're not talking about them doing wrong, we're talking about disobeying.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 5:43 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 6:07 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 84 of 1198 (634163)
09-19-2011 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by jar
09-19-2011 6:07 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Jar writes:

We are talking about whether or not original sin is important in Christianity and my position is that its only importance is as a marketing tool and threat.

Certainly threat is an element and since the bible is full of it it does deserve a mention during 'marketing drives'

-

In you example the god you are marketing may well think that Adam and Eve disobeyed him but until they had the capability to know right from wrong god was of no higher standing than the serpent. They had every reason to "obey" the serpent.

Whilst they had no knowledge of right and wrong they had a knowledge of consequences. And consequences was the thing driving the choice made - not right and wrong.

God promised negative consequences, the serpent promised positive consequences. They choose and got negative consequences.

I don't see that the text can be forced to suggest they had more reason to choose this way than that way.

-

There simply was no way they could choose or even understand obey or disobey. Both were simply null concepts.

They could choose alright: gain (promised) positive vs. gain (promised) negative consequences offers choice. Unless you assume the choice was skewed to ensure a particular result.

When disobey merely means not following an instruction and choosing necessitates not following one or other of the instructions given I don't see what there is to understand. Perhaps you could explain?

You'll know your not following an instruction when you choose however. It's kind of obvious.


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 Message 82 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 6:07 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 7:19 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 85 of 1198 (634165)
09-19-2011 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by New Cat's Eye
09-19-2011 6:07 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
Catholic Scientist writes:

How do you know? What makes you think you can speak for Paul?

I'm not claiming infallibility in this. But the internal evidence; the subject matter and 'flavour' of the writing (often described as 'forensic' such is the precision with which the argument is constructed) render a curve ball like this highly unlikely. It's be like dismantling a racing engine and finding a tennis ball fitted to the top of piston rod instead of a piston

-

Maybe the people he was actually writing to understood that it was mythical already? You'll have to help me with the historical aspect of who the letter mentioning A&E was written to...

Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. The book is written to the church in Rome. To Gentiles primarily.

If I was explaining to you the dichotomy between good and evil, and reference Darth Vader from Star Wars, I wouldn't feel the need to go: "Oh yeah, by the way, that shit never really happened". We all know Star Wars is a story.

Romans is more like a car workshop manual. The gospel disassembled into componants so you can see how the whole thing works. It's breathtaking.

This isn't a poetic, meandering treatise on good and evil. It's razorsharp.


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 Message 83 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 6:07 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-19-2011 7:47 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 87 of 1198 (634172)
09-19-2011 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by jar
09-19-2011 7:19 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
jar writes:

Except of course they did not suffer the consequences that the god character in the story threatened.

It doesn't matter whether you agree that the negative consequences delivered on were the one's promised. It doesn't even matter were it that no consequences followed. What matters is that consequences were promised and that they understood consequences would follow. And choose..

-

And again, there is nothing in the story that even hints that they new of "consequences".

Eve displays an understanding of a prohibition imposed by "surely die". She falters in the face of the temptation: "But God did say.." and the serpent has to counter her faltering.

And they saw the fruit was desirable for gain. "If I do this I can obtain my desire" - a positive consequence.

I don't know what brand of Christianity you're peddling but it would want to put all the pages it ripped out, back into it's bibble

And it still has nothing to do with sin or original sin.

Um. When sin has earlier in the discussion been defined as humans disobeying God's instruction and they are the first to disobey God's instructions...*


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 7:19 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 8:09 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 92 of 1198 (634240)
09-20-2011 4:04 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by jar
09-19-2011 8:09 PM


Re: Creation Story and Original Sin
jar writes:

Again, there is nothing in the story that implies they understood what "consequences" even mean and in this case, they made the right choice.

Saying there is nothing isn't the same as dealing with the evidence presented that there was something.

In dealing with the evidence avoid conflating "understanding consequence = a full understanding of what each and every aspect of the consequences would be" with "understanding consequence = understanding that something positive / negative would follow their decision"

The evidence presented follows the latter of the definitions.
-

There is no way anyone can sin without first being able to decide between right and wrong.

The working definition of the Christianity I've been marketing has disobeying God's instruction = sin - without there being a moral element to the disobedience. Countering this brand of Christianity isn't accomplished by inserting definitions of sin utilized by the brand of Christianity you're marketing

-

Dance all you want but there is still nothing in the Adam and Eve story to show that they were even capable of sinning until after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the concept of Original Sun is still unimportant to Christianity, particularly as you try to market it..

...

Edited by iano, : No reason given.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by jar, posted 09-19-2011 8:09 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by jar, posted 09-20-2011 9:51 AM iano has responded

  
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