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Featured What about the doctrine of Original Sin?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by robustheologian, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. robustheologian

    robustheologian Well-Known Member
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    Another touchy subject in the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism is Original Sin. It seems to some Christians a very 'gloomy' term. Some even go as far as to reject the classical definition of original sin citing that it isn't found in Scripture (I've always thought that to be a poor argument since a lot of beliefs central to Christianity aren't found in scripture).

    While a lot of Christians do accept a doctrine of original sin, it appears historic Calvinism has the strongest and most biblical belief of it. So much so that the concept is bedrock to Reformed theology for those who have followed it to its logical conclusion.

    What I often wonder is:
    (1) What doctrine of original sin do Christians who don't identify with Calvinism hold?
    And, (2) in the case of Calvinism and original sin, is it even possible (meaning logically consistent) to hold to the historic definition of original sin without ascribing to the theology referred to as Calvinism?
     
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    1. There are many. Most non-Calvinistic Baptists hold to the same idea of original sin as do Calvinists. So to discuss this, perhaps it would be best to begin with defining the Calvinist view of original sin (which I'll leave up to you as this is your thread).

    2. Yes, it is possible. But I think it would be difficult. The "logic" becomes hard because one must move from a state of depravity as a result of original sin to non-depravity without attributing to man that move or to God making that transition a necessity. One example would be that Christ draws all men to Himself but not in a way as to save all men. They are changed from a state of depravity but not necessarily to the degree they will ultimately be saved.
     
  3. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Probably.
    Why couldn't Original Sin and Prevenient Grace (ala Wesleyanism) be compatible.
     
  4. robustheologian

    robustheologian Well-Known Member
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    The issue isn't if it's compatible with prevenient grace. It is. The truth is Calvinists believe in prevenient grace...just not the universal brand Wesleyanism teaches. The issue is whether original sin is compatible with the Arminian doctrine of sin—the doctrine that disagrees with Calvinism's view of total inability (also called total depravity).
     
  5. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Wesley believed in both.
     
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  6. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Based on your response to my attempt to answer, I think you need to clarify what you are asking in Question #2. :confused:
     
  7. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    John Wesley, Original Sin
     
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  8. robustheologian

    robustheologian Well-Known Member
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    Well, we understand the definition of original sin is inherited sinful nature AS WELL as guilt. But where the line is drawn between historic Calvinism and other streams of Protestantism is that Calvinists hold to an immediate imputation of that nature and guilt. Basically, Adam's sin is counted to our account. The problem with this is that it requires a doctrine of what's called federalism—a historically Calvinist doctrine.

    Basically, I'm saying original sin ties in with federalism which ties in with penal substitution which ultimately ties in with a particular atonement—what's traditionally referred to as limited atonement.

    So it all starts with my first question: Do non-Calvinists hold to the historically Reformed definition of original sin that I detailed above? I would think no because I don't see how one could but deny a limited atonement. Which caused me to ask question #2: Is it logically consistent to deny limited atonement but hold to that definition of original sin. Hope that made sense.
     
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  9. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    So as long as we are in "cult generation mode" ... let us start with "because of Adam's Original Sin, all human beings are born in Total Depravity and construct a series of NON-CALVINIST sotieriologies that each deny one of the letters in TULIP.

    • (No-Total inability): Although man is born totally unable to save himself, Christ promised that if he was lifted up (and He was) then He would draw all men to himself. Therefore the Holy Spirit will draw each and every person, without exception, to God. For most that will involve hearing the Gospel and for others it will involve a Romans 1 revelation from the universe itself that God exists and deserves the honor due Him as God. At this moment, the Curse is lifted and man is restored to the same freedom that Adam had to choose to accept or reject the salvation offer of God.

    • (No-Unconditional election): Man is born totally incapable of choosing God. However an OMNISCIENT God has looked through the mists of all possibilities and seen which people would have chosen God if they were not burdened by original sin.. These people, and only these people were pre-chosen by God to be drawn to the cross and saved by the power of the Holy Spirit overcoming their fallen nature.

    • (No-Limited atonement): Adam sinned and brought the curse of Total Inability upon all men as the "Federal Head" of the human race. Christ promised that if he was lifted up (and He was) then He would draw all men to himself. Jesus was literally the "second Adam" and the new "Federal Head" for the entire human race, therefore by his death, the penalty was paid and the Adamic Curse was broken. We are not born saved, but neutral - like Adam - with only our personal sins condemning us and the Free Will to choose to accept or reject God's offer.

    • (No-Irresistible grace): Men are born under the curse of original sin and completely incapable of choosing God on their own. However the Word of God is a living thing, more powerful than a sword and able to accomplish what God sent it out to do. It is thus in the HEARING OF THE WORD that one is freed from the power of the curse and given ears to hear ... that one may choose what sort of soil your heart will be for the Word of God to grow in. Grace is a gift, but it is a gift left outside your door with Jesus knocking on that door. The Word has unlocked the door, but only you can open it.

    • (No-Preservation of the saints): Man is incapable of saving himself. God justifies whom He chooses, removing the curse of original sin. The saints are not robots, but free agents that must willingly participate in progressive sanctification. God qualifies you for the race, but only those that finish the race will get the prize. God will never stop encouraging, but many will choose to quit along the way.

    All of these begin with "Adam, Original Sin, Federal Headship and Total Depravity" and end by rejecting something of Calvinism (TULIP). I leave it to you to decide if they are internally logical. (some are definitely not scriptural, but that was not one of your criteria.)
     
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  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Seems to be 3 basic viewpoints in regards to this issue:

    1. We are not affected by Fall of Adam, so we still basically have free will intact to freely decided or reject Jesus as Lord
    2. While all now affected by the fall, God sends to all of us saving grace, and still have enough free will to decide to accept or reject getting saved
    3. All of us died spiritually in Adam, and unable to accept salvation by ourselves if even offered towards hence, hence we need to have Grace given to us for the purpose of saving us now as the chosen and elect of God
     
  11. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I agree. It is a variation on "yes, but".
    If you think of "Original Sin" as an anchor, then the story begins:

    Adam was thrown in the ocean with an ANCHOR chained to his ankle ...
    1. yes, but we don't have an ANCHOR around our ankle.
    2. yes, but our ANCHOR was cut off.
    3. yes, but God pulled us up ANCHOR and all!
    :)
     
  12. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I would modify point 2 as God gave to all of us bolt cutters to use, but up to us to decide to use them!
     
  13. robustheologian

    robustheologian Well-Known Member
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    But this denies federal headship.

    But that looks like confusion within the Godhead if you're saying that the Holy Spirit doesn't regenerate everyone to salvation, or that God only pre-chose those who would be saved, but yet Jesus died for all.
    God elected SOME...the Holy Spirit regenerates SOME...but Christ died for ALL?!?
     
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  14. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    "Oringinal Sin" is simply that one event which gave all mankind a sinful nature.

    Genesis 2:9, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

    Genesis 2:16-17, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

    Genesis 3:22, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: . . ."

    The sinful nature is from knowing evil. Its oringin being God's knowlege. Where is this fact discussed and understood as to how this caused our sinful nature.
     
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  15. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I disagree. Original Sin (IMHO) is that act of Adam (the first sin) which demonstrated that men fall short of the glory of God.

    The assumption is that Adam sinned by eating of the fruit and that his nature changed. Has anyone considered that Adam was not created in the Garden and initially did not have access to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? God created Adam and then placed Adam in the garden. I see the command not to eat of the Tree to be akin to the Law given to Israel. It showed Adam his nature in relation to God. Man falls short of the glory of God.

    So I see two natures - the "flesh" and the "spirit"...not a "fallen" and "unfallen" human nature.
     
  16. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. But the actions of another does not cause others to have the same type of adtions.

    Not an assumption. Genesis 3:11, ". . . Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    True, the actions of one does not cause others to have the same type of actions. But men being held to the standard of God does always result in man falling short of the glory of God. Paul was fairly clear about the "sameness" of sin regardless of the type of actions.

    Genesis 3:11 does not confirm that Adam's nature was changed. In fact, Genesis describes Adam's eyes as being opened to the extent he became "like God" in some aspect.

    I am not saying that the Fall had no consequences. I am saying that the idea of a "fallen nature" is foreign to the Bible. Scripture speaks of two natures - the "flesh" and the "spirit"; a nature in line with the First Adam, and one in line with the Last Adam.
     
  18. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    In regards to Genesis 3:11, we do not agree. The change is stated in Genesis 3:22, ". . . the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: . . ." This seems cut and dry to me.
     
  19. utilyan

    utilyan Well-Known Member
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    Adam could have not only remained sinless, but made every other living being 10x greater.............AND he would still FALL SHORT of the GLORY OF GOD.

    Everyone and everything will ALWAYS FALL SHORT of the glory of God. MAN however, first standard example is Jesus Christ.

    According to Jesus being SINLESS is peace of cake and you don't even earn God's thanks for it. Its basic human.

    Luke 17

    7“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ”
     
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  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree.
    This was the lesson Adam learned when God put him in the Garden. And this was what the Law taught Israel.
     
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