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philologos
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 sins or Sin?

It has been a pattern among most evangelicals for many years to distinguish between "Sin, the nature" and "sins, the actions". Perhaps this would be a more useful place to start. Do you recognize that the scripture doesn't only use the word 'sins' for specific transgression but also as a dynamic power?

If we can agree with this we can then move on to where Sin; the dynamic power comes from.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/9/4 11:53Profile
nrambeck
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Joined: 2006/9/2
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 Re:

If congenital means "from birth" whether inherited or not, then I think that word still miscommunicates your intention. The doctrine of original sin specifically makes the point that sin and guilt are passed from Adam on to each generation.

If I understand correctly, the only distinction you are making is that sin is not necessarily iherited as a physical trait. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you do believe that sin and guilt are inherited, just possible in some non-corporeal way.

Finney and others during his day used the word constitution to describe both the physical and non-physical makeup of a person. You would be more likely to reject that sin and guilt are inherited aspects of a person's physical constitution, but accept the idea that sin and guilt are inherited aspects of a person's non-physical constitution. In other words, all men have had passed onto them, from conception, actual sin and guilt which is a part of their very nature.

The doctrine of Original Sin teaches that men can't but sin, because it is a fixed part of their very nature. Homosexuals say, "I was born this way," and Christians all over the globe concur. They deny genetic transmission of a "gay gene", but gladly commend the pervert for his good theology because they believe his homosexuality is a fixed part of his nature. I have heard this over and over again about homosexuality, yet the Bible specifically says of homosexuals that they do what is against nature. (Rom. 1:26)

 2006/9/4 11:55Profile
nrambeck
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Joined: 2006/9/2
Posts: 9


 Re: sins or Sin?

Sure, I'm willing to consider the ideas of sin and sin nature with you.

I believe sin only consists in sinning. So I would reject any idea of a sin nature. Since I don't agree with your original assertion we will have to start with you making a case for a sin nature.

By the way, thanks for your calm and reasoned demeanor throughout this conversation. It makes for a much more edifying discussion.

 2006/9/4 12:07Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

nrambeck on 2006/9/4 16:55:51 posted:

Quote:
If congenital means "from birth" whether inherited or not, then I think that word still miscommunicates your intention. The doctrine of original sin specifically makes the point that sin and guilt are passed from Adam on to each generation.


No, it does not. That is one view of 'original sin' only. The question as to how 'original sin' has become transmitted to members of the human race is a separate but related topic of study. In fact, I think you illustrated two possible routes but only one of those routes relates to sin passing from 'generation to generation'.

Quote:
The doctrine of Original Sin teaches that men can't but sin, because it is a fixed part of their very nature. Homosexuals say, "I was born this way," and Christians all over the globe concur. They deny genetic transmission of a "gay gene", but gladly commend the pervert for his good theology because they believe his homosexuality is a fixed part of his nature. I have heard this over and over again about homosexuality, yet the Bible specifically says of homosexuals that they do what is against nature. (Rom. 1:26)

Whoah, there. You cannot jump from the general to the particular in this way. Christians all over the world do NOT concur that homosexuals are 'born that way'. I could introduce to you hundreds of Christians who would never 'concur' such a thing.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/9/4 12:15Profile
philologos
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 Re:

nrambeck on 2006/9/4 17:07:05 posted:

Quote:
I believe sin only consists in sinning. So I would reject any idea of a sin nature. Since I don't agree with your original assertion we will have to start with you making a case for a sin nature.


Happy to oblige! :-D

In Romans 5 Paul presents 'sin' as a king upon a throne.Rom. 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Paul also claims that 'death' reigns. Rom. 5:14 (KJVS) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Rom. 5:17 (KJVS) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
In the same section he refers to sin being a master in that he describes some as 'bondslaves to sin'Rom. 6:6 (KJVS) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom. 6:16 (KJVS) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom. 6:17 (KJVS) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom. 6:20 (KJVS) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

So here is my question, is this one monster or many? Does every transgression create the despot? If so, how many times will God have to deal with it in my life?

Is the 'old man' of Rom 6:6 constantly recreated with every individual transgression? If so how many times will it have to be 'co-crucified with Christ'?


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Ron Bailey

 2006/9/4 12:31Profile
nrambeck
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 Re:

Quote:

In Romans 5 Paul presents 'sin' as a king upon a throne.

Rom. 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Paul also claims that 'death' reigns.

Rom. 5:14 (KJVS) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Rom. 5:17 (KJVS) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)


In the same section he refers to sin being a master in that he describes some as 'bondslaves to sin'

Rom. 6:6 (KJVS) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom. 6:16 (KJVS) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom. 6:17 (KJVS) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom. 6:20 (KJVS) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.



All of these scriptures you gave portray sin and death as persons (both a king/ruler and a slavemaster). Since I am sure you don't believe that sin is actually a person, wouldn't a simple reading of these scriptures assume that Paul is personifying the guilt of sin?

Quote:
So here is my question, is this one monster or many? Does every transgression create the despot? If so, how many times will God have to deal with it in my life?



Sin is not a monster. The people who do the sinning are the monsters. Also, the sins people commit don't create a despot. Sinning simply incurs guilt.

Quote:
Is the 'old man' of Rom 6:6 constantly recreated with every individual transgression? If so how many times will it have to be 'co-crucified with Christ'?



The 'old man' of Rom 6:6 is a reference to the Christian's guilty state before being washed by the blood of Jesus. While a Christian may continue to commit sins, he is to "reckon" himself dead to sin and to the law. The guilty man therefore cannot be revived. Christians who have submitted themselves to the gospel have had all their sins forgiven; past, present and future. They are no longer subject to the condemnation of the law, nor it's consequence, which is spiritual death.


 2006/9/6 12:21Profile
philologos
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 Re:

For myself a key truth is to be found in Rom 5:12. This passage comprises a series of aorist tenses. Aorist is usually translated as a past tense and some of its forms has the sense of a single action as compared to multiple or continuous action.

The KJV has translated this as “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
(Rom 5:12 KJVS) which has caused some to make a distinction between 'entered/passed' and 'have sinned'. To get the repetitive sense of the verse it is helpful to check out Youngs Literal Translation“because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin the death; and thus to all men the death did pass through, for that all did sin;”
(Rom 5:12 YNG) He makes the point well by adding the word 'did' in each instance.

The "have sinned' would be the usual translation for the Perfect tense and to switch as the KJV has done has led some to separate the 'all have sinned' to a separate time zone as though other men share the consequences of Adam's sin only when they have added their own to it. This, as I understand it, was Finney's position. In his view it was a covenant established by Adam's action but which we enter only by the act of our first conscious sin. In this view, men are only 'in Adam' as a result of their own transgression.

The Youngs Literal above makes another point clearer. Adam's transgression was the route 'through which' Sin entered the world. This is a startling statement. Why was Eve's sin not the route by which Sin entered the world? Chronologically, her sin preceded Adam's.

It is instructive to see the way in which God holds Adam uniquely responsble for the events in Eden. The consequences of Eden are expressed in two parallel passages:Gen. 3:14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, [u]Because thou hast done this[/u], thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen. 3:17 And unto Adam he said, [u]Because thou hast hearkened[/u] unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen. 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen. 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. There are consequences for the woman although they are never referred to as a 'curse' but the consequences for the Serpent and for Adam are causal. The sentence passed on the Serpent and upon Adam are very clear. It is helpful to read this passage and see how the womans destiny is ultimately determined by the man's. You need to do it in a KJV so that you can see the 'thees' and 'thous' where God speaks not to the couple but to Adam expressly. In the section from v17 God says that the ground is 'cursed' for Adam's sake. Adam is held responsible and not Eve. Adam's sin impacted upon Eve too. It was Adam who was specifically expelled from Eden. Of course, Eve followed him but the expulsion order was addressed to Adam alone.

It all focusses upon this 'one man' and his 'one sin'. This is the truth that Paul picks up in Romans 5:15,17“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
(Rom 5:15-19 KJVS) Just see how this whole things rests on Adam's action in those verses. As a result of the 'one' many died. It was 'one' that sinned. Through 'one' man's offence death reigned by 'one'. By the 'offence of one' judgment came upon all. By 'one man's disobedience' many were made sinners.

I struggle to see how these verses can be interpreted in any other way that to see that one man's action had a race-wide consequence. Perhaps, I'll pause to hear how you would explain them.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/9/6 12:21Profile
nrambeck
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 Re: Romans 5

Romans chapter 5 is usually used as the major proof text for original sin and sin nature. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why Romans 5 would seem to teach that sin and guilt were spread to the entire race through the sin of Adam. Especially since Ezek. 18 teaches explicitly that that cannot happen.

Then I saw it. The only possible way to interpret Rom. 5 as teaching the universal transmission of sin and guilt from Adam to all mankind is if you are a Universalist. Universalism teaches that the atoning death of Jesus Christ is applied to all men passively. Calvinist theology teaches that the atonement is applied to some men passively. Arminian (Free Will) theology teaches that the atonement is available to all men, but only applied to those who receive it.

Rom. 5:12-21 is a simple repeatition of the same parallelism, which is this (in my own words): In the same way that Adam sinned and paved the way for others to follow him in sin, Jesus performed a righteous act that paved the way for others to follow him in righteousness.

Rom. 5:19 summarizes the parallelism like this: "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

If you believe as a Universalist that righteousness is passed on to all men regardless of whether they accept it, then it is perfectly reasonable to teach from the above verse that sin and guilt is passed on to all men through Adam regardless of whether they follow in sin or not.

If you believe as a Calvinist does that righteousness is passed on to only some men regardless of whether they accept it, then it would not be reasonable to teach from the above verse that sin and guilt is passively passed on to all men through Adam.

If you believe as I do (Free Will) that righteousness is offered to all through the atonement, but only passed to those who receive it; then it is not reasonable to teach from the above verse that sin and guilt is passively passed to all men regardless of whether they following in sin or not.

Romans 5 teaches thus: That Adam sinned and death entered the world through his sin. Then death was passed on to all men, because all followed in sin (Rom. 5:12). Jesus was the anti-type of Adam. He came to redeem men from their sin and guilt. He provided the example of righteousness and a way to follow him in it (through the atonement). The example and the way of righteousness was provided by Jesus Christ, but only those who receive the gospel are made righteous.

Since you disagree with my conclusions, let me know how you believe I've misinterpretted the scriptures here.

 2006/9/6 13:31Profile









 Re:

Sin is a relationship. It is wrong "being" for which I am not responsible. Why? Adam did it. He placed this curse upon us for which we can do nothing about. Thank God, the Man Jesus, did.

The guilt trip forced upon us by Augustine and Calvin, has been a measuring device wrongly used by them. In other words, one must "feel" and express guilt. He must confess his sin even though he may be a righteous God fearing man, blameless before God. A more reasonable expression from this man would be one of Joy rather than guilt. Does this make sense to some?

Respectfully,

Ormly

 2006/9/6 15:27
philologos
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 Re:

nrambeck on 2006/9/6 18:31:00 posted:

Quote:
Romans chapter 5 is usually used as the major proof text for original sin and sin nature. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why Romans 5 would seem to teach that sin and guilt were spread to the entire race through the sin of Adam. Especially since Ezek. 18 teaches explicitly that that cannot happen.

You persist it joining 'sin and guilt' together although I have made it clear that I am not defending that position. I believe in 'original sin' but NOT 'original guilt'. Ezek 18 is declaring a well established truth that 'guilt is not hereditary'. It is also true, by implication that 'sins' are not hereditary. You have set up a straw man. I am not defending these propositions.

Quote:
Then I saw it. The only possible way to interpret Rom. 5 as teaching the universal transmission of sin and guilt from Adam to all mankind is if you are a Universalist. Universalism teaches that the atoning death of Jesus Christ is applied to all men passively. Calvinist theology teaches that the atonement is applied to some men passively. Arminian (Free Will) theology teaches that the atonement is available to all men, but only applied to those who receive it.

I had hoped that we were going to have a discussion on this topic. This will be difficult if you begin it by calling me names. If I was forced into one of your three categories I would take my place with Wesley as 'Free Will'. I am NOT Universalist and neither was Wesley. This is a slur which warrants an apology.

Quote:
Rom. 5:12-21 is a simple repeatition of the same parallelism, which is this (in my own words): In the same way that Adam sinned and paved the way for others to follow him in sin, Jesus performed a righteous act that paved the way for others to follow him in righteousness.

These are certainly your words and certainly not those of Paul. I think perhaps you did not read my previous posting before posting this. You are missing the repetition of the Aorist in Rom 5:12. Paul is not saying that 'men have sinned' nor that 'men do sin' but that all men 'did sin'. He is referring to a specific point in time not a human pattern.

In this passage of scripture Paul frequently has a definite article before the word 'sin' and before the word 'death'. He is not referring to sin as a single infringement or to sin in general but to 'The Sin'. As a result of Adam's disobedience 'The Sin' entered the world, and through the agency of 'The Sin'... 'The Death followed. and so The Death passed through to all men, for that all did sin. He is recounting, of course, the history that we read in Gen 3. God had declared his sentence, in advance, on the transgressor of his one law. “and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it — dying thou dost die.’”
(Gen 2:17 YNG) This doubling up of words, 'dying thou dost die' is a Hebrew idiom of intensification. This 'death' was not physical death. Adam did not die physically in the day that 'the day of his eating'. But The Death did enter the human race on the day that Adam transgressed.

Paul declared the history of our race and makes Adam responsible for what happened. This is exactly what we read in Gen 3. God hold the Serpent and Adam responsible for what occurs and to both says 'because you have...'. He does not use this language with Eve. Her transgression did not have the same effect on the human race that Adam's did. This is very plaing if the story is read in the KJV and the 'thees and thous' carefully noted. Even in the exclusion from the Eden it was the man who was expelled. Eve certainly followed him but it was the man who bore the guilt.

This is what we find again in Romans. “...by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one;"
(Rom 5:17 ASV) This says quite plainly that The Death reigned as the result of a single trespass by Adam. It continues to make it clear that the sentence that came on the human race was the result of one man's sin;...Therefore, as one trespass[a] led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness[b] leads to justification and life for all men... Rom 5:18 ESV The Sin entered and as a result of The Sin, The Death sentence came on the race'. I hope you note that I am not talking about 'guilt'. 'Guilt' is blame-worthiness and as far as I can see the Bible nowhere suggests that 'guilt' is transmitted from Adam to his progeny. I am talking about The Sin which entered the race and The Death which followed it.

Quote:
Romans 5 teaches thus: That Adam sinned and death entered the world through his sin. Then death was passed on to all men, because all followed in sin (Rom. 5:12).

Romans 5 does not teach this for the reasons expressed above. If it were so my single act of sin would make me a sinner and my single act of righteousness would make me righteous. Neither are biblical revelations.

Quote:
Jesus was the anti-type of Adam. He came to redeem men from their sin and guilt. He provided the example of righteousness and a way to follow him in it (through the atonement). The example and the way of righteousness was provided by Jesus Christ, but only those who receive the gospel are made righteous.

You broken your own pattern here. If your position were the case my righteous would be my own work. Adam is the anti-type of Christ because those who are 'in him' share his nature. Hence 'in Adam' all die, 'in Christ' shall all be made alive.

Every individual of our race is either in Adam or in Christ. The two different states cannot coexist. Those in Adam share his nature, those in Christ share his.

The corporate nature of these things is illustrated very wonderfully in “And, so to say, through Abraham even Levi, who receiveth tithes, hath paid tithes; for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.”
(Heb 7:9-10 ASV)Levi was 'in Abraham' when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek and, from God's persepective, Levi 'has paid tithes'. Levi did not pay his own tithes. He became a tithe-payer' to Melchizedek in Abraham's action. There is a corporate reality which the western mind struggles with. Levi did not become a 'tithe payer' as a result of heredity. He was 'in Abraham' and he shares Abraham's history. By first birth I was in Adam. I did not receive 'sinner-hood' from my father but from Adam. This is why I do not like the language of 'hereditary sin'. I do not believe in transmission through the male line. The only way to change my congenital nature is for me to have a re-generation. By that miracle I am 'in Christ' and in Christ I have a new history.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/9/6 15:36Profile





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