Original Sin: How Does It Fit With Evolution?


#1

Hello, I am interested in the philosophical/theological understanding of Original Sin. I’m a theistic evolutionist, yet also believe in Original Sin, since I see its affects all the time. So I was wondering how to bring these two together more smoothly. I’d really appreciate a short answer: ie a paragraph summary. Thank you


(George Brooks) #2

@Narnian

You’ll probably find more than one version of this discussion - - but this is MY version:

In an evolutionary scenario, there is a moral difference between non-human primates and the creature God considers the First Human.

Naturally, how this definition is established is something that God decides, but it involves the first creature to be held “Morally Responsible” for his actions. What you would call “Original Sin” is the inherent weakness of flesh, or of non-divine creation.

The Genesis story makes it clear that even Adam’s sinful nature would not prevent him from benefiting from eating of the Tree of Life. In fact, it is because even sinful humans can be immortal by means of the Tree of Life that God has to physically separate humans from the Tree… protected by an angel and the flaming sword.

What you want to call “Original Sin” might be better described as “Originally Sinful” … for all come short of the glory of God. There must always be the First primate to be held morally responsible. And if the Baptists are correct about the useless nature of infant baptism, then even the very first moral hominid doesn’t become MORAL until sometime before puberty…when the first moral hominid attains a moral maturity!


#3

Thank you: that is a really great answer :slight_smile:


(Christy Hemphill) #4

@Narnian Maybe you could first clarify what you mean when you say you believe in “original sin.” Do you mean you believe all humans are born inherently broken with a propensity to sin? Do you mean total depravity? Do you mean you believe that all humans bear the guilt for Adam’s original sin? Is a historical Adam an essential part of your concept of original sin? People have different ways of dealing with the original sin question depending on their personal understanding of what original sin entails.


#5

Do you mean you believe all humans are born inherently broken with a propensity to sin?

Yes, and in need of a saviour.

Do you mean total depravity? Do you mean you believe that all humans bear the guilt for Adam’s original sin? Is a historical Adam an essential part of your concept of original sin?

I like how George has described it: ““Original Sin” is the inherent weakness of flesh, or of non-divine creation.”


(Christy Hemphill) #6

Here are some resources on our website that are probably deeper and more well-researched than the more informal responses you might get from other forum participants. Feel free to pull some quotes out for further discussion here if you want.

Post by Ted Davis delving into the history of the Evangelical view of Adam/Original Sin: http://biologos.org/blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/evolution-and-the-fall

The post above includes a link to a blog post by NT scholar Scot McKnight on the topic of Adam and the Fall/Original sin: http://biologos.org/blogs/guest/the-wax-adam-historical-biographical-archetypal-or-literary/

At the top of this post on Adam by Robin Collins are a bunch of links to other posts on the topic of Original Sin/ the Fall from BioLogos: http://biologos.org/blogs/ted-davis-reading-the-book-of-nature/paul-and-the-fall-whats-it-really-about


(system) #7

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