More on original sin



Jack Poirier is a contributing writer to a website called Jerusalem Perspective which touches on the Hebraic roots of Christianity. He also has his take on the long cherished doctrine of Original Sin (at I even printed out the article years back when it was freely available and sadly I accidentally threw it out.  Here is an excerpt of his introduction to the topic:

I sing not, but (in sighes abrupt),
Sob out the State of Man, corrupt
By th’ Old Serpent’s banefull breath:
Whose strong Contagion still extends
To every creature that descends
From the old Little World of Death.

These lines from Henry Smith represent for many, as for their author, what they consider to be a central tenet of biblical Christianity: the idea that humanity’s moral corruption springs from the sin in the Garden. It usually comes as a shock to learn that the Church did not always teach this, and in the wake of such an enlightenment, it is often supposed that Augustine, who formulated the doctrine in his fight against Pelagius (early 5th century), only made explicit what had already been implicit in the Church’s understanding.

This is not to say that everyone within theological academia regards the doctrine of original sin as a foreign body within the Church’s theology. Certainly, scholars who specialize in Paul’s theology often refer to the fact that the doctrine of original sin is not found in Paul’s letters, or, for that matter, anywhere in the Bible. But those who name theology (rather than biblical studies) as their specialty often disagree. (E.g., a recent article in Ephemerides Theologicae Lovaniense finds the idea of “a Christianity without original sin” hardly fathomable.) These diverging views on the doctrine of original sin represent a great chasm fixed between scholars and theologians today. To those who approach the history of doctrine from the perspective

Unfortunately, this is far as I can currently go on the splendid article, the rest of heading instructs:

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Never fear there is a message board connected with the website which discusses the article and again Jack Poirier gives his two cents there.  Go to  to check it out!