November 24, 2020

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

Cahill’s review

I asked a Pelagian friend to give his thoughts on my article about original sin. This is my review of his review.

“I wish to look at OT evidence for the concept of Original Sin. Some say that God only punishes us for our own sins that are done in our own lives.”

The author then goes on to list many verses showing people who faced a temporal judgment for the actions of their ancestors, which I do not deny.

The point is he may believe that we are only punished for our own sin. This disproves the contrary positions axiom and establishes the concept of federal headship.

But this is not what Original Sin, according to the author is teaching. I say according to the author because if you ask Christians what Original Sin is you will get a multitude of differing answers.The author believes that some people are punished eternally for the sin of Adam, along with their own sins.

This doesn’t apply to only Adam’s case, but also to Korah’s rebellion. It was more than just a temporal judgment from God on them. My point was to establish the concept of Federal Headship.

“In Romans 5:12-19, we have the clearest statement on original sin.”

Romans 5:12-19 is appealed to, and interestingly enough it does not contain any of the following phrases used by the author:

vicarious guilt, original sin, sinful nature, forensic guilt, federal head, corporately culpable, total depravity, & inherited guilt

The issue is the Bible doesn’t also say trinity, the deity of Christ, Sola Scriptura, or any English words for that matter. So, his objection is self-refuting. He has to move past the mere occurrence of words, but the Biblical concept that undergirds them.

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”

As Christ was both raised physically and spiritually is the issue of the chapter as some at Corinth was doubting the resurrection. For the chapter stresses the bodily resurrection. Which fits with our knowledge that sin is a necessary prerequisite for death in both senses. So, if any person dies it implies that they are guilty of sin.”
I may misunderstand this, due to the sentence beginning with “As” being worded awkwardly. While I agree that sin is a prerequisite from both physical and the second death, the author makes the leap that physical death is caused by the sin of the person, rather than Adam (Genesis 3:19). If the death he speaks of is the second death, I agree that is because of the sin of the person (Romans 5:12), not Adam.

Well, Shawn misses the point. He believes man is sinless at birth and yet abortions take place. That physical death is passed from Adam to his progeny shows that they were held guilty of his transgression. That God’s punishments are for sin and they are punished implies they are guilty of sin. The second death is about eschatological judgment and is not in view in Romans 5, but spiritual death is included in what Paul is talking about here.

“In Ephesians 2:3, we have clear proof that men from birth are in sin.”
Ephesians 2:3 say that people are in sin “by nature”, not ‘birth’.

It may not be translated that in many translations, but nonetheless that is the meaning.

“The “by nature” in BDAG means this “Condition or circumstances as determined by birth, natural endowment/ condition , nature , especially as inherited from one’s ancestor, in contrast to status or characteristics that are acquired after birth.”

Does BDAG only have one entry for the word translated as “nature”? Thayer’s Greek Lexicon has four entries for the word translated as ‘nature’. I agree with the lexicon that the third entry fits Ephesians 2:3:
“c. a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature: ἦμεν φύσει τέκνα ὀργῆς, by (our depraved) nature we were exposed to the wrath of God,Ephesians 2:3 (this meaning is evident from the preceding context, and stands in contrast with the change of heart and life wrought through Christ by the blessing of divine grace;φύσει πρός τάς κολασεις ἐπιεικῶς ἔχουσιν οἱΦαρισαῖοι, Josephus, Antiquities 13, 10, 6. (Others (see Meyer) would lay more stress here upon the constitution in which this ‘habitual course of evil’ has its origin, whether that constitution be regarded (with some) as already developed at birth, or (better) as undeveloped; cf. Aristotle, pol. 1, 2, p. 1252{b}, 32f οἷον ἕκαστον ἐστι τῆς γενέσεωςτελεσθεισης, ταύτην φαμέν τήν φύσιν εἶναιἑκάστου, ὥσπερ ἀνθρώπου, etc.; see the examples in Bonitz’s index under the word. Cf. Winers Grammar, § 31, 6a.)).”

Well, BDAG is a much more accurate lexicon and the phrase means sometimes “by birth” in Pauline usage (Rom. 2:27; 11:24; Gal. 2:15). BDAG gives 4 possible meanings, but delegates this usage in Ephesian 2:3 to the meaning I provided. BDAG states:

① condition or circumstance as determined by birth, natural endowment/condition, nature, esp. as inherited fr. one’s ancestors, in contrast to status or characteristics that are acquired after birth (Isocr. 4, 105 φύσει πολίτης; Isaeus 6, 28 φύσει υἱός; Pla., Menex. 245d φύσει βάρβαροι, νόμῳ Ἕλληνες; Just., A I, 1, 1 Καίσαρος φύσει υἱῷ; SIG 720, 3; OGI 472, 4; 558, 6 al.; PFay 19, 11.—Theoph. Ant. 1, 13 [p. 86, 16]) ἡμεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι Gal 2:15 (cp. Ptolemaeus, Περὶ Ἡρῴδου τ. βασιλέως: no. 199 Jac. [I A.D.] Ἰουδαῖοι … ἐξ ἀρχῆς φυσικοί; Jos., Ant. 7, 130; φύσει Λιμναίου IK XXXVII, 15, 3 of the birth daughter of L. in contrast to her adoptive relationship w. one named Arsas). ἡ ἐκ φύσεως ἀκροβυστία the uncircumcision that is so by nature (a ref. to non-Israelites, who lack the moral cultivation of those who are circumcised and yet ‘observe the upright requirements of the law’ [Ro 2:26]. Israelites who violate their responsibilities to God, despite their privileged position indicated by receipt of circumcision and special revelation, run the risk of placing themselves in the condition of the uncircumcised) Ro 2:27. ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς we were, in our natural condition (as descendants of Adam), subject to (God’s) wrath Eph 2:3 (the position of φύσει betw. the two words as Plut., Mor. 701a; DTurner, Grace Theological Journal 1, ’80, 195–219). The Christians of Tralles have a blameless disposition οὐ κατὰ χρῆσιν, ἀλλὰ κατὰ φύσιν not from habit, but by nature ITr 1:1 (here the contrast is between perfunctory virtue and spontaneous or instinctive behavior; Pindar sim. extolled the virtues of athletes who, in contrast to those w. mere acquired learning, reflected their ancestral breeding for excellence: O. 7, 90–92; P. 10, 11–14; N. 3, 40–42; 6, 8–16). οἱ κατὰ φύσιν κλάδοι the natural branches Ro 11:21, 24c. ἡ κατὰ φύσιν ἀγριέλαιος a tree which by nature is a wild olive vs. 24a; opp. παρὰ φύσιν contrary to nature vs. 24b; s. lit. s.v. ἀγριέλαιος and ἐλαία 1. Onon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 1069). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. κατὰ and παρὰ φύσιν s. MPohlenz, Die Stoa I ’48, 488c.
-Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon