» » In Adam's Fall: A Meditation on the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin

eBook In Adam's Fall: A Meditation on the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin epub

by Ian A. McFarland

eBook In Adam's Fall: A Meditation on the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin epub
  • ISBN: 1405183659
  • Author: Ian A. McFarland
  • Genre: Other
  • Subcategory: Humanities
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (October 18, 2010)
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • ePUB size: 1433 kb
  • FB2 size 1432 kb
  • Formats lrf rtf doc txt


This engaging and scholarly book offers refreshingly original insights into the contemporary relevance of the Christian doctrine of original sin - one that has inspired fierce debate for the last two millennia.

This engaging and scholarly book offers refreshingly original insights into the contemporary relevance of the Christian doctrine of original sin - one that has inspired fierce debate for the last two millennia.

Engagingly written and infused with scholarly sophistication. In Adam's Fall offers refreshingly original insghts into thecontemporary relevance of a doctrine of Christian teaching that hasinspired fierce debate for over 1,500 years. While unapologetically academic in style, I found this to bemost engagingly written and there are few academic books overrecent years that have brought me as much pleasure and provoked mythinking to such a degree. Challenges the many prevailing opinions about the Christian doctrine of original sin, arguing that it is not only theological defensible, but stimulating and productive for a life of faith.

This engaging and scholarly book offers refreshingly original insights into the contemporary relevance of the Christian doctrine of. .

This engaging and scholarly book offers refreshingly original insights into the contemporary relevance of the Christian doctrine of original sin – one that has inspired fierce debate for the last two millennia.

Ian Alexander McFarland. McFarland, Ian A. (1995). New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University. "Professor Ian A. McFarland".

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In Adam's Fall offers refreshingly original insghts into the contemporary relevance of a doctrine of Christian teaching that has inspired fierce debate for over 1,500 years. While unapologetically academic in style, I found this to be most engagingly written and there are few academic books over recent years that have brought me as much pleasure and provoked my thinking to such a degree.

Challenges in Contemporary Theology. This engaging and scholarly book offers refreshingly original insights into the contemporary relevance of the Christian doctrine of original sin – one that has inspired fierce debate for the last two millennia. Bok 29. Ian A. McFarland24. Shows how it is possible to affirm the universality of sin without losing sight of the distinct ways in which individuals both participate in and suffer the consequences of sinful behavior.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ― Rumi. Essentials of Ecology. 93 MB·49,747 Downloads.

Adam’s fall as a historical event has massive implications for the doctrine of original sin and Christian theology as a whole

Adam’s fall as a historical event has massive implications for the doctrine of original sin and Christian theology as a whole. And yes, McFarland is obviously right to relate original sin and God’s grace, but I suspect he overstates or misapplies the significance of soteriology-witness the troubling universalism implicit in his thesis. Finally, the distinction between sinfulness and fallenness made by many modern academics strikes me as problematic.

This engaging and scholarly book offers refreshingly originalinsights into the contemporary relevance of the Christian doctrineof original sin – one that has inspired fierce debate for thelast two millennia. Challenges the many prevailing opinions about the Christiandoctrine of original sin, arguing that it is not only theologicaldefensible, but stimulating and productive for a life of faithShows how it is possible to affirm the universality of sinwithout losing sight of the distinct ways in which individuals bothparticipate in and suffer the consequences of sinful behaviorBalances historic and contemporary criticism with originaltheological arguments; combining the substance of a traditionalAugustinian doctrine of sin with the pastoral and social concernsof contemporary contextual theologiesProvides a depth and range of engagement with contemporarycriticism of traditional doctrine that is lacking in other recenttreatments of the topic
Comments: (2)
Enditaling
It's a shame that this book is priced out of reach for most readers; it is neither easy, enjoyable, nor correct in its conclusions, but it is important. If I had to pick one book that displayed most clearly the indefensibility of orthodox Christianity, I would be hard-pressed to find a better. For that reason alone it should have a wider audience. How does the author, a committed Christian, a well-trained professional theologian, and no slouch as a thinker, accomplish this task despite his best efforts to the contrary? I present the evidence in detail in a series of critical blog posts that can be located easily by searching for the title of this book using any standard web search tool. Here I'll give the five-cent version. In a nutshell, the author's argument is that all human beings are sinners from birth, this congenital condition is the source of all concrete sinful actions human beings commit over the course of their lives, and so much so that everything humans being do without the grace of God is sinful in one way or another. How is it that we are sinners? First, we need to understand that we have a "will," that part of human nature by which everything we do is done freely, as an expression of our desires, because the "will" always follows desire. That means everything we do is done willingly, even things that are not under our conscious control. Second, we need to recognize that our desires are distorted. God intends for us to desire and love him above all else, but from birth our desires are primarily oriented toward created things. These distorted desires are partly a result of our "damaged" human nature, with which human beings have always been born, so far as we can tell from evolutionary history. But we can't blame our distorted desires on our damaged nature, because we are also hypostases (a Greek term used by early Christian theologians that can be translated roughly "persons"). Natures do not sin, individual human persons do. Furthermore, because we have a will and so do everything "freely," we are always responsible for everything we are and do. This fact prevents us from explaining our "sinful" acts or even our desires as ultimately a result of any single or set of multiple external causes. The real source of our distorted desires, and hence our sins, is a mystery. Traditional theology has erred in attempting to explain the source of original sin by a primordial sin by "Adam," "Eve," or any other human ancestor(s) taken singly or in combination, partly because evolutionary theory rules it out. While this would appear to leave us with no other alternative than that God made us sinners, this also cannot be the case. Even though he created us with all the natural capacities and incapacities necessary to make it inevitable that we would sin without his grace, each of us individually willingly follows our distorted desires. This fact makes it impossible for us to blame our sinfulness on Adam, Eve, otherwise unnamed early humans, God, the devil, or anyone else, without at the same time denying the intuitively-known truth that we ourselves are and remain responsible agents simply by virtue of being human. Therefore, since we remain responsible for our sinfulness, both our concrete acts and our congenital condition, God is justified in condemning us for our sins.

In the process of defending this argument, McFarland takes us through the history of the doctrine of original sin. Along the way he summarizes the views of the early church, especially Augustine, whose take on the doctrine of original sin McFarland wishes to defend by updating. He describes and critiques others who have tried to modify or update Augustine's view. He also critiques modern theologians who have tried to argue against traditional Christian conceptions of sin. By the time he has finished, none of the other views of original sin is left standing, except for certain features of Augustine's view. These he tries to improve upon using insights gained from the writings of Maximus the Confessor, from whom McFarland derives his distinction between nature and hypostasis, among other things. This is the first reason the book is important. McFarland's criticisms of the traditional orthodox Christian approaches to original sin are not new, but his objections are sound, and it is heartening that an otherwise orthodox Christian theologian would admit that all the traditional approaches are flawed.

McFarland's own argument is original and in minor respects an improvement over traditional approaches. For example, he knows enough about evolutionary theory to at least admit that monogenesis is incorrect. Unlike many more traditional orthodox Christian theologians, he is unwilling to use the doctrine of original sin to explain (justify) God's infliction of suffering on the human race. On the other hand, if you found McFarland's argument as I summarized it above hard to follow, you are not alone. Another reviewer generously characterized the book as "convoluted." He and I had similar reactions; McFarland's presentation of his argument can be exasperatingly vague. It took several rereadings for me to feel confident I understood him. Given that McFarland set himself an impossible task, it is not surprising that, despite his best intentions, his argument falls apart. First, McFarland accepts uncritically the folk psychology of early Christian theologians regarding the will. This leads him to make several mistakes about how humans make decisions. Second, in order to protect his assertion that the will always follows desire he badly misconceives the psychology of human desire. Third, McFarland is unable to maintain his distinction between nature and hypostasis consistently. In particular it fails to rule out that human desires are caused by non-personal factors. McFarland's other arguments against human desires being caused by non-personal factors trade on a misunderstanding of causation. As a result, given McFarland's argument that no primordial human act led to original sin, the only option left is that God made us sinners. Finally, McFarland employs a perverse concept of human responsibility, one that -- even though he works hard to avoid this conclusion -- ends up blaming humans for the fact that God made them sinners. The weakness of McFarland's revised conception of original sin is the second reason this book is important. McFarland's weak argument is another piece of evidence that orthodox Christian doctrine is fundamentally incoherent.
Mr_TrOlOlO
McFarland offers a critical and constructive engagement with theological anthropology and harmatology. I expected more from the subtitle, though. I expected there to be more originality in his sin. Lord knows I've spent loads of time contemplating new types of sin. And I really want to do something original, something that's never been done before, something that will totally redefine the genre. But between Caligula and Manson, pretty much everything's been covered. I've recently bought some sparklers, a ten-pack of tube-socks, a cabin air filter for a '92 Ford Fiesta, and a cotton candy machine. Maybe I can come up with something original to do with those. One thing's for sure: this book didn't have any good ideas!
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