malum metaphysicum of Spinoza; see Pfleiderer, Prot. Theol. seit Kant, 113.
(C) While its fundamental presupposition, a determination of the will of each member of the race prior to his individual consciousness, is an hypothesis difficult in itself, it is an hypothesis that furnishes the key to many more difficulties than it suggests. Once allow that the race was one in its first ancestor and fell in him and light is thrown on a problem otherwise insoluble ? the problem of our accountability for a sinful nature which we have not personally and consciously originated. Since we cannot, with the three theories first mentioned, deny either of the terms of this problem (inborn depravity or accountability for it) we accept this solution as the best attainable.
Sterrett, Reason and Authority in Religion. 20 ? ?The whole swing of the pendulum of thought of today is away from the individual and towards the social point of view. Theories of society are supplementing theories of the individual. The solidarity of man is the regnant thought in both the scientific and the historical study of man. It is even running into the extreme of a determinism that annihilates the individual.? Chapman, Jesus Christ and the Present Age, 43 ? ?It was never less possible to deny the truth to which theology gives expression in its doctrine of original sin than in the present age. It is only one form of the universally recognized fact of heredity. There is a collective evil, for which the responsibility rests on the whole race of man. Of this common evil each man inherits his share; it is organized in his nature, it is established in his environment.? E.G. Robinson: ?The tendency of modern theology [in the last generation] was to individualization, to make each man ?a little Almighty.? But the human race is one in kind and in a sense is numerically one. The race lay potentially in Adam. The entire developing force of the race was in him. There is no carrying the race up, except from the starting point of a fallen and guilty humanity.? Goethe said that while humanity ever advances, individual man remains the same.
The true test of a theory is, not that it can itself be explained, but that it is capable of explaining. The atomic theory in chemistry, the theory of the ether in physics, the theory of gravitation, the theory of evolution, are all in themselves non-demonstrable hypotheses, provisionally accepted simply because, if granted, they unify great aggregations of facts. Coleridge said that original sin is the one mystery that makes all other things clear. In this mystery, however, there is nothing self-contradictory or arbitrary. Gladden. What is Left? 131 ? ?Heredity is God working in
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