The first need in a theory of sin is that of satisfying the statements of Scripture. The second need is that it should point out an act of man, which will justify the infliction of pain, suffering, and death upon the whole human race. Our moral sense refuses to accept the conclusion that all this is a matter of arbitrary sovereignty. We cannot find the act in each man?s conscious transgression or in sin committed at birth. We do find such a voluntary transgression of known law in Adam and we claim that the New School definition of sin is much more consistent with this last explanation of sin?s origin than is the theory of a multitude of individual transgressions.
The final test of every theory, however, is its conformity to Scripture. We claim that a false philosophy prevents the advocates of New School doctrine from understanding the utterances of Paul. Their philosophy is a modified survival of atomistic Pelagianism. They ignore nature in both God and man and resolve character into transient acts. The unconscious or subconscious state of the will they take little or no account of and the possibility of another and higher life interpenetrating and transforming our own life is seldom present to their minds. They have no proper idea of the union of the believer with Christ and so they have no proper idea of the union of the race with Adam. They need to learn that, as all the spiritual life of the race was in Christ, the second Adam, so all the natural life of the race was in the first Adam; as we derive righteousness from the former, so we derive corruption from the latter. Because Christ?s life is in them, Paul can say that all believers rose in Christ?s resurrection; because Adam?s life is in them, he can say that in Adam all die. We should prefer to say with Pfleiderer that Paul teaches this doctrine but that Paul is no authority for us, rather than to profess acceptance of Paul?s teaching while we ingeniously evade the force of his argument. We agree with Stevens, Pauline Theology, 135, 136, that all men sinned in the same sense in which believers were crucified to the world and died unto sin when Christ died upon the cross.? But we protest that to make Christ?s death the mere occasion of the death of the believer and Adam?s sin the mere occasion of the sins of men is to ignore the central truths of Paul?s teaching. It is the vital union of the believer with Christ, and the vital union of the race with Adam.
B. It rests upon false philosophical principles, as for example:
(a) that the soul is immediately created by God.
(b) That the law of God consists wholly in outward command.
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