SECTION 4 ? ORIGIN OF SIN IN THE PERSONAL ACT OF ADAM.
With regard to the origin of this sinful nature which is common to the race and which is the occasion of all actual transgressions, reason affords no light. The Scriptures, however, refer the origin of this nature to that free act of our first parents by which they turned away from God, corrupted themselves and brought themselves under the penalties of the law.
Chandler, Spirit of Man. 70 ? ?It is vain to attempt to sever the moral life of Christianity from the historical fact in which it is rooted. We may cordially assent to the assertion that the whole value of historical events is in their ideal significance. But in mans cases, part of that which the idea signifies is the fact that it has been exhibited in history. The value and interest of the conquest of Greece over Persia lie in the significant idea of freedom and intelligence triumphing over despotic force. Surely a part, and a very important part, of the idea is the fact that this triumph was won in a historical past and the encouragement for the present which rests upon that fact. So too, the value of Christ?s resurrection lies in its immense moral significance as a principle of life but an essential part of that very significance is the fact that the principle was actually realized by One in whom mankind was summed up and expressed. The power of realizing it is conferred on all who receive him.?
As it is important for us to know that redemption is not only ideal but also actual, so it is important for us to know that sin is not an inevitable accompaniment of human nature, but that it had a historical beginning. Yet no a priori theory should prejudice our examination of the facts. We would preface our consideration of the Scriptural account, therefore, by stating that our view of inspiration would permit us to regard that account as inspired, even if it were mythical or allegorical. As God can use all methods of literary composition, so he can use all methods of instructing mankind that are consistent with essential truth. George Adam Smith observes that the myths and legends of primitive folklore are the intellectual equivalents of later philosophies and theories of the universe and that ?at no time has revelation refused to employ such human conceptions for the investiture and conveyance of the higher spiritual truths.? Sylvester Burnham: ?Fiction and myth have not yet lost their value for the moral and religious teacher. What knowledge of his nature has shown man to be good for his own use, God surely may also have
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