The fall sin
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The Fall & Sin. with thanks to Dr. Veli-Matti Karkkainen . You have not yet considered the exceeding gravity of sin.- St. Anselm. Orientation. Change of attitude in our Western culture to the concept of sin Plantinga : sin as vandalism of God’s shalom. Biblical Theology.

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The Fall & Sin

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The fall sin

The Fall & Sin

with thanks to Dr. Veli-Matti Karkkainen


The fall sin

You have not yet considered the exceeding gravity of sin.- St. Anselm


Orientation

Orientation

  • Change of attitude in our Western culture to the concept of sin

  • Plantinga: sin as vandalism of God’s shalom


Nature and effects of sin

Biblical Theology

Nature and effects of sin


Biblical terminology

biblical Terminology

  • Missing the Mark

  • Transgression

  • Rebellion

  • Treachery

  • Perversion

  • Abomination, Ignorance, Error, Inattention, Evil, Guilt


Basic dimensions of sin in the bible see garrett systematic theology 1

Basic Dimensions of Sin In the Bible (see Garrett, systematic Theology 1)

  • Sin as violation of God’s law or disobedience

  • Sin as breaking the covenant

  • Sin as willful and prideful rebellion against God

  • Sin as idolatry

  • Sin as Unbelief

  • Other dimensions

    • Sin as Selfishness

    • Sin as sloth or apathy

  • Sin as both a quality of fallen human nature and “lists of sin” (e.g.. Gal. 5.19-21)


Nature and effects of sin1

Sin in the Christian Tradition

Nature and effects of sin


Eastern church

Eastern church

  • The Fall

  • theosis


Roman catholic

Roman Catholic

  • Augustine

  • Aquinas

  • Contemporary View

    • Use of both Augustine and Aquinas

    • “By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen sate. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice.” New Catholic Catechism #404

    • “…original sin does not have the character of personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted…an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence.” NCC #404

    • Baptism imparts Christ’s grace and erases original sin and turns man back towards God, but the consequences in terms of nature and our inclination for evil persist, leading to constant battle with sin


Protestant reformers

Protestant reformers

  • Luther

    • Humans totally incapable of doing good which God requires

    • Root of sin is unbelief

    • Chief manifestation is pride

  • Calvin

    • Follows Augustine: sin inherited and transmitted through procreation

    • Follows Luther: total depravity and helplessness

    • Source is faithlessness conjoined with pride


Classical liberalism

Classical Liberalism

  • Sin as a preparation for grace rather than grace repairing damage of sin

  • Sin is arresting God-consciousness not so much a willful moral rebellion against God

  • Sin is not hereditary but sinful tendencies spread through social networks

    • We will pick up on this later with contemporary views of sin


Contemporary thinkers

Contemporary thinkers

  • Emil Brunner

  • Karl Barth

  • Bonhoeffer

  • Pannenberg


Social sin

Social sin


Social sin alistair mcfadyen

Social sin: Alistair mcfadyen

  • Secular culture is characterized by pragmatic or practical atheism

    • i.e. there is no need to reference God to mediate our understanding and practice

    • So no need for God-talk (or sin-talk)

    • But reference to God may enable a more truthful relation to reality and if so it can make God-talk relevant in public sphere

    • Rejection of original sin by culture as original sin

      • As contemporary culture highlights that we have the liberty to choose

      • Since original sin posits that sin is ontologically part of our nature, this is problematic for contemporary culture as it seems to infringe on the notion of our freedom to choose


Social sin mcfadyen cont

Social sin: Mcfadyen (cont.)

  • Overview

    • Reinterprets traditional idea of original sin

      • Rejects biological transmission but posits idea that sin is transmitted through social means

      • “What we inherit are the consequences of a past history of freedom as they distort the conditions of communication of relation (and thereby of meaning-, value-, and identity-formation) in which we are situated. We inherit this, furthermore, not merely as the external situation upon which we act, but in the internal pre-conditioning of our free agency. Sin is then propagated through forms of sociality distorted through a history of sinning. The social processes, structures and institutions through which we are called into full personhood, the very processes through which we receive the conditions for autonomous and therefore responsible action are pathologically distorted. They are alienated and alienating from God.”

      • Contra contemporary culture our human will is bound to sin, not through biology (as in traditional Western Christian understanding) but through culture and institutions.

      • Holds together the idea that we do have the freedom of will to sin with the idea that freedom is reliant upon context; (including previous acts of willing exercised by others) thus we do not experience freedom in the great sense which contemporary or modern thinkers hold.

    • Sin colonizes our will and by so doing warps the field in which will is exercised

      • While we are “free” to choose our actions, our choices are inherently distorted by prior acts of willing and action. Thus we are both free in some sense, but also bound to sin


Social sin mcfadyen

Social sin: McFadyen

  • Sin as relational pathology- broken relation between God and us

    • It is living out an active misrelation to God as we worship other forces and realities

    • The solution is a re-orientation tin or relation to God

      • Although our attempts are distorted by sin, we can face sin only through grace which empowers us to genuine worship


Social sin mcfadyen cont1

Social sin: McFadyen cont.

  • Sin is a condition; it lies behind our personal action

    • Contrast with modern moral discourse wants to say that we are only accountable for our free acts

      • One result is that accountability applies only to perpetrators, not to victims so that sin becomes a moral language of blame

  • He explores the idea that social processes can incorporate willing in ways that pathologically habituate it.

  • He uses two examples: child sexual abuse and the Holocaust. Both involve:

    • “…confusion in, of and concerning willing (italics mine) and its disorientation in dynamics that are not merely personal. That, in turn, is related to confusion in the construal of reality at all levels, including the moral: confusion concerning what is good, true and the criteria by which that might be judged.”*

    • * all quotes are from Bound to Sin


Social sin mcfadyen cont2

Social sin: mcfadyen cont.

  • The Holocaust

    • Bondage of reason: confidence in rational projects aimed at bettering society (social perfection, linked with ethnic pride, stable society, etc.)

    • This is joined with technical-instrumental rationality so that instrumental and moral norms and values are conflated

      • “Being ‘good’ comes to be equated with efficiency in functional performance, coupled with a proper diligence to procedural technicalities…”

      • Through specialization involved in technical-instrumental rationality, persons acts as functionaries rather than subjects of action

      • Thus they distanced from their own acts and consequences of their acts

        • (e.g. functionary at the train station on way to Auschwitz writing down names)

      • Right and wrong become redefined according to the aims of the process itself

    • Jewish ghettos)


The fall sin

  • The relational dynamics are altered in both victims and perpetrators

  • Relationality and identity are recreated. Sin is not passed on biologically but by reshaping the field in which one wills

    • So sin is located precisely where modern society wants to declare human freedom- in the exercising of will

      • Even when will and action appear free they are actually bound by the events that have altered the perception of reality and the good.

      • Sin exerts a field in which while we are free to choose the field of references has become altered so that we cannot will apart from the sinful pattern in which we are enmeshed

    • Even victims can become complicit (e.g. Jews who cooperated with Germans and administered policies within


Social sin mcfadyen cont3

Social sin: Mcfadyen cont.

  • The problem

    • “Sin...as energised resistance to the dynamics of God, and thereby, as constriction in the fullness of being-in-communion and joy. Sin is thus construed primarily in dynamic terms, as highly energised, comprehensive disorientation in, through and of all relationships…it is clear that this disorientation is transmittable through he dynamics of social relationships. That includes those through which we construct our personhood, identity, life-intentionality…and sense of what is good, right and true.”

  • The “solution”

    • Worship, a reorientation towards God in which grace is active and empowering

    • Identity is not formed as an independent exercising of the will but in relation with God and with others

    • We re-orient ourselves to a life in communion (with God and others)

    • My critique

      • The solution (of worship as reorientation) needs to be combined with an understanding of participation in what Christ is actively doing at the moment


Towards an evangelical theology of sin

Towards an evangelical theology of sin


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