Christian Anthropology: Augustine. Problem of evil and some solutions. The Fall of Adam in Hellenistic Judaism. Fall of Adam in Paul. St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Fall and Original Sin. St. Augustine on free will and divine grace. Problem of evil.
Christian Anthropology: Augustine Problem of evil and some solutions. The Fall of Adam in Hellenistic Judaism. Fall of Adam in Paul. St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Fall and Original Sin. St. Augustine on free will and divine grace.
Problem of evil (1) The world was created good by a good and just God. (2) At present there is plenty of evil in the world. (3) Whence is evil?
Some solutions • Solution by dissolution: Give up either (1) or (2) • The world was half-good/ half-bad in the beginning • Evil does not exist • Evil desire/ imagination (yetzer ha-ra) theory • ‘The Fall’ of Adam
Evil desire theory • “The LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually” (Gen. 6: 5). • “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders...pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within and defile the man” (Mk.7:15-23).
The Idea of the ‘Fall’ of Adam in Hellenistic Judaism O Adam, what have you done? For though it was you who sinned, the fall was not yours alone, but ours also who are your descendents. 4 Ezra 7: 118. The first Adam, burdened with an evil heart, transgressed, and was overcome, as were also all who were descended from him. 4 Ezra 3: 21.
Adam’s transgression in Paul • “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned…” (Rom. 5: 12). • “For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ” (1 Cor. 15: 21-22).
St. Augustine’s Doctrine of the Fall and Original Sin • ORIGINAL STATE. ‘Original righteousness.’ Adam & Eve were perfect beings, immortal, enjoying uninterrupted vision of God. • THE FALL. The first sin was a premeditated and fully conscious act. • CONSEQUENCES. Mortality & captivity to sin. Freedom of will severely impaired, but not lost entirely. Total inability to choose and to do good without grace. Original guilt. • METHOD OF TRANSMISSION. Original sin is STD. By propagation, not simply by imitation.
St. Augustine’s vision of human nature & divine grace. • Augustine’s spiritual quest • His disillusionment with the Manichaeans • Pelagian controversy