Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bible-optional Christianity

William Lane Craig

As for your two moral objections, the first is an objection to the doctrine of original sin. But once more, that doctrine is not universally affirmed by Christians and is not essential to the Christian faith. So don’t let that be a stumbling block for you.

Paul of Tarsus

12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
 15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
 18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 5:12-21
21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
45Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 1 Cor 15:21-22,45-49.


  1. If the doctrine of original sin is optional, then so is the doctrine of imputation. Paul bases justification to life eternal on Adam's trespass.

  2. Don't be such a wet blanket! We mustn't let the word of God be a stumbling block to evangelism!

  3. Steve, Im not sure that I understand your comment.

    I/You am commanded to preach the Gospel. Which is a fallen humanity in need of a divine Savior. That way being Jesus' atoning sacrifice. An offense to the wicked, while good news to the elect.
    Todays superficial christian psychology seeker sensitive liberal theology, is not a true proclomation of the Gospel of evangelism that Paul presented in the book of Romans.

    I hope that my understanding of you comment is incorrect. If not, I question your salvaton...

  4. I think Steve is being sarcastic.

  5. Well, I've got Eastern Orthodox relatives who do say that original sin is a Western doctrine that the Orthodox don't affirm ... but an Orthodox priest whose blog I read who was a Protestant convert recently wrote that the problem with too many Orthodox is that they go so far in avoiding the language and concept of original sin they forget that, yes, in fact, we need the atoning and reconciling life and sacrifice of Christ to save us from the effects of sin.

  6. Don't you love it when guests drop by and question your "salvaton" based on one off-handed remark?

    But if Willie thinks Steve's comment is compelling enough to question his "salvaton", then I submit for your consideration how Steve and fellow Triabloggers Paul Manata and Gene M. Bridges spend their Sundays instead of worshipping in the Lord's house, with the Lord's people, on the Lord's Day - source material courtesy of the unquestionable and impeccable "Emperor Pope" Dave Armstrong.

    In case you're not certain, Steve is the remarkably groomed and handsome fellow camera right.

    Serious questions such as these demand answers, sir! “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”

    In Him,

  7. As for your two moral objections, the first is an objection to the doctrine of original sin. But once more, that doctrine is not universally affirmed by Christians and is not essential to the Christian faith. So don’t let that be a stumbling block for you. What is essential to Christian faith is that all men are sinners and in need of God’s forgiveness and redemption. I’m sure you’d recognize your own moral shortcomings and failures, Luke. So don’t get hung up on Adam’s sin. It’s your own sin you need to deal with. (As for the doctrine, its viability will depend on the viability of imputation. We often know of cases where one person is held responsible for the actions of another because the one person represents the other or serves as a proxy acting on the other’s behalf. Maybe Adam was our representative before God.) - full paragraph from which the quotation came.

  8. "Maybe Adam was our representative before God."

    Well, now I feel better! WLC holds original sin as a big ol' maybe and not as certainly false. Good to know that WLC isn't dogmatic over non-issues like justification! *heavy sigh*

  9. Some apologists are eager to get people into the "Kingdom" anyway they can. Problem is they can end up throwing a wolf into the sheep den and leave the shepherd with a lot of work on his hands playing damage control.

    Meanwhile, the wolf finds himself frustrated and angry with his fellow "Christians" because this isn't the deal he signed up for through the apologists.

  10. Scotos,

    The fact that WLC personally affirms original sin doesn't change the fact that he feels free to tell potential converts which Scriptural teachings they must believe and which Scriptural teachings they may disregard.

  11. I am so sick of minimalist Christianity (a.k.a. "Mere Christianity")!

  12. Coram Deo

    I question your salvaton.

  13. steelikat,

    That's OK. I question yours. :-D

  14. I didn't mean to defend WLC by putting forth the full quote, only to make sure we don't take his words out of context. Just curious, did all of the people posting comments read through the entire post by wlc? Again, I'm not here to defend him, just to make sure his comments get a fair trial.
    In case you are wondering, I very much believe in the doctrine of original sin and the need to show people of it.

  15. Skotos,

    Do you think the context you gave changes anything from Steve's posts or the comments made?

    If so, then it looks like your were defending WLC against misunderstanding.

    If not, then why should it matter whether we've read the full post?

  16. steelikat said...
    Coram Deo

    I question your salvaton.

    12/29/2010 1:06 PM

    Rhology said...

    That's OK. I question yours. :-D

    While I question steelikat's questioning as at least potentially begging the question, I nevertheless fully support Rho's subsequent questioning and consider his questions to be unquestionably non-questionable.

  17. The juxtaposing of the title, the 3 sentences and the scriptures is brilliant sleight of hand - 10/10!

    The fact that Craig is not talking about the components of original sin that the scriptures you cite address and he nowhere says that the Bible is optional for Christianity is immediately lost amongst the smoke and mirrors.

    The ability to read in context and a sound theological understanding of the doctrine of original sin and its 3 components is what is needed here.

    This will walk you through it:William Lane Craig, Original Sin and Original Guilt.