Augustine Original Sin

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Liberty University

The Theological Studies of Saint Augustine in Relation to the Doctrine of Original Sin

A Paper Submitted To Dr. John Landers
In Partial Fulfillment for the Course CHHI-520

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

By
Jaaval Cato

Lynchburg, Virginia
October 7, 2012

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………….3 AUGUSTINE’S TAKE ON ORIGINAL SIN……………………..……………………..…….5 AUGUSTINE’S TAKE ON ORIGINAL SIN AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO BAPTISM…………...7 OPPOSTIONS TO AUGUSTINE’S VIEW ON ORIGINAL SIN …………………......…...10 MANICHEAN IMPACT ON AUGUSTINE’S VIEW OF ORIGINAL SIN...……………….…….....11 PELAGIUS, CELESTIUS, AND JULIAN IN OPPOSITION WITH ORIGINAL SIN…………......13 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………........16BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………...………………………………….17

Introduction
The doctrine of original sin has been deliberated by Theologians, as well as Augustine for over fifteen centuries, although it is evidently stated in Romans 5:12 by the Apostle 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” (NRSV). By this statement, the apostle Paul informs the reader that sin and death entered the world through one man (Adam), with the result of it permeating the whole of humankind like a poison. “The solidarity of the human race with Adam led Ambrose to say, ‘Adam existed, and in him we all existed... In Adam I fell, and in Adam I was cast out of Paradise, in Adam I died.’” The doctrine of original sin has provoked much opposition amongst religious academia in regards to its teaching. It is one of the most “baleful” of ideas says, one modern scholar; it is “repulsive” and “revolting” says another. I have seen it variously described as an insult to the dignity of humanity, an insult to the grace and loving kindness of God, and an insult to God and humankind alike. Aurelius Augustinus (Saint Augustine) has contributed significantly to the discussion that remains highly contested in our present day, which coincidently is not primarily exclusive of the church and those who disagree with him.

All of Christendom and the entire church as a whole are indebted to Augustine who conveyed the theology of “original sin” and it implication for Christians today. Augustine's doctrine of justification is rooted heavily in his doctrine of original sin, for his doctrine of

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justification provides the solution to the problem that his doctrine of original sin creates. This theological endeavor was initiated by Augustine in the late fourth and early fifth century. His full name is Aurelius Augustinus born November 13, 354. He is the major church father of the West and known predominantly as Augustine. Augustine’s view of original sin was initially shaped by early life experience beginning with his own pagan immoral behavior as a youth in Africa, with his time studying Manichaeanism, and the Genesis account of Adam and Eve. Augustine although know for his writings on original sin was not the first to write about this subject matter, early church fathers such as Saint Ambrose the Bishop of Milan who subsequently was a mentor to Augustine and baptized him said in a commentary written on the Gospel of Luke “before we are born, we are all infected with the contagion of sin.” Augustine provided much greater analysis ever-increasing and fine-tuning these thoughts from opinion into Christian dogma.

In the biblical perspective, sin is not only an act of wrongdoing but a state of alienation from God. In reformed theology the doctrine of original sin has a firm biblical support: Genesis 3 where Adam and Eve trust the word of the serpent over the Word of God. Scripture also gives greater insight into the corruption initiated by Adam; this can be observed in two ways. First is the inherit sin caused by Adam, Romans 5:12-21 states that by one man was the 3

conduit in which sin entered the world....
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