Archive for the ‘original sin’ Category

We believe what suits us

August 9, 2014

Faults in the life breed errors in the brain,
And these, reciprocally, those again.
The mind and conduct mutually imprint
And stamp their image in each other’s mint.

William Cowper

Iain Murray, The Undercover Revolution, p.63


The success of error is owing chiefly to the state of mind into which it seeks entrance…if we suffer worldly lusts to obtain the mastery of reason and conscience, -we are in a fit state to welcome delusions, which may enable us in some measure to justify to ourselves a course on which inclination, not principle, has induced  us to enter.

John Brown, The Resurrection Life, quoted ibid.

We are more likely to justify our desired behaviour than behave according to principles of morality and truth.


As the salt flavours every drop in the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature

October 8, 2011

As the salt flavours every drop in the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature. It is so sadly there that if you cannot detect it, you are deceived.

Charles Spurgeon

September 16, 2011

…men are evidently and confessedly so corrupt that all the laws of heaven and earth are insufficient to restrain them from crimes.

Samuel Johnson

and as David Berlinski noted:

Surely relaxing the laws of heaven and earth shall not dispose man to better behavior. That seems to be self-evident.


the line separating good and evil passes…through all human hearts

January 15, 2011

It was granted to me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: they struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn,  The Gulag Archipelago

We are born innocent

July 24, 2010

And there ain’t no one to buy our innocence
’cause we are born innocent
Believe me adia, we are still innocent

Sarah McLachlan – Adia

So tell me Sarah, who teaches one year olds to be naughty?

God’s freedom to save, not justification by faith, was the crucial question in the Reformation

April 3, 2010

It is wrong to suppose that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, that storm center of the Reformation, was the crucial question in the minds of such theologians as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, and John Calvin. This doctrine was important to the Reformers because it helped to express and to safeguard their answer to another, more vital, question, namely, whether sinners are wholly helpless in their sin, and whether God is to be thought of as saving them by free, unconditional, invincible grace, not only justifying them for Christ’s sake when they come to faith, but also raising them from the death of sin by His quickening Spirit in order to bring them to faith.

Michael Haykin

We might say, then, that to assert men choose God is the pathway to Rome. It is the potter, not the clay who has freedom.

I do not believe children are evil. I believe that they may be born with personality disorders or have such a terrible upbringing and complete lack of love and care that they turn to appalling crime

March 15, 2010

I do not believe children are evil. I believe that they may be born with personality disorders or have such a terrible upbringing and complete lack of love and care that they turn to appalling crime.

This is Pelgianism: the idea that we are born good but corrupted by ‘society’ (society is made up of other people ‘born good’ and corrupted by ‘society’ ad infinitum)
James Bulger’s mother is closer to the truth when she says:
It is a shock to people like Dr Atkinson (the Children’s Commissioner who argued for the raising of the age of criminal responsibility) that children can be truly evil by 10…But it is a fact and I fear there will be more of them and we need laws to be tightened up so we can deal with them.

A majority of 52 percent of born-againers reject the idea of original sin outright

January 26, 2010

Their (the seeker-sensitive church’s) way of doing church assumes the (Pelagian) view that human beings are not inherently sinful. A majority of 52 percent of born-againers in fact reject the idea of original sin outright. In their disposition to God and his Word, it is assumed, (post)moderns are neutral. That being so, they can be seduced into making the purchase of faith as though it were any other kind of purchase. That all of this is deliberately undoctrinal is seen as the key ingredient to success. Is this not how America has always succeeded, by being pragmatic?

David F. Wells, The Courage to be Protestant, IVP, 2008, p.57

It is noteworthy that most ‘born again’ believers are, in fact, by their denial of original sin, declared heretics (according to scripture and the councils of the church) and outside Christ’s body the church, and under the wrath of God, still being in their sins. For example:

Second Council of Orange 529AD

CANON 2. If anyone asserts that Adam’s sin affected him alone and not his descendants also, or at least if he declares that it is only the death of the body which is the punishment for sin, and not also that sin, which is the death of the soul, passed through one man to the whole human race, he does injustice to God and contradicts the Apostle, who says, “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

Further, the Canon goes on to say in conclusion:

CONCLUSION. And thus according to the passages of holy scripture quoted above or the interpretations of the ancient Fathers we must, under the blessing of God, preach and believe as follows. The sin of the first man has so impaired and weakened free will that no one thereafter can either love God as he ought or believe in God or do good for God’s sake, unless the grace of divine mercy has preceded him.

Note the use of ‘must’ (above) – i.e. without belief in this scriptural doctrine a man is outside the church of Christ. And note also the phrase: “divine mercy has preceded him” – God takes the initiative in salvation and good works – always has, always will.

Worry is an overextension of our proper sphere of concern

November 17, 2009

Worry is an overextension of our proper sphere of concern. By worrying about tomorrow we take upon ourselves God’s role as provider for His creation. The root cause is making ourselves god – but the weight of that responsibility is too much for our small shoulders to bear.

nothing good can be done if the will is wrong! Reason alone fails to justify itself

November 17, 2009

…nothing good can be done if the will is wrong! Reason alone fails to justify itself. Not without cause has the devil been called the prince of lawyers, and not by accident are Shakespeare’s villains good reasoners. If the disposition is wrong, reason increases maleficence; if it is right, reason orders and furthers the good.

Richard M. Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences