Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sound Bite Theology: Two important precursors to a post-catholic consideration of original sin

Man is by nature capable of communion with God, and only through such communion can he become what he was created to be. "Original sin" stands for the fact that from a time apparently prior to any responsible act of choice man is lacking in this communion, and if left to his own resources and to the influence of his natural environment cannot attain to his destiny as a child of God. (Doctrine of the Church of England, 1938, London: SPCK, p. 64)

Original or hereditary sin is neither original nor hereditary; it is the universal destiny of estrangement which concerns every man ... Sin is much more a universal fact and state, than an individual act, or more precisely, sin as an individual act actualizes the universal fact of estrangement ... Therefore it is impossible to separate sin as fact from sin as act. (Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology 2:56)

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