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Loren HaarsmaBaker Academic / 2021 / ePubOur Price$15.395 out of 5 stars for When Did Sin Begin?: Human Evolution and the Doctrine of Original Sin - eBook. View reviews of this product. 1 Reviews
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K Johnson5 Stars Out Of 5Explores a range of possibilities for the beginning of sin faithful to scripture and scienceDecember 16, 2021K JohnsonQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When Did Sin Begin? is a very thorough, thoughtful, and dense read, but still accessible exploration of a range of possible views on Adam and Eve, the origin of sin, the timeframe and results of the fall, the transmission of sin and/or guilt, the image of God, and more, that remains faithful both to scripture and what is known about the evolutionary origins of humanity. I highly recommend this book for those looking for a deep dive into the subject of the origin of sin and related questions.
In addition to an introduction and conclusion, the book has the following chapters:
1. Scripture, Science, and the Holy Spirit
2. Creation, Evolution, and Divine Action
3. Suffering and Death before Humans
4. Human Evolution
5. The Soul, the Imago Dei, and Special Divine Action
6. Adam and Eve in Scripture
7. The Doctrine of Original Sin through Church History
8. What is Sin?
9. What Changed when Sin Began?
10. Whose Fault Is It?
11. Difficult Questions for Each Type of Scenario
The focus in each of these chapters is to address these 4 general types of scenarios:
1. Adam and Eve as particular historical individuals acting as representatives of humanity.
2. Adam and Eve as particular historical individuals; sin spread through culture or genealogy.
3. Adam and Eve as a highly compressed history referring to many individuals over a long period of time who received special revelation.
4. Adam and Eve as symbolic figures referring to many individuals over a long period of time, all who became ready to be held accountable and chose sin.
In each area of discussion, the author describes several possible options, some of which overlap or apply to more than one of the general scenarios. He then goes on to very logically and systematically address the pros and cons of each option. He often follows the pattern "There are reasons to favor xxx ...... There are some theological concerns with xxx ...... However, this theological concern does not necessarily rule out this answer ......".
It was fascinating to look at all of the possibilities and ways to think about these important aspects of Christian doctrine. I found myself favoring some views over others but being thankful for multiple approaches to consider. I especially appreciated and was inspired by the conclusion of the book: "Above all, God gave us Jesus Christ. His words and actions show us how we should live in a world where there is sin. His life, suffering, death, and resurrection show us the full extent of God's self-giving love. Whatever we might learn about how and when sin began, and whatever mysteries might remain, we know what God is doing about the problem. We know that God's victory is assured. Christ is God's ultimate answer."
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