Wednesday, April 19

Quiz on Original Sin

How about a little quiz on the doctrine of original sin?
Choose the answer that best completes the statement.

1. The term original sin, as traditionally defined, refers to
a. The very first disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
b. The sinful nature that all humankind is born with.
c. A cutting-edge or particularly unique expression of disobedience to God's law.
d. None of the above.
2. The doctrine of original sin includes the principle that
a. Back in the beginning, Adam represented the whole of humankind.
b. All of humankind fell along with Adam in his first sin.
c. Adam's sin is imputed to all humankind, and everyone suffers the consequences.
d. All of the above.
3. That human beings are born with a sinful nature means that
a. All human beings are are bad as the could possibly be.
b. We become sinners only when we actually commit our first sin.
c. Even infants who die need to have Christ's death applied to them.
d. All of the above.

Match each quote on original sin with the person from the list who said or wrote it.
a. John Wesley
b. John Murray
c. Charles Finney
d. Charles Spurgeon
e. Jonathan Edwards
f. Clark Pinnock
g. Menno Simons
h. Michael Pearl
i. Robert Schuller
j. John Calvin

____ 4. We deny that the human constitution is morally depraved, because it is impossible that sin should be a quality of the substance of soul or body. It is, and must be, a quality of choice or intention, and not of substance. To make sin an attribute or quality of substance is contrary to God's definition of sin.

....To represent the constitution as sinful, is to represent God, who is the author of the constitution, as the author of sin.

____ 5.
...all who deny this, call it original sin, or by any other title, are but Heathens still, in the fundamental point which differences Heathenism from Christianity. They may, indeed, allow, that men have many vices; that some are born with us; and that, consequently, we are not born altogether so wise or so virtuous as we should be; there being few that will roundly affirm, "We are born with as much propensity to good as to evil, and that every man is, by nature, as virtuous and wise as Adam was at his creation." But here is the shibboleth: Is man by nature filled with all manner of evil? Is he void of all good? Is he wholly fallen? Is his soul totally corrupted? Or, to come back to the text, is "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually?" Allow this, and you are so far a Christian. Deny it, and you are but an Heathen still.

____ 6. When a descendent of Adam reaches a level of moral understanding (sometime in his youth) he becomes fully, personally accountable to God and has sin imputed to him, resulting in the peril of eternal damnation.

When man reaches his state of moral accountability, and, by virtue of his personal transgression, becomes blameworthy, his only hope is a work of grace by God alone.

____ 7. The Scriptures as I see it speak of different kinds of sin. The first kind is the corrupt, sinful nature, namely, the lust or desire of our flesh contrary to God's Law, and contrary to the original righteousness; sin which is inherited at birth by all descendants and children of corrupt, sinful Adam, and is not inaptly called original sin. Of this sin David says, Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. The Lord said unto Noah, The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Again, Paul says, We were, by nature, children of wrath, even as others.

____ 8. Some ground the idea of the eternal blessedness of the infant upon its innocence. We do no such thing; we believe that the infant fell in the first Adam, "for in Adam all died." All Adam's posterity, whether infant or adult, were represented by him - he stood for them all, and when he fell, he fell for them all. There was no exception made at all in the covenant of works made with Adam as to infants dying; and inasmuch as they were included in Adam, though they have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, they have original guilt. They are "born in sin and steepen in iniquity; in sin do their mothers conceive them;" so saith David of himself, and (by inference) of the whole human race. If they be saved, we believe it is not because of any natural innocence. They enter heaven by the very same way that we do; they are received in the name of Christ.

____ 9. The core of original sin, then, is LOT -- Lack of Trust. Or, it could be considered an innate inability to adequately value ourselves. Label it a 'negative self-image,' but do not say that the central core of the human soul is wickedness. ...[P]ositive Christianity does not hold to human depravity, but to human inability.

____ 10. I think, it would go far towards directing us to the more clear conception and right statement of this affair, were we steadily to bear this in mind: that God, in every step of his proceeding with Adam, in relation to the covenant or constitution established with him, looked on his posterity as being one with him . And though he dealt more immediately with Adam, it yet was as the head of the whole body, and the root of the whole tree; and in his proceedings with him, he dealt with all the branches, as if they had been then existing in their root.

From which it will follow, that both guilt, or exposedness to punishment, and also depravity of heart, came upon Adam's posterity just as they came upon him, as much as if he and they had all coexisted, like a tree with many branches; allowing only for the difference necessarily resulting from the place Adam stood in, as head or root of the whole.
Answers will be posted tomorrow. See Quiz Key for answers.

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