This piece was written on October 4th, 2005 for my theology course.
St. Augustine holds many beliefs concerning original sin, many of which are widely known by society. Original sin has been taught in religion classes, and while the church may be moving away from the belief of original sin, church scholars once supported it. St. Augustine formed the hypothesis of original sin, and supported it with his interpretation of text in the Bible. He believes that sin originates from natural descent, and that the mistake made by Adam has been relayed down to society. Another argument he proposed is that original sin is contracted by birth, therefore, we can assume that no one is free from original sin. It is a weight he believes we all are destined to carry on our shoulders. St. Augustine states that only Jesus can justify, and is also the only person ever brought into this earth without the burden of original sin. Baptism is a subject that St. Augustine refers to, and suggests that it is necessary in order to free babies from damnation. His beliefs, strong and supported, depict a world in which one has already betrayed God, by simply being born.
Fox paints a clear picture of what he believes, and has convincing evidence to support those beliefs. Fox believes in original blessing in contrast to original sin. Original blessing is original goodness, and when God created the earth He blessed us all, and that is how, in turn, we are born. Fox states, “Nineteen billion years before there was any sin on earth, there was blessing.” In this statement, Fox is stressing the fact that creation is 19,996,000,000 years older, because humans have only been around for four million years. Sin was non-existent until the creation of humans. A major argument referenced in Fox’s book is that original sin never appears in the Bible. If something is not found in the Bible, then how can one state that it is a major truth of the Bible? Fox believes that we do enter a sinful world, but we do not enter ourselves, as blotches on existence. These arguments lead to one of his major beliefs,”Original blessing is far more ancient and more biblical a doctrine and ought to be the starting point for spirituality.” Fox believes that society has been negatively influenced by the belief of original sin. He thinks that belief in original sin made other social evils appear more acceptable. Fox’s hope is that in the future, the belief of original blessing will flourish and overcome the beliefs of original sin.
Fifteen minutes ago, I would have said that I believed in original sin. Now however, after I have been exposed to new possibilities, I have been influenced in a new direction. The fact that original sin is never mentioned in the Bible, yet so widely believed, is somewhat unsettling to me. As I read Fox’s views I tend to side with his belief because he provided compelling examples to support his views and arguments. However, it is widely known that Adam did sin, and the rest of human society felt the repercussion of his actions. These are two strong arguments, however, I feel inclined to believe in original blessing over original sin. Original sin is the belief of one man’s theory, while Fox’s original blessing had numerous sources that supported his beliefs. Original blessing also makes a stronger correlation with a God who created a good world. He believed His creation was good, and would likely create an original blessing over an original sin. God’s creation is not tainted; it is our free will that leads us each to our own original sins.
Considering I wrote this piece 6 years ago, I would definitely need to do some more research as this seems to be a hotly debated issue. However, it is good food for thought. Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic? If you are intrigued, I definitely encourage you to do some digging of your own. Any research done to explore your faith will only lead you closer to God in the end!