Cover image for Original sin : illuminating the riddle
Original sin : illuminating the riddle
Blocher, Henri.
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Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Eerdmans Pub., [1997]

Physical Description:
158 pages ; 23 cm.
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Item Holds
BT720 .B565 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Henri Blocher offers a philosophically sophisticated treatment of the biblical evidence for original sin, interacting with the best theological thinking on the subject and showing that while the nature of original sin is a mystery only belief in it makes sense of evil and wrongdoing.

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Publisher's Weekly Review

Blocher, who teaches systematic theology at the Faculte Libre de Theologie Evangelique, Vaux-sur-Seine, France, approaches original sin as a riddle. As he sees it, the riddle arises not so much from original sin as from the widespread denial of the concept in a century marked by unprecedented violence and cruelty. After a general survey of biblical material, Blocher turns to Paul's discussion in Romans 5 of the relationship between Christ and Adam. He contends that a close reading of the fall of Adam does not bear the interpretation that Adam's sin and guilt were transferred to later generations. Rather, he asserts, the freedom of Adam's will to choose evil represents "an inborn state" that results in alienation from God. Freedom of the will is part of the human condition and that freedom entails a hereditary separation from God. However, Blocher sees this state as a "gate of hope" that opens humanity to compassion rather than despair. "Recognizing our radical separation from God and our potentail to choose evil should lead not to condemnation but to compassion." says Blocher. His account of original sin goes far in rehabilitating the doctrine of original sin from its traditionally negative associations. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

1 Original Sin as Taught in Holy Scripture
Universal Sinfulness
Natural Sinfulness
Inherited Sinfulness
Adamic Sinfulness
2 Original Sin as Adamic Event
The Eden Story and Palaeo-anthropology
The Eden Story and Biblical Inter-textuality
The Eden Story and Literary Discernment
The Eden Story and Theological Reflection
3 Discerning Paul's Mind on Adam's Role
Looser Interpretations of Romans 5
Tighter Interpretations of Romans 5
Untying the Knot? A New Interpretation
4 Original Sin as a Key to Human Experience
Misery and Royal DescentShared Inheritance and the Individual Decision
Necessity and Responsiblity
5 Original Sin as Propagated and Broken
No Refuge in Unreason
Traditional Metaphors
Second Thoughts
A Gate of Hope
Index of Authors
Index of Scripture
Index of References to Apocryphal and Other Ancient Sources
Index of Subjects