Hamartiology

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Hamartiology (Greek: ἁμαρτία, hamartia, "missing the mark, sin"; λογια, -logia), a branch of Christian theology, studies sin.1

Original sin

Substantial branches of hamartiological understanding, including Roman Catholic,2 Presbyterian,3 Continental Reformed,4 and Reformed Baptist5 subscribe to the doctrine of original sin,6 which the Apostle Paul espouses in Romans 5:12-19 and which Augustine of Hippo popularized in the West and developed into a notion of "hereditary guilt". The North African bishop taught that God holds all the descendants of Adam and Eve accountable for Adam's sin of rebellion, and as such all people deserve God's wrath and condemnation - apart from any actual sins they personally commit.7

In contradistinction, a view sometimes ascribed to Pelagius states that humans enter life as moral "blank slates" (tabulae rasae) responsible for their own moral nature.citation needed The Fall that occurred when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, according to Pelagianism, affected humankind only minimally as it established a negative moral precedent. Few contemporary theologians (especially thinkers in Augustinian traditions) and no orthodox theologians, however, continue to hold this hamartiological viewpoint.citation needed

A third branch of thinking takes an intermediate position, asserting that since the Fall the sin of Adam has naturally impacted human beings such that they have inborn tendencies to rebel against God (in which rebellion by personal choice all accountable humans, except Jesus, will choose or have chosen to indulge). This is the hamartiological position of the Eastern Christian churches, often called ancestral sin as opposed to original sin, but it is sometimes viewed as Semipelagian in the West, especially by the Reformed.

How individual Christians believe that either a literal or metaphorical "Fall" has impacted humanity typically forms the foundation for their views on related theological concepts such as salvation, justification, and sanctification.citation needed

See also

References

  1. ^ "hamartiology." Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon. Dictionary.com, LLC. 11 Jun. 2012. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hamartiology>
  2. ^ http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p7.htm
  3. ^ http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/westminster_conf_of_faith.html
  4. ^ http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/canons_of_dordt.html
  5. ^ http://www.rblist.org/1689.pdf
  6. ^ http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/111cal.html
  7. ^ Bavink, Herman. Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 3. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004) Pages 75-125 detail the historical development of Hamartiology, including Pelagius's position and the mediating positions)

External links