Could it be that sin--determined by a fixed set of norms--is the best
explanation for the behavior and problems we see in our world? Whether or
not you believe in the biblical concept of sin, open-mindedly consider the
claims that there are standards that derive from a higher source than
society. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that we will be judged
accordingly and that the Judge Himself has provided a way to have the
standard met in a very surprising way. One section of our special focus
features the controversial Christian doctrine of original sin, which states
that, through the first transgressor, all are guilty. See our special
—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University
Can't I Just Live a Good Moral Life?
Dr. Alan Scholes
Chapter 4 of Dr. Alan Scholes' book The Artful Dodger: A Skeptic Confronts Christianity.
The story of one skeptic's
confrontation with Christian beliefs. This chapter examines the questions:
"How could God condemn anyone?" "Isn't man basically good?" "What about
someone who's never heard?"
Character Deficiency Syndrome
Garry D. Nation
What causes character defects? Contemporary answers to this query usually
suggest "disease" or "dysfunction" as the root cause for violence and other
problems. The Bible offers a different answer. In particular, the Old
Testament differentiates four stages of moral depravity.
Triumph of the Therapeutic: The President at Willow Creek
I thought I had spoken my last words about the
Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Like most Americans, I'm
sick of it. Then, on the eve of his farewell address
to the Democratic National Convention, President
Clinton discussed the subject before 4,000 pastors
assembled at the Willow Creek Church in Illinois.
Blaise Pascal: An Apologist for Our Times
The author examines the contemporary relevance of the apologetics of Blaise
Pascal, a seventeenth century mathematician, scientist, inventor, and
Overhaul at Stanford
A Stanford undergrad tells how Christ changed her life in college, and
specifically addresses the issue of sin.
Why a Moral Life Won't Get Us to Heaven
"Won't a good, moral life get me to heaven?" The answer is no, and the
author spells out why, including how we CAN get to heaven.
Original Sin: A Disputation
Edward T. Oakes
Oakes begins, "Even in those denominations that pride themselves on their
adherence to the orthodox dogmas of the once-universal Church, the doctrine
of original sin is met with either embarrassed silence...or at a minimum a
kind of halfhearted lip service." NOTE: Oakes uses the Thomist method of
fairly putting forth the opposing view without comment, then offering his
Original Sin Redeemed
Review by James G. Williams
Review of The Joy of Being Wrong: Original Sin Through Easter Eyes by James Alison.
Williams favorably reviews Alison's reinterpretation, inspired by Rene
Girard, of original sin in light of redemption.
"We no longer see ourselves as 'sinners' in need of forgiveness. Maybe sin
used to be a problem, but now we've outgrown that. So while the church has
a solution for the problem of sin, it's a non-problem in the eyes of most
Americans--at least not a serious problem."
Go here to see our past Special Focus features.