Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor 


Original Sin
J. Oliver Buswell, Jr.

From: JASA 15 (December 1963): 122.

One of the besetting sins of scientists is the ignoring of related fields of study . . . .

The "Pauline theologians" (p. 26, re: Dobzhansky) do not teach a doctrine of original sin which is in any way dependent upon the idea of inheritance of acquired characteristics. The key reference is Romans 5:12-21. Paul teaches that the original sin of Adam is logically parallel to the atonement of Christ. Competent theologians, Charles Hodge, e.g., understand this passage to imply a representative principle such as many of us recognize in all socia I ' as well as individual, ethics.

I gave considerable space to the history of the doctrine of original sin in Vol. I of my Systematics, and there will be more in the second volume (related to the atonement) to be published this year. But Hodge's Systematics (1871), not my work, should have answered this question.

Dean of Graduate Faculty, Covenant College and Theological Seminary St. Louis, Mo.