Original Sin 1 – Series Intro

Ever since the comments on a sweet and beautiful post by Elizabeth Esther evolved the way they did, I’ve felt that I should record some of my thoughts on the doctrine typically called “Original Sin” in a series on my blog. It’s something I’ve written about and discussed in a variety of settings, but I’ve never really collected any of my thoughts here. I’ll try to rectify that in this series.

I’ve been mulling how to approach this series. I’m not particular interested in writing a structured, point by point paper or argument. While I can do that when I need to do so, it’s neither my preferred way of thinking nor my preferred mode of expression. As such, I’ve decided to write the series from the perspective of things I encountered or noticed along my own journey. That does mean that I’ll probably not cover every point that matters to any particular person, but I will touch on the ones that matter the most to me.

I will note that in the last few years I’ve discovered that my perspective on this particular issue fits comfortably within the spectrum of belief which, in the Orthodox Church, is often referred to as the “Ancestral Sin“. So if you are familiar with the nature of the differences between that perspective and the idea of “Original Sin“, you probably won’t find much that is new or interesting in my series. I’m not Orthodox and am not in any position to communicate or defend Orthodox belief, so if you expect anything along those lines, you’ll be disappointed. I’m merely pointing out the similarity for those already familiar with Orthodoxy and Orthodox belief.

I have had and continue to have family and friends within almost every flavor of modern Christianity. And I have family and friends who are not Christian at all. Though I have and will express strong personal reactions to some of the ideas that are inextricably intertwined with the doctrine of Original Sin, I do so within the context of also loving people who sometimes themselves hold a particular idea I reject or who reject a perspective of reality I hold dear. That’s never been an issue or a problem for me or for most of the people in my life. But I mention it because I have sometimes encountered an attitude that, though is rarely expressed in blunt terms, seems to boil down to the idea that you can’t love people unless you agree with their beliefs. I’ve never understood why some people seem to react that way, but it’s not the way I react. And neither do the people I know and love.

Tomorrow I’ll dive into the series itself. My plan is to keep each post in this series relatively short. We’ll see whether or not I can accomplish that goal.

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