"Integrated Circuit." Heh. That's good.RCSaunders wrote: ↑Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:48 am I think it is a mistake to say human beings have an, "inclination," toward anything, especially if it is an "inclination to do wrong" based on the fact the human beings do wrong, unless you are going to say human being have an "inclination to do good" base on the fact the human beings do good. (If you are a radical Calvinist, of course, you will not agree human beings do anything good.)
And no, I'm not a Calvinist, I assure you. But it is interesting that you know what they do, in fact, believe. What's your background in that, RC?
Yes, I think human beings have both good and evil propensities. Mankind makes great art and music, invents cures for things, and generates amazing technologies. At the same time, they arrange genocides, take on addictions, commit crimes, and pour toxins into the environment. Both are true, obviously. I think that's a pretty easy empirical case to make.
Romans 3.What I was really interested in is your view regarding the Christian doctrine of "original sin" or "depravity," that is, that human beings are born with a, "sinful nature," that makes it impossible to live without doing wrong based on such verses as, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," or, "there is none righteous, no not one." [I'm quoting from memory, KJV version, but will be happy to supply references if you like.] [I'm only referring to the sinful nature, here, not how it was acquired, e.g., the sin of Adam.]
Well, if human beings aren't born with the capacity to sin, from where does it come? Watch a child who has lost his/her favourite toy: watch her explode in rage, ball up her little fists and scream in frustration. Or watch the little tyke bash his sister over the head with his toy car. Watch the little prom queen spread poisonous rumours among her friends, or the mean kid on the sports field step on his rival...who teaches this stuff? Where does it originate? How is it that we are able to do it so easily, so naturally, and right from birth?I know that conservative Christians believe the rebirth is necessary because people are born with a sinful nature, and salvation is only possible to those with, "reborn," with a new nature. So the real question is, do people do wrong (what the Bible calls sin) because that is the nature they are born with, and is it that nature (which Paul refers to as the flesh) which is the cause of temptation.
Of course it's in us. We are drawn to it. And it's best we know we are.
I know about this, and have done a great deal of thinking about it, actually. It's a good question, but also one that deserves a careful answer.It is not a trick question and I'll tell you exactly why I ask it. The Bible (Hebrews) says, speaking of Christ, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." If human temptation is the result of a sinful nature, and Jesus did not have a sinful nature (which virtually all Christians agree he didn't), he could not possibly be tempted, at least not in all points like all other human beings whose temptation is caused by their own nature.
What Christians all believe is that Christ DIDN'T sin. What is more controversial is the question, "COULD Christ HAVE sinned, if He had wanted to?" Of course, that makes the question merely hypothetical, but it does still get to the issue of what Christ's real nature was: if He was "tempted," was it necessary that He also COULD HAVE failed the test?
I'm convinced the right answer to that is "No." I have several lines of reasoning that lead to that conclusion. One was given me many years ago, by a book I read, that had the title, "Could God Incarnate Sin?" God Incarnate. Frame the question that way, and the answer is obviously "No."
But here's another line of thought: we have, in fact, a good description in two gospels of the actual temptation of Christ. And we are told that during that time, as the Bible puts it, Christ underwent being tempted by "all the kingdoms of the world and their glory," all condensed into "a moment of time." A more intense worldly temptation could not be devised: if we take the passages literally, it means that literally ALL such possible temptations were rolled into a single intense moment, and unleashed on Jesus Christ.
But He did not fail. There were no possible worldly temptations left, and He did not fail any of them, or all of them together. So that means that neither could He fail -- to put it philosophically, there is no "possible world" in which Christ could sin.
Why then the temptation? Temptations are a kind of character test. And tests can have two functions: one is to show that a thing fails. When one takes a drug test, failure is the looked-for outcome. But some tests are not like that. If one builds a bridge that is supposedly capable of holding up three transport trucks at the same time, and people doubt the bridge, you might provide a test to put their minds at ease; and it might be something like driving eight transport trucks onto the bridge at the same time, so as to show that the bridge is not anywhere close to failing the real-world test of handling a single truck. In other words, some tests are proofs of reliability.
Christ was tested. We might say, He was over-tested. He faced more serious temptation than any human being ever has or ever will. And it is this impossibility of failure that is being pointed out in Hebrews. The author is saying, "If you think He can't hold you up, consider how much He's already borne -- and won through. You're not close to that."
There are both other lines of reasoning supporting this conclusion, and some other objections I've heard people raise. But how long can one response reasonable be? And also, you seem to have something interesting in mind, and I'm keen to hear it. So I'll stop talking now.
Yes, I'm interested. Fire away.If you care about the question, I'll be glad to explain where I think the mistake in Christian doctrine is on this point. Hint: it is a misinterpretation of Paul in Romans and a misunderstanding of the word, "lust," in the Bible.