Jonathan Edwards on Original Sin (Part 20)
From The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended 2.2.a.
Old Testament Proof for Original Sin
I. Wickedness is often spoken of in Scripture as a thing "belonging to the race of mankind, and as if it were a property of the species."
A. Scripture Proofs:
1. Psalm 14:2-3.
2. Psalm 52:2-3.
1. Concession: the psalmist also writes of the "righteous."
2. However, it is manifest that wickedness is spoken of as concerning Man's natural state, and there is no doubt that unrighteous men may be changed by God's grace.
II. Wickedness is spoken of as belonging "to men, as of the human race, as sons of men."
A. Some Examples:
1. Psalm 4:2.
2. Psalm 57:4.
3. Psalm 58:1-2.
4. Proverbs 21:8.
5. Jeremiah 17:9.
1. It is objected that the above passages refer only to notorious sinners.
2. However, even if the above objection is correct, two questions remain:
a. Why does Scripture deem it fit to categorize notorious sinners in such general terms as "Man" or "sons of men"?
b. Why are there no verses that speak of Man in general in terms that would make the reader think that humankind is neutral or righteous? (i.e., there is no verse that states, "The heart of man is right and pure," or, "the Lord looked down from heaven on the sons of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and did seek after God; and they were all right, altogether pure, there was none inclined to do wickedness, no, not one."]
III. [Related to the above points, Edwards explores the way that the New Testament considers the "world" to be not neutral or righteous, but wicked: Edwards gives numerous quotes from John's writing to this effect.]
Labels: Reformation Theology