Well, it’s that time of the week! It’s time for me to let you know that Alayna and I just got engaged :). That’s right, the deed was done (proposing… get your mind out of the gutter…) and she said yes. I’m not going to try to put the whole story in this post (though you might get it at some point in the future), but she seemed to think that I handled it well enough to be worth a shot :P… Seriously, if you haven’t gotten this hint from the posts we’ve been writing, Alayna is a pretty awesome lady, and amazingly she thinks that she’s lucky to have me (I have yet to figure that out because I’m obviously the lucky one). Anyway, Put your thinking caps on and get your brains working… and yes, I did just use the phrase ‘put your thinking caps on’. I have something of a fun theological question for you today: what is sin? Is it something you do? Something you think? Something you are? A conversation Alayna and I had recently actually inspired this post. So, let me set out the basic theological view: 1) Sin is something that you do (i.e. personal sin), and 2) Sin is something that you are (natural sin).
The foundation of the doctrine of sin is natural sin. Natural sin presents sin as an ontological corruption (or corruption of the being or essence of a thing – of this case man). That is to say that, in Augustine’s language, there is a seed of corruption within the human soul that corrupts the very essence of its ontological existence (i.e. it’s being or nature). This ontological corruption cannot be removed without first removing the seed of sin, and the seed of sin cannot be removed by any human power. Thus, even if it were possible for a person both to be ontologically corrupted and still live a perfect life (i.e. a life that never intentionally transgressed divine law or, more realistically, a life that hasn’t yet intentionally transgressed divine law such as an infant), that person would still be damned because of the corruption in their very nature (I am not saying here that any ontologically corrupted being could live a perfect life, but instead explaining the the nature of ontological corruption in and of itself before considering its practical effects). However, this ontological corruption also inevitably leads to a practical corruption (i.e. personal sin or knowingly transgressing the law of God), and thus we have what we normally call sin (i.e. doing bad things). Thus, natural sin proceeds personal sin and thus anyone who lives long enough in a state of natural sin will inevitably commit personal sins (and it generally doesn’t take long at all).