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The Fall Of Humanity By Mikael Horton

Decent Essays

In the article, “The Fall of Humanity” by Mikael Horton we learn the following: Adam’s representative headship accounts for the grandeur and the tragedy of human existence; it sets in motion the great trial that sets the stage for the fulfillment of all things in Jesus, the faithful last Adam. The covenant of creation is implicitly and explicitly taught in Scripture, integrating both the legal and the familial aspects of humanity’s natural relationship to God and illuminating the character of Christ’s gracious work. No doctrine is more significant for a biblical anthropology than original sin, although none has been subject to more criticism. Human image-bearing was not lost in the fall (we retain our human personhood and dignity), but the …show more content…

The doctrine arises from two principle biblical sources: (1) the covenantal shape of all God’s dealings with humanity and (2) the specific narrative of the fall from original integrity. The concept of solidarity or representative headship—human solidarity in Adam, Israel’s solidarity in Abraham and Moses, the elect’s solidarity in Christ, is basic to the biblical worldview. It is crucial for Christian theology to affirm the historical veracity of Adam and his representative sin. While there are metaphysical or ontological consequences to Adam’s transgression of the covenant (corruption and death), the basis of these and the essence of sin itself is legal and ethical (1 Cor. 15:56)—that is, just like our commission in the image of God, original sin is to be understood in covenantal terms. Fundamentalism tends to reduce sin to evil personal behaviors; liberalism tends to reduce it to evil social structures. But sin is far deeper than either account. We are victims and perpetrators of sin; every sinner is also sinned against, both in interpersonal and broader social contexts. When the divine-human dimension is considered primary, sin becomes guilt and condemnation before a holy and righ¬teous Lord with whom we have broken covenant. Two helpful distinctions are necessary to account for both humanity’s universal sinfulness and corruption and its remaining goodness and …show more content…

The distinction between righteousness before God and before others—While Scripture (and experience) credits unbelievers with a certain goodness, justice, and wisdom in human affairs, it is the righteousness of God’s own character that is the standard by which all will be judged.
2. The distinction between natural and moral ability—Humans possess a natural ability to obey God’s commands but lack the moral ability to love God and neighbor in accord with God’s righteous character; our human capacities and abilities were not lost in the fall but twisted and deformed in unrighteousness.
Apart from redemption in Christ, humans are not truly persons who bear the image of God. While Lutherans also traditionally teach that the image of God was lost in the fall, differences with the Reformed are much more semantic than substantial. This delay opens up a space for God’s own saving action, worked out in promise and fulfillment through redemptive history. God’s call to Abraham in Genesis 12 initiates the history of Israel, which is primarily the story of a people called and kept by the gracious promises of God to the patriarchs. The history of Israel’s judgment for covenant-breaking, yet their gracious deliverance on the basis of God’s promises to Abraham, recapitulates the story of Adam’s fall and God’s promises of a Seed, all pointing to their new covenant fulfillment in the person and work of

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