Blogs,  Vic Stanley

Bad To The Bone

Written By Victor Stanley Jr.

In Book I of St. Augustine’s Confessions he addresses the idea of original sin, that is the doctrine that man is born in sin, and is thus inherently wicked, corrupt, sinful, depraved, or various other terms that describe a similar state. In Book I, 7, 11 Augustine makes the statement that, “The only innocent feature in babies is the weakness of their frames; the minds of infants are far from innocent.”[1] This is a key doctrine in the Christian faith

because it establishes our need for a savior, it confirms the effects of the Fall, and speaks to the inheritance of a sin nature that mankind received from Adam; Paul speaks of this in Romans 5:

“Death in Adam, Life in Christ [12] Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned,” (Romans 5:12 ESV).

Augustine goes on to point out the fact that man at no point in his life possesses any portion of righteousness, and that all men are guilty in God’s sight. He states, “no one is free from sin in your [God] sight, not even the infant whose span of earthly life is but a single day.” This parallels Psalms 58:3, and Psalms 51:5 both of which speak of man’s inherent sin nature even from the point of conception.

I think the most important implication of original sin is that it points to our need for a savior, for if we are not inherently wicked and corrupt, then it would mean that we could possibly achieve righteousness on our own. Indeed this is what Muslims and many eastern religions believe, and the Manicheans, whom Augustine was involved with before his conversion, also denied the inherent evil nature of man; instead they attributed it to some malevolent force that acted upon men and caused them to do wrong.

When we decide that we are, or can become, righteous in and of ourselves we quickly lose the need for a righteous Savior to atone for our sins, and justify us before a pure and holy God. St. Augustine recognized this and it caused him to worship God even more as he proclaimed, “Your will is that I should praise you, O Lord my God, who gave life and a body to that infant…” We too should praise the God who, even though we were wicked from birth, chose to extend us grace through salvation.

[1] All quotes, unless noted, are taken from: Maria Boulding, trans., The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century; The Confessions, ed. John E. Rotelle (New York: New City Press, 1997)


  • Steve Finnell

    Is God just “crying wolf” when He warns Christians of falling away or mentions those who have departed from the faith?

    The doctrine “Perseverance of the Saints” states that God grants eternal security for all those He has unconditionally selected and saved. IS THAT FACT OR FICTION?

    Acts 20:28-30 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    Was God using the apostle Paul to “cry wolf” even though there was no danger to the church?

    Galatians 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

    Was the declaration by Paul, to those Christians who were trying to be justified by the law, just another example of God “crying wolf” through the apostle Paul?

    1 Corinthians 9:27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

    If “once saved always saved” is God’s doctrine; then how could Paul be disqualified? Was Paul just “crying wolf” as some might proclaim?

    Hebrews 6:4-6 For in the case of those who have once been enlighten and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the power of the age to come, 6 and when then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

    Why would God warn of the possibility of apostasy if all Christians were guaranteed eternal security? Was God just “crying wolf” one more time?

    Revelation 3:1-5 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write……4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life….

    Jesus sent this message to the church. Note: Jesus said only a few had not soiled their garments. Jesus makes it clear that church members can have their names erased from the book of life. Was Jesus just “crying wolf?”

    Titus 1:2 in the hope of eternal life , which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,

    God promised eternal life, He did not promise Christians; that they could never fall from grace.


    • Vic S.

      Steve, it has become obvious to me from this comment and the one about election on another one of my posts that you have serious disagreements with my theological and doctrinal stances. I would love to chat with you about these issues possibly over the phone or through video chat. Please let me know if you would be interested, and we can work to set something up.

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