Hamartiology Theology

Hamartiology: Sinners by Nature and by Choice

When I was thirteen or fourteen years old we lived on the La Contenta Golf Course in Valley Springs, California. I loved it because I loved golf and I could walk to the golf course and play anytime that I wanted. At that time I was being home-schooled which meant I could do my schoolwork in the morning, then go golf all afternoon.

One day in the kitchen of our home my mom gave me the news: we were moving from the “city” house on the golf course out to the country area about fifteen minutes away. I couldn’t believe it! How could we move? How was I going to golf? I did not want to move and told me mom that I didn’t want to move. But, her response was, “Dad and I have already decided to move and we are moving.” I didn’t have a say in the matter.

Hamartiology - Sinners by Nature and by Choice

Photo Credit: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872)

I’m sure that you’ve had if not one but many examples were you were merely a bystander to a situation or circumstance and didn’t have a say in the matter. When it comes to the sin nature that we as humans have, we don’t have a choice in the matter. We are sinners by nature, and we even sin by choice as well. As the theologian John Walvoord once said, “The testimony of the Scriptures is clear that men are sinners by imputation, by nature, and by choice.”[ref]John Walvoord, “Is Moral Progress Possible?” an article in Bibliotheca Sacra in 1944, republished in BibSac 175 (July-September 2018), p. 261[/ref] Let’s look at the human nature.


Hamartiology Theology

Hamartiology: The Fall

I think we’ve all had an event in our lives that shaped us forever. That one event that happened at a specific point in time in the past that has effected every part of our lives since then. Every day we do things and think thoughts that remind us of that event.

Hamartiology - The Fall

An event like that occurred in the third chapter of the book of Genesis. The event which I’m describing is the “Fall“[ref]The word “Fall” does not occur in the Bible, but that is the term which is often used to refer to the events of Genesis 3[/ref] in which Adam and Eve ate fruit from a tree that God told them not to eat from. And as a result, they negatively effected their lives and our lives forever.[ref]Former President of Dallas Theological Seminary once said, “The one sin of Adam has plunged the whole race into sin without exception.” (John Walvoord, “Is More Progress Possible” in Bibliotheca Sacra, July-September 2018, p, 262)[/ref] Let’s take a look at the Fall.

The Fall

I. THE FALL[ref]I have always found outlines a helpful way to summarize passage of Scripture. Another way to outline Genesis 3 is: The Conversation (Gen 3:1-5); The Casualty (Gen 3:6-7); The Con (Gen 3:8-13); The Curse (Gen 3:14-19); The Consequences (Gen 3:20-24).[/ref]

The third chapter of Genesis contains what many people call “The Fall.”

Anthropology Theology

Anthropology: The Fall of Adam and How We Are in Union with Him

Humans are lost, fallen, and hostile toward God. That’s a rough way to introduce a blog post, but in my opinion it’s what the Bible teaches and what orthodox Christianity has believed for thousands of years. In this blog post we are going to look at the Fall of Adam in Genesis and how that one event negatively affects the entire human race throughout biblical times and now.

The Fall of Adam and How We Are in Union with Him

I. THE STATUS OF ALL HUMANS[ref]Much of this post has been adapted from J. Scott Horrell’s class notes from my time studying under him at Dallas Theological Seminary. Consider purchasing Dr. Horrell’s book, From the Ground Upas a way to support him and his ministry.[/ref]

Because of the fall “Humankind no longer lives in the beginning; instead it has lost the beginning. Now it finds itself in the middle, knowing neither the end nor the beginning, and yet knowing that it is in the middle” (Boehnhoffer, Creation and Fall, 28). Let’s look at the event often called the “Fall” which occurs in Genesis 3.

A. Adam’s Sin

Anthropology Hamartiology

A Summary of the Doctrine of the Human Condition

Today’s blog post is a brief explanation of the doctrines of anthropology and harmatology. This brief survey is based on the the Evangelical Free Church of America’s statement of faith which reads:

The Human Condition. Article #3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.

A Summary of the Doctrine of the Human Condition, The Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story by William Foster

Photo Credit: “The Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story” by William Foster


"The Fall of Man" by Cornelis van Haarlem (1562-1638)
“The Fall of Man” by Cornelis van Haarlem (1562-1638)

Adam and Eve were created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27); therefore they were like God and represented God (Pss 8:3-8). The presence of God’s image is show by the facts that humans have

  • a mind/will/personality,
  • the capacity to rule (Gen 1:26, 28; 2:19; Pss 8; Gen 22:5),
  • spiritual/moral qualities (Gen 2:16-17; 3:22; Lev 11:45-46; Matt 5:48; Luke 3:38),
  • capacity for relationships (Gen 1:26; 2:20-23; 3:8),
  • personal social distinction, and
  • an image that will be improved and made perfect (Col 3:10; Eph 2:14; 1 Cor 15:49; 1 John 3:2).