Imputed Sin or Guilt?

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Notthemama1984

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
In a better attempt to fix by cracks in justification, I was reading aBrakel on original sin. He seems to make the case that Adam's sin was not imputed into the rest of mankind, but rather his guilt was.

Original sin consists of imputed guilt and inherent pollution. We do not understand imputed guilt to mean that man, due to his inherited corruption, must be viewed as being in the same condition as Adam; that is, as if he in actuality had committed the same deed which Adam had committed. This would not be the imputation of someone else‟s crime, but rather of one‟s own. This would be nothing more than a comparison between specific sins of specific people, and a comparison between sins as far as guilt and punishment are concerned. Then our sinfulness could just as well be measured against the sins of others, instead of against Adam‟s sin. Rather, by imputed guilt we understand the imputation of the original breach of the covenant itself, as was committed by Adam. By denying or distorting this truth the foundation is laid also to deny the pollution of sin as inherited from Adam, and thus of all original sin. This in turn leads to the denial of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.

CRS page 381 in the hardback and 473 in the .pdf

This is the first I have heard of that concept (maybe I should have heard this all along).

What are your thoughts?

PS. I do want to thank everyone a million times over for answering my simple questions.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
This is an important truth that a'Brakel gets at. One more element needs to be added (one with which a'Brakel definitely agrees): covenantal headship, or representation. Adam and Jesus are both in this position of representative headship. This is somewhat similar to how a kingship works: the king represents the people. What the king does, the people do. And just because we live thousands of years after both Adam and Jesus doesn't mean that this headship becomes a moot point. Now, in terms of the exact point that a'Brakel is making, we are not saying that the people are actually doing the exact same thing that the king does. However, if someone else were to hold a nation responsible for what the king does, this would never be considered unfair. If the king is guilty of crime, it is a guilt that the entire nation shares. That is what a'Brakel is saying. Boliver, if you really want a firm foundation in the doctrine of justification, you need to read three books: volume 5 of John Owen's complete works; James Buchanan on Justification, and John Fesko on justification. You will have an excellent grounding then. And I might add that these three books will pay you many times over the time you invest in them.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
It is interesting to note what the NET Bible has to say in he footnotes for Romans 5:12.

5:12 2 tn The translation of the phrase ἐφ᾿ ᾧ (eph ho ) has been heavily debated. For a discussion of all the possibilities, see C. E. B. Cranfield, "On Some of the Problems in the Interpretation of Romans 5.12," SJT 22 (1969): 324-41. Only a few of the major options can be mentioned here: (1) the phrase can be taken as a relative clause in which the pronoun refers to Adam, "death spread to all people in whom [Adam] all sinned." (2) The phrase can be taken with consecutive (resultative) force, meaning "death spread to all people with the result that all sinned." (3) Others take the phrase as causal in force: "death spread to all people because all sinned."

Option two has crossed my mind as being a good option for interpreting this passage especially because of what Ezekiel 18:20 has to say.

Ezekiel 18:20
20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

However, I do tread carefully in the wake of the many fine scholars of the church. Also, I am not by any means able to handle the Greek.

What are some thoughts on the way I am perceiving Romans 5:12?

---------- Post added at 07:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:39 AM ----------

I do realize that Ezekiel 18:20 does meddle with our doctrine of justification. Thoughts on this are welcome as well.

Ezekiel 18:20
20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
 
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