St. Augustine's model of original sin

The doctrine of original sin is obviously one of the more difficult aspects of Christianity for many people: how could it possibly be just to punish someone born today for a sin committed thousands of years ago?

Augustine's attempt to explain this is interesting, if I grasp it correctly. (Of course, it may be interesting even if I don't grasp it correctly, but then it would be interesting in a different way.)

If I have him right, Augustine views original sin as essentially "cracking the mold" from which human beings are created. Once this mold has this crack in it, naturally every human being produced by using the mold will contain the same crack.

Of course, this leaves open the question of why God doesn't simply patch up the crack. Nevertheless, this is a bold attempt on Augustine's part to address the question of justice here. And perhaps as I get deeper into his ideas, I will find that he does indeed address my question.


  1. MathMan, comments that stupid do not get published here.

    1. Would you publish that comment if I hadn't put that question at the end, or was the entirety of my comment not good enough?

  2. Didn't God 'patch up the crack,' at least in the respect that really matters? (i. E. In the eternal sense, through Jesus.)

    (And I also find that I also very often take people wrongly, and that the wrong way frequently makes for vastly more interesting thoughts. I am kind of thankful for it. Sometimes. )

    1. Yes, I agree Scott. But I am trying to see this from the critic's point of view, and the critic will ask: "Why wait all that time? Just fix it immediately!"


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