Tonight I was browsing aimlessly through my Facebook feed when a sponsored site came up. It was called Theology for the People. This page was advertising a new book out titled “Original Blessing: Putting Sin in its Rightful Place” by Danielle Shroyer. I have never read any of her books. I have not heard her name even amongst the many Christian Twitters who tweet book recommendations. As I dug deeper I now know why. One of the pictures she had on her author’s page had a quote from her book. It read, “Original sin is bad for people and it isn’t in the Bible. Time to get rid of it.”
I know I am just a blogger who’s post will get few views and her book may get thousands of people who buy her book. But the point is that I’d rather warn a few viewers and direct them to the Word of God than mislead a thousand people. I haven’t read the book only a few reviews and a synopsis. But if the quote I mentioned in the first paragraph is followed by 20,000 sentences like it then I think this is a good warning and not some theological rant about a small issue. Shroyer seems to take on the doctrine of original sin and how it is not relevant or helpful for today. Rather it is beneficial if we see Gods blessing than we see humanity in our original state. In a post on the Patheos site titled “The Bread of Blessing or the Stone of Original Sin” Shroyer notes, “We are not born with a sinful nature, but a human nature designed for blessing and abundant life, because we are made in the image of a God of blessing and abundant life.” And I believe this is what she talks about the majority of her book. This statement is true pre-fall. Before Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden. But this is heresy if she means it post-fall. She goes on and says “That doesn’t mean we don’t live in a world of sin, or even that a world of sin doesn’t reside sometimes in our own hearts and minds. But no sin can uproot the blessing that resides at the center of our being.” I agree we live in a world of sin. But how did that sin enter the world? Is sin just our actions? What is the cause of those actions? Who holds the responsibility? The Word of God says man does in Romans 5:12 “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—”
If Shroyer means the “original blessing” is in Gods redemptive plan and grace which was known by God before He created man and before sin entered the world. There wouldn’t be a need for this post. But the “original sin” and “original blessing” seem to go head to head. She was kind enough to reply to a thread on one of her posts. It seems that she denies the doctrine of original sin. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God. He made atonement for them by the blood of an animal. The consequence of Adams sin according to the Romans 5 passage covers all of humanity except for one. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Thus He is the perfect man. The only one in all of history. And only through Him do we obtain the blessing of God being released from the power of our nature to sin. My view which is the reformed view says that we are totally unable to come to Christ apart from God drawing us and making us alive. Ernest Reisinger in his book, “Todays Evangelism” says that we are “spiritually blind, spiritually deaf, and spiritually dead.” Meaning there is no way and only Hell is where we are headed unless God intervenes. Redemption of man doesn’t start with man looking for a new outlook on Gods word, but looking at Gods word. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation says Paul in Romans 1:16.
Shroyer seems to take one story out of the Gospels and make that her theology of original sin. Since God isn’t the type of parent to give stones to His children then we shouldn’t look at our selves deserving of anything less than a stone. But that is the fault. We do not start out as Gods children. According to Ephesians 2:3 we are “children of wrath.” At the beginning of our life we only know how to do evil. This is why systematically theology is important. Looking at the entire Bible as a whole and understanding God this way helps us not to rely on one passage as our belief on one certain doctrine. Instead it helps us see what the entire Word of God says about doctrine of original sin or salvation.
She encouraged me to read her book which comes out in November. I hope to read it and be able to give a more credible review and critique for you all. Beware of those who teach something that is contrary to the Word of God. The breath of God doesn’t ever contradict itself. However the breath of man is susceptible if not submitted to the authority of Scripture. (2 Timothy 3:16)
In Him who is able,