Christian Cyclopedia

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The part of Christian dogmatics,* or doctrinal* theol. that refers to man's creation,* essential parts, fall (see Fall of Man) and subsequent sinfulness. Man* was originally created in the image* of God. Though “very good” (Gn 1:31), man could fall (Gn 2:17), though the question as to how this could be belongs to the mystery of the origin of sin.* Man's fall was voluntary; though Eve was deceived by the devil (1 Ti 2:14), she and Adam sinned against better knowledge (Gn 3:1–13). The Fall was foreseen, but not willed, by God (Ps 5:4–5). Scripture rejects all forms of determinism* and fatalism.* After the Fall, man still has a free will in worldly affairs, and to some extent it can achieve civil righteousness (Ap XVIII 4). But he has no free will in spiritual matters. The Moral Law was originally written in man's heart (acc. to one interpretation of Ro 1:19–32; 2:14–15), so that in the state of innocence Adam knew God's will even without special revelation (Gn 2:18–24). After the Fall, man still retains knowledge of God's law and will, though it is obscured by sin (Ro 1:32). Conscience* is man's moral faculty that, on basis of natural law, judges bet. right and wrong. Since the Fall has obscured the natural law and weakened man's moral judgment, his opinions of moral and spiritual matters are often wrong; conscience therefore is no longer a safe guide in doctrine and life but must be normed acc. to Scripture, the only source and rule of faith and life. JTM

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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