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Of all the documents that have come down from antiquity, Genesis three is the only one that explains how the world became sinful and evil (Edward J Young, Genesis 3).

It [sin] cannot occur at any time nor in any form without his permission. While he does not actively originate it, he holds such absolute control over it that no single event in connection with it can take place without his permission (James P. Boyce, Abstract of Systematic Theology).

The sinful actions of men may be sinful, either from the motives which prompt them, the ends in view, or the means by which they are accomplished. God may concur in such acts, from motives, with ends, and in the use of means which are altogether most holy (James P. Boyce, Abstract of Systematic Theology).

God’s eternal decree certainly rendered the entrance of sin into the world certain, but this may not be interpreted so as to make God the cause of sin in the sense of being its responsible author (L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology).

In conclusion it may be said that sin may be defined as lack of conformity to the moral law of God, either in act, disposition, or state (L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology).

One human nature is common to all the descendants of Adam, and it is, for all men, guilty and polluted (Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith).

In this simple but profound psychological way Scripture tells the history of the fall and of the origin of sin. In this way sin continues still to come into being. It begins with the darkening of the understanding, continues with the excitement of the imagination, stimulates desire in the heart, and culminates in an act of the will (Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith).

We can shed some light on the possibility of the fall, but the transition to the actuality of it remains shrouded in darkness. Scripture makes not so much a single effort to render this transition understandable (Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith).

The devil’s characteristic has been to originate sin and tempt others to sin (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology).

Satan was the originator of sin (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology).

Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology).

It is important to insist on the historical truthfulness of the narrative of the fall of Adam and Eve. Just as the account of the creation of Adam and Eve is tied in with the rest of the historical narrative in the book of Genesis, so also this account of the fall of man, which follows the history of man’s creation, is presented by the author as straightforward, narrative history (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology).

Guilt was imputed and corruption was conveyed (Gordon Clark, Doctrine of Man).

We are not guilty because we are depraved; we are depraved because we are guilty (Gordon Clark, Doctrine of Man).

As we fell in Adam, we are saved in Christ. To deny the principle in the one case, is to deny it in the other; for the two are inseparably united in the representations of Scripture (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology).

In every system of theology, therefore, there is a chapter De libero arbitrio. This is a question which every theologian finds in his path, and which he must dispose of; and on the manner in which it is determined depends his theology, and of course his religion, so far as his theology is to him a truth and reality (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology).

He [man] knows that when he is not what he ought to be; when he does what he ought not to do; or omits what he ought to do, he is chargeable with sin (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology).

If, unable to solve the mysteries of Providence, we plunge into Atheism, we only increase a thousand fold the darkness by which we are surrounded (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology).

Total depravity means the entire absence of holiness, not the highest intensity of sin. A totally depraved man is not as bad as he can be, but he has no holiness, that is, no supreme love of God (William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology).

But Adam and Eve thought that it was they who were determining the course they would follow, that they were only exercising their autonomous right to determine for themselves the true, the good, and the beautiful. They became, in their understanding, their own authority, and their fallen descendants ever since that time have claimed a similar autonomy from God (Robert l. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith).

Man in his raw, natural state as he comes from the womb is morally and spiritually corrupt in disposition and character. Every part of his being—his mind, his will, his emotions, his affections, his conscience, his body—has been affected by sin (this is what is meant by the doctrine of total depravity) (Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith).

I was a sinner already before I was born (Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology).

 Since God is holy, His will is holiness—perfect moral goodness—for every moral being. Lack of conformity to divine law, therefore, constitutes sin as sin. Its root is the very essence of uncongeniality of the creature’s fallen nature with the creator’s perfectly holy nature (Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology).

This must mean that evil desire (i.e. a corruption of heart) preceded the act of outward disobedience. How this could have happened in a holy being is unknown and cannot be known by us (Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology).

Sin is lack of conformity to the moral law of God, either in act, disposition, or state (A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology).

The sinful acts and dispositions of men are referred to, and explained by, a corrupt nature. This corrupt nature (a) belongs to man from the first moment of his being; (b) underlies man’s consciousness; (c) cannot be changed by man’s own power; (d) first constitutes him a sinner before God; (e) is the common heritage of the race (A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology).

It may be doubted whether any repentance is genuine which is not repentance for sin rather than sins (A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology).

In opposition to the plenary ability taught by the Pelagians, the gracious ability of the Arminians, and the natural ability of the New School theologians, the Scriptures declare the total inability of the sinner to turn himself to God or to do that which is truly good in God’s sight (A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology).

The depravity which sin has produced in human nature extends to the whole of it. There is no part of man’s nature which is unaffected by it. Man’s nature is all of a piece, and what affects it at all affects it altogether (James Denney, Studies in Theology).

He that disobeys God, rejects his reign; and so God views it (J. L. Dagg, Manual of Theology).

It [Adam’s act] cast off the authority of God, usurped his prerogative, and gave the mind up to the dominion of natural desire (J. L. Dagg, Manual of Theology).

Sin must  be within God’s eternal decrees in some sense in which He is not the author of it . . . We must conclude then that within the decrees of God, there are decrees of permission of those things of which God Himself is not the author (J. O. Buswell, A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion).

Sin may then be defined ultimately as anything in the creature which does not express, or which is contrary to, the holy character of the Creator (J. O. Buswell, A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion).

To be spiritually dead is to be diabolically alive (R. C. Sproul, Grace Unknown).

Man’s will is free in the sense that man can choose to do anything in keeping with his nature . . . Man’s will is not free in that he is limited to his nature (Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology).

Sin is present in everyone as a nature before it expresses itself in deeds (Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology).

Satan’s temptation may be summed up as appealing to man in this way: it made man desire to have what God had forbidden, to know what God had not revealed, and to be what God had not intended for him to be (Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology).

Man’s want of original righteousness and of holy affections toward God, and the corruption of his moral nature and his bias toward evil is called depravity (Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology).

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