World Scripture, A Comparative Anthology Of Sacred Texts
Editor, Andrew Wilson
Chapter 8: Fall And Deviation
1. The Human Fall
2. Demonic Powers
4. Degraded Human Nature
5. God's Grief
This chapter deals with topics around the theme of fall and deviation. The Fall can refer to the primordial human fall posited by Christianity, or to a continual falling away from the purpose of existence in the life of each individual person, or both. In Adam's sin we all have sinned: this can mean we are genetically damaged by an Original Sin or that Adam was the archetypal sinner whose fall we repeat continually. Regardless of how the Fall is under- stood, once having deviated, fallen humans do not manifest their purpose of existence. In particular, we no longer experience the immediate presence of God, nor are we truly ourselves. Hence we require salvation to be restored to our original purpose.
The theme of deviation includes the topic of demonic powers. These have no place in a world that fulfills its true purpose, yet they manifestly exist and wreak damage in our world. A related topic is heresy, where error masquerades as true teachings and leads people astray.
A fourth section describes how the original human nature has been defiled, occluded, or damaged. Animal instinct rather than wisdom has come to dominate behavior, and people's value as temples of the divine spirit has been lost. The chapter closes with passages depicting the sadness, grief, and pity which this human deviation elicits from the heart of God.
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