Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Origin of Sin

A selection from a letter by J. C. Philpot, the Strict and Particular Baptist pastor and editor of the Gospel Standard magazine, to a man that had asked his opinion of a book by William Tucker, Predestination, Calmly Considered from Principles of Reason. Mr. Philpot replied that the doctrine of predestination was a matter of divine revelation, not reason. He also repudiated a false doctrine of sin set forth in the book. The letter was written April 2, 1867:

…He speaks of the existence of sin being in consequence of the sovereign appointment of God. Now I do not believe that this is Scripture doctrine, nor do I know a single passage even bearing that way. I fully believe that the entrance of sin into the world, and of death by sin, was according to the permissive will of God, for without it it could not have entered; but not appointed by Him in the same way as what is good, for such an assertion, reason how we may, would make sin being a creature and such metaphysical subtleties are mere sophism.

Two things are very evident; first, that sin is a most dreadful evil, hateful to God, and calling down His displeasure and righteous punishment; and secondly, that there is no remedy for this dreadful evil, except through the incarnation and bloodshedding of the Son of God. Here I rest, not being willing to trouble my mind with daring reasonings of men destitute of godliness, and here I advise you to rest too.

Letters and Memoir of Joseph Charles Philpot, first published in 1871, reprinted by Baker Book House, 1981, p. 469.

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