For many traditionalist Christians, the doctrine of “original sin” is a sacred cow. But author Danielle Shroyer hopes to send it to the slaughter house with her book, “Original Blessing: Putting Sin in Its Rightful Place.”
The doctrine of “original sin” asserts that human nature was corrupted due to the first sin by Adam and Eve and, therefore, all humans are inherently sinful. It is a “theological construct,” which means it isn’t explicitly laid out in the Christian scriptures, but rather derives from quilting together various passages. The first formulation of the doctrine arises with Augustine around the late 4th Century AD.
According to Shroyer, a former pastor and theologian, Jesus didn’t believe this doctrine and neither did the early church. And if Jesus didn’t believe it, maybe we shouldn’t either. Given the importance of this doctrine and Shroyer’s provocative claim, I decided to take time to chat with Shroyer about why she rejects original sin and what she believes instead.