Fr. Romanides served under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and His dissertation, The Ancestral Sin, was accepted and published in , but. This paper explores the differences between the doctrine of Ancestral Sin—as .. uniformly answer with the word: As Romanides writes, “Man is born. John Savvas Romanides was an Orthodox Christian priest, author and professor who had a distinctive influence.

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The previous blog is Christ The New Adam. Theologian John Romanides did an analysis of early theologians of the Christian Church. Thus the Augustinian understanding of Adam and sin is not the only or most important view from among the early Christian theologians.


The Christian East had its own writers who followed a very different line of thinking about the ancestral sin of Adam. As soon as humans turned away from God, a death already occurred, and thus sin follows death. The humans sin when they turn away from God.

For life is God, and the deprivation of life is death.

Neither did He prevent the dissolution, for the reasons already stated: On the making and anvestral of man, St. On the other hand, if He had made him mortal, God would seem to be the cause of his death. Rather, He made him neither immortal nor mortal, as we said above, but capable of being either one in order that, should he incline toward things of immortality and keep the commandments of God, he would be rewarded by Him with immortality and become god.


If however he should turn to things of death by disobeying God, he would be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free and sovereign. Irenaeus of Lyons, who emphasizes that Satan is the cause of death.

Paul nowhere teaches that death is a punishment from God. God does not punish directly but indirectly, by permitting man, if he so wishes, to withdraw from Him and thus be deprived of life.

God permitted the dissolution of man so he would not become immortal in sin. Rather the Eastern writers holding to the goodness of God, believe God in His goodness bestows free will on humans and freedom of choice. Humans decide to separate themselves from God, and this is by definition death, for humans cut themselves off from the source of life. The humans are not created as perfect or perfected beings.

Rather, given free will and freedom of choice, they had the potential to choose perfection — or not. Thus humans do not fall from perfection into some lesser form of existence.

God is not wrathful that humans made a choice — He after all bestowed free will and freedom of choice upon us. God does allow us to experience the consequences of our choices. Death as a consequence tended to be viewed by early Christian writers as the merciful God not allowing humans to remain in sin eternally.

John Romanides

But our descent into mortality made us slaves to death. From this imprisonment, God rescues us and destroys rommanides jailor who held us captive. God did not make us infallible — that would have meant we had no free will.


God did not make us sinners, nor did He impose on us some kind of condition of predestination in which we are capable only of choosing sin. God did not wish for us to sin or die, but allowed that we might choose both. Once humans turned away from God and mortality entered into the picture, the human ability to choose properly became impaired, and sin and death now influenced our thinking, making it ever harder for humans to choose the good.

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