Original Sin Vs. Original Blessing

I mentioned a while back that, recently, I picked up Matthew Fox's book titled Original Blessing. While I shy away from Fox's mystical cosmology, I am intrigued by his argument that many of us have misunderstand Genesis 1-3 because we have emphasized "original sin" over humanity's "original blessing" (e.g. being created to live in relationship with God). What do you think of this conjecture? Is it accurate? Fox seems to want to do away with the notion of original sin altogether so that he can focus on original blessing. Is this going too far the other way? Does there need to be a balance? Any input on this matter?


  1. I think there definitely needs to be a correction in our "original sin" interpretation of Genesis 1-3. I haven't read the book, so I can not speak in the end, but I wouldn't say we need to overcome the negative aspects the story emphasizes. I would say that in focusing more upon the "original blessing" one can then properly understand the repercussions of the disobedience. Not in some vague generic spiritual death or original sin, but in the deprivation of the blessings of the world as in Eden.

  2. owen,
    that's an interesting take. so, are you suggesting that even when we focus on the "original blessing", we actually end up seeing more clearly and vividly the outworking(s) of original sin? if so, is this not more emphatic on original sin, in the end?

  3. Yes, that is in effect what I am saying.

    And somewhat, depending on what you mean by original sin. If we interpret the fall and its effect as it traditionally is, then yes, more so. However (and this entails a full discussion on the topic in the end), if we see the consequences as the deprivation of some of the original blessing (I am guessing I am understanding the terminology correctly) then the emphasis upon the negative aspects is seen in relation to the world as it should be and how this lack causes the problem humanity faces. Kind of vague I know, but in the end, it then turns the focus back upon the "original blessing" in seeing God as restoring this blessed state (and maybe improving upon).

    But besides, I wouldn't say the reading of the text should be an either/or. Rather, I think "original blessing" and "original sin" are different sides of the same coin of Genesis 1-3.

  4. Owen,
    I agree w/your concluding remarks about two sides of the same coin, here. I think you make some good points and I guess I had understood you right from the beginning and that when it comes down to it, we agree on the conclusion.