Answerable for Our Own Sins: John Locke

Daily Dabble in the Scriptures, John Locke

17th Century Philosopher, John Locke, writing in The Reasonableness of Christianity, defends the position that Adam’s fall brought death into the world and upon all of Adam’s descendents as he was cast out paradise, “under which death they should have lain for ever, had it not been for the redemption by Jesus Christ.”

Yet he rejects the supposition that some faiths have read into the fall Adam that not only were they subject to death due to the ushering in of mortality but that “every one descended of him deserved endless torment, in hell-fire”, and not only that, but that “ever after” they were “incapable of doing any thing, but what shall be sinful and provoking to [God] and shall justly deserve [his] wrath and indignation.”

This then would say that God predestined man to sin, leaving him without the very agency that is unique to man, and then holding him accountable for the acts he was predestined to.

Locke called the ‘doctrine’ cruel and unjust, but this too, unscriptural. Said Locke, “as I remember, every one’s sin is charged upon himself only.”


Daily Dabble in the Classics are compiled and edited (with occasional commentary) by The Moral Liberal, Editor In Chief, Steve Farrell.



Purchase: The Reasonableness of Christianity, and A Discourse of Miracles (Library of Modern Religious Thought)