34. Christian Theology: Sin and the Fall

  1. Stephen Westerholm
  1. Marguerite Shuster

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch34

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

How to Cite

Shuster, M. (2011) Christian Theology: Sin and the Fall, in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed S. Westerholm), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch34

Editor Information

  1. McMaster University, Canada

Author Information

  1. Fuller Theological Seminary, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188449

Online ISBN: 9781444395778



  • Christian theology - sin and the fall;
  • the heart of Paul's thought, being Jesus Christ - incarnate, to deal with sin (Rom 8:3), crucified and risen for the salvation of humankind;
  • thinking of “sin,” contemporary men and women - that what is at issue, violating of some boundary that has been set;
  • Paul, not denying the explicit teaching of Scripture (1 John 3:4) - that sin, is a violation of the law of God, manifesting itself in transgressions;
  • expressing a deeper reality of the human being - as he or she is fundamentally driven by self-centeredness and worldly, ungodly impulses;
  • extent of sin, recognizing true seriousness of Sin from Paul's perspective - understanding both the way it affects every aspect of the person;
  • Paul's own argument about the universality of Sin - though, is not based on cultural or developmental analysis, closely linked to universality of death;
  • rest of the Old Testament, not typically going back to Genesis 3 - referring to the fount of human sinfulness;
  • Sin and the Law, not the place to discuss vast significance of the law - in Pauline thought;
  • Sin as punishment and as power, different - though perhaps related ways Paul speaks of Sin, insight into his views on human helplessness against it


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Sin and Sins

  • The Extent of Sin

  • Sin and the Law

  • Sin as Punishment and as Power

  • Bondage to Sin and Human Freedom

  • Practical Implications

  • References