Adam, Eve, and the Serpent

This is a very informative book with many insights into the early years of Christianity. I would recommend everyone try to read it. There are many interesting facts – for example, there is a gnostic gospel called Testimony of Truth which tells the story of Paradise from the serpent’s point of view.

The most intriguing item is that St Augustine of Hippo had a profound effect on the Catholic Church that many people don’t appreciate. Augustine took the opposite position to both John Chrysostom and Pelagius, both of whom insisted that Christians through their baptism are free to make moral choices and that although our will cannot affect the course of nature, it can effect our moral decisions. When Pope Zosimus declared Pelagius teaching’s orthodox, Augustine protested and lobbied him so successfully that the Pope reversed his decision.

Augustine argued against Pelagius and then Julian of Eclanum that it was human choice – Adam’s sin – that brought mortality and sexual desire upon the human race and so deprived Adam’s progeny of the freedom to choose not to sin.

When Augustine was a younger man and had a mistress, he wrote a book On Free Will which agreed with the views of Pelagius, but he changed his mind later in life as indicated in his Confessions. Ever since Augustine, the hereditary transmission of original sin has been the official doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Fascinating.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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