The next few post will tackle a research series I completed for a class on hamartiology. Some of this material will be a bit much and too detailed as we jump into the theology pool but because of the length constraints on the research, it won’t go too deep. First, a brief introduction into the topic and where we will go.
The question is normally “Why would a good God declare and label people sinners who were not part of the first sin? How is that just and fair?” Theologians have wrestled throughout history with the issue of the imputation of sin which is sin or guilt being attributed or reckoned to each human. There are many views on the imputation of sin each struggling with the issue of justice while trying to stay biblically grounded. Imputation of sin breaks down into two main categories: mediate and immediate. The immediate further separates into the representative, also called federal, and the realistic. There are other views such as Pelagian and Arminian that have their own views on imputation but these have been widely discredited and will not be discussed. While each view has their strengths and weaknesses, the representative view will be shown to be the best view in contrast to the realistic immediate view and the mediate view. This paper will provide background and evidence for imputation, examine the three major views, and finally show the representative model as the best choice.