Speaking at Spurgeon's College, London, in 1974 on the subject, "The Idea of Sin in Twentieth-century Theology,"2 Bruce Milne commented that despite the obvious challenges faced to the doctrine of sin in the twentieth century, very little had been written directly about it. Milne's observation would appear to be equally true over thirty years later. The aim of this article is to provide a survey of some of the different views of the doctrine of sin as articulated in recent debate and writing.
Milne alluded to the challenges to the doctrine of sin and explained these as twofold: (i) our understanding of ourselves, and (ii) our understanding of human origins. We will consider a number of challenges to the doctrine of sin under these two broad headings. In order to consider the contemporary challenges, it is necessary to have some standard by which to measure them. The Classical View What follows will be referred to as 'the classical view'. It is summarised from the work Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Michael Pomanzansky,3 a Russian Orthodox theologian.