"Saint Francis and the Sow"

Original sin.

Original sin, as you may recall, is the Christian doctrine that Adam and Eve committed the original sin and we all share in their fall from grace.  We are all born in sin.

There are variations within the doctrine of original sin.  How complete was the fall?  Various answers developed over the centuries.

In all three systems, there is a need for salvation.  The nature of salvation changes from one system to another.

  1. In Augustine, the fall is complete, so salvation must by wholly by grace.  Only then can we begin to follow Christ.
  2. In Pelagius, Christ serves primarily as a model for us to follow.
  3. In the Semi-Pelagian system, Christ serves to renew the divine that is still within us.

Notice the importance of metaphors.  The Puritans, when looking for things in nature to compare us to, always go for something we find repulsive.  They see nature as being as fallen & ugly as humans.

St. Francis with his joyful Christianity recognized the beauty and divinity that was latent in things which others regarded as ugly.  The pig was really beautiful when looked at through the eyes of grace.  We and the pig simply needed to be reminded of its beauty.  Its salvation lay, not in becoming something else, but rather in accepting what it was.