There never was an Adam and Eve, and so there was no Fall, there is no such thing as Original Sin, there is no need for salvation, and death did not enter the world with their eviction from the Garden of Eden. The Christian account of itself is false, case closed — and it remains closed no matter how many solemn theologians you drown in the baptism pool.
Hell, it isn’t even Biblical.
22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The language of the tale is plain: Eviction from the Garden was a preemptive strike intended to make certain Adam and Eve did not eat from the Tree of life and live forever. This was so important that Cherubim and a flaming sword were placed at the entrance to the Garden to make certain that Adam and Eve didn’t sneak in and eat from the Tree of Life.
The point of this exercise was to keep Adam and Eve down, less than godlike, subordinate.
This is why neither Jesus nor any of the Apostles ever said a word about Original Sin; they’d never heard of it. It was Irenaeus, late in the second century, who first began speculating along those lines, and Augustine who ‘perfected’ the doctrine in the course of suppressing the Pelagian heresy.
I mention all this because, after all these years of reading theology and trying to convince myself that there is more and better than degrading make-believe somewhere in it, I’ve come across a minister who says frankly that the entire Original Sin schtick is nonsense.
Chalke also says the common idea that Adam and Eve’s sin brought death into the world “can’t be right,” because the story says the reason God removed the couple from the garden was to prevent them from eating from the tree of life and thereby become immortal, implying that they were going to die anyway.
Christianity has degenerated into a colossal, decadent, cult of self-abasement, and Original Sin is the perversion of Genesis 3, a great work of art, into a blame-the-victim drumbeat. Bah.