Forget original sin, says Steve Chalke: 'We are made originally good'

Steve Chalke, the Baptist minister and founder of the Oasis Trust who sent shockwaves through the evangelical community when he declared his support for same-sex relationships, has criticised the traditional Christian understanding of 'Original Sin'. In a new series of online study resources developed for the Open Church Network, Chalke argues that a historic misreading of Genesis 3 has led to centuries of guilt and needless religiously induced shame. He says the doctrine mistakes the biblical view of God's relationship with humanity and has resulted in untold misery for generations of churchgoers. Chalke says Western readings of the story of Adam and Eve have been coloured by St Augustine's interpretation, which is different from understandings present in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. 'We make some assumptions that aren't there,' he says 'The story of Adam and Eve and the eating of the fruit that's been forbidden from them doesn't mention Original Sin. It doesn't even tell us that the serpent is really Satan.'