“If God can raise someone from the dead in the middle of human history, the very fact reveals that death, which up till this point had marked human history as something simply inevitable, part of what it is to be a human being, is not inevitable. That is, death is itself not simply a biological reality, but a human cultural reality marking all perception and a human cultural reality that is capable of being altered. This it seems to me is the decisive point at which any pre-Christian notion of sin and the Christian understanding must differ. The drastic nature of sin is revealed as something which has so inflected [sic?] human culture that death is a human reality, and not simply a biological one, one which decisively marks all human culture. This nature of sin as related to death is simultaneously revealed as something which need not be. It is not that God can, of course, forgive all our sins, but then there is also death which is just there. It becomes clear that God is not only capable of forgiving us such things as we might have done, but the shape of his forgiveness stretches further than that, into what we are: we are humans tied into the human reality of death. We need no longer be.
James Alison, The Joy of Being Wrong: Original Sin Through Easter Eyes, 118-119.
Brett Salkeld is a doctoral student in theology at Regis College in Toronto. He is a father of two (so far) and husband of one.