This was a tidbit from one of the comment boxes. I stated, "Augustine, whom I think it was, argued the fall of man occurred before the eating of the fruit, with the pride of Adam and Eve craving for undue exaltation." I then went on to other points. The point here though, is sin is not just an action, it is a disposition of the heart. It isn't just an external act.
I was asked, "I’d be interested in seeing where Augustine said that."
Consider it done. Augustine assigned the cause of the fall of Adam and Eve to pride:
"Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act [would] never [have] been done had not an evil will preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but pride? For "pride is the beginning of sin" [Ecclus. 10:13?]. And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation? And this is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes its own satisfaction. . . . This falling away is spontaneous; for if the will had remained steadfast in the love of that higher and changeless good by which it was illumined to intelligence and kindled into love, it would not have turned away to find satisfaction in itself. . . . The wicked deed, then that is to say, the transgression of eating the forbidden fruit was committed by persons who were already wicked."
Source: Augustine, The City of God, trans. Marcus Dods et al., in Augustine, Basic Writings, 2:257-58 (14.13). [Or, help yourself to the entire section here].
R.C. Sproul comments:
"Augustine does not so much explain the fall as describe it. He identifies the cause of the first transgression as pride. But he recognizes that the presence of pride is already evil. He does not shrink from declaring that the first actual sin was committed by creatures who were already fallen. They fell before they ate the fruit. When Augustine says the falling away was "spontaneous,"he describes the problem but does not explain it. How can a creature with no prior inclination to evil suddenly and spontaneously become so inclined? This is the great poser of the fall, and it remains the most difficult question we continue to face about this event."
Source: Sproul, R.C., Willing To Believe: The Controversy Over Free Will (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997), p.53.