Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4S

Summary of text [comment] page 23

Free will [specified conscience] relies on norms [thinkgroup and thinkdivine] .  Many of these norms are built over time.  Many are handed down by God.  Many are created out of the cloth of deception, telling the interpellated what they want to hear.

Sin [thinkgroup] may eclipse awareness of any true (not deceptive) norm [thinkdivine].

In this regard, sin is opposed to the meaning of history, especially the history of salvation.  Sin is in history.  But since sin derives from freedom, sin is antihistorical.

[To me, this recalls Jung’s archetypes, which are “antihistorical”.  A better word would be “ahistorical”.

Perhaps, here, we may see another delineation of the definition of “religion”.  So far, “religion” has been defined according to the criteria of the intersecting nested forms and relation to sovereign power.

Here, “religion” is archetypal in the precise sense that “primordial images never occur in their archetypal purity” but always specified through historical circumstance.

But there could be another association.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4R

Summary of text [comment] pages 22 & 23

‘Man’ is not only placed in a reality to which ‘he’ has to conform [lawessential], ‘he’ ‘himself ‘is the summit of that reality [characterized by thinkdivine((consciencefree))].

‘Man” carries within ‘himself’ the task of “ruling the earth”; that is, of building and molding the world [through human action] and ‘himself’ [conscience and dispositions].

Free will [specified conscience], at the least, establishes the person.

Where do these necessary person-forming attitudes come from?  Nature itself?  No.  Relations with others? Yes.  Relations with God? Yes. Yes.

[One implication of Schoonenberg’s line of thought: “The attitudes that establish one’s free will, or specified conscience”, get confounded with “building the world and oneself”, that is, one’s dispositions.

Also, stepping further back, another implication is that thinkdivine (building character) may be confounded with thinkgroup (building the world).

Losing perspective is so easy when building the world becomes more important than building character, rather than the reverse.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4Q5

Comment on pg. 22 continued from last blog.

[Now, let me consider science for a moment.   The only way to study the realm of actuality is to only consider dyadic relations.  But how do you do that?

The realms of normal context and possibility are always getting in the way.  After all, the nested form is:

Triadic relations3( dyadic relations2( monads1))

Normal context3( actuality2( possibility1))

Perhaps, that is why “exclusion of divine causation” must be methodological.

The normal context must methodically eliminate alternate possibilities.  Empirical scientists are always worried about the quality of their controls and their measurements.   We can only truly see dyadic cause and effect by restricting normal context and by eliminating alternate possibilities.

This is very difficult to do.  We can only see cause and effect when we are restricted to the referential; that is, to true as opposed to false.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4Q4

[How could “Divine Providence3” bring “any form of inquiry2” into “the possibility that you will succeed only when you methodologically exclude Divine Providence1“?

Here is another thought.  This follows the same logic as the emergence of unconstrained complexity.

Why would God bring our lowly genus to the threshold where, just by dropping our manual brachial way of talking, our species would become capable of generating a new creation, a multitude of spontaneous orders, just like God Himself?

The Progressive opposition of between God and nature pales in comparison to the Christian imagination.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4Q3

[I can now ask: What does this imply?

Does Christianity embrace both “Divine Providence3” and “the possibility that ‘exclusion’ may be one of the possibilities inherent in divine causation1”.

How can this be?

How can God reveal His creation only through a method of inquiry that excludes Him as a cause?

How could “Divine Providence3” bring “any form of inquiry2” into “the possibility that you will succeed only when you methodologically exclude Divine Providence1“?

It makes no sense, unless, of course, it fits the premodern scholastic definition of “God’s Passive Will”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4Q2

[Now, let me consider particulars:

“The definitional exclusion of divine causation1” makes “empirical inquiry2” possible.

“Empirical inquiry2” situates “this definitional exclusion1”.

“Divine Providence3” brings “empirical inquiry2” into relation with “the possibilities inherent in divine causation1”.

“Divine Providence3” puts “empirical inquiry2” into context.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4Q1

Comment on pg. 22 continued from last blog.

[Here is my technical way of phrasing what I said in the last few blogs.

Religion exists in the realms of mediation3 and possibility1.  Science exists, by definition, in the realm of actuality2.

The relation between the two is not exclusive.  In other words, the phrase “science versus religion” is a red herring, a false trail, and an invalid opposition.

The relation between religion and science has the same nested structure as the relation between religion and sovereign power.

Religion1 makes science2 possible.

Science2 situates religion1.

Religion3 brings science2 into relation with the possibilities of religion1.

Religion3 puts science2 into context.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4P4

[There are advantages for insisting that God and nature are exclusive, especially when Modern Progressives are on the side of “reason” and “scientific advance”, which are just other words for “scientific inquiry”.

Progressives grasp for sovereign power in order to institute their secular expertise, their “reason”, thus constituting their Public Cult for the Promulgation of Reason, under the Guidance of Nature, not God.

Their apparent opponents are derided as thinkanti-reason and consciencesuperstition.

Even scientists get the scapegoat label if they do not support the “reasonable” political causes, which are “scientific” only because “they rigorously exclude superstitions like Christianity”.

Once the Public Cult of Progressivism declares that “any thinkgroup that rigorously excludes superstitions like Christianity” is “based on reason”, the parody of science comes full circle.

Wicca priestesses and Sociology Professors are two thinkgroups that rigorously exclude superstitions like Christianity.  Both are, by definition, “scientific”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4P3

[Why do Modern Progressives imagine that God and nature are exclusive?

In the previous blog, I listed the dynamic sets of differences that ground the Progressive Symbolic Order.

Note how, with each generation, the differences become more and more deceptive.  Words shift meaning.  Does “scientific advance” equal “scientific inquiry”? Progressives will use the terms interchangeably.  The same goes with “divine action” and “superstition”.

Deceptive?  Yes, because “excluding divine action” does not eliminate “superstition”.  It transforms “superstition”.

“Reason” does not guarantee “scientific advance”, especially when the arena of “reason” is limited (by the sovereign) through certification.  Did all those scientists in the Soviet Union not have stellar credentials?]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.4P2

[Here are the generations of dichotomies of the Progressive imagination.

Remember, the (perhaps unconscious) goal is to deny that the moral religious and philosophical natural nested forms intersect.

First generation of oppositions:

divine action (must be excluded): scientific inquiry

Second generation of oppositions:

divine action (must be excluded): scientific advance

Third generation of oppositions:

superstition (must be excluded): reason

Fourth generation of oppositions:

Christianity (must be excluded): Modern Progressivism]