Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7BA

Summary of text [comment] pages 53 and 54

Does God affect sin? Does God cause it, since he is the universal cause?

In Scripture, Yahweh hardened the Pharaoh’s heart. Yahweh inspired David to hold a census, then punished David for it. Paul noted that God can harden the heart of whoever he wills.

In the Lords prayer, we recite “lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil”.

In contrast, the epistle of James claims that God cannot tempt.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7AY

Summary of text [comment] page 52

Does sin affect God?

[Well, we did crucify Him. Would that count as “affecting”?

On the other hand, we only crucified Jesus, “the Person who the Father Recognizes2“. I suspect that upset “the Person who Recognizes2“. But it could not alter “the Person3” who brings “the actuality of God2” into relation with “God’s own Potential1“.

Without Peirce’s three categories, Schoonenberg struggled to describe how our sins do and do not affect God.

If our sins did not affect God, then He would not be in relation with us. We would merely be creatures in a Deist universe.

If our sins could create or destroy gods, our gods would merely be extensions of ourselves.

Peirce’s categories allow us to see how our sins affect God in the realm of actuality, but not in the realms of mediation and potential.

Our sins affect the Father and the Son.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7AX

[The last blog brings me to image of the list. Ink has been written on paper. I could say that the ink and the paper are omnipotent since any list could have been written. There are three names on the list: Holy Spirit (in the transcendence column) and Father & Son (in the immanence column). These correspond to the three persons in One God. The three persons cover thirdness and secondness. The three persons in the list cover two of the three categories of existence. They cover normal context and actuality.

What about possibility?

The One List is like the One God because it reminds us that “there is a list in the first place”. That list speaks of potential. A pen is poised above paper. Any list can be written.

Here is an image of the mystery of God. A pen is poised above paper. This image calls to mind what R.R. Reno says about Genesis: The Bible tells about the future.

The mystery of God is inclusive and allows contradictions.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7AW

[Let me take a blog to reconsider this metaphor of a list with two columns: transcendence and immanence.

Under immanence, I write “the Father and the Son”. Why? Both appear to be actual. Secondness contains two elements. Both elements are actual. One element accounts for the other.

Under transcendence, I write “the Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit goes with thirdness because it expresses the relation binding the Father to the Son.

This relation goes with the mystery of God. The Holy Spirit3 brings “the Father and Son2” into relation with “the Omnipotence of God1”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7AV

[Yes, it is even worse than anything Paul describes in his Letter to the Romans. It is more disgraceful than anything Mohammed describes in sura 5. Christians are just as susceptible to disorientation as anyone else in the Lebenswelt of unconstrained complexity. And they know it.


They are baptized into awareness.

This is one reason why Christians are so interested in understanding sin.

This is one reason why the modern world is so much more dangerous since Christians have lost interest in understanding sin.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7AU

[For Christians, our awareness of the One True God as “God the Three” is no cause for self-congratulations.

God Recognizes Himself. The One who is Recognized is Jesus, the Christ. He is the Word that informs the Way, our thinkdivine.

But Jesus did not have an easy time with us. He was rejected by us. He was condemned by us. He was betrayed by us. He was scourged by us. He was mocked by us. He was crucified by us.



Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7AT

[“The potential inherent in God’s Own Recognition1” is monadic, mysterious and contradictory.

All creation unfolds in this theodrama:

“Recognition3” brings “the One Who Recognizes2 and the One Who Is Recognized2” into relation with “the possibilities inherent in God’s Own Recognition1“.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7AR

[I propose that, if there is One True God, this God must recognize Itself in order to encompass all the categories of existence.

“Recognizing3” brings “the One Who Recognizes2 and the One Who Is Recognized2” into relation with “the possibilities inherent in God’s Own Recognition1“.

The Spirit of God3 is triadic and relational.

Here, the Spirit of God is “Recognize!”.

What is another word that characterizes the Holy Spirit?

How about Love?

Love brings actuality into relation with possibility.]