Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1H

Summary of text [comment] page 64

[The appeal of indulgences was obvious. You could buy a few indulgences in order to… um … indulge yourself. No treasure box of indulgences could keep you from going to hell for the big ones, the mortal sins, but they could ease the way for the little pleasures. They could make little sins appear as little pleasures.

After all, the reason why one purchases an indulgence is “to mitigate God’s wrath, His Judgment in the afterlife”. The purchase admits the transgression. The purchase in no way condones the person’s sinful actions (or inactions). Yet, the purchase fosters … delinquency.

Ironically, the word “indulgence” took on “the meaning, presence and message associated with the purchase of the printed indulgence”.

A ducat could buy you one less day in purgatory and a little more fun today.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1G

Summary of text [comment] page 64

What is that something?

“The something that must be redeemed” is “delinquency”.

How so?

One reason why a person falls into temptation is lack of maturity. A delinquent’s confession may conceal as well as reveal. “The sinner who renounces ‘his’ sin” must still pay a price; that is, must still grow up, even though ‘he’ no longer faces damnation.

This brings us to the old issue of indulgences, which “remit punishments in purgatory” for “payment today”.

Indulgences allow the penitent to “pay up in this life” for “transgressions committed in this life”, rather than pay in the next life.

Indulgences promote delinquency.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1F

Summary of text [comment] page 64

The coincidence of punishment and sin does not remove the judicial aspect, the divine punishment.

A person who has renounced sin and confessed is still held accountable. ‘He’ is still under scrutiny until something has been paid or redeemed.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1E

Summary of text [comment] page 64

[One difference between thinkgroup and thinkdivine is that thinkgroup may tell you what you want to hear, even though you may deny wanting to hear the message.

Thinkgroup often calls for sensible construction.

Thinkdivine rarely tells you what you want to hear. Instead, it may tell you what you need to know, such as, “be patient”. Or it may tell you something that you cannot sensibly figure out.

Thinkdivine often calls for social construction.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1B

Summary of text [comment] page 64

The state of grace goes with a good attitude, which is something like a reward. The state of sin goes with a bad attitude, which is something like a punishment.

The sin itself hardens the attitudes [consciouslacking] and habituates certain beliefs [thinkgroup]. This itself is a punishment.

In contrast, the rewarding moral life is marked by wise attitudes [consciencefree] and a habituation of character-building beliefs [thinkdivine].


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1A

Summary of text [comment] page 63

Chapter 2 is titled “The Sequels of Sin”.

The first section is titled “Sin in itself as punishment”. This section examines more closely the conclusion “that it is not God who punishes sin, but sin punishes itself”.

From a judicial perspective, there is a sequence. A wrongdoing is followed by punishment.

From the perspective of decision, a sin and its punishment coincide, because the sin habituates behaviors and attitudes associated with a state of sin.

The state of self-destruction is not impenetrable to interpellation. The sin is always challenged by grace, just as grace is always challenged by temptations.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7DH

[In our current era, we rarely experience the cultural and natural clues that call us to survive. Compared to Paleolithic folk, we are rich, boring, conceited and dissatisfied. Even the poorest among us feels the emptiness.

Then comes thinkpro-object. “The luminous object of organization” promises the Future. But that Future is “a utopia that returns us to the world before the first singularity”. That Future is not the future. That Future is “the past Lebenswelt of hand speech talk and constrained complexity”.

The idols pretend to be the portals to a wonderful world just beyond our reach. Yet that world is dead. The idols are death traps. They are passages to “the Lebenswelt that we evolved in”. They are descents to civilizational annihilation.

Thus I conclude section 1.7, “God and sin”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.7DG

[Why is thinkpro-object attractive to those who are not elites?

The object may somehow remind the individual of “the Lebenswelt that ‘he’ evolved in”.

The object promises to resolve the tensions between wonder and terror, fullness and hunger, love and hate, collectivism and individualism, as well as any other dichotomy that you can speak of.

How could this be?

Well, these tensions could never be articulated in “the Lebenswelt that we evolved in”. Our ancestors could not abstract these differences. They could sense them, feel them through their intuition, but they could never render them as either-or propositions. Our primordial innocence was full of poverty, drama, revelations and bliss. Before the first singularity, our ancestors lived life to the full. This is the way we evolved to be.]