Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1S

[Consider this scenario:

Person A privately tells you that Person B acts “holier than thou”.

What should you think?

Obviously, if you did not witness the event that A claims to have occurred, then the answer must be a guess.

What if Person B said something judgmental, but in the humble way of suggestion?

What does A’s comment imply?

Well, Person A may be projecting ‘his’ own attitude of moral superiority onto Person B, interpreting B’s humility as haughtiness.   Person A feels anger and imagines it to be an expression of B.

To A, B has acted how A would act, if given the opportunity.

In this case, A projects ‘his’ own character onto B.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1R

[Consider the surface appeal of thinkgroup.

Thinkgroup indirectly appeals to certain dispositions, as much as conscience. The “holier than thou” attitude, which marks a true believer in a thinkgroup, habituates ‘his’ dispositions and reveals a conscience lacking in freedom.

This “holier than thou” attitude may belong to the conscience, but it rewards the dispositions. The “holier than thou” attitude stimulates anger, resentment, loathing, fear, and camaraderie. It resonates with a “moral equivalent of war” feeling. Some people revel in these emotions.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1Q

Summary of text [comment] pages 65 and 66

Schoonenberg next took up a traditional theological argument.

Sin strives towards self-destruction.

Perhaps, that statement is not sufficient. Sin renders its denial of God in positive action. Sin expresses a self-affirmation. Sin posits one’s own freedom to destroy oneself.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1P

Summary of text [comment] page 65

[Schoonenberg’s questions are revealing.

Schoonenberg needed the categorical structure of the nested form.


He did not have a model for relating values and sinful action. For example:

Thinkgroup3V(sin2V (consciencelacking1V))

This nested form claims that “values put human actions into a normal context”.

Sin (as action) situates “a potential, a conscience, that is the true locus of the damage rendered by bad values”.

“The conscience” is where “values are used as guides for human action”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1O

Summary of text [comment] page 65

Sins do uncounted harm. Are we bent on destroying ourselves? Is the deepest damage the demise of values?

Sins are actions that damage people and things. Do they also damage values?

What is the difference between act and value?

What is the nature of sin? How does it operate?

How do death, loneliness, and anxiety follow the turning away from God?

Does the sinner lose himself because ‘he’ loses God?

Does ‘he’ destroy ‘himself’ because ‘he’ turns from God?


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1N

Summary of text [comment] page 64

[That is enough about indulgences. The wordplay has been fun.]

The punishment of sin coincides with the sin. Even though the person is not defined by the sin, the punishment imprisons ‘him’ and brings about ‘his’ death.

[This coincides with the habituation of thinkgroup3V(sin2V (consciencelacking1V)).]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1M

Summary of text [comment] page 64

[How about the following idea for hope and change?

Let us replace our Progressive, manipulative, disempowering and variable income tax for a 20% mandatory tithe (to whoever the tithe payer chooses to give, restricted to secular and religious institutions meeting local (state, not national) approval, and published for all to see,), plus 5% for federal government’s basic mandates of military defense, plus criminal and civil judiciaries.

Let the people vote with their own dollars.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1L

Summary of text [comment] page 64

[Today, our civilization has tasted the sweet indulgences of totalitarian kindness. We feel “entitled”. Our appetites are not sated.  We want more words and bondage. The sovereign will provide.

Voters willingly give up their own (as well as other’s) responsibilities and freedoms for indulgences. The central government mysteriously and magically pays the tab. The politicians play sleight of hand with their accounts. The central bank says: Yes. Print money. Print money.

The smell of malinvestment fills the air.

Print more. Print more.

Perhaps, church indulgences will make a comeback, once all other fiat currencies have collapsed.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1K

Summary of text [comment] page 64

[Of course, Schoonenberg ignored the phantasmagorical currency potential of indulgences.

Instead, he claimed that indulgences were misleading.

But then, so are all thinkgroup notions when extrapolated to include everyone in society.

The selling of indulgences was an infrasovereign movement that never aspired to consolidate power.


The unification of church and state was not imaginable at the time. Europeans had forgotten the Public Cult that constituted the Roman Empire. In fact, they fantasized its glorious return.]