Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BR

Summary of text [comment] page 67

[Let me examine each word in the term “The One True Triune God”.

The term, “One”, refers to possibility. The realm of possibility is monadic. It is all inclusive. It allows contradictions. Omnipotence means “all potential”. There is only One God in the category of firstness.

The term, “True”, refers to actuality. A True God must exhibit the dyadic nature of the category of secondness. In this, a True God both constitutes and realizes the laws of noncontradiction. A True God should harbor no contradictions.

Finally, the term, “Triune”, refers to the triadic relation itself.

The term, “God”, refers to the object that brings all into relation. If we assume this object, all are brought into relation.

Relations are exclusive. There is only one relation, even though there may be many manifestations of this one relation.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BQ

[Here is another way to say it:

Actuality is always dyadic. God is actual. Both actualities in the dyad must be divine. Both are perceived as Persons.   This accounts for Two Persons.

Dyadic actuality exists in relation to a triadic normal context and a monadic possibility.

God is both actual and relational.

The actuality of “God as a triadic relation” engenders another Person in addition to the dyad.

The triadic relation itself constitutes the third Person.

The Third Relational Person brings the Two Actual Persons into relation with “the Oneness of God”.

The “Oneness of God” cannot be expressed as a Person because it is Pure Potential, that this, Omnipotence.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BP2

Summary of text [comment] page 67

[Thus, God is Father2, Son2 and Holy Spirit3.

Thus, God is Creator2, Through2, and Moving3.

“This Relation of Moving” accounts for “our created world”.

Thus, God is “the One Who Recognizes”2, “the One Who Is Recognized”2, and “Recognize!”2.

“This Relation Of Recognition” constitutes “the actuality in which we live as humans”.

Since “God Is Omnipotent1” and we humans arise out of pure potential, we are constituted by that relation, even though we may misrecognize our own actuality.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BP1

[Indeed, only one Possibility supports the diverse appearances of God’s dyadic Actuality.

Each actuality is contiguous with the other. Both (the dyad itself) stand in relation to the realm of possibility. That Relation is also a Person. That relation is the Third Person.

God Is Three means that “the recognition itself exists as a triadic relation”. Recognize (maybe there should be an exclamation point) is the third Person of the Trinity.

“The One Who Recognizes2” and “The One Who Is Recognized2” are “in Relation3 with “the Possibility of Recognition1”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BO

[Okay, continuing the thought.   Let me summarize God and the three categories of existence.

God Is God the One, omnipotent, total potential, the realm of firstness.

God Is Two Persons, the Father and the Son, in secondness. “God Recognizing Himself”, implies two Persons: “The One Who Recognizes” and “The One Who Is Recognized”.

One can also say, “The One Who Creates” and “The One Who God Creates Through”.

Notably, the Two will always differ based on perception.

Look at all the different names (actually, metaphors) for the Two: Father and the Son, Creator and Redeemer, Creator and Through, Speaker and Word, and so on. The “One Who Recognizes” and “The One Who Is Recognized” is one among many ways to perceive the actuality of God.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BN

[At this point, it becomes apparent how “God Recognizing Himself” might be reflected in the idea of “humans, created in the image of God”.

This should be no surprise, because the triadic relation “God Recognizing Himself” explains creation.

Maybe, I should call the relation “God Does Through”.

“The Holy Spirit3” brings “the Father (the One Who Creatively Does) and the Son (the One Who Does Through)2” into relation with “His Omnipotence, that is, the Possibility of Action and Being1“.

Hmmm. It may not be good grammar, but it is certainly evocative.

Evocative and strange, since creation does not really appear in this relation.

In the next blog, I will continue to explore the implications of the connection between God and creation.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BM

[“Some animating principle3” must bring “I2 and myself2” into relation with “the potential of my self recognition1“.

Consequently, “I recognize myself” may constitute a refusal (to be me in the fullest) and an usurpation (that this lesser context is capable of bringing “I and myself” into mutual recognition, as if it were the same as bringing “I and myself” into existence).]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BL

[I want to loop back to the image of recognition developed in the past few blogs.

This loop connects to these two ideas:

“I am the one who recognizes” parallels the Father.

“Myself is the one who is recognized” parallels the Son.

These two persons (“the one who recognizes” and “the one who is recognized”) are dyadic. They belong to Secondness. They both emerge from the monadic realm of potential. They are both brought into relation with potential by a normal context, the third element of a triadic relation.

Who is the normal context, if not the Holy Spirit? Is the animating principle a person (Me? I? You? Them? Nobody?) or an institution (Family? Tribe? Nation? Society? Television? A god among gods?)3?

The list of candidates in the parenthesis is not exhaustive, but it is suggestive.

As one moves further and further away from God, one evokes lesser and lesser powers as the normal context.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BK

Summary of text [comment] page 67

Schoonenberg wrote that “with mortal sin, the sinner ‘himself’ refuses grace. ‘He’ throws off the life of grace. Or, the sinner may usurp it, pretending that it is ‘his’ to own. Then, it slips from ‘his’ grasp.

This loss of sanctifying grace is represented as punishment. Sin itself punishes the sinner by robbing ‘him’ of the life of grace.

[Schoonenberg’s scenario sounds circular. The sinner deprives ‘himself’ of the life of grace by sinning. The sin itself robs him of the life of grace.]