Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BI

[The sinful condition raises a question:

What do I (a sinner)2 recognize as myself2?

My own self-recognition cannot occur without a normal context.

But, will this normal context allow me to recognize myself, as “I am who I am”?

Or will I recognize myself in “the mirror of the world”?

Then I become “I am who the mirror says I am”.

Such is the nature of self-destruction.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BH

[“Recognizing God” puts “me in a situation where I can be myself”.

This is the condition for virtue.

Not recognizing God’s creativity and omnipotence puts my actuality in a position where I (the one who recognizes) cannot be myself (the one who is recognized).

This is the condition for sin.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BF

Summary of text [comment] page 67

[What is a covenant?

A covenant is a deal: If you do this, I will do that.

So far, for “the human created in the image of God”, the covenant is:

IF I2 recognize “God3 as the one1 who created me2 in His own image1“,

THEN “I2 can recognize myself2 as who I am1”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BD

Summary of text [comment] page 67

[Is there some advantage to admitting that God brought me out of His own pure potential?

The advantage is that I am free to be myself.

IF God brought me forth according to His Omnipotence,

THEN I emerge from the realm of possibility without qualification.

Thus, I can see, in myself, the likenesses of both the Father and the Son.

At the same time, I am obligated to acknowledge “the context (of His Creation)3” as well as “the image of the Omnipotence of God1“, in which I find myself.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BB

[So, I wonder, what normal context could bring I (the one who recognizes) and myself (the one who is recognized) out of the realm of possibility?

I must admit that “it was never inevitable that I exist”.

So either, “‘God3‘ brought ‘I and myself2‘ into relation with ‘His pure potential1‘.” or “It was pure luck” or “It was destiny” or whatever …

The former option is the apparently discredited concept of design. The latter options are completely crazy.

So, which do I choose, discredited sanity or creditable craziness?]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1BA

[I cannot proclaim: I am my own relation.

Despite this, the proclamation holds an odd attraction. The idea sounds like “what a Pharaoh might say”:

“I3” brought “I and myself2” into relation with “the potential inherent in me1“.

Yes, it sounds like Pharaoh.

But it also sounds like sin.


Well, look at the normal context.

Sounds presumptive, no? It sounds like “me, me, me.”.

Also, look at the realm of possibility.

Sinners destroy themselves by imagining that they are omnipotent. Or perhaps, they regard themselves as so exceptional that there is no possibility of failure. The rules do not apply to them.]