Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1CN

[Hmmm. Were the last few blogs a red herring?

Does my self-esteem reflect my fears as a limited creature in a cultural spontaneous order?

Or does my self-esteem express the nature of the self-reflective creature?

Or does my self-esteem arise when “I recognize myself” as “within a spontaneous order that realizes itself through an attractor that is contiguous with God’s design”?

Nature speaks to the wonder of God.

“I do not lack self-esteem” when “I recognize myself as an image of God”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1CL

[Our individual success depends on the dynamics of the spontaneous order. We are experiments. The outcome of each experiment is not predetermined.

From this point of view, our “lack of self-esteem” reflects “our emotional reactions to the tentative world of a social spontaneous order”. Life is scary. We are limited creatures. The challenges are abundant.

The cure for our fears does not rest in the spontaneous order. Nor does it reside, as Progressives will never tire in saying, in making the world “more fair” (that is, more lifeless). It becomes apparent when looking through the spontaneous order towards “the actuality that conditions the existence of the spontaneous order itself”.

I look through the spontaneous order toward the attractor. The attractor is contiguous with the unseen design.

Here is a parallel way of saying this. This parallel way leads to certainty:

I look through Jesus the Son of Man (who I know and image within my own unique actuality) to see Jesus the Christ (the attractor), who sits at the right hand of the Father (the unseen design, encompassing all the ways we engage in desire for God).

This is why, when one person dies, an entire world is lost. Each person is the most valuable of God’s creations.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1CJ2

[Our dynamic spontaneous orders exist because we are different. Differences provide the potential. Order spontaneously forms.

Our limitations come from “the accidents of our own coming into actuality”, as well as “the accidents of our capabilities and the capabilities of others”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1CJ1

Summary of text [comment] pages 67 and 68

[Why fixate on our lack of self-esteem?

We humans exist in spontaneous cultural orders generated by “God Recognizing Himself”. Our cultural orders emerge from the realm of possibility.

However, “the possibility inherent in God” (the former) is not the same as “the possibilities that support our particular spontaneous cultural orders” (the latter).

The latter are historical and finite. The former are ahistorical and infinite.

The former conditions the latter.

Our limitations speak to the latter. We are limited because “we are experiments within the spontaneous order”. Each experiment cannot avail itself to all the potential in a historical and finite system.

Nor can we fairly or reasonably apportion the potential of the system. Why? The potential of the system arises due to our variations. If all “the variation that is ourselves” produced the same outcomes, the spontaneous order would cease to exist.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1CI

Summary of text [comment] pages 67 and 68

[Here is a statement from 7815 U0′:

Progressive Americans have a fixation on self esteem.

This raises a question:

Does “we lack self-esteem” resonate with “I recognize myself” and “both I and myself emerge from finite potential”?]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1CH

Summary of text [comment] page 67

[“The normal context through which I recognize myself” entails “an object that brings me into relation with everyone else”.

So the question is: What is the nature of this object?

If this object is not Love, the Word, the Father’s Recognition, or Divine Creativity, it is a fixation, an idol, “an object that brings individuals into organization.”

Objectorg replaces or eclipses objectrel.

The object that illuminates “I recognize myself” grounds “the normal context that brings ‘I’ and ‘what I recognize as myself’ into contiguity”.

This object will always be either a grace-filled inspiration or a hollow parody of the Triune God.

Schoonenberg said, “sin is its own punishment”. Within his claim lives the pathos of the sinner clinging, desperately, longingly, to ‘his’ idol.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1CF

[IF I refuse to see myself as “a person who is an image of God”,

THEN, in actuality, instead of seeing myself, I see only those aspects of me that conform to a limited normal context. I do not feel God’s Omnipotence in myself. Both I and myself emerge from “a potency that does not encompass all other human beings”.

In sin, both “I” and “what I recognize, that is myself”, corrode my participation in the divine economy. Misrecognition and arrogance correspond to refusal and usurpation.]