Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 BJ

[Take a look at the intelligent, apparently well-educated, modern Progressives.

They imagine that they know something, but ‘their something’ is ‘the nothing that has been done without Christ’.

Are they experts in anti-knowledge?

Consider the tax expert who knows which forms are required in order to qualify for a particular tax break. Every facet of “his” knowledge has been created ‘out of nothing, without Christ’, including the denial of unintended consequences.

Progressive experts go about their business in asserting their moral superiority and specialness. After all, they are certified.  They hold university degrees. They are steeped in anti-knowledge.

Perhaps, deep down, they recognize the truth that they participate in.

‘Nothing’ keeps them in business.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 BG

[Is this a pattern?

We (humans) turn away from God’s love.

Then, we turn toward God’s love.

Our symbolic orders part ways with God’s Self-Revealing and then return, over and over again, as the civilizational situation deteriorates.

This is precisely what we would expect if our symbolic orders are not anchored in referentiality.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 BF-2

[The cultural veiling of key theological words in the constantly tumultuous symbolic orders of the civilized West has been going on for a long time.

The 12th century is 900 years ago. Clearly, some people were already trying to liberate the concept of human freedom from the trappings of Original Sin.

Augustine and the Council of Carthage occurred 1800 years ago. Already, some were trying to liberate love from grace.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 BE

Summary of text [comment] pages 72 and 73

Schoonenberg ‘s claim, that every virtue becomes impossible for man living in sin, is not new. Augustine thought likewise. The Council of Carthage said that grace is necessary for fallen man, so as not to commit sin, in order to will and to be able to do what we realize we must do, and so obey God’s commandments. Nobody is good by himself. Nobody uses his freedom of choice in the right way except through Christ.

The 12th century Council of Sens condemned the assertion that our free choice is, by itself, capable of some good.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 BD

[Yet, there is an ambiguity.

Love as a ‘state of grace’ may be actual.

But, love also belongs to the realms of normal context and possibility.

The same word is used for all three categories.

I suspect that both love and grace share this character.

One word applies to three realms.]