Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 DL

Summary of text [comment] pages 76 and 77

[The irony of the translator’s use of words cannot go unremarked.

Today, in 7816 U0’, 50 years after Schoonenberg’s book was translated into English, the words ‘freedom of choice’ precisely (that is, by definition) veil a particular sin, in order to reduce the capacity of our freedomconcrete to virtuously remedy a situation.

The feminist’s slogan and the title of Milton Friedman’s television series both use the words ‘free to choose’, but the corresponding symbolic orders are radically different. They are talking different languages. Consequently, each cannot comprehend the other.

One must exclude the other using sovereign power. This is what feminism, as an (infra)sovereign religion, does.

Feminism belongs to the Progressive sovereign religion. Milton Friedman’s libertarianism does not.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 DK

Summary of text [comment] pages 76 and 77

[How does sin influence the situation?]

Sin restricts the space and community where one can come to love and practice authentic virtue.

For example, a person, in a situation poisoned by sin, may feel that she is in love with another person, but that love lacks important attributes, such as trust.

A situation poisoned by sin restricts concrete freedom.

The person can never find real love, total self giving, simply because it was never a possibility. The ‘never finding’ does not derive from lack of powers, but from the situation, which on account of sin, both personal and original, blinds us to all our powers, especially our freedom to choose.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 DJ

[When “man” acts, exercising “his” free will, “he” alters the situation.

Sin does not compromise this freedomconcrete, because as long as a person is alive, “she” can take concrete action.

Sin, however, compromises the situation, restricting the exercise of freedomconcrete.

To me, this seems to match the contrast between the states of grace and self-destruction.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 DH

Summary of text [comment] page 76

When the person is considered abstractly, he is capable of willing anything.

But, decisions are finite. They are based on one’s circumstances.

Also, decisions are self-realizations.

Also, decisions change the ongoing situation, which is characterized by finiteness and concreteness.

In the domain of natural activities, concrete freedom is always bound and limited. When sin binds us and limits the operation of our freedom, the binding and limits are concrete, statistical, and situational.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 DG

Summary of text [comment] page 76

The influence of sin, with its loss of the supernatural gifts, is portrayed in the parable of the good Samaritan.

How does Schoonenberg see this parable?

‘The man who was the victim’ is robbed and wounded by sin. He is robbed of the gifts of grace. His natural powers are wounded.

The man who is a victim of sin still has his supernatural powers. He lacks freedom to operate them openly, as if his free will has been restricted. His spiritual powers are lacking. This is especially true when he bases his recovery on ‘an abstract freedom’, rather than ‘the freedom that he concretely possesses’.


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

[For me, the situation level of the interscoping form for sensible construction contributes to the horizontal level of an intersection. The content level contributes to the vertical level of an intersection.

Participation occupies the horizontal (or hidden) axis.

Recognition occupies the vertical (visible) axis.

One single actuality accounts for the union of two actualities.

The single actuality is ‘the state of grace’ or ‘the state of self-destruction’.

In practice, the nested form containing this single actuality should not interscope with lower levels. It may interscope with higher levels.   It usually belongs to the content level of an interscope.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 DE-1

[Participation may be modeled with the slogan:

Our human nature is to participate in divine nature.

Recognition may be modeled with the slogan:

In order to be ‘who I am’, I must recognize ‘myself as an image of God’.

For the interscope, recognition belongs to the content level. Participation belongs to the situation level.

Sensible construction follows when participation (situation) coheres with recognition (content).

When recognition and participation become full of contradictions (as one might predict for any life change), they no longer interscope. Instead of separating as two distinct (yet coordinating) actualities (as one might expect), they congeal into an conflict-filled intersection.]