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

[Humans cannot wrap their sensible minds around two actualities that combine into one actuality. We must socially construct ‘a reference (a single actuality) on a reference (of the the two actualities)’. This process is discussed in How to Define the Word ‘Religion’ in the chapter on the meaning underlying the word ‘religion’.

The single actuality (the reference constructed) is composed of two actualities (whose union is the foundation of construction) and is contextualized in a content-level nested form.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 DC

Summary of text [comment] page 76-77

[This configuration of nested forms is typical for sensible construction.


The perspective level is not mentioned. Content and situation levels operate under the umbrella of a perspective level. But that perspective is not articulated.

This makes it very difficult for a student of history. The perspective level of sensible construction is not available for critical analysis, simply because it is not articulated. It is tacit knowledge. The perspective level may be called ‘a Zeitgeist’.

A Zeitgeist may be open to the influence of grace as opposed to self-destruction. Grace may be regarded, in a minimalistic biological context, as indirect (as opposed to direct) reciprocity. It also may be regarded as (biologically defined) altruism.

However, since our current Lebenswelt is not ‘the Lebenswelt that we evolved in’, grace emanates from civilized perspectives.

Grace may be regarded, in a minimalistic civilizational context, as ‘perspectives that do not produce self-destructive normal contexts’.   In historic religious traditions, grace extends far beyond this basic contrast because it is associated with (what Teilhard de Chardin described as) the divine attractor.

The omega point is the One True Triune God.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CZ

[Yet second model reflects the third. This model suggests that the person cannot truly recognize “himself” except as an image of God. The Holy Spirit mediates this recognition.

Through the normal context of the Holy Spirit, I can recognize myself.

If the person does not recognize “himself” in this fashion, which is the fashion that we evolved to see ourselves, then another self-recognition occurs:

I recognize myself according to the designs of a normal context that is finite, that is, an idol.

I idolize the design through which ‘I recognize myself’.

This model offers a postmodern scholastic avenue for appreciating Schoonenberg’s text.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CX

[Models? Let me look at models again.

Model three is of the One Triune God.

God includes all three categories of existence: thirdness, secondness, and firstness.

In my version of the model, God Recognizes Himself.

‘God is One’ is the Possibility of Recognition. The realm of possibility is monadic. There is only one.

Actuality is dyadic. God is Father and Son. God is the One Who Recognizes and the One Who Is Recognized. Both belong in the realm of actuality. The realm of actuality is dyadic.

Finally, a third person who is categorically different, the Holy Spirit3, brings the Father2 and the Son2 into relation with ‘the Possibility of Recognition1’. Normal contexts are triadic.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CW

Summary of text [comment] page 76

Sin renders us powerless. Sin puts man into bondage.

Yet, it does not destroy our human nature. It does not destroy our freedom.

Like grace, sin influences our nature [dispositions] in so far as it is at the disposal of the person as the seat of freedom [consciencespecified].


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.2 CV

[At some point, admitting the consequences (of our short-sighted normal contexts) seems both natural (and grace-filled).

At some point, training the dispositions (to avoid short-sighted attractions or repulsions) seems natural (and grace-filled).

Schoonenberg claimed that the divine ordination can be seen in nature itself. He did not add the caveat that must be added today:

Natural vision requires grace.]