Reader's Guide to Schleiermacher's Christian Faith

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Second Part of the System of Doctrine: Explication of the Facts of the Religious Self-Consciousness, as they are determined by the Antithesis of Sin and Grace

First Aspect of the Antithesis: Explication of the Consciousness of Sin

Third Section: The Divine Attributes which relate to the Consciousness of Sin

Introduction

79 Divine attributes relating to the consciousness of sin, even if only through the fact that redemption is conditioned by sin, can only be established if at the same time we regard God as the Author of sin.

80 As in our self-consciousness sin and grace are opposed to each other, God cannot be thought of as the Author of sin in the same sense as that in which He is the Author of redemption. But as we never have a consciousness of grace without a consciousness of sin, we must also assert that the existence of sin alongside of grace is ordained for us by God.

81 If ecclesiastical doctrine seeks to solve this antinomy by the proposition that God is not the Author of sin, but that sin is grounded in human freedom, then this must be supplemented by the statement that God has ordained that the continually imperfect triumph of the spirit should become sin to us.

82 What has been said concerning the divine causality with regard to sin holds good also with regard to evil, in virtue of its connexion with sin.

First Doctrine: God is Holy

83 By the holiness of God we understand that divine causality through which in all corporate human life conscience is found conjoined with the need of redemption.

Second Doctrine: God is Just

84 The justice of God is that divine causality through which in the state of universal sinfulness there is ordained a connexion between evil and actual sin.

Appendix: The Mercy of God

85 To attribute mercy to God is more appropriate to the language of preaching and poetry than to that of dogmatic theology.

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