The Sinner and the Victim

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17 Responses to The Sinner and the Victim

  1. Chris Walsh says:

    I’m somewhat surprised that you would publish this article. The first couple of paragraphs of section 7 can only be described as radically evil.

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Chris, if I only read and commended universalist theologians, it would be a very short list.

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      • Chris Walsh says:

        Hi Father Aidan Well, I wouldn’t have felt the same way about an annihilationst theologian. But, (speaking as a theist non-Christian) I think the traditional doctrine of hell i.e. as eternal conscious torment to which Hunsinger appears to subscribe is, quite literally, the most evil doctrine that the human mind has ever conceived, even worse, in terms of its intrinsically evil nature, than say Nazi beliefs. regards Chris

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        • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

          I understand and sympathize with the moral sentiment, Chris; but apart from God’s self-revelation in Christ of God, I do not see how one can sustain both a belief in God as absolute and unconditional Love and rejection of eternal damnation as evil. At this point the manifest reality of wickedness and suffering in the world overwhelms belief in the goodness of God and opens up the plausibility of atheism.

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          • Chris Walsh says:

            Thanks for your reply Father Aidan, but I don’t really understand it. It seems obvious that a perfectly good and omnipotent God would not inflict or even allow eternal conscious torment – one doesn’t need any revelation to see this obvious truth. Of course the ‘problem of evil’ remains a deep problem for those of us who are theists – I certainly don’t know how to solve it, but that’s another story.

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          • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

            Let me rephrase: apart from the paschal Christ, I see no reason to believe that God is good but I see lots of reasons to believe that God is evil.

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        • I don’t subscribe to it. Nor do is subscribe to narrow minded rationalism. Nor do ai suffer fools gladly.

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  2. Maximus says:

    Fr Aidan, I live and work among many members of the Southern Baptist Convention, and this article covers several key concerns relevant to their present upheaval. As you may be aware, some within the Convention have accepted strands of critical theory (like Critical Race Theory) for use as “analytical tools.” Others strongly argue, however, that such philosophical approaches imply an entire worldview, indeed, one that is antithetical to the Gospel. Representing the latter group is the Founders, a generally Reformed Baptist movement within the SBC. They have just released (two days ago, I think) a full documentary on this issue. These teachings reach far beyond the SBC. The cinedoc can be viewed here on their website: https://founders.org/cinedoc/.

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  3. Ben says:

    I am simply surprised whenever I see George Hunsiger taken seriously by anybody. I remember an AAR back around 2007 watching him trying to debate DBH on the analogia entis and getting totally demolished. Hunsiger was insulting and petulant and really dumb. He even screamed (I’m not exaggerating in using that word), “I was taught that only Jesus mediates between creatures and God, not the analogia entis!” Since then, I’ve pretty much assumed that he has a job because American Barthians just don’t know anything.

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Ben, given that I have learned a lot from “Barthians” and students of Barth—Torrance and Jenson in particular, as well as from Barth himself, I would never ever ever say that Barthians, American or otherwise, don’t know anything. I have found George Hunsinger to be an instructive guide to the theology of Barth. And more to the point, I find his article on sinners and victims (and thus his implicit critique of liberation theology) to be particularly instructive and helpful.

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      • Ben says:

        He knows nothing about Liberation Theology. I’ve heard him try to talk about it. He hasn’t even read the texts.

        I can see reading Bruce McCormack or Robert Jenson. Not Hunsinger, who was one of Jenson’d most vicious academic enemies. Read his stupid attacks on Jenson’s Systematic Theology.

        Hunsinger is a joke.

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        • P.S. I’m sure that I do not know Liberation Theology at the high level that you do. But I have read the texts extensively and in detail. Guiterrez even once commented favorably, in print, on some of my writing. But what does that matter? Being stupid, vicious, and ridiculous there is no reason to take me seriously.

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    • If you believe that God and the world are incommensurable, as I do, and as some Thomists also do, then there is no place for an analogia entis. What I actually said is that there is only one Mediator between heaven and earth, and that his name is not “analogia entis.” I certainly did not scream anything, and to say that I did so is fatuous. Unlike you, however, I’m sure that I am insulting and petulant and really dumb.

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  4. Chris Walsh says:

    Thanks for you reply above. An ‘Evil God’ – a truly frightening thought.

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  5. Iain Lovejoy says:

    The article’s concept of sin seems to assume a 100% voluntarist concept of morality, and a penal substitution concept of atonement. He also has a concept of original sin which imputes guilt and the requirement of punishment on everyone automatically, rather than any connection with any individual person’s actual sin.
    The result is that rather than sin causing suffering and death and God’s concern in ending it being saving us from them, the principle issue of sin is the offence to God and God’s requirement to ensure its proper punishment. Once you detach sin from its effects in the world or the fallen state of the world generally, the disconnect between sinner and victim becomes inevitable.
    Take seriously the Bible’s assertion that sin is the cause of suffering and death, and the two are inseperable. If we are all sinners we are victims of our own sin which is killing us, and which we cannot escape.

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    • For the record, I do not hold to a totally voluntarist concept of morality. Nor do I hold to “penal substitution.” There are more things in heaven and earth, apparently, than are dreamt of in your theology.

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