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Iniquity: The Dark Side of Our Human Nature


In response to the Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre:

In the Hebrew Scriptures, there is the concept of “sin” (חַטָּאת), which means a mistake or an offense, and “transgression” (פֶּשַׁע), which means a willful act of rebellion in crossing some moral boundaries, but perhaps the most unknown and incomprehensible concept is “iniquity” (עָוֹן), which means being perverse, crooked or twisted.

With our “modern” sensibilities, we always want to find a cause, something culpable, so that we can explain and make sense of everything, and then exert our control over them, or we just wish that human nature is essentially good, only lacking understanding or being misunderstood, and we can prevent things from happening only if we communicated more, but I think we as a humanity are actually becoming more and more ignorant about the dark side of human nature. In comparison, the ancients are much more honest and real about who we actually are and can be.

As this blogger writes: “As a society, we cannot interpret the immoral actions of human beings solely by reference to neurology gone haywire, nor can we belittle the consequences of sinful actions by a empathetic deference to the sacredness of personal choice…. as Mahn brilliantly points out in his application of Kierkegaard to contemporary society, we must remember that sin is genuinely baffling (it is aporia), and we are all caught up in its web.”

Yes, the fundamental nature of sin and evil is aporia. It is chaotic and irrational. It is the exact opposite of order, goodness, and all that is sensible. Trying to figure it out is like trying to find a pattern in Pi. What we need is not understanding, but salvation instead.


Posted in Current News, Posts in English, Theology.

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