Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pieper, 1968. Chapter A4 "The Sources of the Two Existing Religions"

Chapter A4 “The Sources of the Two Existing Religions”

After demonstrating that there are only two types of religion - human and divine - Pieper asks where the religions come from. The religion of the Law comes from human reason. Pieper enumerates three steps involved in the formation of this human religion. First, natural but fallen humans have some knowledge of divine requirement. Second, people have an evil orientation. They have broken God’s Law and are condemned. Finally, fallen man devises good works to purchase forgiveness. Pieper continues with biblical commentary on the situation.

The divine religion, on the other hand, is not oriented toward man’s works. We remain fallen and guilty but God has saved his people apart from their own works. Jesus paid the penalty for all our sin and removes the guilt and separation from God.

What of Christians who place some burden on moral good? Pieper mentions Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, and synergism. His conclusion is that those practices should always have been rejected because they are ultimately man-made religions.

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