Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sin is a Closed System

My friend John B. Manos has written an article at the Bellarmine Forum which I'm encouraging you to read to for two reasons

  1. He makes yours truly sound like a saint.
  2. It's an excellent article on grace.

And while he might get #1 wrong, he gets #2 right.

In his post, Manos defends my position against Matt McGuiness, but in doing so he emphasizes the fact that sin is a closed system.  This is a term I'm borrowing from the science of ecology.  Living things cannot survive without an external source of energy.  The Law of Entropy dictates that all systems deteriorate, and that order can only be attained through the input of something from outside a given system. 

This is the perfect analogy for sin.  Not only can we sinners not raise ourselves by our own bootstraps, as the neo-Pelagians tell us, but in fact we are as doomed without the grace of God as the ecosystem of Earth would be doomed without the sun.  Salvation is not from within; sin only leads to more sin ... 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. - (Rom. 6:23)

This is why, as John B. Manos writes, St. Augustine not only converted, but, as all saints do, looked from that moment on ever toward God, the source of our salvation.  He did not delve deeper into sin, as the New Gnostics tell us to do; he turned instead to the Source without that freed him from his prison within.

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