Schleiermacher: our shared guilt

In light of the Virginia Tech tragedy ...
No one can be viewed as the exclusive transgressor in regard to what is done. Rather, the more a person’s action seems to call for condemnation, the easier it is in most cases to show how the agent has in various ways been tempted and provoked and to show for how long the evil in that person has been nourished by the sin of others. Consequently, in all sinful actions a shared work and a shared guilt are involved.
—Friedrich Schleiermacher, “On the Sacrifice of Christ That Makes Perfect,” in Reformed But Ever Reforming, trans. Iain G. Nicol (Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997), 88.

Comments

Aric Clark said…
Amen. In a climate where everyone is trying to place the blame somewhere (from Satan, to the shooter Cho, to his ethnicity, to gun control etc...) It seems to me the only Reformed response is to say that the burden of guilt is shared. Rather than trying to delineate between guilty and innocent we should acknowledge shared guilt and move on to repentance.
This is quite insightful --- there is a shared guilt in this tragedy. Things like this don't happen in a vacuum, unless of course you take the view of Franklin Graham and just blame it on Satan!