Encyclopedia of sacred theology - pagina 138
in the building-up of
Ignorance wrought by sin the
the most difficult obstacle in
of all true science. § 44.
In a preceding section reference has already been
the grave significance to scientific investigation of the con-
ception which one forms of "truth."
This significance can
considered more closely in relation to the fact of
It will not
do to say that seeking after truth
clusively against the possibility of mistake. faith has
a mistake, has been inaccurate but not untrue.
merely a milder expression for the lie, and the search after truth has no other end in view than escape from
the fatal power of what Christ called the
This does not imply that " the mistake " does not stand The former section tried to prove the equally related to sin. contrary. But if the unconscious mistake stands in causal relation to sin, this relation is entirely different from what it
with the lie. The Holy Scripture teaches us to recognize an unholy principle in the lie, from which a caricature (Zerrbild) of all things is born, and the fatherhood of this In John viii. 44, we lie is pointed out to us in Satan. read "The devil speaketh a lie for he is a liar and the father thereof." This theological explanation need not detain us now, but it cannot be denied that a false representation of the real has made its way into almost every department of life that with a closer investigation these several false representations appear to stand in an organic relation and that a hidden impelling power is at work within this entire domain of the false and the untrue, which arouses our righteous indignation and bears a sinful character for our consciousness. The form of this spuriousness is not constant. It often happens that certain general ideas govern public opinion for a long time and then become discredited that they maintain themselves a little longer with the less educated masses and finally pass away altogether, so that he who still holds them is out of date. But with this shedding of its skin the