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“Sin is utter separation from God, alienation from God – but the distance between God and man is not constituted by any metaphysical magnitude such as the infinite distance between the creator and the creature. The distance between God and man is due precisely to the nearness of God to man, to the antagonism between God’s holy will of love and our sin. The nearer God comes, the more intense the conflict and we are forced to cry, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord’ (Luke 5:8) and ‘I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.’ (Luke 7:6) Those were words spoken to God incarnate as he came near in Jesus Christ, spoken in the very presence of God, and they bring out into sharp relief the difference, the conflict between humanity and God which is minimised when God is thought of at a distance. Sin presupposes the nearness of God […]

Sin is to be understood as the contradiction introduced into the life-relation or life-unity of man with the creator, for in sin the human creature who depends on the creator for existence and life rebels against the creator. Sin is therefore destructive of the creature – a form of suicide […]

The centre point in every human being is their relation to God, and sin means that central point has been violated. Sin means that men and women have fallen out of the central thing in their life and existence, that they have thus become ec-centric (‘outside the centre’), as Emil Brunner put it.”

T.F. Torrance, The Incarnation, pp. 247-48

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