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Archive for April, 2016

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

The New Testament is full of sentences that are the gospel in shorthand. I have always found this one from John (1 S John 1:5) the most striking. Not only because it directly confronts the heart of both open unbelief and Christian crankiness and fear — the suspicion that God has a sadistic and miserly side — but because this message really does run through all of Jesus’s conversation. The way of life and renovation of the heart prescribed in the gospels are amazingly difficult. And yet very often Jesus’s portrait of his happy, lavishly generous Father might make one forget the difficulty: “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

When the world slanders Jesus, or remakes him after one of its own patterns, the Christian’s impulse is often to defend his elder brother, to “set the record straight.” Commendable impulse, but wrong: the “Christ’s defender” ethos is misleading. He needs no defense, unless it be the defense of our example — that we delight in listening to our Elder Brother and learning of him.

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Corporate and structural evil is indeed something insidious, its very corporate-ness a convenient cover for everyone complicit to avoid personal responsibility.

Consider, for example, the modes of discourse commonly practiced by Social Justice Warriors (SJWs). They change definitions of key terms every fifteen minutes so no one is ever sure where they stand. They shout down any opposition and then demand the unqualified right to speak freely — regarding neither common courtesy nor reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. They use their own dignitary injuries as offensive weapons. Of their “targets” they demand self-loathing for vaguely defined offenses, or for the offenses of ancestors, and give only half-rewards to most of the contrite. That the contrite aren’t entirely clear about what they did wrong, you see, means they aren’t actually contrite enough; perhaps they’ll be more fully rewarded when they grovel more convincingly.

If a husband interacted with his wife that way, we’d call it spousal abuse.

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