You cannot serve security and solidarity.
Comment – After 9/11 security has become a universally sought after value in the West in general and the US in particular. Yet, security, as legitimate as it may be as a basic human need, remains strictly in the area of selfishness. Human solidarity, on the other side, is the supreme value of the community orientation of a ‘kingdom person’. Individualism – the human person conceived as a monad; a reality in itself, although an understandable reaction to the evil of collectivism, remains captive to the realm of selfishness, which dominates the modernistic mindset. The human being, created ‘in the image of Triune God’, is by design a communitarian being, called to live the solidarity of perichoresis (a Patristic concept describing the coinherence or interpenetration of the actions of the Persons of the Holy Trinity – meaning, basically, that we can never have one divine person, without the other two). The same idea is expressed through the Bantu concept of ubuntu – which states that I can only become a human being through the other human beings; I am human only through and for the others. When we give precedence to security over solidarity, we risk to devolve as persons, to become less human.
During the summer of 2008, the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith led a research team that conducted in-depth interviews with 230 young adults from across America. The interviews were part of a larger study that Smith, Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, Patricia Snell Herzog and others have been conducting on the state of America’s youth.
Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing.
It’s not so much that these young Americans are living lives of sin and debauchery, at least no more than you’d expect from 18- to 23-year-olds. What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.
The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, which Smith and company recount in a new book, “Lost in Transition,” you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so. Continue reading “If It Feels Right… – on moral decadence as a way of life”
6.1 A Holistic Gospel
One of the greatest scandals of the Evangelical world today is the multitude of distorted or partial versions of the gospel preached in our churches. Thus the good news of the kingdom of God is frequently reduced to Continue reading “40 Years in the Desert – 6. Christian Social Responsibility 1”
1.4 Devaluation of the Human Person
At the centre of Marxist anthropology, besides the ideal of creating the ‘new man’, we find the view that people have economic value for society to the extent that they can function as mere means of production. They have no more value than a cog in the machine and as soon as they can no longer be useful for production purposes, their social value decreases dramatically. Continue reading “40 Years in the Desert – 1. The Legacy of Communism 4”
2. Noi trebuie să ne reformăm comportamentul
A doua noastră preocupare majoră este aceea de a ne reforma propriul comportament. Noi declarăm că a fi evanghelic sau a purta numele de evanghelic înseamnă nu numai a ne modela credința și viețile în concordanță cu învățătura și standardele Căii lui Isus, ci și a persevera în aceasta. Și dacă îndemnul evanghelic este o forță radicală, reformatoare și înnoitoare, noi realizăm cu părere de rău că există astăzi o situație ironică în acest domeniu. Noi, cei care ne-am pronunţat mereu pentru reînnoirea formelor uzate, pentru trezirea bisericilor moarte, pentru încălzirea inimilor reci, pentru reformarea practicilor corupte și a crezurilor eretice, precum și pentru o reformă în societatea noastră față de nedreptățile strigătoare la cer, astăzi noi suntem cei în cumplita nevoie de reformare și reînnoire. Reformatori fiind, avem noi înșine nevoie să fim reformați. Protestanți fiind, noi suntem cei împotriva cărora trebuie să protestăm.
Continue reading “Un manifest evanghelic – partea II”