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Living with Luke (5): 1:56-80

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(Dis)Arming the Disciples (by Drew Strait)

“Why, God?” Asked the American People, and Would Not Stay for an Answer

December 30, 2012
The number one column on the New York Times website right now is Maureen Dowd’s “Why, God?” It features counsel on the problem of evil, in the wake of the Newtown shootings, from a priest friend of hers, Rev. Kevin O’Neil.

Amid his admirably kind, gentle, and humble remarks on the evils of our time, and every time, is this key admission: “I believe differently now than 30 years ago. First, I do not expect to have all the answers, nor do I believe that people are really looking for them.”

Nor do I believe that people are really looking for them.

I don’t think most people are really looking for them, either. A few straws in the wind:

Has Prof. Alvin Plantinga of the University of Notre Dame, arguably the most important thinker about the problem of evil in our lifetime, been prominent in the news media, on all the talk shows, in all the bien-pensant columns? I haven’t seen a trace of him.

My cousin Kent Annan, who helps to run the worthy Haiti Partners organizatio…

Some Thoughts on “Javertism” in the Church (2)

In my last post I suggested three forms of Javertism, a moralistic and legalistic version of “Christian” faith symbolized by Inspector Javert in “Les Misrables,” that afflict much of the church in our time. In this post we’ll look at the second form, a legalistic view of justice.

    By “legalistic” I mean an approach to living the faith governed by a retributive view of justice.  Retributive means that we deserve what we get and get what we deserve.  If I do this, I suffer consequence X.  If I do that, I suffer consequence Y.  A tit for tat kind of justice. 

    Faith lived under a retributive view of God’s justice always leaves us in the dock, always under threat of accusation and judgment for any misstep.  Such a faith leaves us focused on ourselves and our performance in a way that can easily become narcissistic.  Moralism is inevitable under a retributive view of justice.  As is the pride and exclusivism we looked at the previous post.

    In order to cope with the pressure of…

The four business gangs that run the US