WRM, Niebuhr’s assertion that we place ourselves (in many instances) at the center of the moral universe…we make choices….frames love and justice, victim and perpetrator, and reconciliation (redemption) and understanding – polarities seeking resolution. Your exegesis, “he came to deal with the flaws, the weakness and the twisted selfishness that stand between us and God. He came to deal with that reality that no matter how we might wish to live the right way – we haven’t and don’t”, provides Christian denouement to our human drama (God is love). A fine message on the eighth day of Christmas (Yule Blog 2011-12).
“American whites, for example, who could have done more about racial injustice but chose to turn a blind eye.”
Oh, give it a rest in 2012 for a change, okay?
Because. It. Is. Tedious. At. This. Late. Date.
Unless of course you are referencing the very early parishioners of my old church, Plymouth Congregational, in Brooklyn.
@vanderleun: Prof. Mead could also have noted that it was white Christians in England who got slave shipping banned (read the bio “Amazing Grace”) and white Christians in America who worked to alleviate and then end slavery. The richest white Christian who ever lived founded what became one of the first black colleges; his son built Harlem’s magnificent Riverside Church.
But Prof. Mead was making a larger point, perhaps — I don’t know — because he lived through the 1960s civil rights era and was strongly affected by it. The larger point remains.
Philip Yancey had a succinct comment in his book What’s So Amazing About Grace?
“There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”
From G.K. Chesterton’s book Orthodoxy:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.”
I’ve been loving your Christmas posts. Thanks for sharing.
Also thanks for your ten ways to get smart. I wrote them down and am starting my way through them.
Your wise and humane posts make me think and consider many aspects of my life. I read many of your recommended books and almost all of your posts. Thank you for enriching my life.
Mostly because we’re sick of hearing about it from a variety of sources, e.g., the present occupant of the White House (who, being the son of an native African has no personal history of the Southern discrimination tradition himself) and his tirelessly suing Attorney General. In short order, the last generation that participated in/benefited from the “crime” will be in the grave. How long do those of us who didn’t have anything to do with it have to hear about it? Is this going to go on as long as or longer than the German war guilt? How long, O Lord?
Thank you. Jesus wasn’t very popular in Ann Arbor Michigan in 1970s, where I grew up. Moreover, I was raised with no religious instruction — perhaps reflecting my mother’s mistrust of the judgmental Methodism of her youth (Indiana ca. 1930s) and my father’s desire for distance from the ethnic Christian orthodoxy of his youth (Lebanese immigrants from New England). Although I enjoy all of your writings, your writings on Christianity have been filling a thirst within me to understand and enrich my growing faith. You are a gift.
[email protected]: Can you imagine how sick I am about being blamed for my long-long-gone distant ancestor taking one bite out of that infamous apple?
And all your choices have been blameless?