Monday, November 7, 2011

Between radicalism and conservatism

I am reading the next instalment of Creation Regained. The quotes below capture some of the last chapter, Discerning Structure and Direction. I think it is helpful because it provides for a balanced perspective on what a Christian's attitude to the "status quo" should be.
We shall argue that in all cases the task of the Christian is to discern structure and direction... structure denotes the essence of a creaturely thing, the kind of creature it is by virtue of God's creational law. Direction by contrast refers to a sinful deviation from that structural ordinance and renewed conformity to it in Christ. given societal order is absolutely corrupt ... some element in every situation is worth preserving...   a Christians rejection of evil must always lead to a cleansing and reform of created structures, not to an indiscriminate abolition of an entire historical situation.
so our focus on structure rejects a sympathy for revolution, and our focus on direction condemns a quietistic conservatism.
For Christians, this renewing orientation is particularly important, since severe social oppression and injustice can easily seduce them into identifying the whole social order ... with the world in its religiously negative senses. When this fatal identification is made, Christians tend to withdraw from all participation in societal renewal. Under the guise of keeping itself from the world, the body of Christ then in effect allows the powers of secularisation and distortion to dominate the greater part of its life. This is not so much an avoidance of evil as a neglect of duty.
Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview, pages 88, 94, 95
Liberty leading the people, a classic work of the French Revolution.

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