Americans have a right to self-defense, just as they have a right to free speech and the free exercise of religion. But none of these rights is unlimited. Free speech is not the right to create public dangers. Freedom of religion is not the right to fraud or child abuse. And the Second Amendment is not a right to weapons of mass destructive capacity. This is the reason prudence and judgment are among the highest political virtues. It is often necessary to balance individual rights and the public good. This is the spirit that people of faith should bring to the political enterprise. It is beyond the power of politics to solve every problem—and it can be destructive for government to try. But it is possible to make incremental, patient gains in the common good.
2. A perennial moment of opportunity
Vincent Bacote writes for Comment of the need for biblical saturation, rather than mere intuition, to support holistic mission:
Like Moses, we all (not only younger evangelicals) need to hear the charge to saturate our lives with God’s word. This saturation ought to lead us to a vision and practice of holistic mission that has personal and public dimensions. We can live beyond the suggestions of intuition and have greater guidance through God’s word and the power of the Spirit. This is not a new thing, but perhaps it is news to some of us. We have a great responsibility and opportunity at hand for faithful participation in art, business, politics, education, and other public domains. Where will we turn to guide us to a faith that is truly for all of life?
This is not a sermon or a sales pitch, but a story about a place as inspiring as it is disturbing, where greed has raped a people of their material resources and dignity but where brilliantly applied generosity has created hope and enterprise of which Fortune 500 companies would be envious.
4. Tilling among the tulips
Leslie Leyland Fields tells the story of an urban farm in what used to be a strip mall parking lot. Jeff Roessing, who started the farm, believes the theology behind the work is essential:
When I talk to Christian farmers in the green movement, it’s really encouraging that we’re all trying to live out our faith in a real way, but as the pendulum swings, I’m seeing more silence on the theology part of it. Yeah, we’re restoring the land, but our hope is not in farming. I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that God is going to make all things new. In all of this work, people are vitally important, and Christ has to be central.
Every time I see a new book I want to buy, I think for a minute about buying the proper Kindle version from Amazon, but I never do. And there are a few reasons that keep me from taking that step.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: eighthdayfarm.com]