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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pastor Douglas Wilson is to thoughtful Christianity what Dr. Theodore Dalrymple is to cultural and socio-political discernment. One is the most brilliant and witty Christian writer alive today, while the other is the most profound and droll writer on this planet. I have learned so much from Dalrymple's essays and books; particularly how to discern the worldviews and consequences behind words and ideas and what it looks like when the ideals of the liberal intelligentsia (even learned that word from him) are enacted into social policy. Likewise, in the last year or so, I've come to appreciate what a similar gift Pastor Wilson has in opening one's eyes to the truth in new and inventive ways; in this case, how the Christian faith and life intersect. If you were to ONLY read two authors this year, I would be hard-pressed to find anyone better than these two.

With that said, Wilson has a great post this week in which he focuses on the idea of distant moral guilt where one is or at least feels guilty for the actions of some far-removed corporation which happens to supply said person with goods (e.g. Walmart and the controversy over "sweat shop" labor), though his thoughts apply to many other areas of Christianity as well.
In God in the Dock, Lewis addresses in his typical trenchant way the dangers of national repentance. And, of course, one of the first things to note is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with national repentance, the real kind. But sinners have a consistent way of foisting the guilt of their moral failings off onto the backs of the nearest available abstraction -- the age, the nation, the corporations, or the trends.

But the fundamental moral duties in Scripture are individual.
Now the reason it is wrong to invert everything like this is that obsessing about distant sin far, far away is almost always for the purpose of making room for sin near at hand (the personal kinds of sins that people commit against other people), or to atone for that same kind of personal guilt. It is either trying to get rid of guilt or make room for it, or both.

The bizarre moral duty to assume responsibilty for corporations on the other side of the world that might be doing something wrong is a moral duty that has been brought center stage and foisted upon us by a drunken, stoned, fornicating, sodomizing, porn-watching, unborn child murdering generation. And so what happens when blind men lead?


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »