Friday, June 19th, 2009...10:45 pm

Confessing our “virtues,” an introduction

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I was recently involved in a scrum in the comments section of a post on Doug Wilson’s “Blog and Mablog” where I was arguing with a couple of other readers  about foreign policy.  I confess that I was not as sober-minded as I should have been and didn’t guard my electronic tongue as well as I should have, especially in the beginning of the discussion.

Anyway, my conversation on that post gave me an idea.  I believe that there are many cases where we as Christians assume we’re right when we’re not being faithful to the teaching of scripture.  Often this happens when we accept the presuppositions of the world around us.  Rather than thinking Biblically about a topic, we think Victorianly, or Americanly, or conservatively, or gnostically, legalistically, or Hellenistically.  The Pharisees thought that they had it all together in terms of virtue and righteousness.  They were the religious conservatives of their day.  They were the moral values crowd of the most impressive pedigree.  But when they encountered God incarnate, Jesus showed that they had invented many of their “virtues” as a way of circumventing the Word.

While this problem plagues both religious liberals and religious conservatives, I will focus on the “virtues” of religious conservatives, since I am one, and one of the “virtues” that we as conservatives need to confess at the outset is the that we are really good at preaching against that sin “out there” while being suspiciously quiet about our own sins and temptations.  Nothing seems to mobilize religious conservatives more than preaching about the sins of religious liberals and unbelievers.  Of course, if you’re a liberal of any kind (except for possibly “classical”) don’t worry–you’re bound to be offended by my commitment to the authority of Scripture in spite of inconsistencies or blind spots I’m bound to have.  During this series, I plan to stick to “virtues” I have personally held at some point in my life.

Assuming somebody reads these blog posts, I’m bound to offend just about everybody at some point during this series.  If I give offense because I am being unbiblical, unfaithful, crass, or arrogant, I apologize in advance and hope that I will repent.  If I give offense because I am making a biblical argument and I strike a nerve, well… to quote Adrian Monk: “You’ll thank me later.”

1 Comment

  • Yep, I’m reading.

    It sounds interesting. I think you’re right, that there is a lot of condemnation of the Left, but we tend not to hit on when the Right is wrong.

    Rather than elaborate and try to steal your thunder, I look forward to what you’re saying … This is a subject that we need to take seriously.

    If nothing else, to remove the planks from our own eyes.

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