"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St Irenaeus of Lyon

If only…

I ascribed more fully to this approach.

Many thanks to Steve Robinson for this image.  It does represent practical theology incredibly well.

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5 responses

  1. In his “Steve the Builder” podcast, he did a series in support of capital punishment. It was thoughtful (his blog is more whimsical than his podcast), but not uncontroversial.
    Some years ago, the “For Better or Worse” syndicated cartoon introduced a sympathetic adolescent male who was discovering that his homosexual orientation. The Journal & Courier refused to drop the cartoon at the demand of a co-belligerent of mine in The Culture Wars, so she called for a boycott of the paper. I thought the cartoon was one of the most humane and perceptive then being published, and we split over that issue – rather bitterly, including a call from someone on her side asking if I enjoyed my 30 pieces of silver (I was attorney for the paper – still am so far as I know).
    I try not to read too much into cartoons I like or dislike. But I like Steve’s Orthographs a lot.

    6 May 2010 at 6:24 am

  2. I think there can be a difference between being engaged in thoughtful discussion around important topics and creating an atmosphere of great controversy. Trying to maintain a level head can be exceptionally difficult. Ironically, the choice to flee controversy is actually a position to the same; however, if one suffers from a great temptation to engage in belittling speech that demeans and dehumanizes people, then it is probably best for that person to flee controversy as a way to flee temptation.

    Many people would assume adopt a position around a controversial issue than attempt to garner hospitality to offer love to a person living at the interface where rubber meets the road. Most people will either posit life in prison or capital punishment without ever visiting a convicted felon in prison. Most people will cast their vote around issues attached to abortion without ever holding the hand of a woman confronting a very challenging pregnancy. Most people will assert that gay and lesbian persons should never have any recognition whatsoever of a marriage relationship without ever inviting a gay or lesbian person to share in the life of their family. From my vantage point it seems that we would rather be more concerned about being “right” around controversial issues rather than about concerning ourselves with being compassionate. I, in no way, mean to suggest that those two are mutually exclusive; but I think that if we have positions that mandate that others than ourselves must live a certain way, then we have an obligation to help those people affected find their way.

    If a woman must keep a baby, then how can we help her do that?
    If a person must remain celibate, then how can we help him or her do that?
    If a person must be imprisoned, then how can we help him or her retain some meaningful human connections?

    To say it another way, woe to those who load people down with great burdens but will not lift one finger to help them. (Luke 11:46)

    Typically, being controversial has nothing to do with being loving. And it seems that love forces the greater scandal.

    6 May 2010 at 9:29 am

  3. Pingback: Friday Forum: When love sparks controversy « A Practicing Human

  4. Wow, thanks for introducing me to that blog!

    9 May 2010 at 6:50 am

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