Monday, August 27, 2007

Exclusion and Embrace

A few posts ago I mentioned how I was looking forward to being finished with my schooling so I could get to a pile of books that I've been wanting to read. (I know I said I'd say something more about McKnight's Embracing Grace, but I changed my mind. It's good, read it.)

Anyway, I'm now reading Volf's Exclusion and Embrace. It's one of those books that is going to take awhile to get through because just about every page I find myself thinking about a particular passage I just read, "Whoa...I need to read that again." After I do read it again, it takes it then takes some time to process. There is a lot packed into this book.

Here's two examples: Volf discusses how victims are never entirely innocent (not in a blame the victim sort of way) but in that "the practice of evil keeps re-creating a world without innocence." The violated, in other words, lose their innocence in the act of being violated.

Here's another quote on why recognizing that, as Paul tells us, there is none that are righteous:

"The question is how to live with integrity and bring healing to a world of inescapable noninnocence that often parades as its opposite. The answer: in the name of the one truly innocent victim and what He stood for, the crucified Messiah of God, we should demask as inescapably sinful the world constructed around elusive moral polarities...and then seek to transform the world in which justice and injustice, goodness and evil, innocence and guilt, purity and corruption, truth and deception crisscross and intersect, guided by the recognition that the economy of undeserved grace has primacy over the economy of moral deserts. Under the conditins of pervasive noninnocence, the work of reconciliation should proceed under the assumption that, though the behavior of a person may be judged as deplorable, even demonic, no one should ever be excluded from the will to embrace, because, at the deepest level, the relationship to the other does not rest on their moral performance and therefore cannot be undone by the lack of it." (Italics, his.)
I mean, it gives you something to think about, no?


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