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Posts tagged "Virtue"

#Humbled on the High Horse

#Humbled on the High Horse

For our jail bible study this past week, we decided to do Sunday’s gospel reading, which just so happened to be the Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-12), the litany of blessings that Jesus bestows on the weak, the discouraged, the sad, and the lonely. I thought, in the jail of all places, that people would really be able to understand the pertinence of Jesus’ upside-down view of things. I thought, well, if anyone understands this passage…

The guys were definitely appreciative of the good news in those lines. The meek inheriting the earth? Comfort for those who weep? They said it sounded like…

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From the Archives - Coping with Our Failure to Be Happy: Moral Palliatives vs Repentance

From the Archives – Coping with Our Failure to Be Happy: Moral Palliatives vs Repentance

Well, we’re probably nearing our yearly limit for writing about anxiety, but great articles on the subject have been irrepressible. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that our increasing need to self-actualize, and increasing avenues for doing so, is a root behind the contemporary epidemic of nerves that had 1 in 5 American adults on anti-anxiety or antidepressant meds in 2011, numbers which have presumably risen since. An organization called the ADAA (anxiety and depression, etc) reported that almost one-third of the nation’s health bill is caused by anxiety disorders. You could reasonably ask to vet the numbers there, but even…

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All the Lonely Virtues, Where Do They All Belong?

All the Lonely Virtues, Where Do They All Belong?

There’s this funny revival of Aristotelian virtue ethics going on in the Church today, typified by N. T. Wright. The Nicomachean Ethics, while more approachable than most Greek philosophy, is as dry as the Metaphysics, so I’m going to pass over my due diligence here and throw out an interesting anomaly.

The virtues we like to take up from the Greeks are not quite the same ones they would have clung to. Wright’s After You Believe (Virtue Reborn, before they decided to market it to Americans) is a little choosy about its use of virtue ethics. After deploying Hamlet’s suggestion that we put on virtue…

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Coping with Our Failure to Be Happy: Moral Palliatives vs Repentance

Coping with Our Failure to Be Happy: Moral Palliatives vs Repentance

Well, we’re probably nearing our yearly limit for writing about anxiety, and it’s only January, but great articles on the subject have been irrepressible. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that our increasing need to self-actualize, and increasing avenues for doing so, is a root behind the contemporary epidemic of nerves that had 1 in 5 American adults on anti-anxiety or antidepressant meds in 2011, numbers which have presumably risen since. An organization called the ADAA (anxiety and depression, etc) reported that almost one-third of the nation’s health bill is caused by anxiety disorders. You could reasonably ask…

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The Virtues and Vices of N.T. Wright's After You Believe

The Virtues and Vices of N.T. Wright’s After You Believe

Apparently, the original title of N.T. Wright’s After You Believe was Virtue Reborn, changed for marketing purposes in the US. It’s difficult to understand this change, except perhaps that the American Church tends toward being sanctification-heavy, and purpose-driven, and the promise of a ‘Step 2’ to follow the ‘Step 1’ of belief must be attractive to us. A danger here is that the US marketing pressures almost presupposes a tendency of this audience to misinterpret as a how-to; this is to a degree how it’s being sold. But, with that out of the way, we’ll consider the book (hopefully) on…

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The Rage of Virtue

The Rage of Virtue

This article popped up in the L.A. Times this morning, much to my surprise. That exploding ethnic tensions in China are just now hitting the news is testament to that particular government’s ability to (at least mostly) control the message coming out of the country. How amazing (tragic?)!
Anyway, the politics of the free society is not what I am interested in right now. What interests me are the ideas of virtue, ethnicity, culture, and what Christianity has to say about it.
Human beings are always trying to claim some sort of inherent virtue for purposes of self-justification. It doesn’t matter what…

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Preach Preacher

Preach Preacher

A great quote on preaching from Stephen Paulson as well as the best liturgical dance troupe I’ve ever seen; farewell ribbon dancers, you will be missed.

“Scripture does not produce what sinners want—the distinction of vice and virtue—but it does yield the difference between law and gospel, which is the judgment of the all-working God and the promises given by means of the preacher. The preacher destines you by making you the location of Christ’s arrival. This is the difference between following my path, which pretends to move from life to death, and Christ’s, which comes down from heaven and…

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