Posting a good quote

We are in Gibraltar and making a plan or two. While on the road we have read a little of The Day the Revolution Began and a few days ago we read Wright in the opening paragraphs of a chapter on Romans. These depth contained in these few sentences slowed us right down:

The primary human problem that Paul notes in Romans 1:18 is not “sin”, but “ungodliness”. It is a failure not primarily of behaviour (though that follows), but of worship. Worship the wrong divinity, and instead of reflecting God’s wise order into the world you will reflect and then produce a distortion: something out of joint, something “unjust”. That is the problem, says Paul: “ungodliness” produces “out-of jointness,” “injustice.”

For us very profound. And if our paradigm for God’s core is ‘power’ then we head in one direction, if ‘love’ then the direction changes…

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2 thoughts on “Posting a good quote

  1. How had I not noticed that! Blind as a bat and twice as squeaky!

    Thanks for mentioning it, Martin. I have a little model of conversation that I began in response, of all things, to Stephen Fry who, many years ago, was having one of his vaguely intelligent hissy-fits about the stupidity of religion by calling the ten commandments ‘hysterical’. There speaks a man who has never read them, I thought. And I proceeded to develop an explanation of the commandments that would make sense to an atheist which began with ‘Look, just for now, let’s actually look at the latter seven and leave out the first three’. I sort of knew what I was doing, the seven are hugely convincing when understood, but they are also hugely improbable when taken without the first three. So we had to begin with Sabbath and I took Breuggemann’s line that Sabbath refuses to make the means of production, or even survival, a totalizing factor. Sabbath, in principle, works against slavery. But if this most fundamental need is not ultimate it has to be subject to something that is even bigger, transcendent, even. And this is where we are forced to bring the first three commandments back into play because that is exactly their function.

    In other words, the godliness of the first three commandments is the reason why the holiness of the latter seven can be achievable. Or the sin of failing them avoided…

    I wonder where else this shape appears.

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