In the World

“There is nothing that does more to perpetuate injustice than good people who assume that injustice is caused by bad people.”

So much religious talk is about naming, about describing a general reality in particular terms. This is important. But in our increasingly secular culture, it’s always striking when someone gets at deep religious truth without bothering with religious language. 

For instance, Jay Smooth offers a pretty crisp explication here of the nature of sin and virtue. Not that he uses those words. “Good” and “just” are about as religious as this gets:

Fred Clark makes the sly observation that watching Smooth is a lot easier than slogging through Aristotle and Niebuhr. Is Smooth intentionally sparing us the footnotes here, as writers (and pastors) interested in actually communicating with people do all the time? Or is this just an example of a commentator’s interests inadvertently converging with seminary graduates’ bookshelves, of ethics meeting Ethics? 

I don’t know, and I’m not sure it matters. I’m just glad whenever someone this smart and this pithy calls attention to such serious things, whatever words they use to do it.

Steve Thorngate

The Century managing editor is also a church musician and songwriter.

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