The idea that if economic life is detached from all moral considerations and left to operate by its own laws all will be well is simply an abdication of human responsibility. It is the handing over of human life to the pagan goddess of fortune. If Christ’s sovereignty is not recognized in the world of economics, then demonic powers take control. — Lesslie Newbigin, Truth to Tell: The Gospel as Public Truth p77 (more from newbigin)
If I understand the teaching of the New Testament on this matter, I understand the role of the Christian as that of being neither a conservative nor an anarchist, but a subversive agent… We do not spend enough of our energies training undercover agents — Lesslie Newbigin, Truth to Tell: The Gospel as Public Truth p82 (via newbigin) (via ayjay)
What do we want — a society in which we exchange with each other, voluntarily, and look after each other when we fall; or a society based on taking from each other, with the most ruthless or determined taking the most? Will we make these decisions at the ballot box, or in the street? By persuasion, or force? Within the law, or without it? — Andrew Coyne asks if we want a vision of society as one of mutual aid, or one based on coercion.
Bret Stephens: To the Class of 2012 -
To read through your CVs, dear graduates, is to be assaulted by endless Advertisements for Myself. Here you are, 21 or 22 years old, claiming to have accomplished feats in past summer internships or at your school newspaper that would be hard to credit in a biography of Walter Lippmann or Ernie Pyle.
If you’re not too bright, you may think this kind of nonsense goes undetected; if you’re a little brighter, you probably figure everyone does it so you must as well.
But the best of you don’t do this kind of thing at all. You have an innate sense of modesty. You’re confident that your résumé needs no embellishment. You understand that less is more.
In other words, you’re probably capable of thinking for yourself. And here’s Fact Four: There will always be a market for people who can do that.
Richard J. Mouw: Congregants long for pastors to understand their work lives -
“I’d like a better theology of money,” he said, “but I really don’t expect my pastor to preach detailed sermons on economics.” He paused for a few moments and then offered this comment: “I guess I would just like a little more of a sense that my church understood better what it is like to live with the complexities that I have to face every day!”
I have thought much about that conversation. If I were that man’s pastor, what could I do to speak more directly to his felt needs as a businessperson?
One hundred and twenty million dollars. It is enough to clothe a city, feed a country, eliminate a disease. Rivers were sullied, forests were flattened and men were enslaved to create the wealth necessary to possess me. Birthed as a twisted chimera of human emotion, I have become a commodified totem. A just universe would not tolerate my existence. — Tristan Hopper on Le Cri. I wonder, what would a just art economy look like?
Gregory does a splendid job marshalling evidence to illustrate the transformational power of love in enabling us to embrace our neighbor. In doing so, he demonstrates how love retains and respects political justice, and how Augustine provides a constructive role for particular loves. Love of neighbor, instead of being dissipated in a universal benevolence that ignores the neighbor immediately in front of us, can only be practiced in particular relations. Particular relations, friendship in particular, constitute the vehicle for our love of neighbor; they are not an inferior (though currently more practical) form of love than universal love. — From John Von Heyking’s review of Eric Gregory’s Politics & the Order of Love.
He offered the most incisive analysis of the Occupy Movement I’ve heard: “At its peak,” he told me, “this was nowhere near the Sixties, and all of that was co-opted by capitalism.” The truest resistance, we both agreed, is the Mass. Call it the liturgical consummation of hipsterdom. — That Millinerd sure can write, can’t he? Occupy the Optocracy!
For the first time that city in which so many memories reside seemed demystified: it looked like a toy. Times Square’s pulsating, optocratic light, its wattage waxing stronger every year, prompted a question: Was it a dazzling sign of precious economic vitality, or (as the early Christians might have insisted), the beating, bloodless heart of a new whore of Babylon? Or both? — Brilliant writing from Matt Milliner, and that’s just a teaser. More to come.
Flannery O'Connor and the Habit of Art -
From the Paris Review:
“For the writer of fiction,” Flannery O’Connor once said, “everything has its testing point in the eye, and the eye is an organ that eventually involves the whole personality, and as much of the world as can be got into it.” This way of seeing she described as part of the “habit of art,” a concept borrowed from the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain. She used the expression to explain the way of seeing that the artist must cultivate, one that does not separate meaning from experience.
The visual arts became one of her favorite touchstones for explaining this process. Many disciplines could help your writing, she said, but especially drawing: “Anything that helps you to see. Anything that makes you look.” Why was this emphasis on seeing and vision so important to her in explaining how fiction works? Because she came to writing from a background in the visual arts, where everything the artist communicates is apprehended, first, by the eye.