Niebuhrian Quote #2

Book Review 15

I am almost finished with Christ and Culture.  I would have to say that so far my favorite chapter has been on “Christ and Culture in Paradox.”   Here is another thought-provoking snippet, referring to the ethical complexity that is birthed out of this view:

. . . where he has been entrusted with the care of others, as father or governor, there in obedience to God he must use force to defend his neighbors against force.  The greater sin here is to want to be holy or to exercise mercy where mercy is destructive.  As God does a ‘strange’ work-that is, a work not apparently merciful but wrathful-in natural and historical calamities, so He requires the obedient Christian to do ‘strange’ work that hides the mercy of which it is the instrument (178).

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