Obama’s Nobel: Law or Gospel?

I was struck today by the following excerpts regarding Barack Obama’s unexpected, and perhaps undeserved […]

R-J Heijmen / 10.9.09

I was struck today by the following excerpts regarding Barack Obama’s unexpected, and perhaps undeserved (according to Obama himself), Nobel Peace Prize:

AP: President Barack Obama was praised Friday as a worthy Nobel Peace Prize winner although many admirers said the award was based on his potential, not his accomplishments.

Former Finnish president and 2008 Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari: “We do not yet have peace in the Middle East… This time it was very clear that they wanted to encourage Obama to move on these issues…”.

Is the prize, in this case, a powerful example of grace and imputation, i.e. treating someone as better than they are, giving a gift that is undeserved?

Or is it a powerful example of law, of burdening a man with something that he cannot live up to, of saddling with crushing expectations?

Perhaps both? What say you, Mockingbirds?
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6 responses to “Obama’s Nobel: Law or Gospel?”

  1. Nick Lannon says:

    I'm suspicious of human imputation…in this case, it seems like it's, at best, treating Obama as we wish he would be. While I don't foresee this actually happening, I can imagine a chagrined world community grumbling, "But we gave you the Nobel Peace Prize!" I think that when humans "impute" (which is to credit them with a creative power that is really God's alone), we are always subtly imposing law, in the sense that we're always trying to create something we want.

  2. David Browder says:

    I think most things like this in the realm of geo-politics or office politics are a function of control and manipulation. A lot of quid pro quo here.

  3. Frank Sonnek says:

    The underlying suggestion that everything in life is in the category of law or gospel is one that curiously, I as a Lutheran have never considered…. I will consider it …

  4. Todd says:

    Had they given the award to, say, Kim Jong-Il, then it would be pure Gospel. I'm going to say that it's pseudo-Gospel. One the one hand, God doesn't forgive us based upon our potential to do good. But on the other hand, awards really aren't given to spur future action.

  5. Jack Miller says:

    Neither… It is a statement of the foolishness of fallen man who places his faith in mere images of hope. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I love your blog.

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