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Posts tagged "Morality"

The Shape of Modern Morality: Swapping Jesus for Hitler?

The Story of Secularization can have a Number of Different Starting Points

On “Lawlessness” and Understanding: The Gospel for Jews and Greeks

The counter-cultural, revolutionary nature of Christianity is en vogue at the moment, and understandably so. The world is not the Gospel; its claims and promises are, in the words of David Zahl, “seculosities” that we can’t help but uncritically accept. We swim amid an ocean of competing ideologies. Part of the appeal of Christianity is […]

Camp: Notes on Grace

What does grace look like? If it made a movie or wore a dress, how would you describe it, aesthetically? It might be twee or kitsch, since the Gospel is such a personal message that, in our self-absorption, we often sentimentalize, then mass-produce. It could be sublime, as the drama of salvation involves the darkest […]

Adam Smith and the Nature of Heaven

This one comes to us from David Clay. Adam Smith, widely acknowledged as the father of modern economics, was first and foremost a moral philosopher by trade. Nearly two decades before Wealth of Nations (1776) revolutionized the world’s understanding of economics, Smith had established his philosophical reputation throughout Europe with The Theory of Moral Sentiments […]

“All Things Are Lawful” for Christian Flesh

“I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, I am mad for it to be in contact with me.” (Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Song of Myself 2)   My hygiene is deficient, one friend told me. She said I needed to use lotion (she swears by Jergens), on my […]

Your Inner Chimp: Moral Evolution, Inception and the Thread of the Universe

Lots to chew on in this new one from Mbird Jason Redcay: Have you ever wondered where morality comes from? Could it be something inherited biologically? Is it something that has evolved over years and years? Maybe it’s embedded socially by the people and environment around you? In 2007, the popular radio program Radiolab attempted […]

The Law and Gospel (of Lent) according to Chocolat

Much like the nation of Greece, the season of Lent is characterized by “austerity measures.” And while such devotion can be beautiful, Lenten observance can also border on piety for piety’s sake, or what we might call works righteousness. Please do not misunderstand me: I enjoy and value the season. Who of us wouldn’t benefit […]

If Loving You Is Right, David Brooks Doesn’t Want To Be Wrong

If you haven’t taken the hint yet and started subscribing to his editorials in the NY Times, David Brooks published another gem this week in which he calls into question the current popular morality built upon the whims of the individual. Brooks claims/laments that the maxim “If it feels right, do it” has separated morality […]

Karl Holl on Creativity, Heart, and ‘Situation-Ethics’

In The Reconstruction of Morality (1979 Augsburg edition, as cited last week), Holl brushes up fairly close to what later American theologians would call ‘situation-ethics’. What we came to know in the 1960s as ‘situation-ethics’, the effects of which are still with us, sounds a little like what Karl Holl is saying when he talks […]

Karl Holl on Morality as Instinctive

In his lecture on Luther’s earlier ethical views, which was published and then re-worked between 1919 and 1923, Karl Holl wrote in a way that today could be described as ‘luminous’. The American edition of that lecture, entitled The Reconstruction of Morality (Augsburg, 1979, translated by Fred W. Meuser and Walter R. Wietzke from the […]

Karl Holl on Morality as Awakening

This is the last quote in Mockingbird’s Holl series from The Distinctive Elements in Christianity (1937). Next week we will feature Holl‘s lecture and book, The Reconstruction of Morality.   Here the great one does away with distinctions between people. He also references by strange advanced knowledge a novel by James Gould Cozzens. Most important, Karl […]

Karl Holl on Spontaneity and ‘Situation-Ethics’

Karl Holl understood the morality of Jesus as a kind of spontaneous response to situations of need, which would not involve reflection but were of the immediate moment. He understood the Lord to have taught a non-systematic approach to moral actions that approaches what some ‘liberal’ theologians wished to call, later, ‘situation-ethics’. The key element […]