52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Marilynne Robinson

"Our being made in the image of God is one of the first things that’s asserted in the Bible. It is absolutely crucial. Calvin takes the idea of the image of God and folds it into the parable of the great judgment in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, which means that in every encounter you are indeed dealing with an image of God. Circumstances can vary to any degree the image by which God chooses to present himself to you. It can be anybody, anything, a threatening person, somebody toward whom you are profoundly hostile—it’s still God. And the obligation you have toward that other has to be understood as the obligation that you have to God himself, to Christ himself. Calvin’s idea is that if someone sins against you, if someone offends you, Christ is standing there waiting to take on himself the guilt for that sin. So, in dealing with someone who is hostile or destructive to you, you are dealing with somebody whom Christ is waiting to forgive. This is a beautiful ethic, and I can’t find anything theologically questionable about it. It’s also a very demanding one. It’s superhuman, but that of course never excuses us. That twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, the parable of the great judgment, is very demanding."

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