Thursday, October 18

And a little content today for my loyal readers (even on vacation!) - an email from your friend and mine, Silus Grok:

Hey Sean...

I agree with your basic premise -- that war/violence doesn't
necessarily change things -- I'm just not sure to what extent I
agree. What resonates for me is the parallel I see between your
premise, and something I've been saying/thinking a lot since 9.11...
that good things will come of this; that the Lord turns all things to
His (and by extension, our) benefit.

The Holocaust?

60 years later, and there are entire families that wouldn't have been
had that great evil not thrown people together... and moreover, it
would not surprise me that the Holocaust did more to catalyze people
against anti-semitism than perhaps anything else could have.

Slavery?

250+ years of slavery in the US has left a lasting legacy. But again,
there are many here now who love and laugh _only_ by the grace of God
in bringing their parents to a land that would free them from the
petty tribalism that would otherwise have robbed (and continues to
rob millions) of much that is good and beautiful.

I could keep going. But I won't.

Already, much good has come of this horrid act. I look forward to
seeing much more in the future.

[I now return you to your regularly scheduled e-mail.]

- sG


my response:

i certainly agree, from my Christian perspective, that God 'works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose' (Romans 8.28). The Old Testament version of this is found in Genesis 50 when Joseph tells his brothers 'You meant [to sell me into slavery] for evil, but God meant it for good.'. This fundamental truth is seen most of all in the work, death, and resurrection of Jesus: God the Father took the worst thing that has ever happened, the torture and murder of his innocent Son at the hands of those He loved and came to save, and turned it into the best thing that has ever happened: our salvation.

however, such a position, while theologically and philosophically correct, must be treaded carefully in times of grief, as we have just experienced, because it's small comfort to people of faith, and no comfort at all to those without faith. Indeed, to that latter group it sounds sacharine and Pollyanna. in addition, even after the grief is over, we must be cautious about how we communicate this principle. i'm sure to many Jews and African Americans today, many years after these atrocities, good coming in the wake of these events might be acknowledged, but there is profound, justified anger, and they certainly are justified in regretting them.
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