Joseph Bottom has been Listening to the Lectionary…

Here is an essay by the above mentioned Joseph Bottom at First Things. Warning, it is deep and political and not a simple read. Truly about First Things as an American.

We come across these hard sayings like, “I’ve not come to bring peace but division (Luke 12:51)” or the refrain “the first will be last and the last first (Luke 13:30)”, and they shake us a bit. All political orders are built on the law. And the law is good. We understand the law. The law gives us sure ground to stand upon. But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away (1 Cor 13:10). And the perfect has come in Jesus Christ. The perfect is the gospel of grace. Just like those sayings, the gospel is counter-intuitive. That’s why it needs repeating. It is also why any institution or political order, as good as the law is, must make room for something other than itself. It is very hard for any institution or order to admit to another sovereign. Primarily because we make them up, and we aren’t too good at it ourselves.

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