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A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good by Miroslav Volf
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“To live with integrity, it is important to know what's right and what's wrong, to be educated morally. However, merely KNOWING is not enough. Virtuous character matters more than moral knowledge. The reason is simple: like the self-confessing apostle Paul in Romans 7, most of those who do wrong know what's right but find themselves irresistibly attracted to its opposite. Faith idles when character shrivels”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“Christ has not come with a blueprint for political arrangements; many kinds of political arrangements are compatible with the Christian faith, from monarchy to democracy. But in a pluralistic context, Christ’s command “in everything do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12) entails that Christians grant to other religious communities the same religious and political freedoms that they claim for themselves.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“In his early text, somewhat cumbersomely titled 'Towards a Critique of Hegel's PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHT,' the young Karl Marx famously noted that religion - the Christian faith, he meant primarily - is 'the opiate of the people.' It's a drug, and it's a 'downer' or 'depressant' insulating people from the pain of oppressive social realities and consoling them with a dream world of heavenly bliss. Alternatively, religion can function as an 'upper,' a 'stimulant' energizing people for the tasks at hand - a function of religion Marx failed to grasp.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“Engagement is not a matter of either speaking or doing; not a matter of either offering a compelling intellectual vision or embodying a set of alternative practices; not a matter of either merely making manifest the richness and depth of interior life or merely working to change the institutions of society; not a matter of either only displaying alternative politics as gathered in Eucharistic celebrations or merely working for change as the dispersed people of God. It is all these things and more. The whole person in all aspects of her life is engaged in fostering human flourishing and serving the common good.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“For those familiar with the early history of the Christian church—and for careful observers of young and vibrant Christian communities in the non-Western world—there is something odd about the present sense of crisis in the West. The early Christian communities were not major social players at all! They were not even among the cheering or booing spectators. Slandered, discriminated against, and even persecuted minorities, they were at most a bit of a thorn in society’s flesh. Yet, notwithstanding their marginality, early Christian communities celebrated hope in God and proclaimed joyfully the resurrected Lord as they endeavored to walk in the footsteps of the crucified Messiah. It was he who taught them, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil things against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:10–11)”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“Because there is one God, all people are related to that one God on equal terms. The central command of that one God is to love neighbors—to treat others as we would like them to treat us, as expressed in the Golden Rule. We cannot claim any rights for ourselves and our group that we are not willing to give to others. Whether as a stance of the heart or as outward practice, religion cannot be coerced.[217]”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“G. K. Chesterton famously quipped that “those who marry the spirit of the age will find themselves widows in the next.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“The cure against Christian violence is not less of the Christian faith, but, in a carefully qualified sense, more of the Christian faith. I don’t mean, of course, that the cure against violence lies in increased religious zeal; blind religious zeal is part of the problem. Instead, it lies in stronger and more intelligent commitment to the Christian faith as faith.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“Absolute hospitality would in no way amount to the absence of violence. To the contrary, it would enthrone violence precisely under the guise of nonviolence because it would leave the violators unchanged and the consequences of violence unremedied.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“Imagine now a different scene. Aaron and the Israelites are patiently and faithfully waiting for Moses to return. Finally, they see him coming down. But rather than tablets of stone, he carries the golden calf. And then they hear him speak: “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt” (Exod. 32:4). The prophet himself would have now engaged in idolatric substitution. He ascended the mountain to meet with God, but he has returned with an idol. Impossible? It happens every day, and to the best of ordinary prophets, even if it does not happen in such a crass way: the prophets may carry down from the mountain the tablets of stone, but at least some of the writing on them can be traced to the golden calf rather than to the true God of Israel.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“Christian faith is therefore a “prophetic” faith that seeks to mend the world. An idle or redundant faith—a faith that does not seek to mend the world—is a seriously malfunctioning faith”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
“Contrary to the assumptions of Western moral traditions, human beings are (1) not free in their actions but governed by necessity; (2) not transparent to themselves and others in their motivations, but opaque; (3) not similar to each other and therefore subject to the same moral code, but each different.”
Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good