September 20, 2013

… and you know another way Blue Like Jazz is wrong? It thinks ‘the world’ is not God’s enemy, and certainly not our enemy, and that we shouldn’t behave as if it is.

It, however, forgets a few crucial facts. Firstly, ‘the world’ (for a given, rather generalised definition of ‘that which is not the kingdom of God’): everything about it is antithetical to God’s goodness. On its own, it can’t do anything but be God’s enemy. That’s the foundation of the whole concept of why we need Jesus in the first place. Which, of course, leads to:

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” I’ve read it so often I never look at it properly, but it turns out studying theology helps with viewing overused quotes in a different light. This is how God behaves towards his enemies, apparently. And since we’re God’s, and the world is supposed to be our enemy too, we should behave as if it is. The way God behaves.

This came up mid-research when I read a sentence that begins “Although ‘the world’ is rightly thought of as an enemy to whom Christians offer themselves in agape...”.* It rearranged my thinking rather suddenly, and I wanted to share. Because. The world is our enemy and so the appropriate reaction to it is to offer ourselves in generous, unbounded love. Isn’t that just typical of Christianity? I find it hilarious and thought-provoking. And then I thought of Blue Like Jazz, because I wrote an essay on All The Ways In Which It Is Wrong recently, and I was provoked into taking a quick break to say so.

There are also, very probably, many ways which what I’ve just said is wrong, or at least not-nuanced-enough, because Christianity isn’t painted in plain primary colours, and I’m new to learning all the different subtle gradients and shades. Early days yet.

Arright, back to research!


*Hauerwas and Pinches, Christians Among the Virtues: Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics, 84-85.

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