hmm... in the 70's a few days ago, snowing today.

i love my justice class, it is so good to talk about real things with people who are real... some thoughts about individualism and independence in the us, about participating in community selfhood...
is transcendence of self indeed the essence of morality? is "morality" all we have to be concerned about?... might it not be that only in a false arrangement of power we feel the need to "transcend" the self? it may well be that the self offers the appearance of separateness where human beings begin to lord it over one another, that is, where power is abused to divide humankind into persons and non-persons...
theology needs to understand that the exercise of power is a function of one's view of selfhood. as long as the self is able to bracket segments of humanity as not part of the self the power differential will wreak havoc on some members of the human family.
in the prevailing notion of selfhood in western culture, we usually have value as human beings when in some form we acquire power over others. we think of making it up the ladder of success - one way of acquiring power over others. one glorious little self is still pitted against another not so glorious self... power corrupts at the point where the weak, the poor, and the maimed are viewed as non-persons. and absolute power corrupts absolutely where everyone else is viewed as nonexistent except as foil for one's self-aggrandizement...
it is not built into the Created structure of human selfhood that one individual should lord it over another. no human being has a right to prey on the other: "even the possums and the skunks know better! even the weasels and the meadow mice have a natural regard for their own blood and kind. only the insects are low enough to do the low things people do- like those ants that swarm on poplars in the summertime, greedily husbanding little green aphids for the honeydew they secrete." it is the corruption of power that enables human beings to prey on each other. underlying the power corruption is the exclusion of the other from one's selfhood. the Jesus event acknowledges the other as part of the self, especially the marginal other. the commandment to love the other as oneself is not an invitation to love an alien other, but finally to discover the other as co-constitutive of one's self. this awareness of one's identity in corporate selfhood emerges in the church in the wrestle with the Jesus event at the ground level of Christian origins in Judaism. frederick herzog, justice church p. 40, 41, 43-44

another thought on which i'm not sure of my feelings. what do you think?
and in "God's country" christians are kept at a distance from each other. most theology exists only in the awkward gaps between denominational pains and trials. when one member suffers, we do not suffer along by a long shot. many protestant christians in the united states are increasingly retreating into a ministry to themselves. we are kept from battling in concert in the conflict of history by self-serving denominational machinery. p.14

and soon onto a weekend of beautiful worship, amazing teaching, encouragment in my passion, and best of all- lots of reunions... i'm ready for nashville!

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