Open Mic Thread 43


The open mic thread is where you have the floor and can raise or discuss issues of your choice. There is no such thing as off-topic here. The comments of this thread are free for you to:

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Over to you!

As I am currently taking a break both from standard blogging and from commenting, I won’t be participating in these threads for a few months.

Earlier open mic threads:
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About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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8 Responses to Open Mic Thread 43

  1. I’ve been waiting for this since last week. When the flurry of tweets came, speculating on the motive behind the planned parenthood shooting, my first reaction was, “Are you stupid? Pro-life means being in favor of life. If this guy identifies himself with the pro-life movement and shoots people, he is not pro-life.” (Let’s leave off for a moment that we don’t actually know if he was – I’m responding to early tweets from pro-choice people.) This led me to thinking on issues of identity in the west today. This isn’t fully developed, but I wonder if there’s a difference in understanding identity between the right and the left, crudely speaking. I don’t know yet which terms would best represent what I’m thinking yet. My reaction was that the group defines identity. You can’t be pro-life and shoot up defenseless people. If you do, you’re out. I’d say that a church with a decent grasp of discipline would say the same thing about different aspects. You can’t deny the bodily resurrection and still be a Christian. On the other side, though, the individual seems to be the one who defines identity. Who are you to say that I’m not a Christian even though I hold beliefs contrary to the essence of faith? Who are you to say that I’m not a man or a woman?

    Am I off base or is this question of who or what defines identify a sticking point between these two groups?

  2. You’re saying the left sees identity as up to the individual; whereas, the right sees identity as determined by the group?

    I think you’re at least putting your finger on something, though in detail it probably looks fairly different from your sketch. For example, “the right” doesn’t seem to me to be “a group” that could make that kind of determination. Neither are those who are “pro-life.” At least, they’re not a group in the way particular Church bodies are that might exercise discipline in the way you suggest. Also, I think often enough those out on the right side of the spectrum think of identity as self-determined. Conservatives are also often enough more individualistic than progressives, right? The left to a large extent wants things to be mediated by a “community,” but in the absence of one all they have is the state to cling to. On the other hand, conservatives often want things sorted out among individuals acting as free agents in a neutral public space (read: the market). An emphasis on personal responsibility frequently swims in that water of individualism too.

    At least, those are my immediate impressions.

  3. Alex says:

    Should we expect that Jesus may return any day? Is this within the realm of biblical possibility?

  4. quinnjones2 says:

    I don’t think anyone knows (Matthew 24:36), so we need to be in a state of readiness for it…and maybe (like the five wise virgins) make sure that we have oil in our lamps.

  5. quinnjones2 says:

    I have just read Carl Trueman’s article ‘When you unchain the earth from the sun’ (Alastair’s links).
    I think it is very well written, and especially this : ‘…it would appear that the lunatics have taken over the asylum’.
    When I first saw the photo of Stefonknee Wolscht, I thought, ‘You are trying to fool?’ I’ve encountered many six-year-old girls over the years and I see no similarity whatsoever between them and him. I think that the whole notion is what the Welsh call ‘twp’.
    And now I have another word to add to my vocabulary list : transageism – I don’t think that I stand much chance of having a lazy retirement 😉

  6. Pingback: Open Mic Thread 44 | Alastair's Adversaria

  7. Pingback: Open Mic Thread 45 | Alastair's Adversaria

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