Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Without a sense of sin

From "Mission Nary Impossible" by Anthony Esolen in Touchstone:
Man is an ineluctably moral being. He can pretend to moral relativism, but he cannot live it. He can say, misunderstanding Jesus' words, that we must never judge another person's actions, but in the blink of an eye he will assume that judgment seat....

We Christians now must be missionaries to people who are better than the nihilism they do not know they profess. The old, sturdy Christian virtues remain in the wisps of etiquette, detached from one another and from the grace and example of Christ. An echo, a fragrance, a half-forgotten memory remain, and make it harder for us to persuade our well-fed and much-distracted fellows of the real moral vacuity. ....

We are now among people who are better and worse than savages. They are, in most places, and for the time being, less likely to break the crockery, as Chesterton put it, than were the savages of old. .... They judge by the flights of feeling and mass sentiment. .... They are the more ruthless and severe in their condemnations as they are incapable of telling exactly what is to be condemned and why.

Because they have no sense of sin, they have no mercy. They speak of tolerance, yet they are the touchiest sensitive-plants ever to sprout upon earth. There are no sins; and every sinner deserves to be destroyed. .... [more]
Touchstone Archives: Mission Nary Impossible