Saturday, August 23, 2008

Boersma on what invites an assertion of the sheer will to power

“the nonviolent ethic that drives much of the agenda of Radical Orthodoxy seems to me morally problematic. If reality is indeed a human construct in which boundaries continually fluctuate according to newly developing socially acceptable arrangements, there may not be much to argue about, let alone fight about. In that case, the Church’s practices of forgiveness can be summed up as a peaceful life of harmonious difference, where constant negotiation and renegotiation determine reality by means of persuasion. My suspicion is that such ‘harmonious flow’ will, in the end, lead to more rather than less violence. The will to power will inevitably assert itself where the readiness to speak for and defend divinely given truth has disappeared. If, on the other hand, as St. Augustine’s view of participation contends, the cosmic order has objective reality as a result of God’s creative and providential care, we may well find that there are divinely ordered fines—‘borders’ or ‘ends’—whose beauty and truth captivate us and which are worth defending in the interest of the ultimate telos: the peace of the City of God (Ps 147).”

Hans Boersma, “On the rejection of boundaries: Radical Orthodoxy’s appropriation of St. Augustine,” Pro ecclesia 15, no. 4 (Fall 2006): 446-447.

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