It is not just a distant plea for mercy from the group, the dutiful obedience to go show oneself to the priests, or even an expression of heartfelt gratitude that captures the heart at the salute of God’s scandalous grace. The salute happens in the intimacy of two outcasts seeking and longing for a new kind of community-a place where foreigner becomes friend.
This is Christian community development: cultivators between the two gardens who labor, pray, and bleed alongside those dwelling in the land, our rural and urban communities, know that by the grace of Christ we are cultivating and developing God’s garden.
There is a perception among some today that science is necessarily equated with progress because it is dedicated to advancing knowledge; but ethics is mostly about applying abstract ideals to questions whose answers should be clear to most people, and mostly just results leads to red tape and process-driven institutional review boards. If anything, for people who hold this view, the real purpose of “ethics” seems to be to impede science, progress and human flourishing.
I had believed that most people in positions of leadership, once they were well-informed scientifically, would work to make appropriate decisions for living rightly on Earth. If the science of life and the biosphere were understood, good decisions would be made. But I was wrong.
These new challenges require not merely a resistance to irresponsible tampering with nature, but a deeper and more faithful consideration of what it means to be human.
While issues such as slavery and racial difference have certainly been debated among Christians and their opponents, and even among themselves, nevertheless our basic humanity has always been a given. A given, that is, until now.