Friday, January 23, 2015

Public Christians

I mentioned the work of Public Christians, as I call them, previously in an adverse manner.

Compare the media use of Australia's public Christians with that of the Dali Lama. The DL is, of course, a consummate faker, so I wouldn't want that aspect of his image to be replicated, but his coining of statements that pull people towards his world view and religion, as duplicitous as they are, is brilliant.

I understand that he takes advantage of the political support for Tibet against China, the Western infatuation with Eastern religions, and the congenial front that Buddhism shows to the West, but who wouldn't use their advantages to manipulate the media's handling of their statements?

A great opportunity not taken was during the debate a few years ago about providing 'Ethics' classes in primary schools. These are promoted as an alternative (a 'cool' alternative) to Christian 'Scripture' classes for children whose parents don't support their attendance at such.

In the debate, the then Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen talked about 'Christian values' being promoted.

The primary Christian value in this connection is provided by Isaiah: all our righteousness is as filthy rags!

The problem with ethics classes is that ethical epistemology is built on a particular view of the world; the world view that structures ethics classes includes (unavoidably) no pathway to deal with ethical failure. Where is forgiveness outside a framework of grace? It might be given lip-service, but it is an applique on a world view that cannot include it. Jensen didn't touch this, and so lost a great opportunity to introduce the heart of the gospel into an active debate.

'Epic fail' as they say these days.

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