Thursday, June 18, 2009

Modern Christian Virtues

So I'm sitting in a B&B in Elora, Canada grading papers while Steve and the girls are off fishing. Here's what I just read:

When true, dedicated Christians live life according to God’s will, like medieval monks, the world sees the value that Christians bring to society. A true Christian is hardworking, selfless, and accepting.

Hmm. Isn't is curious how we get our ideas? It used to be that true Christians were recognized as persons who were faithful, hopeful and loving. But somehow the young woman who wrote this essay seems never to have heard this, or at least, forgotten it. Instead, she has adopted the modern doppelgangers: faith becomes hard work; love becomes selflessness and acceptance; and hope is--hope is absent.

How has she gotten this idea? Shall I chalk it up to the massive biblical illiteracy that Protestants, as well as Catholics now suffer? Or should I blame the culture, which has done a better job of inculcating its virtues than the church? Or what?
Even more critical: how can the theological virtues be restored in her life?


Jeff Adams said...

There is a very interesting two part audio by N.T. Wright on Virtue: Learning the Language of life/new creation. I found it very interesting. It is essentially Aristotelian ethics with the Telos becoming "the new creation" rather than "happiness".

Jeff Adams said...

And here is the link.

Sorry about that, I missed my morning coffee.