Thursday, August 27, 2009

Judgment

"Another aspect to judgment, found throughout the Old Testament was the disastrous punishment God would visit on those who defied him. People who should deign to despise the covenant with God were told that "the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions" (Deut. 28:58f.). Those disasters were then enumerated. They embraced almost every branch of human affairs: economic, medical, military, psychological, domestic, political, religious. This connection between idolatry and disaster was the constant message of the prophets as well. When the two kingdoms were successively carried off into captivity by the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, that was said to be the retribution that God had promised through Moses. It was judgment." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 294

"It is only to be expected, therefore, that an idolatrous society should suffer the pain of judgment. Whether judgment is the virtually automatic consequence of contravening the naturally perceived realities of the world, or whether it is the divine wrath executed with purpose on those who persist in idolatry, there can be no escape from the consequences. That is why Herbert Butterfield warned against Christians' attaching too much value to the remnants of nineteenth century liberal culture in which Western society was still organized. The ruins of such systems have littered the halls of history, and to value them too highly is to make a profound mistake. The nation, the political and economic systems, the culture, all are transitory and must not be absolutized." Idols For Destruction page 294-295

"There is a sense in which judgment that issues in catastrophe is the only way for good to come, inasmuch as it entails the erasure of evil. Niebuhr referred to the coming of catastrophe as the time when the idols fall, when human constructs are recognized for what they are in place of giving them the divine status their makers crave for them. That is squarely in the biblical tradition. Only when judgment falls, said the prophet, will people "cast forth their idols of silver and their idols of gold." (Is. 2:20). Idols For Destruction page 295

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