"And so, as the pastor exhorted us this morning, Christians must have a “least of these” mindset. Like Jesus, who came to proclaim good news to the poor, release to prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind, and freedom for the oppressed (Luke 4:18), even so his followers must humble themselves to reach out to the neediest of our neighbors and serve them with the Savior’s love.
This passage is so stirring, so stimulating to the imagination, so sobering in its implications, that one cannot help but pause to take stock of one’s own life in its light.
Except that I am convinced we have it all wrong."
I'm still chewing on the alternate interpretation that iMonk's guest blogger gives here. A commenter on this post notes that NT Wright holds much the same view… again, interesting.
"Liberal democracy offers religious believers a bargain. Accept, as a price of citizenship, that you may never impose your convictions on your neighbor, or use state power to compel belief. In return, you will be free to practice your own faith as you see fit — and free, as well, to compete with other believers (and nonbelievers) in the marketplace of ideas.
That’s the theory. In practice, the admirable principle that nobody should be persecuted for their beliefs often blurs into the more illiberal idea that nobody should ever publicly criticize another religion. Or champion one’s own faith as an alternative. Or say anything whatsoever about religion, outside the privacy of church, synagogue or home.
A week ago, Brit Hume broke all three rules at once. "
Ross Douthat is quickly becoming my favorite NYT columnist, and this whole column is worth reading.