Guess the Good Guy

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This fact—that man cannot escape his eschatological orientation or the desire for heaven placed within him by his Maker—is what makes the unbeliever’s art so profoundly meaningful…

…Paul’s point in this passage [Romans 8:23-25] is that the cosmos groans, but “we…who have the firstfruits of the Spirit” ache with an even greater frustration than both non-believing humans and the subhuman created order. Or at least we should. The irony, however, is that the unbelieving world often displays, through its art and other media, a greater frustration with earth than many believers exhibit. We of all people should recognize our provisional, “cocoonish” condition, and yet the more we talk about redeeming the culture and reclaiming America for Christ, the more we give the impression that if we were actually given wings and bidden to fly, we would be disappointed to leave our cocoon behind un-transformed. What does that say about where our true devotion lies?

As hesitant as we may be to admit it, when we compare contemporary evangelicalism’s fixation with earth to contemporary paganism’s frustration with it, the seemingly inescapable conclusion is that, sometimes at least, the latter does a much better job of imaging the God it denies than the former does of imaging the one it confesses.

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12 Responses to Guess the Good Guy

  1. Alex Garleb says:

    Bravo!

  2. Aron says:

    Danny Hyde? (Please tell us! What a great quote!)

  3. RubeRad says:

    I’m gonna guess this is a quote from OHS JJS’s new book Dual Citizens

  4. Bruce S. says:

    You gotta be right.

  5. RubeRad says:

    Yay! Sadly, it was an honest guess, as I haven’t bought a copy yet. Perhaps a prize is in order for this quiz…?

  6. Bruce S. says:

    FWIW, I don’t buy Stellman’s thesis here. There aren’t enough “pagan” artists who exhibit an ache for heaven to counter-balance, to say nothing of out weighing, the fact that the secular world’s entire project is to do what it always does via its mantra: “People are basically good and with education and a helping hand from government, we’ll get our utopia on earth eventually”.

  7. Zrim says:

    Bruce,

    I think the thesis may be less a quantitative than qualitative one, which is to say, the Vosian point seems to be that the unbelieving nature is naturally programmed to secure heaven (as in the covenant of works, simple justice, etc.). I would add that this provocatively implies that, to the extent that believers are at once sinners and saints, the Christian life is really one of fighting against this inclination, instead resting and relying in Another’s work.

    Of course, to back up this answer the eschatological context of the quote may help, which is another way of suggesting to buy the book.

  8. Bruce S. says:

    Z,

    I’d accept your analysis if Stellman’s

    The irony, however, is that the unbelieving world often displays, through its art and other media, a greater frustration . . . .

    was amended to read

    The irony, however, is that the unbelieving world occasionally displays, through its art and other media, a more apparent frustration . . . .

    Or something.

    Does Stellman provide some examples of the secular world oozing an eschatological ache?

    Rather than buying it, I think I might borrow it from the WSCAL library, someday.

  9. John Yeazel says:

    RubeRad,

    I was promised a black Habana cigar a few guess the good guys back but I am still waiting.

  10. RubeRad says:

    My recommendation: you keep savoring that eschatological ache…

  11. John Yeazel says:

    In the meantime maybe I will write a novel to give expression to that ache.

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