People put their hope into things in proportion to the things they fear. If you’re afraid of being sick you put your hope in your doctor. If you fear ignorance in the masses you put your hope in schools. There is one thing we fear that poses a problem. That thing is DEATH. It poses a problem because it is the common problem facing all mankind but mankind appears to have absolutely nothing to balance against it. For sickness and ignorance we can create doctors and teachers. What can we do about DEATH? Nothing. Because of this we sometimes try to paper over our fears about death and focus on lesser problems.
Tag: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The fact is, the reason why Jesus is compelling is not that he was a sissy pacifist, but rather that he was overwhelmingly mighty, but, to accomplish a particular deed, he set aside his aggressiveness and took whatever was thrown at him. He could have overthrown the gates of Hades by force, but only by laying down his arms did he not only defeat Hades but also freed its prisoners.
When a soldier throws himself on a grenade to save his fellows, all except a handful of Ayn Randian objectivists applaud his valor. Here, to save his fellows it would have done no good to charge out of the trench when the grenade tumbled in and kill those who tossed the grenade. Here, only self-sacrifice could achieve the goal, but it did not follow that the soldier was soft and tender in spirit. You see, it depends a great deal on the circumstances and what one wants to achieve. There is a time for aggressiveness but there is also a time for meekness. The problem is knowing exactly which time it is. (Ecc. 3)