Thursday, March 16, 2023

What is freedom, anyway?

Had he lived to taste the modem flavor of such questions [What is freedom? What about the self?], Paul’s answer would prove profoundly unsatisfying to the champions of innate individual freedom and the exaltation of the “I" in the projects of self-determination. Anthropology is participatory at its core. Our humanity is determined on the one hand by our participation in Adam's sin and, on the other, by our participation in the new life in Jesus Christ. To go even farther, freedom as moderns conceive it is an abstract property of the human being in isolation from heaven or hell, something that supposedly exists entirely within the “immanent frame.” But in point of fact freedom is not entirely immanent and is not abstract: it exists only in participation in Christ. “Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Rom 6:16). We are slaves either to the one Adam or to the other. Freedom is, quite simply, becoming a slave of Christ. As Paul went on to tell the Roman Christians, “Thanks be to God that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were delivered, and, having been freed from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:17-18). Left to ourselves, we are not “ourselves” but rather agents of sin.—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 96–97

<idle musing>
Or, as Bob Dylan put it, "You gotta serve somebody." God lays the choice before us: Either we accept the redemptive offer in Christ and become adopted sons and daughters, participants in the redeemed. Or, we reject it and serve sin and death.

Pretty start contrast, but I believe it is true.
</idle musing>

No comments: