Virtue

Protestants & Pot

"Right now America is in a permissive mood that is legalizing controlled substances, legitimizing prostitution as 'sex work,' embracing gambling as economic stimulant, and accepting pornography as harmless pastime. This permissiveness will run its course, until its excesses will provoke a new more restrictive era. Social Puritanism may recede for a season but it never disappears. Often it just morphs into new arenas." - Mark Tooley

351 reads

From the Archives – The Neglected Power of Christian Joy

Paul lists three great virtues, “faith, hope and love” in 1 Corinthians 13:13, yet he informs us that “love” is the greatest of the three. Two books of the Bible are devoted to the virtue of wisdom: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. How can anyone underestimate the importance of wisdom in light of this? But the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) and the armor of God (Eph. 6:14-18) are two more examples of “virtue lists” found in God’s Word—and there are many more.

With all these virtue lists floating around, we can end up dizzy. What do I pursue: love, faith, holiness, graciousness, zeal, knowledge, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, or self-control? The answer is “yes.” These attributes are complementary, but they can be examined individually. After examining them, we need to integrate them into the whole package of who we are. In a sense, being a balanced Christian means being a complete Christian; we attain balance by including all these virtues and excluding none. None of us attains this perfect balance; indeed, we probably cannot even agree as to what that perfect balance should be.

Jesus and joy

Jesus obviously lived out the perfect mixture of attributes for His calling as Messiah, but even that is not enough information for our lives. Jesus never addressed pesky salesmen on the phone, nor did He decide what options we should expect on our cell phones. Still, His character gives us the supreme example and starting point. One attribute Jesus cherished and repeatedly discussed is joy.

2160 reads

“Civic virtue is not a pleasant abstraction.... It is a necessity if we are to have an open and transparent government based on trust and cooperation.”

"When trust fails, the virtuous circle turns vicious, and then the state has to find other ways to encourage or compel cooperation in order to function.... it is not surprising that the two poles of American politics have drifted toward socialism and nationalism at a time when the effectiveness and trustworthiness of our public institutions is in decline." - The Venezuelafication of American Politics

414 reads

Clayton Christensen: ‘If you take away religion, you can’t hire enough police’

"America’s founding documents presuppose that a limited government depends on a free and virtuous society. 'Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports,' said George Washington in his Farewell Address." - Acton

465 reads

“You can’t have a successful free society without well-educated citizens and leaders of high character.”

"Virtue politics, following the ancient Greek philosophers, assumed that hierarchies would always exist in society, so that a principal task of politics was to ensure that those hierarchies would be just ones, based on real distinctions of merit between rulers and ruled." - The Public Discourse

475 reads

AG Barr on the idea that government social programs can replace the virtues instilled by religion

"What Barr describes is a long-term shift from an understanding that a robust civil society, including religious institutions, could promote healthy norms such as sobriety and self-discipline to a belief that government could be relied upon for rehabilitation, the term emphasized by the Kennedy administration when it first authorized federal grants for social services." - National Review

563 reads

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