Friday, 17 September 2010

Newbigin on Justice, Freedom & Equality

Lesslie Newbigin has a fascinating take on freedom & justice as mutual relatedness based on inner-Trinitarian relatedness. Is this from Barth?
... the Bible is informed by a vision of human nature for which neither freedom nor equality is fundamental; what is fundamental is relatedness. Man - male and female - is made for God in such a way that being in the image of God involves being bound together in this most profound of mutual relations. God binds himself in a covenant relationship with men and women to which he remains faithful at whatever cost and however unfaithful his covenant partner is. And people and nations are called to live in binding covenant relations of brotherhood. Human beings reach their true end in such relatedness, in bonds of mutual love and obedience that reflect the mutual relatedness in love that is the being of the Triune God himself...

True freedom is not found by seeking to develop the powers of the self without limit, for the human person is not made for autonomy but for true relatedness in love and obedience... Nor will the quest for equality create real justice, for justice - the giving to each of what is proper - can only be realized in a mutual relatedness in which each gives to the other the love and obedience that enable all to be truly human. Apart from this, the quest for justice become self-destructive, since it is of the very essence of fallen human nature that each of us overestimates what is due to the self and underestimates what is due to the other.
Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (Eerdmans, 1986): 118-9.

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