In the wake of an atrocity such as the San Bernardino shooting or the attacks in Paris, the choice between the politics of righteousness and the politics of fear will press upon us with a renewed urgency. However, it is righteousness—justice and ethical probity—that is the only genuine answer at such a time.
The psalmist wrestles with despair, drawing strength from remembrances of God’s past protection and help. Politics, which must also face the threat of despair, can learn from the way that both the psalmist and Christ after him preserve the glimmer of hope against despair’s engulfing darkness.
Contrasting the characters of William Faulkner’s great novel Absalom, Absalom! with King David exposes the way in which the unlovely can be redeemed, albeit not without suffering.
The politics of new creation involves the bringing together of words and actions in the form of consistent living, by means of the work of the Spirit of Christ. Hypocrisy and intolerance among Christians are a departure from this model, flowing from an unwarranted confidence.
In John 20:31 the gospel writer speaks directly to the reader, telling her that the primary purpose of John’s Gospel is to describe the signs or miracles worked by Jesus in order that readers come to believe Jesus is indeed the Messiah. All who hold this belief will obtain eternal life.