Christian Relaunch  

God's befriending us does not change our task, it inclines us to perform it.

As affirmed earlier, man's defection did not abrogate any of our basic duties, whether compliance with natural standards or pursuit of our cultural task.

Humanity's restoration to that alignment has also not abrogated any of our basic duties. On the contrary, it entails performance of those duties.

But just as defection changed the circumstances in which our duties are to be performed, so also has restoration. This time it is a matter of taking opportunities rather than responding to threats, but again we need to adjust our attitude.

In particular, some of the modes of response to wickedness take new forms.

Proper modes of response to our own wicked predisposition still include:

Self-reform. But now repentance should always be coupled with trust in the inspiring grace of God the Indweller. A vast literature of self-examination expounds this theme, and I see no need to add to it.

The experience of grace leads to The Critic's Prayer being enhanced. "Have mercy on me, a wrongdoer, and help me, in responding to others' faults, not to forget my own, or to flag in gratitude to you for forgiving the wickedness that produced them."

Proper modes of response to others' wickedness still include:

1. Separation. But now there is the possibility of stable and united godliness in the ekklesia, which introduces a new form of separation. I treat that as a Creed Item in its own right, and it follows this one.

2. Persuasion.

3. Counteraction.

4. Adaptation. This is the "backstop" mode, the one that applies when no other applies, so its operations are probably little changed. Doubtless we could find new combinations of circumstance, leading to novel adaptive decisions, but I think these would concern minor details. I see no major principle at stake so I will say no more here.