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A giant political game of hide and seek

April 25, 2013

That the politics of the Western democracies are often in gridlock is not simply because there are deeply different views of personal freedom and public goods in competition in public life; that has always been the case. The difference today is that there are no agreed-upon, reality-based reference points to which the contending parties can appeal in order to settle the argument about whose concept of the public good, and how it ought to be achieved, is the course to be followed.

George Weigel, Reality and Public Policy 

While I appreciate Weigel’s elegant and knowledgeable overview, I take a different view of natural law. Biblical ethics are sticky enough that those who use their brains can see the goodness and beautify of its cultural fruit and mimic them. But that is not enough for a civilization that lasts.

Those of us who believe in the noetic effects of sin see that the only solution to the lack of “agreed-upon, reality-based reference points” is to agree that the only reference point worth pointing to is the revealed word of God. How are we to see “The Way Things Are” if we are, in the words of J.I. Packer, “blindfolded … with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds” us? Weigel’s version of civilization means depending on a giant political game of hide and seek.

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