Thursday, December 01, 2005

Misusing Scripture

Timotheos at Balaam's Ass just posted this bit of "wisdom" from eminent ethicist Stanley Hauerwas advocating the removal of the bible from the hands of the laity.

I read this in a book on counseling techniques:

Many people assume that, because they have failed, it makes them failures. However, a distinction must be made between the deed and the doer. In a theological vein, St. Paul admonishes us, "Judge ye the sin, not the sinner." One can fail at a task (we all do every day) and still not be a failure. [Emphasis mine (Mosak & Maniacci, 1998).]

They go on to talk about how Babe Ruth was the strikeout king as well as the home run king and how it took Thomas Edison a long time to find a proper filament. The point was adequate (not altogether groundbreaking, but useful in some circumstances). Two problems here. One: the equation of sin with failure to succeed rather than transgression of law. Even sins of omission are sins because the law required activity and I was inert. Two: where is this 'quote' to be found? Perhaps the authors are working directly from the Latin...?


Blogger Eric Phillips said...

He probably thinks Paul said "God helps those who help themselves," too. And maybe that Moses said, "Cleanliness is next to godliness."

12:23 PM  

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