IN PRAISE OF CALVIN’S TOTAL DEPRAVITYWe can’t defeat racism by “being good” or “feeling guilty.” BY LUCAS KWONG
Kwong provides an excellent analysis of American culture today.
He writes: In that light, maybe the solution to the problem identified by Green and Applebaum isn’t to disown Calvin or his analysis of original sin. Rather, we might embrace Calvin’s insights regarding total depravity and the grace required to overturn it. Amid a tidal wave of domination and exploitation, Christians believe that such grace ultimately reaches humanity through a God who predetermines to dwell amongst those who liberation theologians call “the crucified of history.” Instead of encouraging an impulse to shun, a proper understanding of total depravity demands that we embrace those already shunned: the “least of these my brethren” with whom Christ, in his execution at the hands of an antisemitic imperial state, so emphatically identified (Matthew 25; 27:37). Through similar identification, we might find ourselves elected to ever deeper kinship with the crucified God who calls us, once and for all, to behead the hydra.
As I have argued, and continue to do so, Christ embraced the sinners, exactly those the religious of his day shunned for not adhering to their notions of godliness. By so doing he modeled God’s way, incarnated it in himself. All who follow Christ must do the same. That doesn’t happen by legalistic dogmatic but embodiment of Christ in all who follow him. We are called to be God’s hands, eyes, feet, mouths, ears and so on. To bring light out of darkness, good out of evil. TRW