Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear Prudence

The more I think about it, the more I think The Beatles nailed it. And I like how the Across the Universe folk made it come alive in the scene, especially at the end when Joe Anderson (Max), somewhat naively, thinks that LBJ could actually call the whole thing off. In such a hostile environment, it is worth calling a little exercise in sound judgment out to play.

This actually makes me think of Stephen Fowl's thoughts on "prudence," or phronein (Greek). This word appears thirteen times in Paul's writings, ten in Philippians alone. It's central for what he has to say there. Fowl reminds us that for Paul, "prudence" does not have a universal meaning. Prudence is formed and exercised according to the whatever story one participates in through which they make sense of the world. Prudence, our practical reasoning, is lived out by how we make sense of the world, according to a particular reason, or logic. Thus, Paul links this to Christ, the logos. As I think about this I find Max's thinking that LBJ might call the whole thing off rather ironic and very sad. In hindsight, Max's expectation of reality is not what happened, and indeed what could never happen. Perhaps the church's witness should be first about getting people to see what story they are a part of and how through them they make sense of the world. Once they "see" that then maybe they will see differently when they come across the church who patterns their lives after Christ.

No comments: