09 August 2009
From the Christian perspective, you've got three choices (simplified).
- Exclusivism: You must say the name of Jesus in this specific way in order to be saved.
- Inclusivism: God knows the hearts of everyone living and dead and will be the final judge.
- Universalism: God will save everyone.
I realized today that both Exclusivism and Universalism are really two sides of the same coin. They both purport certainty about something that cannot be truly known. They're both ultimately judgemental. Inclusivism isn't really even in the middle of these two; it's a whole different game (yes, this is where I fall on this issue). Also, it's kind of funny to think of a fundamentalist right-winger and a loosy-goosy left-winger as one and the same.
This is a reading from Jayber Crow, a novel by Wendell Berry. Anyone who interacts with kids about school and academic performance would do well to listen. The passage describes Jayber's adolescent experience in school.
Although I can't say that I liked school, when I wanted to be I was a good enough student.I liked learning, especially learning that could be got by reading. I made fair grades, but I and my teachers knew that I could have done better. I was, they said, like a good horse who would not work; I was a disappointment to them; I was wasting my God-given talents. And this gave me, I believe, the only self-determining power I had: I could withhold this single thing that was mine that I knew they wanted.
From Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry