Discipleship and the Supra-State


“There is a wrong way of staying in the world and a wrong way of fleeing from it. In both cases we are fashioning ourselves according to the world.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What makes for a good disciple? What makes for a good citizen? In my earlier post, I commented on the nature of the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of the world. In this post, I want to narrow down the focus and try to describe discipleship that is occurring today, in light of the growth of the EU and its implications as a supra-national organization. I hope to explore the questions I’ve just posed, as well as a third: which identity comes first?

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Searching for a Soul: Europe and the Gospel


“A creative minority of practising Christians, Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi, helped Europe out of its post-war crisis by proposing a way forward based on biblical principles. They believed that democracy was either Christian, or it would become non-existent.” — Tunne Kelam MEP

Does Europe have a soul? As an American, I find this an interesting question, because to reflect upon my home country, I must answer in the affirmative: America has a soul. But Europe? I don’t know, but I know that the European project, Europe, needs one.

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From Loneliness to Solitude to Community


“All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?”

The blessing and the curse of the human condition are the same: individuation. I am me, and you are not. You are you, and I am not. We each have our own internal life, a personal realm that is influenced and shaped by our experiences, feelings, family, and a host of other factors, but it is ours. In the words of The Truman Show, “You never had a camera in my head.” And no one ever does. In this sense, we are independent, but in this sense, we are also alone.

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When Kingdoms Meet


“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” — Matthew 6:24

There are a few places along the course of the Amazon river where it flows parallel with another river. The “Meeting of the Waters” is probably the most famous example, where the Amazon is a cloudy, brown mess of a river and for almost six kilometers, it flows alongside a inky black river called the Negro. For six kilometers, these two do not mingle, but like all things, in the end, they are balanced out and form a single body of water, differences diluted out.

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When Love Speaks


“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” — Jesus

Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. I remember exactly where I was when I found out: walking into US History class, if you believe me. While this blog mainly focuses on European affairs, I would be amiss to neglect the importance of this day for our modern world. September 11th opened the 21st century; what had the promise to be a century of peace has quickly become in the subsequent years one of wars and unrest. they attack; we attack back. We attack preemptively to defend ourselves against “real and present” dangers. But in doing this, have we departed completely from Jesus’s challenge to those who would follow him: love your enemies? What would happen if love speaks a softer word to our world?

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The Ecumenical Project of Europe

“We are called to bethink ourselves of the Christian basics of Europe by forming a democratic model of governance which through reconciliation develops into a ‘community of peoples’ in freedom, equality, solidarity and peace and which is deeply rooted in Christian basic values.” — Robert Schuman

There are arguments for and against the “Christian” foundation of Europe. I am, for one, a supporter of the understanding that ‘Europe’ as a concept and as a project is deeply rooted in, as Schuman said, Christian basic values. Without the Judeo-Christian history unfolding in Europe, spreading itself across the continent and then the world, would such a unity or Union even be thinkable? But perhaps another important question, first addresses us: what is meant by Christian, since there are so many forms of Christianity across Europe itself?

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