This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Monday, November 05, 2007

After a month-long hiatus of blogging on good Christian journalism, I came across Stanley Fish’s opinion in the New York Times blog, dated November 4, 2007 and titled, “Suffering, Evil and the Existence of God.”

Fish does an excellent job setting up a summarization, comparison, and contrasting articles of two, soon to be published books on the existence of God, a subject which has had great play recently. He frames his examination of the two opposing views—“one from theism to agnosticism, the other from atheism to theism”—with the following thoughts:

In Book 10 of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Adam asks the question so many of his descendants have asked: why should the lives of billions be blighted because of a sin he, not they, committed? (“Ah, why should all mankind / For one man’s fault… be condemned?”) He answers himself immediately: “But from me what can proceed, / But all corrupt, both Mind and Will depraved?” Adam’s Original Sin is like an inherited virus. Although those who are born with it are technically innocent of the crime – they did not eat of the forbidden tree – its effects rage in their blood and disorder their actions.

God, of course, could have restored them to spiritual health, but instead, Paul tells us in Romans, he “gave them over” to their “reprobate minds” and to the urging of their depraved wills. Because they are naturally “filled with all unrighteousness,” unrighteous deeds are what they will perform: “fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness . . . envy, murder . . . deceit, malignity.” “There is none righteous,” Paul declares, “no, not one.”

It follows, then (at least from these assumptions), that the presence of evil in the world cannot be traced back to God, who opened up the possibility of its emergence by granting his creatures free will but is not responsible for what they, in the person of their progenitor Adam, freely chose to do.
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Fish's lengthy analysis has all the great qualities of good journalism written from a Christian perspective and would qualify for the Amy Writing Awards except for one thing— it was published online and not in print.

I am going to email Stanley Fish and see if his thoughts were published in print and encourage him to consider doing so. I am also going to share his piece with the Amy Foundation Advisory Board as an example of why we need to determine a way to include digital media, like blogs, in the contest at some point in the near future.


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