Collision Course

A few weeks back I ran across a lovely list of ten lessons essential for every high school graduate preparing to venture out into the “real world.” While Elaine Bransford, the AP literature teacher who composed them did so for students, they carry applicability for us all. Here’s the second:

You should know that, however infuriating it might be, things can be both true and false at the same time. Things can also be more or less true, or more or less right, than other things. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t believe in things with conviction, but it does mean that you should remember this mantra: “I could be wrong, so let me find out why I’m right.”

Scripture resounds with colliding opposites: to lose is to find, to be last is to be first, to die is to live, evil and good are a unified field. Just because something has dire and sometimes deadly consequences does not mean it is not true or even good. And just because something makes you happy does not make it right. For God, evil is the dirt in which righteousness roots. On the cross—that ultimate instrument of political violence—God takes the worst that Caesar and Satan dish out and makes peace and beauty and mercy and love. In God’s kingdom, justice get not done through the shedding of enemies’ blood, but by the king shedding his own. “The cross is foolishness,” the apostle Paul admitted, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”


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