Thursday, August 21, 2014

Can You Isolate A Truth?

A recent article in Christian Century talks about Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder and his history of sexual misconduct.

Do Yoder’s violations of his own theological claims undermine the content of his theology? Do his sins disqualify him from the major role he has played in modern Christian thought? We certainly understand the seriousness of these questions. It is undoubtedly difficult to know how to receive gifts from sinful people. 
The article goes on at some length, bringing up a double-edged sword--did his abusive behavior exist within Yoder's theology or somehow isolated from it? 

In my day-to-day work, I rarely reference Yoder's work, but I often find myself putting together curricula and their resources.  

One suggests excerpts from a Woody Allen movie. Given the variety of allegations against the writer/director, do I include his insights into family dynamics? Quite honestly, the range of possibilities and ethics and whatnot gives me a headache AND makes me nauseous. And in a week of a thousand decisions, I put a big green question mark in that margin, vowing to come back to it before February.

1 comment:

  1. 3am thought: Mr.Fred Rogers has a song in his show which says, "The very same people who are good sometimes are the very same people who are bad sometimes...." In all, there is good and bad. The worst of us can still contribute some insight. The problem cones in the sanctification of this individual to begin with.