Friday, January 07, 2005



This is my response to Joe Carter's blog symposium regarding the David Gelernter article in Commentary magazine entitled "Americanism-and it's Enemies" .

The conclusion that Mr. Gelernter comes to is that Americanism, the belief of Americans that our country is exceptional (God having shed his grace on us) and should be used as a tool to spread our good fortune to the world through freedom and democracy, is an extension of our puritanical heritage. Mr. Gelernter concludes that puritanism did not disappear it only matured into the Americanism that many of it's citizens hold dear, and that much of the world hates.

Nothing like beginning from the conclusion, but I would like to focus on why America is exceptional. America is exceptional because the promise on which it was built is exceptional. The beginning of this promise reaches back to the fall of man, "Genesis 3:15 - And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The promise moves through Abraham,"Genesis 17:4 - As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations." The promise then moves on to the Israeli people,"Deuteronomy 14:2 - For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." Finally, all of humanity has access to this promise,"John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

If all the world fell when Adam fell, and if all the world has redemption from the fall through Christ, then all the world is equal. Many Americans take this idea for granted, but for much of the world, I fear, it will always be a bridge too far. The history of Christianity in general, and America specifically, has been filled with a struggle to accept this very idea. We all want the promise, forgiveness, but the natural man in us all doesn't want the idea that is born from it, equality. Why? Why did God have to give us the commandments, or why did Christ have to tell us to love our brother? Because we are naturally fallen, cut-off, evil if you will. That is a hard thing to accept about one's self. But, the promise of forgiveness and the truth of equality are like fire and heat, you cannot have one without the other.

So regardless of our natural tendency toward us-and-themism, we as a people see ourselves as exceptional because of the promise of redemption that is available to everyone. It effects our view of who we are and who our brother/neighbor is. I don't think we act in hopes of making the world just like us, so much as we react from the truth of our equality. Many criticize this nation for believing that our way is best. To them I ask, what other choice do we have?

What other choice do we have?

Fixing what's broken.
I'll agree with that. Now, if we can all just agree on what's broken and how to fix it, we'll be golden.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by