Volf: Solidarity in Sin & Salvation

“Solidarity in sin underscores that no salvation can be expected from an approach that rests fundamentally on the moral assignment of blame and innocence. The question cannot be how to locate “innocence” either on the intellectual or social map and work our way toward it. Rather, the question is how to live with integrity and bring healing to a world of inescapable noninnocence that often parades as its opposite. The answer: in the name of the one truly innocent victim and what he stood for, the crucified Messiah of God, we should demask as inescapably sinful the world constructed around exclusive moral polarities-here, on our side, “the just,” “the pure,” “the innocent,” “the true,” “the good,” and there, on the otherside, “the unjust,” “the corrupt,” “the guilty,” “the liars,” “the evil”-and then seek to transform the world in which justice and injustice, goodness and evil, innocence and guilt, purity and corruption, truth and deception crisscross and intersect, guided by the recognition that the economy of undeserved grace has primacy over the economy of moral deserts. Under the conditions of pervasive noninnocence, the work of reconciliation should proceed under the assumption that, though the behavior of a person may be judged as deplorable, even demonic, no one should ever be excluded from the will to embrace, because, at the deepest level, the relationship to others does not rest on their moral performance and therefore cannot be undone by the lack of it.”

Miroslav Volf. Exclusion and Embrace (pp. 84-85)

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