Donald Trump May Have Been Chosen to Help Reveal the Love Challenge Facing America’s Christians as the Drama in America Unfolds

We’re grateful to Donald Trump for helping to open our eyes. He is helping us to see that, if Christianity is the story we are in, then your God really may be putting you to a test by choosing the Donald.

You see, you have a real challenge facing you.


Neither being nice nor being brutal is being virtuous. And moral virtue is, after all, the foundation of the common life shared by all political beings inhabiting a particular part of the world. Both niceness and brutality are forms of domination and control. Both work against the consent of the governed who rule and are ruled in turn. We should, in fact, expect all Americans to be ladies and gentlemen, and to treat each other with equal dignity, free from condescension and contempt.

THE COLD CIVIL WAR, By Angelo M. Codevilla, Claremont Review of Books, April 25, 2017

And as your drama unfolds in America, the polarization which is already marching you into the Danger Zone of the House Divided will intensify even more…


America barely survived the Civil War of 1861–65, the Great Depression of 1929–39, and the rioting and protests of the 1960s. But today’s growing divides are additionally supercharged by instant Internet and social-media communications, 24/7 cable news, partisan media, and the denigration of America’s past traditions.

All Americans need to take a deep breath, step back, and rein in their anger — and find more ways to connect rather than divide themselves.

They should assume their opponents are not all sinners, and that their supporters are not all saints.

Things are bad now. But our own history suggests that if we are not careful, they can get even worse.

Can a Divided America Survive?, By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, June 15, 2017

So, as the drama in America intensifies as you continue your Death March into the Danger Zone of the House Divided, it would help us if you would let us know whether you Christians will engage your enemies by behaving like Donald Trump…


Trump has been an exceptional force for polarization, seeking out cultural flashpoints and making criticism of the other side part of the daily routine.

Americans have grown to hate presidents of the other party, By Neil Rothschild, Axios, August 9, 2018

Because Paula also showed us all this…


Seventy years old when he took office, Trump has long projected a menacing mobster/executive style. It was in the air all around him when we sat for eight hours of interviews in 2014 as I wrote my book, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success.”

It starts with the look — the suits, the hair, the bodyguards — and extends to his penchant for tough-guy talk. Opponents get nasty nicknames like Crooked Hillary or Lyin’ Ted or Crying Chuck and critics become assailants whom he promises to “hit back 10 times harder.”

Though Trump considers this stance righteous, it is the attitude of a thug who intends to intimidate. Especially when the man doing the threatening is the most powerful person in the world.

In his life before the White House, Trump operated with the impulsive unpredictability of a Tony Soprano and prized, above all else, secrecy and loyalty.

Trump’s mob mentality: Comey’s description of Trump is actually quite apt, BY MICHAEL D’ANTONIO, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 15, 2018

Worst of all, Trump’s brawling, blustery, mean-spirited public persona serves to associate conservatives with all the negative stereotypes that liberals have for decades attached to their opponents on the right. According to conventional caricature, conservatives are selfish, greedy, materialistic, bullying, misogynistic, angry, and intolerant. They are, we’re told, privileged and pampered elitists who revel in the advantages of inherited wealth while displaying only cruel contempt for the less fortunate and the less powerful. The Left tried to smear Ronald Reagan in such terms but failed miserably because he displayed none of the stereotypical traits. In contrast, Trump is the living, breathing, bellowing personification of all the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans.

— Michael Medved

Conservatives against Trump, by NR SYMPOSIUM, National Review, January 21, 2016

Trump’s signature style is the lack of apology (or shame, depending on how you look at it). His strategy is to always be on the offensive, always attacking, never apologizing, never admitting error or explaining himself.

The Beginning of the End for Donald Trump?, by Robert Tracinski, The Federalist, September 25, 2015

The fact is there is an enormous amount to worry about regarding Trump’s presidency, and a book by two such thoughtful political scientists might have helped to highlight some of those worries—about the crucial importance of character in leadership, the threat to the presidency from personal financial corruption, the danger of sowing division in an already fractured society, the risks to norms of administration and respect for institutions, the lack of basic competence and capacity, the implications of gross ineptitude, the cost of erratic leadership, the consequences of abject ignorance, and much more.

How Democracies Panic, By YUVAL LEVIN, Weekly Standard, January 19, 2018

And Paula also helped us to see something we are very familiar with…


Above all else, Trump is a bully. Like all schoolyard tyrants, he tries to project great strength to mask internal weakness. But remember the one universal truth about bullies: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Above all else, Trump is a bully, By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, January 21, 2019

Even before he was elected everyone knew Donald Trump was a bully, what they didn’t know was how his bullying would affect them, nor what it would reveal about who he fears.

Trump’s often mendacious torrents of stilted rhetoric have already crushed common ground at home and polarized America.

Trump tramples and divides world, just like he does at home, by Nic Robertson, CNN, May 12, 2019

And then there is Sessions. No Cabinet member — past or present — has been bullied by Trump more than the nation’s top law enforcement professional. Trump has repeatedly said publicly that he wishes he would have picked someone other than Sessions to be his attorney general — due in large part to the fact that Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Sessions did so because he was a prominent surrogate for Trump during that campaign. The President has never forgiven him.

Trump has referred to the former Alabama senator in tweets as “beleaguered,” very weak” and “disgraceful.” He has teased Sessions by referring to him as “Mr. Magoo.” And on and on.

The utter collapse of Donald Trump’s ‘best people’ boast, by Chris Cillizza, CNN, August 13, 2018

And the moral indictment against Mr. Trump is obvious and overwhelming. Corruption has been evident in Mr. Trump’s private and public life, in how he has treated his wives, in his business dealings and scams, in his pathological lying and cruelty, in his bullying and shamelessness, in his conspiracy-mongering and appeals to the darkest impulses of Americans. (Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, refers to the president’s race-based comments as a “base stimulator.”) Mr. Trump’s corruptions are ingrained, the result of a lifetime of habits. It was delusional to think he would change for the better once he became president.

The Full-Spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump, By Peter Wehner, New York Times, August 25, 2018

Donald Trump has done a lot of unprecedented things since he started running for president in June 2015. He’s attacked prisoners of war. He’s bullied just about everyone in the world of politics. He’s downplayed the white supremacist violence that led to a woman’s death in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s said thousands, literally, of things that are not true.

The greatest trick Donald Trump ever pulled, by Chris Cillizza, CNN, January 7, 2019

In success and in failure, in his historic outsider campaign and in his bankruptcies and business collapses, Trump’s tactics have barely varied. He bullies, he praises, he uses the media to attack and insult. He talks to many and trusts few. He lives in the moment and ignores the past. He acts now and constructs rationales later.

The art of loyalty, the pain of betrayal: Mueller shows how Trump has always operated, By Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, Published Greenwich Times, April 18, 2019

And see what Samantha says he acts like?


He acts like a mob boss, demanding loyalty while heaping love upon those who praise him and contempt upon those who criticize. The only things missing are the knowing winks and nods while he chomps away loudly on a wad of gum rolling around his mouth.

Donald Trump Presents The Political Opportunity Of A Generation, By Samantha Strayer, The Federalist, September 22, 2015

And here’s more of it …


Trump is the first president to lash out at advisers who cooperated with a federal investigation and to adopt the language of the mob to bash people like Michael Cohen, his longtime attorney and fixer who spoke extensively to Mueller’s investigators.

The art of loyalty, the pain of betrayal: Mueller shows how Trump has always operated, By Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, Published Greenwich Times, April 18, 2019

Seventy years old when he took office, Trump has long projected a menacing mobster/executive style. It was in the air all around him when we sat for eight hours of interviews in 2014 as I wrote my book, “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success.”

It starts with the look — the suits, the hair, the bodyguards — and extends to his penchant for tough-guy talk. Opponents get nasty nicknames like Crooked Hillary or Lyin’ Ted or Crying Chuck and critics become assailants whom he promises to “hit back 10 times harder.”

Though Trump considers this stance righteous, it is the attitude of a thug who intends to intimidate. Especially when the man doing the threatening is the most powerful person in the world.

In his life before the White House, Trump operated with the impulsive unpredictability of a Tony Soprano and prized, above all else, secrecy and loyalty.

Trump’s mob mentality: Comey’s description of Trump is actually quite apt, BY MICHAEL D’ANTONIO, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 15, 2018

About as crazy-scary as the spittle-spraying Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, ain’t he? I won’t deny that all this hissing and seething makes Trump sound bonkers. Nor will I deny that I’ve never daydreamed about invoking the 25th Amendment that would put Trump in a straitjacket and handing his presidency over to Mike Pence. But if you finger-walk your way through the pages of the first 15 months of Trump presidency, you realize that most of his lunacy is for show. Like a blowfish, he inflates himself and makes aggressive movements in hopes of intimidating his adversaries. But then when nobody is looking, he passes his gas, shrinks to normal size and devotes his political capital not to crazy things but to conventional policy changes.

Is There Method in Donald Trump’s Madness?, By JACK SHAFER, Politico. May 02, 2018

You should know we understand the Donald because we are very familiar with bullying…


The Chinese government alternates between vague threats and appeals to consider family. “The phrasing they use — either to force you back or to get you to give information when you’re back — is, ‘It would be best for your father if you did this,’ or ‘Don’t you want the best thing for your father?’” the person says. Often, the Chinese government operatives will also try to appeal to the person’s patriotism. “They’ll say, ‘You’re Chinese, don’t you want to help the motherland?’ And when they want to intimidate or bully you, they say, ‘You’re too American, you don’t understand how things work in China.’”

If that doesn’t work, however, the government will switch to tougher tactics. “With most people, threats and imprisonment were enough,” the person says, “but with the really hard men, they tortured, or threatened to torture, the wives and relatives.”

THE DISAPPEARED, BY ZACH DORFMAN, FOREIGN POLICY, MARCH 29, 2018

And our China Dream drives us forward…


It should be clear by now that the Chinese party-state-the political entity I have called the Bully of Asia – is playing for the highest stakes. It seeks to realize the perennial “China Dream” of the Grand Unification of All Under Heaven. It would be a mistake to think that the present conflict between China and the United States is about trade relations, cyber-espionage, or the South China Sea. These are merely the edges on the surface of a deep underlying clash of values, institutions, and civilizations. The conflict is ultimately about whether America and its allies, or China alone, will dominate the world of the future. 
….
At the moment, as the Chinese party-state continues to tighten ‘its stranglehold on power, the country’s democratic prospects seem vanishingly small. Freedom has always been a relatively rare commodity in human history, but particularly so in China. In the Middle Kingdom “He who has the most force” has always won.

Steven W. Mosher, Bully of Asia

So, you can understand why we understand what your Shapiro guy is talking about, since we share the same version of the story we are in with our secular story allies…


See, that’s the dirty little secret: buried beneath all of the left’s supposed hatred for bullying is a passionate love for bullying-the use of power to force those who disagree to shut up, back down, or face crushing consequences up to and including loss of reputation, career destruction, and even death. 

The left’s anti-bullying stance is an enormous lie. It is a purposeful lie. It is a lie designed to disguise the fact that leftists are the greatest group of bullies in American history. 

Ben Shapiro, Bullies

And we understand why Shapiro says this about freedom…


America was a nation built on the notion that nobody should be bullied by the government. That’s what freedom means.

Ben Shapiro, Bullies

So, look what Paula showed us about a form of his bullying directly related to your America sense of freedom…


Since he shot to the top of the presidential polls, Donald Trump’s serial bankruptcies and bullying nature have made big headlines. But no one seems to have brought up a bullying business practice he’s particularly fond of: eminent domain.

Donald Trump’s eminent domain love nearly cost a widow her house, by David Boaz, The Guardian, August 19, 2015

Of all his many transgressions against American conservatism, Donald Trump’s unchecked enthusiasm for the use of eminent domain is far and away the most egregious. As John Locke and his accomplices in liberty understood so well, the right to be secure in one’s property is at the very heart of what it means to be free — the sine qua non of ordered liberty. “Even public necessity,” William Blackstone contended in 1765, must be subordinated “to the sacred and inviolable rights of private property,” for a self-ruling country “will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community.”

At this contention, Donald Trump bites his well-manicured thumb and indignantly shouts, “Pah!” For the last three decades or so, Trump has been on a veritable crusade against those who would exhibit the temerity to reject the designs of the masters of the universe in the interest of keeping their own land. When, in October of this year, he told Fox News’s Bret Baier that contemporary eminent-domain standards are a “wonderful” thing, he raised a few eyebrows — even among his most vehement backers. But this was no late-night slip-up or temporary pander; it was an indication of who Trump is at his core.

….

As keen-eyed observers have noticed, Candidate Trump does not tend to use terms such as “liberty” or “freedom” or “choice,” preferring instead to talk of power and greatness and getting things done. Should we be surprised that he sees the government as a massive demolition ball?

….

It is difficult to overstate just how dramatically Trump’s approach toward private property breaks with the views that the Founders held — views that conservatives typically claim to endorse.

Property Rights Trumped, by CHARLES C. W. COOKE, National Review, November 2, 2015

Not only is Trump notoriously a sleaze, but he has tried to use the government’s power of eminent domain to take private land for his own private use. He brags about manipulating politicians, and shows a penchant for employing the power of the state to serve his own interests.

Is Trump the Evil King Ahab or the Redeemable Pagan Nebuchadnezzar?, BY TYLER O’NEIL, PJ Media, JUNE 10, 2016

The Republican frontrunner thinks eminent domain is ‘wonderful,’ and it’s no wonder—he’s tried to take plenty of people’s private property over the years.

“I think eminent domain is wonderful,” Donald Trump told Fox News’s Bret Baier, without hesitation, during a Tuesday evening interview.

Of course he does. He’s spent decades attempting to use the power of government to take people’s private property for his casinos, amusement parks, and parking lots. While the leading GOP candidate prides himself on being the ultimate capitalist, he’s actually something closer to a crony capitalist.

Donald Trump’s Long Love Affair With Taking Your Land, by Andrew Kirell, The Daily Beast, October 8, 2015

In a free market, there’s a pretty simple process for dealing with the situation that arises when one person covets another’s belongings: The coveter makes an offer to purchase them. If the offer is rebuffed, the coveter can make a new proposal, but he cannot simply take what he wants. It’s an effective way of recognizing the impracticality of the Tenth Commandment while enforcing the Eighth.

Donald Trump’s covetous nature is not in dispute, but what many may forget is that he’s no great respecter of the admonition not to steal, either: The man has a track record of using the government as a hired thug to take other people’s property.

This is called, of course, “eminent domain.” The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment allows the government to take private property for “public use,” so long as “just compensation” is paid. In the infamous 2005 Kelo decision, the Supreme Court held that “public use” could include, well, private use, so long as the new property owner paid more in taxes than the previous one. In other words, it allowed developers and the government to gang up on homeowners. The developer gets more land, the government gets more tax money. The only losers are the original owner and his property rights.

A decade and a half ago, it was fresh on everyone’s mind that Donald Trump is one of the leading users of this form of state-sanctioned thievery. It was all over the news. In perhaps the most-remembered example, John Stossel got the toupéed one to sputter about how, if he wasn’t allowed to steal an elderly widow’s house to expand an Atlantic City casino, the government would get less tax money, and seniors like her would get less “this and that.” Today, however, it takes a push from the Club for Growth to remind us of Trump’s lack of respect for property rights.

Donald Trump and Eminent Domain, By Robert VerBruggen, National Review, April 19, 2011

So, it has caught our attention that the Donald and his bullying is having an influence on his followers…


Of all the disorienting and disturbing cultural effects of Trump’s ascension to the presidency, few are as disorienting and disturbing as the redefinition of ideal masculinity in the hearts of many of his biggest fans. The sheepdog has been replaced by the wolf.

Cheap shots have replaced bravery. A certain kind of animal cunning has replaced honor. Libertine aggression has replaced fidelity. It’s as if the movie was remade from the bully’s perspective, and the bully became the hero. The man who evaded his generation’s war, who compared the dangers of his sex life to serving in Vietnam, is honored beyond the warrior.

The Unmanning of Conservatism, By DAVID FRENCH, The Atlantic, January 13, 2019

But, of course, all this makes sense for Donald, given that what he wants is clearly not what your God has commanded you to want – in both the first and second greatest commandments.

So that raises once again the question…


What do Christians who support Donald Trump really want?


Because if you choose to be like the Donald, then we believe we can persuade the Central Military Commission that we can continue to win against you without fighting as you continue to march yourselves into the Danger Zone of the House Divided.

This Hanson fellow is on to something…


Will America keep dividing and soon resort to open violence, as happened in 1861? Or will Americans reunite and bind up our wounds, as we did following the upheavals of the 1930s Great Depression or after the protests of the 1960s?

The answer lies within each of us.

Every day we will either treat each other as fellow Americans, with far more uniting than dividing us, or we will continue on the present path that eventually ends in something like a hate-filled Iraq, Rwanda, or the Balkans.

Are We on the Verge of Civil War?, By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, National Review, September 21, 2018

So, are you Christians who support the Donald sure you don’t want to change and speak out against all this? Because look at the direction it may lead your country…


The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War has been in the making for almost two decades. Its origins lie in the author’s long-held interest in the history of violent behavior and our national government. Her previous book, Affairs of Honor (2001), covered the subject during the early history of the republic. Here, she picks up the story in the 1830s. The results are revelatory.

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Here is where The Field of Blood gains its greatest significance. It puts honor culture and Southern bullying at the heart of the course to the Civil War. It doesn’t diminish the causal importance of slavery and abolitionism in bringing on the conflict. It doesn’t remove territorial expansion, the spread of slavery, the market economy, or differences between Northern and Southern culture from the mix. Instead, in Freeman’s words, the story is not so much about the rules of the game but about “the game gone awry.”

House Hostility, Senate Smackdowns, By JAMES M. BANNER JR., Weekly Standard, September 9, 2018

Let us know if you want this…


A love of country rooted in national memory would let us draw some good out of the ways in which we are now divided over patriotism. It is good for all of us to be reminded of the ideals America was born to embody, of the fact that it could stand to embody them more fully, of the fact that all these ideals can be embodied at the same time, and of the simple reality that America is not itself an ideal but a real nation, full of real people who deserve leaders who put them first.

And it would be good to remember, as well, that our country has made it through moments of much deeper division than this one — in the lifetimes of many Americans, let alone in the span of our national memory. We have often done so with the help of leaders able to summon us toward progress rooted in remembrance. We could sure use such leaders now.

‘Patriotism’ Has Always Divided Us. National Memory Can Unite Us. By Yuval Levin, Washington Post, June 30, 2017

And you may want to give some serious thought to all this – because it is so relevant to the possibility that you Christians are ultimately more responsible for America’s divided house than your secular opponents are.


What a challenge you are facing. Will you come to love your enemies in a time of intensifying conflict?

Our team really wants to know, because this is one of the key revealers of what you really want, here in the story.

So, if Christianity is the story we are in, we began to see that it might be helpful for you to think about the most basic foundational identity of your enemies, here in the story.

Paula put together a brief compilation of material connecting the Christian answer to the simple story question, “Who are we, here in the story?”, with various aspects of the issue of loving your neighbors and the civility you will need…


The Christian, on the other hand, positively affirms and is even called to love the secularist because he bears the dignity of having been created in the image of God and has the potential, through Christ, of sharing in the life of God.

One Little Word, by Richard John Neuhaus, First Things, January 2005

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

[T]rue social integration in American communities can occur only when people recognize each other as image bearers of God. The image of God transcends race and class. Therefore, if one sees his neighbor first as an image bearer of God, he is more likely to treat that person with dignity and respect.

Anthony Bradley, Black and Tired

A Christian must be prudent and wise about how he or she addresses the volatile issues that arise out of the debate over gay rights. First, he must never forget that homosexuals — even if he believes that homosexual behavior is immoral and harmful to those who practice it (as many Christians, including me, believe) – are persons made in the image of God. Thus Christians must not allow their support of the sanctity of marriage to obstruct their love toward those for whom Christ died, including homosexual neighbors and friends.

Francis J. Beckwith, Politics For Christians

Our reflection on the misadventures of liberty led us to ask again the question of Psalm 8, “What is man?” The opening pages of Genesis provide the answer: He is created “in the image and likeness of God.” Human dignity is a derived dignity; it is the gift of God. This is not simply our answer to the question, “What is man?” It is God’s answer. Such dignity must never be subjected to our comparative measurements, for it has its source in the sovereign decision of the divine liberty. Human dignity must never be understood as resting on the differences that human sinfulness has introduced into history.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, First Things (October 1997)

We have moral responsibilities to other people in our community because they are people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or lot in life. According to the Christian and Jewish view of humanity, all people have inherent dignity because they are made in the image of God. And thus we should show respect to and concern for those of both genders and all races and nationalities.

Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted In Mid-Air, By Francis Beckwith, Gregory Koukl

Every religion we know places some distinctive value on human creatures. For Christians, this value is bestowed by divine creation and love; that is, all human beings are created in the image of God and are worthy of Jesus Christ giving his life so they may have a more abundant life. This means that all members of the human family possess a certain dignity and deserve a particular treatment which acknowledges their creature-status before God.

All forms of human behavior, social practices, and institutional arrangements which deny this dignity and violate this treatment must be rejected and resisted.

Cornel West, Prophetic Fragments

For Jews and Christians, it is God’s love that exalts the individual, who is created in God’s image and thus is a fitting lover for the Maker of Heaven.

David Goldman, How Civilizations Die 

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). These words from theFirst Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. In the same verse, Saint John also offers a kind of summary of the Christian life: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”.

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And we have also seen, synthetically, that biblical faith does not set up a parallel universe, or one opposed to that primordial human phenomenon which is love, but rather accepts the whole man; it intervenes in his search for love in order to purify it and to reveal new dimensions of it. This newness of biblical faith is shown chiefly in two elements which deserve to be highlighted: the image of God and the image of man.

……

Faith, which sees the love of God revealed in the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, gives rise to love. Love is the light—and in the end, the only light—that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working. Love is possible, and we are able to practise it because we are created in the image of God. To experience love and in this way to cause the light of God to enter into the world—this is the invitation I would like to extend with the present Encyclical.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER DEUS CARITAS EST, OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI, December 25, 2005

As Benedict writes: “God is the guarantor of man’s true development, inasmuch as, having created him in his image, he also establishes the transcendent dignity of men and women and feeds their innate yearning to `be more.’ Man is not a lost atom in a random universe: he is God’s creature, whom God chose to endow with an immortal soul and whom he has always loved”.

Why You Can’t Just ‘Love Your Neighbor’ By Francis J. Beckwith, Christianity Today, July 10, 2009

In the course of history, it was often maintained that the creation of institutions was sufficient to guarantee the fulfilment of humanity’s right to development. Unfortunately, too much confidence was placed in those institutions, as if they were able to deliver the desired objective automatically. In reality, institutions by themselves are not enough, because integral human development is primarily a vocation, and therefore it involves a free assumption of responsibility in solidarity on the part of everyone. Moreover, such development requires a transcendent vision of the person, it needs God: without him, development is either denied, or entrusted exclusively to man, who falls into the trap of thinking he can bring about his own salvation, and ends up promoting a dehumanized form of development. Only through an encounter with God are we able to see in the other something more than just another creature, to recognize the divine image in the other, thus truly coming to discover him or her and to mature in a love that “becomes concern and care for the other.”

“Caritas in veritate” – Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI

Likewise, the biblical love commands do not exempt any group of people, not even philosophers. Their purpose is to call all people to reflect the character of God, their creator. Jesus identifies this purpose in the Sermon on the Mount, after calling his followers to love even their enemies (see Matt. 5:44-45, 48; cf. Luke 6:35-36). Given that all people are created by God to be obedient creatures, all people are called to image God’s character of self-giving love. As a result, no one is exempt from loving God and neighbors. A person is not permitted to exclude himself or herself from the purpose of human existence, even for the sake of philosophy. Before an all-loving God, truth-seeking does not trump the requirement to love others, because it does not override the requirement to mirror God’s character. An assumption of the autonomy of philosophers relative to the love commands conflicts with God’s universal purpose for humans: to have all humans become loving as God is loving. Accordingly, the love commands of Jesus concern all the people of God, and not just the people of God outside philosophy or other special vocations.

JESUS AND PHILOSOPHY: ON THE QUESTIONS WE ASK, By Paul K. Moser

While far from perfect, Western civilization has brought more economic prosperity, more scientific and technological advancement, more political freedom, and more concern for human rights and equality than any other civilization in history. And all of this was based on a biblical worldview which believed that human beings are made in the image of God and thus have both the potential to understand the physical universe and an inherent dignity and worth that cannot be taken away.

Dr. Glenn Sunshine, Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home

Man, because he is God’s image bearer, has dignity and worth and stands above all the rest of creation. Thus, man in his complexity (as one who thinks, works, and relates to other humans) is to reflect the glory and person of his Creator. It is the whole of man that is referred to by the image and likeness, not two separate things.

The Bible & Science: Two Epistemic Necessities, James Stambaugh, JCA 1:1 (Summer 1997)

[T]he value of yourself comes from within you and not from the opinion of anyone else. Most important, knowing that you are created in the very image of God makes you priceless in his eyes!

Grace Ketterman, Teaching Your Child About Sex: An Essential Guide For Parents

According to biblical theism, the fundamental being exemplifies virtue properties and other intrinsically valuable attributes. He created the world and imposed upon human persons an objective moral law grounded in his own good nature, along with the intrinsic goodness and properly functioning natures of the things he created. He created human persons with the powers necessary to engage in moral actions as part of an overall life of flourishing, and he gave all human persons his own image which serves as the ontological ground for high, equal human value and rights simply as such.

J.P. Moreland, The Recalcitrant Imago Dei

It will probably amaze us to realize that when the Creator of the universe wanted to create something “in his image,” something more like himself than all the rest of creation, he made us. This realization will give us a profound sense of dignity and significance as we reflect on the excellence of all the rest of God’s creation: the starry universe, the abundant earth, the world of plants and animals, and the angelic kingdoms are remarkable, even magnificent. But we are more like our Creator than any of these things. We are the culmination of God’s infinitely wise and skillful work of creation. Even though sin has greatly marred that likeness, we nonetheless now reflect much of it and shall even more as we grow in likeness to Christ.

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin — who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is something wonderful.

Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape From Reason


If we do not have God for a Father, we will not see our fellow man as our brother. If we are not made in the image and likeness of God, we will not treat every life as created equal and endowed with unalienable rights—indeed, we will view our neighbors as random, meaningless cosmic dust that gets in our way.

Natural Law, Social Justice, and the Crisis of Liberty in the West, by Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse, March 10th, 2017


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