at the risk of seeming ridiculous…

A Two-Fold Movement

Posted in written thoughts by Charles on December 1, 2008

There was a little man in Peru, a man without any power,
who lives in a barrio with poor people and who wrote a book.
In this book he simply reclaimed the basic Christian truth that
God became human to bring good news to the poor,
new light to the blind, and liberty to the captives.

Ten years later this book and the movement it started
is considered a danger by [the United States of America],
the greatest power on earth.

When I look at this little man, Gustavo,
and think about the tall Ronald Reagan,
I see David standing before Goliath,
again with no more weapon than
a little stone called A Theology of Liberation.

Henri Nouwen,  ¡Gracias!

Liberation theology, as articulated by Gustavo Gutierrez, is a two-fold movement: the humanizing of God and the humanizing of the other.  It situates God in the person of Jesus.  God thus becomes that very being you can touch, listen to, and ultimately follow.  You can visualize whom he’s with: the poor man with nothing to eat, the leper with no community, and the woman who is about to be stoned.  You can further see the masses that have gathered to hear him speak . . . those poor Mediterranean peasants listening intently to what he had to say about their lives.

Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Love your enemies.

You can now begin to sense how strange these words are to a people who are living under imperial Roman rule, coerced into submission in a land that is their own.  You may also begin to sense the awkwardness arising around you . . . the frustrated and shocking musings of a man whose ethics radicalize your own.

What does it mean to follow a man who died on a Roman cross . . . a political death used to strike fear into potential usurpers?  And what does this mean living in the greatest power on earth today?

What is your ethic?  What is your religious conviction?


3 Responses

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  1. David K said, on December 3, 2008 at 07:40

    whatup chucky. i read this first as henry david thoreau, until i saw ronald reagan, and was like wait….and had to read it again slowly. I like nouwen…i have a couple books by him.

  2. Joshua Kim said, on December 3, 2008 at 17:30

    Most definately something to think about. Thanks for the food for thought.

  3. Alexwebmaster said, on March 3, 2009 at 13:08

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