The Silence of Cain

In the nightly news, President Bush describes America as a nation engaged in a "monumental struggle of good vs. evil," while bin Laden accuses us of being sinners who have helped "evil triumph over good." In Kabul, Bush was burned in effigy. In Washington, D.C., T-shirts are sold with bin Laden’s face as a shooting target.

Do Christians have anything unique to contribute in a war between good and evil, or are we all just sideline morality judges and band-aid medics in a cosmic, and deadly, volleyball match?

Modern Christianity has spent an awful lot of time promoting codes of ethics and morality; so much so that the church’s role in society has become synonymous with what Dallas Willard calls "sin management." Don’t get me wrong. It is a good and Christian thing to make the world a better place; but the battle of good and evil is not won by "good ethics." Evil and our responses to it must be examined in light of the biblical master narrative. Be warned, however: If this salvation story is authentic, it must challenge and discomfort us at each new point in history. And post-Sept. 11 is no exception.

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2002
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