Taking sides does not imply a lack of care about the other side. When Jesus took the side of the common people against the side of the privileged of his own day, he cared about the salvation of both sides, knowing that true harmony can only be achieved if the tensions are addressed and overcome rather than suppressed. His impassioned speeches against the Pharisees in Matthew 23 provide only one example of this: accusing them of having neglected “the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith” (Matt 23:23) implies not so much an ultimate rejection but an invitation to conversation and a new beginning. — Joerg Rieger, No Rising Tide: Theology, Economics and the Future, p. 53
Id like to discuss this idea of taking sides w you sometine as soon as pssible. Its an idea that seems to be popping up of late and id like to explore it with someone thoughtful such as yourself. Got any free time in the next week or so?
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I wrote you back via email, but let me add some brief substance to this real quick.
By “taking sides” here, we’re talking about the side of the underprivileged as the, paradoxically, only privileged view. One cannot see the most basic truths of history and justice or injustice without either entering into solidarity with or actually be materially deprived. This is not to say that the spiritual and the material can be separated of course — nor am I necessarily romanticizing the poor. It’s just become my deep conviction — through reading Scripture in a different light — that the vantage point of the victim is the most trustworthy and objective, though not that it’s perfectly trustworthy and objective, obviously. It remains a finite perspective like every other.
This could also be called the “prophetic” perspective. There is also a place for the “contemplative” perspective as its complement, but they it’s not simply two sides of the same coin. The contemplative is blind without being transformed by the content of the prophetic.