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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Given the sea of troubles with which we are faced – at home and elsewhere – what can we look forward to as we face 2010? First, we need to accept that the financial and political crises are not primarily about the failure of procedures and regulation. The angst about the war in Afghanistan, similarly, is not just about the sad loss of life. The broader problem is that there has been the loss of a common narrative, a story which underpins our national life. In the past, this was provided by the Judaeo-Christian tradition, derived from the Bible. This narrative has been at the root of those values which we regard as particularly British, whether to do with the dignity of the human person, with fundamental freedoms of belief, speech and assembly, or with equality – which is not about "sameness", but a recognition of the image of God in others.
This tradition has also provided us with the virtues for which we have looked in vain in our economic and political leaders. The best of British business and politics has been characterised by a sense – largely derived from the Bible's teachings – of responsibility, of trust, justice, fairness and truth-telling. In recent years, these virtues have been jettisoned, so that we can be more "competitive" in a cut-throat world, or engage in a more adversarial form of politics. We, and the generations to follow, will have to live with the consequences of this dissolution of a moral and spiritual framework for our common life.
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