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September 23, 2010

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Radical Believer

Hi Jim,
A couple of questions for you:

1) Should a civilized society display compassion primarily - or even, as seems to be the case too often, only - through the actions of its central government, or through the actions of the civilized members of that society. This is the kind of question Volf deals with in Exclusion and Embrace - if this is the world we want to live in, what kind of persons do we need to be for such a world to be realised?

2) Whilst I think that the government of a compassionate society should ensure care for those who are unable to care for themselves - the very young, the very old, those with physical and mental incapacity etc - what obligation does a civilized society have to those who will not, rather than can not, do anything to help either themselves or others?

I offer the questions mainly as a discussion starter because in the current climate we have to think about these issues and formulate Christ-like responses to them.

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