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Home » The Commons

What do we do after Newtown?

Submitted by on December 17, 2012 – 8:40 pm5 Comments

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What do we do after Newtown?

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  • Matt Priem says:

    Thanks for this wonderful Gospel response to this tragedy! I don’t want to diminish the value and necessity of the Gospel at times like these, but I’d like your thoughts on the applicability of the Law here as well.
    As I consider how quickly the grief of the national audience flares up and dies down following each Official National Tragedy (brought to you by CNN), I’m forced to ask if the Law has really done its work. Is this truly heartbroken soul searching, or is it merely morbid fascination?
    There’s no arguing that the people of Newtown, who will live with this heartache for years to come, need to hear the Gospel. But what of the people of Suburbia, MO, who will in six months have forgotten the name Newtown and will be shocked and appalled by the next Official National Tragedy because their faith in the inherent goodness of man and the possibility of a near-utopian civilization was never really shaken?
    Is there a need not just for the Gospel, but also for a call to wake up and smell the brimstone, to see that this is not an isolated incident but a manifestation of a pattern from which only divine intervention can save us?

    • Matt Priem says:

      Basically, at times like these is it appropriate to proclaim with Joel “rend your hearts and not your garments.” Or should we just try to capitalize on the initial reaction of grief, however shallow it may be, with the proclamation of the Gospel?

    • Travis Scholl says:

      Thanks much for the good thoughts. You ask some key questions, Matt, which I’d leave to greater pastoral minds than mine to give an adequate answer. But I will say that I wrestled with the same tension you’re wrestling with as I wrote the piece. And, in times of crisis, sometimes wrestling with the tension is itself a better answer than thinking I can resolve it. At the time, I considered the then-recent comments by Huckabee et al to be a less-than-helpful way to speak “law” to the situation, so I felt a healthy dose of Gospel to be in order.

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