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Is The World Evil?

November 29th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Three Hierarchies quotes Newman thus:

One literature may be better than another, but bad will be the best, when weighed in the balance of truth and morality. It cannot be otherwise; human nature is in all ages and all countries the same; and its literature, therefore, will ever and everywhere be one and the same also. Man’s work will savour of man; in his elements and powers excellent and admirable, but prone to disorder and excess, to error and to sin. Such too will be his literature; it will have the beauty and the fierceness, the sweetness and the rankness, of the natural man, and, with all its richness and greatness, will necessarily offend the senses of those who, in the Apostle’s words, are really “exercised to discern between good and evil.”

Newman’s hostile admiration to secular literature is perhaps in the same spirit as ascetism generally: if it feels good, don’t do it. This has both Protestant and Roman Catholic versions. I suppose it’s like the gnostic view that the body is bad. The other, correct, view is that God gave us the world to enjoy rather than as a damning distraction.


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  1. CPA
    December 2nd, 2008 at 06:29 | #1

    “Now we have received, not the spirit of the WORLD, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
    1 Cor. 2:12

    “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the WORLD is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the WORLD is the enemy of God.”
    James 4:4

    “Love not the WORLD, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the WORLD, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the WORLD, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the WORLD. And the WORLD passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
    1 John 2:15-17

    “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.”
    1 John 5:19

    I know there is more to the story (John 3:16 of course), but this is an inescapable part of it.

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