Monday, March 09, 2009

And the winner is . . .

Three answers in the comments to this challenge really made me think. Bob from Dublin made an undeniably biblical case from 2 Timothy 3:1-9. In addressing prosperity, Jason actually expressed what I believe is the largest emphasis of that passage, and he gets some extra points for being the first commenter to offer an answer. Coach C challenged my very presupposition that these times are "uniquely precarious" and made me do a little more exegetical thinking than I'd expected.

So I think the question comes down to Jason and Coach C, and the winner hinges on whether these times are uniquely precarious in some tangible way, or merely difficult or even terrible because the end is near, Satan knows it, and human rebellion is welling up more and more.

On the face of it, from an American perspective (and, apparently, an Australian perspective, given Jason's hometown), Jason's answer of seems like a slam dunk. Well, assuming that we aren't heading into a long-term global depression, that is. But in favor of Josh's answer is the fact that, though Christianity is on the decline in the West, it seems to be exploding in places like sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. And amazing things are happening in the Muslim world. How I wish I could post the contents of an e-mail that was forwarded to me last week.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day I think Jason is right. The expansion of prosperity to all corners of the globe does make these times more uniquely precarious than any of the other answers that were proposed, at least in my opinion.

Feel free to shoot back at me in the comments.

And Jason, do let me know a reliable (and economical!) way to get a book to you in Australia. You can e-mail me at the address in the sidebar.

Congratulations and best wishes.


Coach C said...

Foul! This was rigged, I tell you, rigged!

Actually, after reading 2 Tim. 3:1-9, I have to agree with the decision . . . grudgingly - although postage to CO is cheaper than postage to Australia . . .

Anonymous said...

Nicely done Ben.


Ben said...

Thanks Steve.

And thanks for your overwhelming graciousness, Josh. I mean, how would it have looked if I had awarded the prize to a friend and former colleague whose wedding I was in? Especially given the shipping differential!

We're all about journalistic/intellectual integrity here.

Coach C said...

so when I am going to have to return the favor (be in your wedding)?

I've been saving up for a long time.

Ben said...

Let's just say that if you put that money you've been saving in mutual funds, you should have time to get your principal back.

Jason said...

Cool! Thanks for that! I'll email details.