‘The Ways of Judgment’: Part 3—Imperfectibility (with Susannah Black)

Susannah Black (Plough, Breaking Ground) joins me for the third part of our discussion through Oliver O’Donovan’s The Ways of Judgment. If you are interested in following along, I highly recommend that you purchase a copy of the book here.

One thought on “‘The Ways of Judgment’: Part 3—Imperfectibility (with Susannah Black)

  1. Hello Alastair and Susannah,

    Thank you for leading us in discussing this book! As I read the chapter on Imperfectibility one of the questions that came to my mind is in regard to the section on page 28 about God being the final judge so that the judgements made by a government are not final. The question I have has to do with the church’s role in making judgments. We could also say, as does St. Paul on 1 Cor. 4, that we as members of Christ’s body are meant to not make the final judgment about whether an apostle, or church leader, is ultimately being faithful or not. But on the other hand, John 20 comes to mind where Jesus tells the apostles that whoever they forgive, their sins are forgiven, and whoever they don’t forgive will not be forgiven. Whether or not someone is forgiven sounds like a pretty ultimate judgment to me. I am wondering what role the church has in making judgments as those who have been given the authority from Christ to rule, at least as a foretaste, here on earth. The other passage that comes to mind is in Acts 5 when St. Peter is sitting and receiving the gifts of the community where he speaks the judgment on both Ananias and Sapphira, and they immediately die on the spot. It just seems to be a very really and not-so-provisional way of judging.

    Is there a sense in which the current local church has at least as much power to judge as the state? Or was that only the apostles in the first century and now we are back to a much more provisional church government?

    Also, when will you discuss the next chapter?! =]

    Thank you!


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