I’ve transferred another of my essays, this one on Restorative Justice, from a basic HTMl file into a WordPress Page.Â Here’s an excerpt:
That there is a sense of proportion and aesthetics to justice should come as no surprise to Christians, who experience redemption played out upon the background of an aesthetic of beauty, truth, perfection and completion over against the ugliness of lies, death and decay. Consider Athanasiusâ€™ description of the incarnation, wherein Jesusâ€™ enfleshment is seen as a fitting means to renew the divine image in a corrupt creation. His deathâ€”being the incarnate Logosâ€”is proportioned to the death brought about by our first parentsâ€™ sin and is able to absorb the full brunt of the assault and emerge in the resurrection on the other side, first born of the dead.2
The Cross was proportional to our sins in that it had to occur in order for us to be free from sinâ€”a fitting sacrifice for the sins of the whole worldâ€”but it was weighted toward mercy, not just balance, and because all Christian judgment flows from the crossâ€”for through the cross we are freed to judgeâ€”it must in its deliberations of justice and judgment inevitably privilege mercy. â€œChristian punishment,â€ Stanley Hauerwas states â€œis properly understood to be excommunication or binding and loosing. To be confronted by our brothers and sisters because of our sin is a call to reconciliation. Not to hear the call is to condemn ourselves.â€3 It is in this that we see a Christian model for justice: mercy extended and if rejected the condemnation is of our own doing and no one elseâ€™s.