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On race, class, gender … and the gospel

Summary

Edwin Judge says we reject discrimination because our culture is saturated in Christian ideas.

Summary

Edwin Judge says we reject discrimination because our culture is saturated in Christian ideas.

Transcript

Western civilisation is comprehensively saturated with the ideals of the gospel and of the scriptural tradition. Somebody put it to me the other day in criticism of something I said about this that I am ignoring the three great formative forces in our culture (this is historically speaking), namely race, class, and gender. But notice: race, class, and gender are all rejected as criteria for deciding anything. It is discriminatory in our culture, in the West, discriminatory to allow for ethnicity, it’s discriminatory to allow for social class, it’s discriminatory between men and women if you differentiate.

Where does that come from? Galatians chapter 3 verse 28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female in Christ, but all are one in Christ.” That is the rejection by St Paul of the three great dimensions of life: ethnicity, social position, and the human relationship, male and female. That is cancelled in Christ – that is, in one’s personal standing in Christ, those things are rejected. Exactly those things are now rejected today in our culture. And it comes, therefore, in my view, straight through from the preaching of the gospel absorbed across the centuries and translated particularly in more recent centuries into these anti-discrimination policies we now have.