Last month, I started a university course on Evil. I know. I didn’t even think they offered courses on Evil. It’s ended up being the best course I’ve taken so far at the University of Waterloo. It’s not only interesting, I think it’s also changing my worldview. The evangelical church today tends to focus on personal sin. The Bible does too, but it also focuses on societal sin – sins of culture – in which the evil isn’t committed by individuals, but individuals participate in a culture that’s so unjust that (a) individuals are unaware of the evil they’re committing and (b) even the best individuals in that society are committing great wrong. A good example are the writings of the minor prophets, which often did condemn social sin. A more recent example of social sin would be slavery. Even the kindest, most benevolent slaveowners were willing participants in an unjust system which they believed to be right. The church thinks it’s neutral, but it often takes the side of the system and defends the status quo, thus participating in evil. It’s got me thinking. I’m not sure I’ve processed all the information, but it is causing me to rethink my position on a number of issues. That’s always a scary and exciting time. What social evils have we accepted? How much of our position on poverty, war, capitalism, missions are more a reflection of our 21st century views rather than God’s? Not easy questions to ask or answer. I’ll try to post more on this later.