April 12, 2011
Great observation, beautifully written. One of your best pieces ever.
Joseph Stromberg comments on the difference in meaning between liberty and freedom. Liberty, in Stromberg's view (and one must admit that he has etymology on his side), is roughly what you are calling "freedom to". It is a word that speaks of privileges and rights. Freedom, on the other hand, is a good old Anglo-Saxon root that has in its semantic field words like, "dear", "friend", "peace", "one's own". That is to say it is a relational word. It is a word that has communal associations, and is freighted with the responsibilities of relationship. Roughly speaking, this is what you are calling "freedom for". I do think that in the prophetic community of the church we are to be modeling freedom, while all around us the world is screaming for liberty. The answer is not shout down those who disagree with us in this ordering of priorities. Rather it is to show the beauty and joy of choosing freely to engage the brokenness of the world I live in, and choosing freely to give and receive love in my covenantal relationships.
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