Jim Denison on Bending the ‘Arc of the Moral Universe’

NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 10: Martin Luther King Speaking on September 10, 1963 in New York, New York. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty images)

Montgomery, Alabama, was known as the first capital of the Confederacy in the early Civil War period. Richmond, Virginia, served as the Confederacy’s second capital from 1861 to 1865. Danville, Virginia, was the capital for eight days after Richmond fell.

With the election of Steven Reed in Montgomery last week, all three cities now have black mayors for the first time.

Martin Luther King Jr. believed that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” However, Dr. King did not mean that the “arc of the moral universe” can be trusted to bend itself. That’s why he devoted his life to seeking justice for African Americans and the poor.

And it’s why Christians must take Christ to our culture as passionately and compassionately as we can. Let me illustrate.


This New York Times headline caught my eye: “Happily, Ever Open. What’s the wedding like when the couple is in an open or polyamorous relationship?” The article tells us that a woman named Daley South had six bridesmaids in her wedding to Logan South; one of them was her husband’s girlfriend. “I really enjoyed having her be part of our big day,” the bride said.

At another wedding, this one inside a New Hampshire church two days ago, a gunman shot the presiding bishop in the chest and the bride in her arm. Guests then tackled the shooter and pinned him to the ground until police arrived. Bishop Stanley Choate is in critical condition in a Boston hospital; Claire McMullen was expected to be released from the hospital yesterday.

The day before, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill requiring public universities to provide medical abortion on their campuses. Since these universities are funded by California’s taxpayers, abortions are now being funded by California’s taxpayers, whether they object personally or not.


Reading the news can be discouraging. It seems easier to retreat from the “culture wars,” but the wars will not retreat from us.

Here’s a better approach: know Christ and make him known, then trust the results to his sovereign power and redemptive grace.

Consider some examples of our Father’s omnipotence.

Last night’s full moon was named the “Hunter’s Moon” by Native Americans. After the fall harvest, animals would come into the fields for scraps. With the full moon, it was easier to see deer and other animals and successfully hunt for them in the darkness.

In other lunar news, scientists have discovered twenty new moons orbiting Saturn. Their announcement brings the total number of known moons around Saturn to eighty-two. Seventeen of them orbit the planet backwards. Scientists are asking for the public’s help in naming their new discoveries.

However, our moon existed for 4.5 billion years before the Native Americans began naming its phases. Some scientists believe that Saturn’s moons are much younger, “only” 100 million years old or so.

By contrast, the psalmist reminds us that our Lord “determines the numbers of the stars; he gives to all of them their names” (Psalm 147:4). In the previous verse, the psalmist also notes that our Father “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (v. 3). His compassion expresses and is empowered by his sovereignty.

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Source: Christian Headlines

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