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June 23, 2004



the institution of friendship in the modern world (or lack thereof) is perhaps the closest thing to friendship of the ancient world, and it still is the most influential relationship for people in their decision making, and who they go to in their time of need.. the relationships of discipleship, friendship, community, spiritual formation, and so on, are much more closely related than our modern world's compartementalizing has isolated them, and that is a big part of what has torn it all apart, and sapped it from transformative powers..


In my studies, I found it constructive to compare and contrast the concept of justice to friendship. Anyone who has experienced injustice, is pleased when a dispute they have is settled justly. Justice is rarely recognized as the standard that strangers appeal to in settling differences. And we perpetuate this by glorifying justice. But in friendships, there is no need for justice because--at least by Aristotle's definition--the friend is another I and what is given to the friend always benefits the giver more than the recipient. This is because virtue is the highest good.

In the context of discipleship, we should be reminded that Jesus never said he died for his disciples but rather for his friends. Discipleship is the effect of the personal relationship Jesus had with his friends.

I find it interesting to contemplate the idea put forth in the middle ages that man's good is to have friendship with God as evidenced by Jesus' life. It's difficult to imagine anyone who has never had a good friendship understanding fully how great this gift is. And residually, it's diffult to imagine someone who doesnt understand understand the lessor concept of justice.

It would be better if people held protest marches for friendship rather than justice since it provides both.

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