The world may seem chaotic right now, and the functioning of the church may seem to have diminished.
But according to law professor and author David Skeel, the wisdom of the Christian faith is the one thing that can help bring order amid the chaos.
“It’s hard to imagine things becoming more complex in our world, but it could happen” Skeel noted light-heartedly, “I am asked the question, constantly: ‘How can a 2000 year old religion speak in to a world that is so different from anything anybody ever imagined historically? My answer is to say that this question actually gets things backwards.”
Skeel says that our world is in need of clear definitions for big, high-minded ideas – things like beauty, virtue, and justice. He notes: “It is very difficult to think about these concepts, let alone define them, apart from God.”
Skeel also devotes an entire chapter of his book (True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World) to the concept of justice. “If you look back over history, repeatedly men and women have thought that if we could just get our laws right, we could ensure that we have a fully just society. Yet every time we try that, it fails. That’s something that is very puzzling from an atheist’s point of view.”
Skeel continues, “Christianity explains that. Christianity rests on a story in which Jesus was tried under two of the greatest legal systems that the world had ever known: Jewish and Roman law. Yet, in essence, with Jesus’ crucifixion, the law made a murder (the murder of Christ) seem legitimate.”