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Song Who Is He In Yonder Stall.

A most beautiful song that spans all of Jesus's life and all of God's plan.

I agree with most of what is said here and wish to add some thoughts regarding mercy and justice. I do not see them as polar opposites but as complementary: both are necessary. I do not think we can separate them in interactions between people even as God does not separate them in his dealings with us. As Reformed theology teaches, God’s mercy to us sinners is possible only because his justice is fulfilled by punishing our sin in Christ who became sin for us. Mercy requires justice and justice can give mercy.

However, as is said, “We don’t pursue justice but instead seek to mitigate painful consequences in the name of mercy.” Often this takes the form of forgiving the offender for the harm done to the victim. But when we do this, we fail in both mercy and justice. We owe justice and mercy to both the offender and the victim. But when we withhold justice, we withhold it from both the offender and the victim, and we show so-called “mercy” to the offender but deny it to the victim. True justice will see that both the offender and the victim receive justice. Then mercy can be shown to both as well.

For the offender, justice will not be an act of vengeance but will be merciful in that it confronts that person with the harm done and gives a chance to acknowledge it; true mercy would also provide ways to renounce the offense and make changes.

For the victim, justice is given in that the offense and the harm done will be acknowledged for what they were; mercy is given in that the victim is able to move on into a phase of healing and perhaps even, as part of the healing, forgiveness.

I would welcome others’ thoughts on this.

I very much agree with this article. The violence against women is a men's problem and we must all work against this violence. Here is a letter that I sent to our local newspaper some time ago that may be a helpful addition to the discussion.


Letter to the Editor, Hamilton Spectator, 2017 November 6

The Hamilton Spectator, November 6, 2017, GO section, page G1

Dear Editor,

Re: Article “Hollywood’s gender problem may be a matter of simple math”

Your heading is misleading. The authors are right that the huge preponderance of men in the media industries “enabled” and still enables harassment and sexual assault in those companies. But “Hollywood’s gender problem” is that men commit criminal acts of sexual abuse and harassment against women, and that other men do not speak out against it. Men are at fault, men are to blame. The fault lies squarely with men. And we men have to change.

Every man should speak of women only in honourable and respectful ways. Every man ought to speak up in defence of women who are harassed and molested. Every man ought to challenge other men who speaks or acts abusively to women, also when it’s “locker-room talk” or in a “boy’s club.” Every man ought to set the example of speaking and acting right with respect to women. Every man should teach his sons to respect women at all times and teach his daughters that this is their due.

We also need to adjust our language. Some articles refer to a sexually abusive man as a “bad boy.” Don’t use that term: It treats the man as if he were a kid who didn’t know better; it excuses his behaviour. Call him what he is: a bad man, an evil man acting criminally. We men need to change our ways and stand beside our wives and daughters and friends to bring justice and fairness with respect to gender.

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