Who is ethical?

  • Sumo

I was reading about the radical reformers of the sixteenth century. That is, those who differed from the main names we know: Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and the like.

The ‘radicals’ were a broad group, but one issue raised is the practical decision about how involved to get. Is it more Christian to mix with the world, and risk compromise? Or to separate out, and strive for maximum purity? This is not an easy question to answer. At least seeing the difficulty should make us less prone to simplistic judgements of who is wrong and who is right.


Here’s a great quotation on this, from Steven Ozment:

Who are the ethical people? The eloquent advocates of the new Jerusalem who live on the fringes of society and ignore or attack it in the name of ideals it cannot attain? Or those who attempt to bring such ideals to bear in part on society at the cost of compromise and the risk of defeat?

From The Age of Reform 1250-1550.