Potent Mix or Academic Pacifier
[The following paper, while addressed to a specific audience,
contains the basic ideas and framing that this web site wishes to 
raise up.  The specific audience was the RLDS church at its annual 
Theology Colloquy.  The paper is published in Theology V: Justice Or 
Just Us? (Graceland College / Park Press, 1996)].

 A. Context and Assumptions. 
 B. What is Openness? 
 C. What is Justice? 
  The Universal - Particular Tension 
  The Justice - Common Good Tension 
  The Notion of Gauges 
  Making Connections 
 D. Levels of Engagement 
 E. Practical Considerations for the RLDS Church

    Back to Home
A. Context and Assumptions.
True or authentic religion can be defined as religion which 
endeavours to help life flourish 1 .  It is transformative in nature.  
Wherever one sees life struggling to emerge, that is where the 
influence of God is located.  The mandate of theology is to 
facilitate this process by clarifying the terrain and trying to 
discern a path towards life2.  The purpose of this paper is to 
provide for consideration an initial, informal sketch of how to best 
position the RLDS church in this task.  It combines the focus of last 
year's Colloquy of "Revisioning" with this year's theme of "Justice".

Justice is a category within ethics.  Ethics is derived, is in 
response to the Goodness that we frame theologically and remains in a 
dialectic with it3.  Theology is contextual in nature, being couched 
in and moulded by an overarching worldview, and within that more 
specifically a sense of the human person which further shapes and is 
shaped in the dialectic.  This whole complex must be kept in view in 
this consideration.

I start with the context.  What are the salient features of today's 
context for the RLDS church?  Out of all the possibilities, I choose 
two words which coalesce perceptions of certain phenomena or 
concerns, at least in the North American middle-class context4: 
`global' and `post-modern'.  `Global' represents insights and 
concerns regarding the relationships on this planet - economic, 
environmental, political.  `Post-modern' points to concerns of 
thought and meaning.  Not necessarily independent, both impact the 
notions of justice and openness.

In relation to this paper, some key `global' insights are:
1.  Life needs to be defined as everything within the planetary 
    biosphere.  Within that, is the descriptive insight of the complex 
    interrelatedness of the various levels of life; and the ensuing 
    need for sustainability (not without ambiguity);  

2.  Economically, there is enormous world-wide inter-connectedness and 
    shifting of capital, raw materials and labour pools.  What we buy 
    comes attached with environmental and social implications, 
    although doing ethical analysis can be extremely difficult.  
    Systemic injustices are easily fortified: buying hamburgers may 
    destroy rainforests; buying teak may cause floods; buying a shirt 
    may support child or prison labour.  This quickly casts us as 
    oppressor while at the same time finds us caught by incredibly 
    powerful influences such as consumerism, and (GATT with its) 
    global corporate re-alignments and oft associated North American 
    downsizing, (World Bank and markets with its ensuing) fixation by 
    Western world governments on deficit-reduction, all which will 
    affect our response.

3.  On the international political scene we remain very primitive, at 
    times abhorrent.  We remain a collection of nation-states with 
    narrow views of national self-interests.  

The word `post-modern' covers a diffuse range of concerns, whether or 
not one ultimately supports their final analysis.  But some basic 
threads seem to be:
1.  Rejection of a universal notion of truth, and a rejection of 
    metaphysics.  Truth is relative, often seen as culturally derived. 
    Language is not a direct reflection of reality out there.

2.  Rejection of a unifying view of history and modern view of 
    progress.  One cannot grasp the whole, only a particular 

3.  Rejection of the notion of a centred self, and self as a 
    metaphysical subject behind our thoughts and feelings.  Whatever 
    self is, it is a part of community and traditions. 

In sum, a loss of confidence in the inherited order of things.

What these two words represent should not be seen only in a negative 
light.  Far from it. Global conditions seem baffling and intrenched 
injustices intractable.  But influence is possible.  And postmodern 
is not simply disillusionment with what was trustworthy.  There are 
also glimmers of new, perhaps at times even more solid formulations.

The basic intent of this paper is first of all to say that neither 
the concept of justice nor openness on their own form an adequate 
response within the above context.  Only in combination can they form 
a potent mix, and even that has associated disclaimers.  Basically 
openness requires justice to prevent self-serving agendas; justice 
requires openness to avoid outdated solutions or ideological 
blinders.  Secondly, having sketched the terrain somewhat, attention 
will be turned to the other aspect of theology's mandate - trying to 
discern a path towards life - by listing some practical ideas for the 
RLDS church to consider.

B. What is Openness?
Given the above context, openness becomes one of the essential 
ingredients for a hopeful future.  At its most basic openness 
involves some basic principles, discussed in previous work, but given 
for reference:
1.      Be willing to face reality as currently perceived.
2.      Be willing to recognize our limited perspective.
3.      Refrain from forming final answers until the answers are clear.
4.      Remain true to one's current understanding and be willing to live 
        it out.
5.      Be compassionate in all one does.

Openness is not really about being open to new ideas (the standard 
liberal stance; these five principles without explanation seem to 
fall into this); it is about being open to life - a fundamental 
stance involving the totality of a person, and most basically 
including the spiritual dimensions.  New ideas may or may not have 
anything to do with nurturing life.

There are certain deeper probings, beyond the scope of this paper, 
having to do with the question of the fundamental nature of openness. 
 Without openness, how does love enter?  Does not even the Spirit of 
God mournfully pass by?  There is a certain kinship here, not to be 
overplayed, with Heidegger's later work "The End of Philosophy and 
the Task of Thinking" where the forest opening becomes the key focus 
after the dismantling of philosophy-as-technology.  Does religion 
tend to be mis-focused or perhaps not focused enough?  Perhaps we 
might find that God is not Mystery, God is constant and sure; instead 
it is openness that is Mystery.

C. What is Justice?
Justice deals most basically with what one is due.  Justice can be 
seen as a moral norm which breaks into various categories such as 
commutative justice (for example, equal pay for equal work), 
administrative justice (do aboriginal peoples receive the same 
treatment in the legal system as whites?) and distributive justice 
(how to fairly distribute the goods of society, including power5).  
Justice can also be seen as a more encompassing social ideal (as in 
some liberation theologies), almost equivalent to the good society.  
In this paper justice will be treated in the standard notion of a 

Ethics has been framed as "acting morally in relative ignorance" and 
books like Roger Shinn's highly regarded Forced Options indicate that 
many things facing us have little precedent.  Thus, due to the 
complexity of life, justice requires openness.  We have no privileged 
objective position for viewing pure justice.  On the one hand 
openness may help us break through our inherited distortions:

    Dom Helder {Camara} had more than once looked at the miserable 
    huts and caves perched on the slopes around Rio.  "I had felt 
    the problem" - he reminisces - "but without getting involved in 
    the struggle."  As he got involved, his views began to 
    radicalize. . . . He began to be vocal about it, and his 
    denunciations touched the sore political, economic, social 
    spots.  "I am not an expert. . . . I am only a pastor who is 
    there and sees his people suffer." 6    

And, on the other hand, openness may help to prevent just causes from 
unravelling.  Wogaman indicates that righteous causes do not 
necessarily remain so:
    ... [one of the contributions of liberation theology is 
    that it] ... will never again be as easy for Christian 
    ethics to ignore the extent to which theological views 
    serve selfish personal and group interests.  Ironically, 
    that also entails searching criticism of the extent to 
    which  a social justice cause can itself confer special 
    privilege upon its leaders and the frequency with which 
    revolutionary movements, having gained power, turn to new 
    forms of oppression . . . though that by no means 
    vitiates the importance of moral critique of social 
    location. 7  

The Universal - Particular Tension
Ethics uses or assumes in its underlying worldview social theories 
about how people interact in society.  Theories are abstractions and 
generalizations, and as such have come under sharp attack from 
postmodernists, feminists and others.  They easily disassociate 
people, mask faces, keep people voiceless and nameless or objectify 
them.   For instance, Robert K. Thomas, a Cherokee anthropologist, is 
concerned with the effect abstract categories of social theories can 
have.  He warns his fellow Native Americans against adopting the 
definition of themselves as a "standard racial minority of American 
society", letting themselves be defined by some abstract categories 
as if those categories were real 8 .

Instead, the use of narratives has been used as a corrective.  
Narratives maintain the context, flavour and face of a statement.

This paper states that justice must be done from a global 
perspective.  And so to clarify "global perspective", I will use 
Thomas Dean's distinction between universal as `data' and as 
`perspective'. The latter is rejected as no unattached objective 
perspective is possible.  But universal as data is acceptable.  That 
is, this paper claims that there is some data that all contexts doing 
justice need to take into account, the data here being the meaning of 
the word `global' in the introduction in terms of interrelated  life, 
global economic systems and politics.  Doing justice without keeping 
these in view is prone to partial solutions and to being at cross 
purposes with itself. 

The Justice - Common Good Tension
Most thought around justice typically ignored arguments for the 
common good and with good reason - common good arguments were usually 
made by those in power to maintain their well-being and who were 
ignorant or indifferent to the implications for the poor.  This is a 
necessary insight, but it does not follow that the norm of the common 
good should be ignored, and remains a crucial norm in the global 
context, although as illustrated by the environment - development 
question, how much weight to give it remains unresolved 9.

The Notion of Gauges.
In a complex world or a world where human objectivity is suspect, 
courses of action need continual evaluation.  Part of this must be 
the establishment of gauges where possible.  It lessens the 
likelihood of justice being usurped by ideology, by such character 
traits as excessive optimism, or as Wogamann indicates, by issues of 
human nature and power, suggesting the need for gauges within a 
movement itself.  In general gauges provide a progress report.  They 
do not directly liberate10 although if the gauge doesn't move, they 
can, by using the action-reflection cycle, become a catalyst to lead 
to root causes.  

Making Connections.
Since last summer in Vancouver, it has become almost impossible to 
buy unbleached products such as toilet paper.  Scott Paper Ltd had 
stopped supplying them even though they had accounted for about 20% 
of the Canadian market.  The previous year the U.S. parent company 
hired Albert Dunlap, also known as "Rambo in pinstripes".  He is a 
corporate-downsizing expert hired to restructure the company in order 
to increase profits, and has become the toast of Wall Street.  He cut 
11,000 jobs, relocated head offices, eliminated all gifts to 
charities, and forbade managers from being involved in community 
activities as it takes away from their business duties 11.

Paper is bleached through chlorine bleaching, and more recently 
chlorine-dioxide bleaching.  Both leave toxic discharges such as 
dioxins, although the latter leaves about 1/5 of the amount but is 10 
times more dangerous as a gas around the mills.  An EPA study leaked 
last year, indicates our current level of exposure to such toxic 
elements is 300 to 600 times above the safe level and reaffirmed 
possible links to cancer and other problems (immune, nervous 
respiratory and reproductive).

Thus for something as innocuous as toilet paper, the connections 
include our buying choices, corporate directions, workers health, 
unemployment, charity funding, community vitality and the health of 
everyone including the eco-system.  Forward steps such as unbleached 
paper, do not always remain such.  Without gauges, even such as 
shelf-space, one is easily left adrift.

D. Levels of Engagement
For myself and perhaps most white middle-class North Americans, 
engaging in the issue of justice is a gradual process.  For later 
comment three stages will be somewhat arbitrarily delineated.

Level one: justice as pacifier: And as affinity to the idea of 
 At this level I felt a genuine urge to help others but 
channelled that either by giving to UNICEF or by seeing Zion as the 
light on the hill - we must be that type of people so the world will 
know the way it is meant to be.  Very genuine feeling and  response, 
but it kept one isolated and thus largely ignorant.  Like having a 
donation box for the food bank - these can be valuable efforts but 
there may be no real contact or engagement with the people and issues 
and at best one treats symptoms not causes.

At times, even my own studies on justice have become an academic 
pacifier for me as I come to such conferences seeking ever more 
insight on the idea of justice rather than seeking deeper commitment 
to justice.
Level two: commitment to justice: 
Consider again the Camara quote: "I had felt the problem but without 
getting involved in the struggle."  This is what distinguishes level 
one from level two.  How many previous bishops had felt the same but 
never went beyond that sentence?  What allowed for Camara's openness 
to alternatives?

Regardless, it is clear that this is a quantum step, requiring as 
Ruether says, a metanoia, a changing of consciousness, a conversion 
or commitment.  I can't say that I am usually there.

Level three: Steadfastness:
This is probably part of level two. I separate it out for it more 
clearly shows the complexity involved.  Comparing global justice, 
that is, what is due all people and all life with what we currently 
have, I can't help but think of the words of Mark 7:27.  Allowing the 
dogs under the table to eat the odd crumb may be deemed good, but 
somehow it is not justice.  If we are going to talk about justice, 
let us keep our language clear.  We are so incredibly unjust and due 
to our most basic commandment to love neighbour as self, we are so 
utterly immoral12.  If that was really my child or mother or brother 
starving, or forced into prostitution, would I give my $50 to Oxfam 
and say, "there that will do it"?  If that was my child, what would I 
not do?  So no, I do not love all people equally; most get an 
occasional crumb.  I want to rage should "I love all people!" ever be 
uttered again in this church.  But that would be wrong.  Such is 
response from God's Good Spirit, so let it be heard, it may be our 
only hope - but only if it is followed by "and here is how I will 
respond".  Without that phrase, it is self-gratifying, emotional 

In seeing over 500,000 people hacked to death when a few thousand 
troops could have shut down the Rwandan genocide in a couple of days; 
in knowing that the rich-poor gap continues to widen in spite of all 
the wonderful and innovative efforts to date; these and other 
continuing downward trends leave me with two emotions.  One is a 
lingering sadness: I don't try to remove or avoid it;  I don't feel 
wise, smart or even humble; I just grieve.  The other is a resolve - 
what I call steadfastness, what Ruether calls "committed love" and 
"patient passion", what McFague says is "the hope against hope that 
our efforts are not ours alone but that the source and power of life 
in the universe is working in and through us for the well-being of 
all creation"13. 

E. Practical Considerations for the RLDS Church.
The above analysis indicates that while certain sensitivities are 
needed, the concepts are straightforward.  Yet clarification does not 
necessarily lead to action.  If there is hope in addressing the 
demands of justice from a global perspective as it pertains to the 
middle-class Western world, it is located in the notion of community. 
 That is, while some people of their own initiative can shape their 
overall response more appropriately - whether greatly reducing their 
dependence on petroleum products or choosing a career in 
international law - overall such transformations will need community 
to accomplish and maintain the necessary and dramatic changes needed. 
 Without that (and in all likelihood the route that will be 
followed14), change will only occur when the problems of our global 
reality directly impact this dominant group, and long after it has 
meant suffering, dislocation, or death to marginalized people.  

While such community will include networking with other groups, this 
paper will focus on the implications for the RLDS church.  
Specifically this section will sketch out two areas: a sense of our 
history, and a possible supporting structure for committed groups.

1. Tradition: Reconsidering our History.
There are tendencies in me to pursue justice ahistorically, that is, 
in a truncated fashion within the church - to simply no longer talk 
of our past, but simply focus on justice issues as they arise today 
in the world (who cares about Nauvoo given the Rwandan genocide?!).  
It is true that in isolated contexts, there is no need to consider 
our particular history.  But overall, history and its interpretation 
remain key components in seeking out more just patterns; we can 
hardly advocate that without doing the same ourselves.

So the, what is the most appropriate interpretations(s) of our past 
for today?  To me, we are a church well-positioned to more fully 
embrace openness and I think it valid to reinterpret our history from 
that of the story of the one true church, to a story of the thread of 
ongoing openness.  The thread includes
 -      the formative story of the openness of a young boy in a grove, 
        just wanting to know what to do;
 -      the young Joseph and his openness to being wrong  and his later 
        seeming closed outlook and consequences15.
 -      Joseph Smith III and his and others' expanded view of Zion;
 -      Elbert A. Smiths's formative counsel;

 -      The church's response to the issue of polygamy in India (Doctrine 
        and Covenants 150);
 -      The church's responde to the ordination of women and the call to 
        pursue peace (Doctrine and Covenants 156).

Among other things it allows one to name Nauvoo for what it was, 
without losing that basic defining thread of who we are.

2. Tradition: Strengthening the justice link.
Zion was our call to social action, our link between the gospel and 
social dimensions; but it was to be built via spiritual activity and 
moral character - the pure in heart, light on a hill, living and 
acting honestly and honourably toward all men (start of a possible 
shift); thus we need to strengthen that heritage with a justice link. 
 Of course there are powerful biblical scriptures to assist us.  
However, I wish to mention three that are directly linked to our 
tradition of Zionic thought.  The first is in the Inspired Version:
Gen 6:23: And the Lord called his people, Zion, because 
they were of one heart and of one mind, and dwelt in 
righteousness; and there were no poor among them.

Originally seeing that final phrase as redundant, I now see it as 
absolutely essential - "there were no poor among them" is the gauge!
The second scripture is from DC 16:3, which states that the worth of 
souls is great in the sight of God and how great is the joy in 
heaven, even if you should labour all your days and bring save it be 
one soul unto God.  When the justice cause seems hopelessly entangled 
in seemingly unmoveable forces, this can provide reason enough to 
carry on.

With Doctrine and Covenants 156, we have the invigorating call to 
pursue peace.  An academic synthesis of peace-justice-openness, while 
needing continuing refining, is simple:

Peace is defined as the well-being of all life, always 
open to further insight, based on and moving to bring 
about justice for all, gauged by the effect on the most 

The difficulty is in the implementation.  The final considerations 
are in relation to that task.

3. Supporting the Peace-Justice Impulse.
The following are given for consideration if not already being 
examined.  The overall suggestion is that the Church needs 
deliberately and specifically to consider how to support the peace-
justice impulse in the church.  Consider what may be staring us in 
the face.  President Smith has recently voiced concerns about the 
lack of real commitment .  Yet this peace-justice impulse lends 
itself to precisely that for a certain segment of the church 
membership.  It should be capitalized on while the window exists.  
Here are some possibilities.

(a) Communities of Joy or Communities of Celebration and Resistance.
In Gaia and God, Ruether's analysis concludes that for a healed 
society, for earth healing, in the face of the "intransigent system 
of death" it will be necessary to carry on the struggle in a 
sustained way by building strong base communities of celebration and 
resistance18.  She means building local face-to-face groups to 
provide an ongoing process of metanoia, or change of consciousness 
and ongoing transformation.  She recognizes that one group probably 
can't provide all three aspects of this (nurturing the inner 
spiritual self and group nurturing; utilizing local institutions 
where we have fairly direct control; and building regional and 
international networks).

I agree with Ruether: nothing short of a process of conversion and 
ongoing nurturing within a community setting will sustain oneself 
over a long period of time.  Justice from a global perspective 
involves changing habits and patterns and grappling with endless 
analyses - all without ever getting much feedback.  This is a long 
term process and so it simply needs the ongoing support that comes 
from being within a committed group.  And while I have my doubts that 
even that is workable given the pull of consumerism, the focus on 
individual self-gratification, the mobility of society plus the 
seemingly unavoidable demands placed on the modern family in urban 
contexts, it is the best scenario that we have.  And the church's 
genuine threads of openness and spirituality and social concern, 
coupled with the recent toward peace-justice impulse, position the 
church well to make some inroads.  While a certain level of 
conversion and ongoing transformation could (and does) take place 
within the overall congregation and should continue to be nurtured, I 
think that what is most likely to succeed are smaller, highly 
committed group settings, supported by World Church resources19 plus 
supported and supporting local community groups.

(b)     Develop Stewardship 2000, Part II.
Part I concentrated on giving with the laudable goal of helping to 
bolster programs of ministry.  Orval Fisher's Family Financial 
Planning contains sensible objectives to be in control of one's 
finances in the broad sense.  What is needed now are guidelines to 
help order our other dimensions of life in line with the nurturing of 
all life on this planet.  Here are two examples:
 1.     Based on the above "connections", set forth lifestyle 
guidelines for implementing  solutions.  It would include buying 
habits (consume less, buy products that are least damaging to the 
environment, buy locally 20 , etc), eating habits (try to eat lower 
on the food chain), investments (seeking out ethical funds), etc.

 2.     Gauges: along with annual tithing and consecration form do 
personal and congregational inventory of such things as household 
power usage, car gas consumption, garbage creation, etc to see if 
we really are stewards.

(c) Decision-Making Analysis.
 1.     Continue the balancing of increasing the local autonomy of 
jurisdictions (since there are such contextual variations) while 
at the same time maintaining some overall cohesion (since some 
issues can only be addressed at global levels which needs a broad-
based voice). 

 2.     Ensure adequate checks and balances are in place in all areas 
of church structure to safeguard adequate voices and perspectives. 
 From my perspective the decision-making structure of the Temple 
building process failed that test badly.

Related, consider an analysis of the structural make-up of the 
Temple programs in terms of their compatibility with the 
Temple's overall objectives: who decides the funding and 
proposed budgets, the programs, the hiring, and so on.  I am 
not saying that we do or do not need to clean up our backyard; 
 I am simply saying we need to know our backyard.

(d) Regarding the Temple Peace Center or other resource provider.
1.      Establish "connections" that can then be used to give to the 
local committed groups.  There are many organizations which do 
such analysis and so it may often be a case of obtaining and 
distilling reports from two or more differing views on a given 
2.      Establish responses and gauges where possible.
3.      Sponsor leadership / membership awareness seminars.  For 
example, at the macro-level of economics, alternatives should 
be widely disseminated21.  That is, Daly & Cobb's book in 
distilled form, could be as widely digested by leadership and 
membership as Covey's The Seven Habits book.

(e) Regarding Temple School or other education providers:
1.      Develop experiential educational opportunities via direct 
contact and immersion settings, such as the GATE program 
(Global Awareness Through Experience), through site visits with 
World Accord or Outreach International, etc.  
2.      Develop programs to equip the leadership and membership with 
ethical / social analysis skills.

In the final analysis I do take hope because insights continue:  it 
may be in finding that up to 80% of people in prison are  dyslexic - 
this points to preventative measures;  it may be in unmasking the 
extent of wife and child abuse - this allows for analysis; it may be 
in the Third World contexts in seeing the value of partnering, the 
power of micro-enterprises, or the incredible value of the 
empowerment of women.  And so steadfastness, step by step, forming 
committed groups, taking insights and making connections, creating 
gauges, adjusting actions, all in the hermeneutic circle, - this the 
church can do!

And for those willing to endure, then maybe, just maybe, another 
South Africa someday will be on the horizon, just waiting to break 


 1 (i) The phrase "true religion" (a) is used to distinguish from obscene     
    religion such as Jonestown; (b) is not referring to religion in the 
    Barthian sense as humanity's attempts to reach God (in contradistinction 
    to the real concern of theology, God's self-disclosure); and (c) does not 
    exclude religions other than Christianity.  The tying of true religion to 
    life rather than to correct religious beliefs or devotion finds support 
    with Hans Kung, although I find his wording too anthropocentric.  He does 
    also include secondarily canonical and "specifically Christian" criteria 
    as well, with which I have little trouble. (Hans Kung: Theology for the 
    Third Millennium: An Ecumenical View, (New York: Doubleday, 1988), 240-
    (ii) Flourish is meant in the fuller sense of the word, not simply an inner 
    spiritual or life-after-death flourishing, but first and foremost in terms 
    of basic life needs - food, water, sustainable eco-systems, for humans, 
    beyond that, a sense of being alive (Joseph Campbell), and so on;
    (iii) I employ the usual category of pan-en-theism regarding the nature of 
    (iv) This is not ethics defining religion, although I feel there is more of 
    a dialectic than is often acknowledged.
 2      (a) To clarify, this is not simply sociological analysis;  it does involve 
    "faith seeking understanding" for, siding with McFague, "Christian faith 
    is most basically a claim that the universe is neither indifferent nor 
    malevolent but that there is a power (and a personal one at that) which is 
    on the side of life and its fulfilment", and further that the Christian 
    believes we have some clues for fleshing out this claim, (Sallie McFague: 
    Models of God, (Philadelphia, Fortress Press), p. x).  But my statement 
    does suggest more than faith seeking understanding, a rational end; rather 
    it is more like "faith seeking engagement, seeking its home, supporting 
    itself: life; life grounded in God".
    (b) To be clear there is an in underlying agenda at work here - to frame 
    our religious concepts and use our language in a more life-focused, rather 
    than God-focused manner.  It is simply what I find most promising, 
    although the Ellingsen book makes clear that a variety of theological 
    perspectives can come up with decent ethical evaluations.
 3      This is in keeping with Segundo's hermeneutical circle, or as I have     
    stated it, a four-stage cyclical process of awareness, facts, action, and 
 4      I feel a loss at having the overwhelming majority of work being done in 
    and by the white, English-speaking, primarily middle-class Western world. 
 5      Reinhold Neibuhr, The Nature & Destiny of Man, Vol 2, (New York: Charles 
Scribner's Sons, 1941, 1964), 265ff.
 6      Jose Miguez Bonino, Doing Theology in a Revolutionary Situation 
(Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975), 45.
 7      J. Philip Wogaman: Christian Ethics A Historical Introduction, 
(Louisville: John Knox Press, 1993) 256.
 8      R. K. Thomas, Getting to the Heart of the Matter, (Vancouver: Native 
Ministries Consortium, Vancouver School of Theology, 1990), 72, as quoted 
in Terence R. Anderson, Walking the Way: Christian Ethics as a Guide, 
Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 1993), 206-7.
 9     The U.N.'s Brundtland Report has helped to orient the discussion along 
more fruitful lines with its notion of sustainable development, but 
even that has it sceptics, such as some of British Columbia's 
aboriginal people, who fear that this term may become sustainable 
 10     See Julian Edney, "Free Riders En Route to Disaster", Psychology Today, 
Aug/79. It described an experiment to see how people behave with 
issues dealing with the commons - things we must jointly share.  The 
result was that two features needed to be present to avoid depleting 
the commons: a gauge of the current level, and the ability to discuss 
with others what strategy to pursue.  Both had to be in place, and 
even that did not guarantee success.  Gauges, although essential, were 
by themselves inadequate.
 11     Postscript: Three days after the Colloquy, Scott Paper announced record 
profits and doubled its dividend payments to shareholders.  While 
sales increased 25%, profits jumped almost ten-fold.
 12      I am referring to the word `immoral' somewhat in the same sense as 
Reinholt Neibuhr in Moral Man, Immoral Society.
 13     Sallie McFague: The Body of God: An Ecological Theology, (Mineapolis: 
Fortress Press, 1993), 212.
 14     This is the route that has been and is being followed overall.  There are 
exceptions - the marginalized do make gains, such as in South Africa, 
 and some people on top do make responses out of duty or compassion 
rather than desperate self-interest only.  But it has been highly 
 15     See Richard P. Howard, The Church Through the Years, Volume I, 
(Independence, Herald House, 1992), 81-86.
 16     To clarify, the notion of gauge must not be seen as quantifying and 
objectifying the marginalized; rather it is through listening to them, 
through dialogue, that gauges emerge.
 17     The Saints Herald, January 1996.
 18     Rosemary Radford Ruether: Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth 
Healing, (San Francisco: Harper, 1992), 268-9. 
 19     The "Communities of Joy" emphasis based on local decision-making is a step 
in the right direction, allowing for local groups to form, though not 
indicating that specific resources will be dedicated to it as part of 
the World Church's overall commitment to justice.  As well, its lack 
of "and Resistance" shows the general liberal slant that remains part 
of our ethos. 
 20     John Cobb, Jr: Sustaining the Common Good: A Christian Perspective on the 
Common Good, (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 1994), 12-13.
 21     For example, the highly acclaimed Herman E. Daly and John Cobb, Jr.: For 
The Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the 
Environment, and a Sustainable Future, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989).
RLDS Church - is the short name for The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day 
              Saints.  For further information, see  RLDS.

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