Thursday, September 04, 2014

in which D. G. Hart unwittingly explains the difference between Superman and Batman

Well, not exactly ...

So who is more optimistic or pessimistic? Two-kingdom folks are generally dismissive of efforts to Christianize society and so are known for being overly sour about the possibilities of human “flourishing.” Theonomists, neo-Calvinists, and transformationalists, in contrast, are much more hopeful about the prospects of improving the world and doing so through Christian influence (however defined). (In light of certain affinities among the obedience boys, experimental Calvinism, and sanctification, we may also count the pietistic Calvinists as optimists. And just so Roman Catholics don’t feel left out, the folks who are nostalgic for Christendom and think it possible to defend and maintain western civilization also seem to qualify as optimists.)

And yet, look at how this works out in practice. The optimists about improving society wind up being nattering nabobs of negativism (thanks Spiro) because they look around and recognize that everything is not measuring up to the standards of human “flourishing.” In contrast, the pessimists wind up being fairly hopeful about the prevailing social conditions because they sense it could be a lot worse. Think back to Cain and Abel, or think of all those monarchs in Israel and Judah who were not exactly in the obedience-boy camp, or think of those early Christians who were falling away to bad teaching or committing immoral acts (think Corinth). ...

but it's amusing to transpose this distinction of outlook and action on to superheroes as a way to map out a playful comparison.  No prize for guessing whether Wenatchee The Hatchet tilts more toward Superman or Batman here.

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