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Faithful Compromise

Comment Magazine, March 2014 Issue

Daniel is the poster boy of refusal to compromise. Except, of course, when he did.

Daniel was faithful amidst compromise. His expectations were cut to the measure of exile. He had no illusions about what was possible in Babylon, even while he sought to influence his exilic home in the meantime. There is a parable for us in that.

So this issue of Comment undertakes an audacious goal: to redeem compromise. We want to recover a sense in which compromise can actually be faithful, a good, tangible expression of our commitment to shalom precisely because we give up any illusion that the purity of eschatological justice can be secured by us in the here-and-now. In other words, we believe that "not being in control," as Stanley Hauerwas often puts it, actually liberates us to compromise when pursuing the common good.

—James K.A. Smith

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