An Awkward Question

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in a statement on Facebook about the Josh Duggar brouhaha, said

Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.

I won’t disagree with that. But I am curious: what then is the difference between a good person and a bad person if actions themselves do not distinguish?

I await an answer.

2 thoughts on “An Awkward Question

  1. Good question. I suspect that Bonheoffer was trying to get at that with is ethical question around good people doing something evil-killing Hitler-or and evil person doing something good-Hitler playing with children.
    There is certainly a tension for any of us in this. I tend to think it is only assessed with any accuracy with those we are in relationships with, and over a lifetime. I have screw ups in my teens and twenty’s that I have outgrown, wish I hadn’t done them, and were likely illegal or immoral in some cases, many people have. In the modern era many would brand me, and many others are treated as evil and punished for a lifetime for things they will outgrow.
    Alas, it is why I trust the God of grace, more than people, even myself.

  2. “Good person” seems to be a useful pragmatic concept. Basically, it’s who would you trust to … whatever, based on what you know about them. It implies that such a person makes an effort to act “in good faith” (a legal term) and mostly succeeds. Fine for business and courts of torts and maybe hiring a baby sitter. But it has no meaning regarding the gospel or the church (except insofar as the church is a bureaucracy). “Good person” is not all that different from “good ol’ boy” or “goodfella'” – useful in letting people know what to expect in certain contexts, but having nothing to do with good and evil or redemption or ‘sanctification’. A distinction our era has trouble with.

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