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May 01, 2011


David Ewart

Granted that the prodigal son is not a terrorist. But then, there is no exact example in the Bible. So we have to look situations that are similar, but not exact.

The actions of the prodigal son are far from harmless to others. He in effect says to his father, "You are dead to me," and his behaviour would cause the kind of shame that in Jesus' day was irreparable.

It's not mass murder, but the story does raise the question, "How can irreparably broken relationships be healed?"

I personally believe that this lifetime is not the only or last opportunity we have "to come to our senses." Indeed, no matter how much we believe we have always lived a righteous life, more or less, I expect to be personally quite dismayed when I see my life as God sees it. At that point, I too expect to realize at a depth more profound than I am capable of in this life to realize how fully my relationship with God depends upon GOD's goodness and grace and none of my own. This belief is the hinge my reflections swings on.

You and I may differ in our beliefs and ultimately we will both have to wait and see.


The Prodigal Son returned of his own volition, and he had hurt no one but himself. The analogy does not fit. Try again.

andrew washburn

i agree i have tried to explain Gods love toward those that have been brain washed to believe what there doing is the rite thing God loves them just as he loves us no ifs ands or buts so thank you for your word

David Ewart

Hi Anne, Thanks for your comments. That process of restorative justice is exactly what I had in mind, with the exception that when God is the "process leader" it is even more thorough - and in my view, there are no incorrigibles. God's grace is ultimately not resistable.

I'm not sure about your second comment re: my PS, "Sorry, I've moved beyond this view." What view have you moved to?

Mine is simply that in heaven all divisions and distinctions are removed save one: beloved children of God.


Very sad to see your PS. THAT I cannot believe. "PS: At the risk of offending Muslim people, I have quite deliberately used Christian metaphors and images, but want to be clear that I believe there are no Muslims in heaven. No Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, etc., etc. either." Sorry, I've moved beyond this view.


Someone I sent this to commented like this: "When I was involved with both the sexual assault centre and the Parole Board there was a program called “victim/offender reconciliation” which was widely used in the aboriginal community and to a lesser extent mainstream. It’s purpose was to let offenders see first hand the pain caused by their actions and hopefully to develop some sort of empathy for the victim. For the victim it was a chance to see the offender as a person and in some cases to participate in deciding the sentence. In the native communities it was often a sentence that included punishment, healing and reintegration into the community under the auspices of a group that included the victim. The punishment phase was incarceration or relevant community service or direct restitution to the victim. It was ruthless about truth and sincerity and incorrigibles were treated sternly and often banished to the regular justice system. It was very successful. Sometimes the reconciliation happened after regular sentences were served and then the process was different but equally healing.

I realize this is a temporal process as opposed to the spiritual one proposed by this article but they bear strong similarities"

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