Energized by Your Comments

I hope you are engaging with me on some of these ideas in this blog. I launched the blog because I want to carry on a conversation about some of the things that matter to me, things that matter to our world, I hope. And I am thrilled with the response.

I have been energized by the number of visitors to the site and the thoughtfulness of your comments. Through the blog and emails I’ve received, I’ve heard from folks all over the country and as far as China, India, Indonesia, and New Zealand. That’s very cool.

In response to some of this, I thought I might clarify the post I wrote on Monday about Bernie Madoff. Some found me less than grace-filled in my comments. I want you to know my theology is about as redemptive as it gets. I try to conduct my life and my leadership with a posture of grace, missing the mark at times, to be sure, but nevertheless trying.

And so when I spent time reflecting on Bernie Madoff in Dante’s hell, my motivation was to reflect on Dante’s view that betrayal is the worst violation of God’s plan for human flourishing. And I think he is right on that. What Madoff did was chilling. The depths of Dante’s hell are frozen in ice. I wanted to reflect on what happens when our hearts are frozen.

My point was not to assign Bernie Madoff to hell. That’s certainly not my job. I pray for redemption. But our hearts do become frozen at times. That’s not in keeping with a gospel of joy and love and grace. That’s what Dante thought. That’s what I think.

By the way, when the judge issued his 150 year sentence for the crimes of Mr. Madoff, he used the word evil to characterize his failures. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial reflecting on how we never use that word anymore. It’s too judgmental for our time. Dante knew there were consequences for evil action. And I agree. Betrayal tears apart the human community. It is hugely damaging. It is chilling.

So, keep your comments coming. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Categories: Economy

6 replies

  1. Thanks for the follow-up thought, President Eaton. You are right about our society today seeming to shy away from simply calling something what it is to err on the side caution, being “politically correct,” and so forth.

    Looking forward to more thoughts from, and conversations with, you.

  2. Thanks for the humilty and clarification in your response.

  3. President Eaton,

    I am enjoying this blog dialogue tremendously. Thank you for being accessible and transparent. Your entries are thought-provoking and engaging. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

  4. Thank you, President Eaton for taking the time to clarify your earlier comments regarding Bernie Madoff. Through my education at SPU, I learned that communication is never 100%, especially in our age of technology based communication. Keep up the blog. It is a wonderful way to re-ignite the “light” of your students who are out in the world, off campus.

  5. Thanks for the follow-up and clarification President Eaton. I love your openness and willingness to communicate and be accessible to the students and community. Always appreciated. I look forward to reading and reflecting on your future thoughts.

  6. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and to engage with others. I look forward to following this exchange.

    You can now add Cameroon, Africa to your list of countries that you have heard from.

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