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Last Updated on September 6, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 574

“It’s one of the first things an intelligent man like Kevin, who comes to the Church later in life, notices. There is a pervasive incongruity between the Church’s theology and the way most of us in the church live.”

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“Hypocrisy.”

“One of its faces, yes. Hypocrisy. Saying one thing but doing another. Studying to be a priest while hiding a small cocaine addiction, for example. The world flushes this out and cries scandal. But the more ominous face isn’t nearly so obvious. This is what interested Kevin the most. He was quite astute, really.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

Here, Ted Dekker highlights a recurring question posed, especially by modern Christians, to the religion’s conception of evil, which defines a multitude of actions as “sinful.” Namely, are these actions morally equivalent? Or do they exist in a hierarchical system by which some actions are more evil than others? Here, too, Dekker intimates the idea that evil exists in all people, that it is in fact less dangerous when it manifests in those where it is less expected, because here it is easier to come to terms with. When a priest is found to do something wrong they are condemned, but when an average parishioner, perhaps under the guise of good intentions, commits an evil, it is less likely to be commented upon.

And does man simply choose evil, or does he create it? . . . Is evil a force that swims in human blood, struggling to find its way into the heart, or is it an external possibility wanting to be formed?

This passage raises another key question of morality—namely, where does evil come from? The Christian belief that human beings are corrupted by original sin, and are thus always liable to commit evil, is here contrasted with another Christian concept: the idea that everyone has free will, which would enable one to go through life without performing any evil actions.

People tend to react to other people in wholesale rather than in detail, right? He's a minister, so I hate him. She's beautiful, so I like her. One month later you wake up and realize you have nothing in common with the woman.

This statement is a comment on the...

(The entire section contains 574 words.)

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