At the other end of the theological spectrum, repentance is at best a bizarre concept. Oprah Winfrey baldly pronounced during an interfaith prayer service at Yankee Stadium that each victim of the terror strikes instantly became an angel. We sympathize with the impulse to find comfort in such thoughts. But a "salvation by sudden death" clause is facile and theologically reckless. It is the equivalent of telling grief-stricken parents that a drunken driver killed their 8-year-old daughter because "God needed another angel in heaven."
Speculation about the reasons for the terror strikes also has been popular on the political left, which has suggested that America somehow deserved to suffer because of its wealth, its support of Israel, its militarism, or simply for its being a superpower.
Let us recognize, then, that pinning blame on others is a natural (if hazardous) part of grieving the more than 6,000 victims of the terrorist strikes. But let us begin thinking about real repentance.
As Jesus himself observes (Luke 13:1-5), these frightening reminders of our mortality are ideal times to get right with God. Our repentance should begin not with the broadest possible picture (How ...1