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When Categories Aren't Clear

It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
William James1

As you probably have suspected, there isn't always a clear-cut distinction between theological, institutional, interpersonal, and personal decisions. Many risks combine elements from several categories. One pastor remembered a particularly difficult example.

"We had a highly gifted young man in our church. He was well-loved, a graduate student, our youth group sponsor. He seemed to everyone a devoted, responsible person. He and his wife were especially close to another couple in the church with several children. John became close to one of them, an elementary school boy — so close that during a period of severe academic and marital stress, John became involved in some sexual games with this youngster.

"I'd had a particularly exhausting week. The church had been through several tragedies ...

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