Ephraim Radner is professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should all follow the directives of public health officials and heed the advice of medical experts. Christians are no different from others in this respect. We share the health challenges and personal anxieties of all our neighbors, and we bear the same responsibilities during this crisis.
What Christians may perhaps offer is a special sense of the times we are traversing. Cities are locked down, borders closed, schools shuttered; production and distribution lines have unraveled; work and retirement income is threatened. These disruptions have cascaded in ways that seem novel and imaginatively overwhelming. All of a sudden, we see before us something we have perhaps talked about before, but never really faced: the way, as societies, we have allowed our personal lives to become enfolded in and seemingly dependent upon intricate and vast networks of collective construction that have diminished our humanity. Suddenly we must “go home,” stay with our families, turn to ourselves. And we are, surprisingly, afraid! ….