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Diplomacy with Iran Requires Biblical Wisdom. The US Has Chosen Foolishness.

Christianity Today - Diplomacy in his administration, President Joe Biden promised on the campaign trail, would become “the premier tool of our global engagement.” So it should be: Diplomacy is the first and best option for foreign policy, the norm and barest necessity of international relations. Across the political spectrum, from the most aggressive hawk to the most committed pacifist, we can agree on the value of diplomacy as a means of keeping peace and advancing US interests abroad without resorting to costly violence.

For all that broad acclaim, however, policymakers in Washington have a bad habit of misunderstanding how diplomacy works. They too often seem to conceive of it as a reward for desired behavior rather than a practical means for achieving those ends. “Do what we want,” Washington says, “and then we can talk.” Maximalist demands, coercive sanctions, reckless public insults, and hasty reactions are more characteristic of US diplomacy than the patience, persistence, prudence, and mutually beneficial compromises needed for the task. Our government’s diplomatic efforts are frequently wildly undiplomatic, resembling nothing so much as Proverbs’ characterization of the fool.

Most of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon, a king known for his wisdom. The fool, Proverbs tells us, is willfully ignorant (Prov. 1:22) and is unwilling to accept others’ advice (12:15), learn from mistakes (26:11), or heed correction (13:18). The fool is always “chattering,” unable to keep silent even though foolish words bring “ruin” (10:10). Fools are hotheaded (14:16) and “show their annoyance at once” (12:16). While “the prudent overlook an insult” (12:16) and “avoid strife,” fools are “quick to quarrel” (20:3) and prone to provocation (27:3). “Fools mock at making amends for sin”; they operate without goodwill (14:9). Fools are often unaware of their self-inflicted danger (14:16), but that oblivion is no security for their associates: “A companion of fools suffers harm” (13:20).

Perhaps the most glaring example of this proverbial.....READ MORE

Christianity Today magazine is an evangelical Christian periodical founded in 1956 by Billy Graham. It is published by Christianity Today International based in Carol Stream, Illinois. The Washington Post calls Christianity Today, "evangelicalism's flagship magazine".



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