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Habakkuk 2:3

He found the photograph in the sands of Kuwait. But he considers the photograph his lucky charm. Not all those elements were maintained in exactly those ways, but it was enough to get the mind turning. The rest of the story slowly evolved from there. There were a couple of other challenges in conceiving the story. Readers familiar with the military are sticklers for accuracy blame Tom Clancy and Stephen Ambrose , and thus I knew I had to find a marine unit that had been posted to Iraq three times. I also had to find a unit that suffered an inordinately high number of casualties.

Surrounded by mountains, lakes and streams, Hampton boasts a near-perfect climate and a place of true serenity. To do that, I relied heavily on magazines, newspaper articles, military web-sites and Google, and I eventually settled on the 1st 5th out of Camp Pendleton. From there, I had to learn the specifics about their tours where they were, whether they faced combat, what type of fighting there was, the causes of casualties, etc. Only then was I able to begin writing the story about Logan Thibault. Again, I tried my best to make Logan memorable and again, I was drawn to an image of him walking along the side of a highway with a dog at his side.

Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault Efron returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name is Beth Schilling and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel.

Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm. Movie release date is scheduled for April 20, No, the place is fictitious, though there are numerous restaurants that combine both shag dancing and food of various types throughout the year. A few ways. Within this theological context the moral freedom of human beings is not to be considered as necessary and constitutive, as a consent to the covenant, in which case it would be an alliance between equals.

Human liberty enters only at a later stage, as a consequence, when the whole covenant process is complete. All the relevant biblical texts distinguish, on the one hand, the content of the covenant, and on the other the rites or the ceremonies that follow the gift of the covenant.

The least derogation of any gravity is equivalent to a refusal.

This revealed morality, expressed in the context of a theological covenant, is without precedent in the ethical and cultic codes that governed the lives of neighbouring peoples. It is essentially a response; it follows grace, the gift of a God who pledges himself. Consequently morality is much more than a code of conduct and attitudes. This leitmotif is developed in Deuteronomy, among the prophets, in the wisdom literature and in the didactic psalms.

Two main factors must be considered:. This Law must be distinguished from the many laws through which it finds expression in concrete form in writing, on stone, on parchment, on papyrus or in other ways. Such a moral path is not embarked upon without preparation.

In the Bible it belongs to a historical journey of salvation and of deliverance, which can be characterized as primordial and founding. Revealed morality carries forward, so to say, the process of liberation which had its archetypical beginning in the exodus, and assures and guarantees the stability of the process. We must now study the theme of covenant as it occurs in the canonical order of the Bible.

In this tradition the gratuity of the divine initiative and its unconditional validity are strongly emphasized.

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And God saw that the earth was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth. Immediately, however, the covenantal project intervenes. As regards the partners the covenant is established concentrically, simultaneously with Noah himself 6. One can speak, therefore, of a cosmic covenant proportionate to the state of perversity and to the punishment. The initial impression is that the sign refers simply to the rainbow as the meteorological phenomenon which occurs after rain. From the point of view of the symbolism two details merit consideration here.

First, the very shape of the bow, stretched towards heaven and no longer towards the earth, suggests the idea of peace, fruit of a purely gratuitous initiative by God; its position prevents any further arrow being aimed at the earth.

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Moreover, as the bow reaches to heaven but rests on the earth as a kind of vertical bridge, it symbolizes the contact re-established between God and a reborn and saved humanity. From the point of view of ecology: human corruption and violence have great repercussions on our habitat and on the environment Gen 6. From the viewpoint of the management of resources: a certain control over animal life is given to human beings compare 9.

They must nevertheless respect every life as something mysterious 9. The broadening of the covenant to all living beings and to all the earth emphasizes the status of the human beings as companion to all created beings. In this context the re-wording of the exhortation to Noah, a second Adam, merits special attention. The full implications of this are that animals are handed over to human beings as nourishment 9. Their role as administrators and regents of creation has been relativized.

The explicit reference to Gen 1. It remains a standard of reference. The stories about Abraham-Isaac and those about Jacob are similar even in detail.

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  7. Abraham and Jacob travel along the same routes, they cross the country from North to South following the same watershed. These topographical markers frame the literary complex of Gen 12—36 cf. These literary facts are an invitation to read the narratives on Abraham in the broader context of the sequence concerning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The covenant given by the LORD has three corollaries: a promise, responsibility and a law.

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    The promise is that of the land Gen This topic later receives a spiritual interpretation. The responsibility confided to Abraham concerns not only his own clan, but more broadly, all nations. The biblical expression concerning this responsibility uses the vocabulary of blessing: Abraham must become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed brk in him Gen Thus the covenant does not lead only to inheriting the gift of God a progeny and a land , it is at the same time a task to be accomplished.


    This theological approach fruitfully describes the particular dimension and the universal validity of biblical morality. The Abraham and the Jacob cycles insist on the historical dimension of moral living. Both Abraham and Jacob follow a course of conversion which the narrative carefully describes. The covenant offered by God meets with human resistance. These biblical narratives here show the temporal dimension in which faithfulness to the covenant and obedience to God are worked out.

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    In our description of the progressive understanding of the covenant we underlined certain essential traits. The founding experience of the covenant occurs on Sinai. It is presented as a foundational historical event. It is entirely a gift of God, fruit of his unmerited initiative, and it binds both God grace and humanity the Law.

    It confers on newborn Israel the status of a people with full rights.

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    We now present this response not in its theological and unchangeable totality the Law , but in its multiple and detailed expression, as it is applied to changing circumstances the laws. Every newly formed people must, first of all, provide itself with a constitution. Its redactional position Ex Paradoxically, the original tenor of the Decalogue reflects an ethic which is at the same time primitive and potentially very rich. Three aspects reveal the limitations of this ethic: its exteriority, its essentially communal nature and its mainly negative formulation of moral requirements.

    In considering the literal sense, exegetes insist that originally every prohibition concerned external, visible and verifiable actions, including the hamad desire which introduces the last two commandments Ex Moreover, once freed from Egypt, this liberated people was in urgent need of precise rules to order its collective life in the desert. The Decalogue corresponds broadly to this demand, in such a way that in it we can see a fundamental law, a primitive national charter.

    Eight of the ten commandments are formulated negatively, they are prohibitions, more or less like railings on a bridge. Only two are expressed in positive form, precepts to be fulfilled. The accent lies, therefore, on abstaining from socially harmful actions. This evidently does not exhaust all the possibilities of morality, whose purpose is broadly that of stimulating human activity to good action. Three other characteristics, however, make of the original Decalogue an irreplaceable foundation for an inspiring morality that appeal to modern sensibilities: its range is virtually universal.

    It fits the theological framework of the covenant; it is rooted in a historical context of liberation. The values they promote are applicable to the whole of humanity in any region and in any period of history. Now a people that wants to be free of a suffocating external yoke and has just achieved this will be careful not to seek another enslaving and stifling internal yoke. The Decalogue, in fact, opens the way to a morality of social liberation. In Israel the appreciation of freedom is wide enough to include the earth itself, all cultivable land.

    Every seven years sabbatical year and further every forty-nine years jubilee year there is an obligation to let the earth rest, free from every violence, safe from every plough and ploughshare cf. Lev The exteriority, the essentially communal nature and the mainly negative formulation of primitive Israelite ethics are features that hinder the Decalogue, presented on its own and exactly as it stands, from expressing adequately the ideal of moral life which the Church proposes to her contemporaries.

    Under the influence of the discoveries of psychology, people today insist on the internal origin, even unconscious, of their external actions, in the form of thoughts, desires, obscure motives and unruly impulses. Despite awareness of the demands of community life, at the same time they react against the imperatives of an unlimited globalization and put more emphasis on the individual, on the self, on the desire for personal development. Moreover in the last few decades in many societies there is a kind of allergy to any form of prohibition, which is seen, often erroneously, as a limitation and restriction on freedom.

    On the other hand the virtually universal range of biblical morality, its place in a theological covenantal framework and its roots in the historical context of liberation can have a certain attraction in our times. Who never dreams of a system of values that transcends and unites nationalities and cultures? The primary insistence on a theological approach rather than on a large number of behavioural precepts and prohibitions may arouse greater interest in the fundamentals of biblical morality among people who are allergic to laws that seem to limit personal liberty.

    Awareness of the concrete circumstances in which the Decalogue took shape in history shows to what extent this basic and fundamental text, far from being restrictive or oppressive, in fact stands at the service of human freedom, both individual and collective. The Decalogue contains all the elements necessary to provide a foundation for a balanced moral reflection suitable for our times. It is however not sufficient to translate it from the original Hebrew into a modern language. In its canonical formulation it has the form of apodictic laws detailing a morality of duties deontology.

    Nothing prevents us understanding the contents of the Israelite charter in a different but no less faithful manner, in terms of a morality of values axiology. Transcribed in this way, the Decalogue acquires a greater clarity and contemporary appeal. Indeed, such an adjustment loses nothing but gains enormously in depth. Positive precepts, for their part, may go no further than some gesture or attitude to quiet the conscience; at most they may encourage a morality of minimal actions e. A commitment to values, however, represents an open-ended project, whose demands are unlimited.