Interregnum Guest Lecturer, Marvin Olasky, Talks Compassion With Eric Metaxas

Photo courtesy of Ryan Turner

Photo courtesy of Ryan Turner

Marvin Olasky interviewed Eric Metaxas Monday night, on topics of politics and social institutions, and how they relate to compassion. The event, which was attended by over 50 people, was an appetizer for the feast that is Interregnum this week.

“Tonight we’re just going to spend an hour looking at compassion, examining it theologically, sociologically, and politically,” Olasky said, before inquiring about Metaxas’ sdefinition of compassion.

“In my mind, [compassion] is related to everything,” responded Metaxas. “For me, it’s simply an expression for God’s love for people."  

Although it is a simple definition (Metaxas even stated that “it’s one of those things in Western Civilization that’s taken for granted”), the duo still spent over an hour discussing a range of issues, from the origins and roadblocks of compassion in Western culture, to the 2016 election.

A major point that Metaxas kept coming back to is that Christianity is the solution to the lack of compassion that he sees, particularly in today’s government.

While Metaxas expressed ideas about the reasons behind, and the conclusion of, the 2016 election, Olasky brought up the Interregnum readings for this year.

“In both [O'Connor’s and Dickins’ works],” Olasky said, “there is a parent who, perhaps with misplaced ideas of compassion, and perhaps in 'Hard Times,' a whole different way of looking at things, ignores the flourishing of that father’s own child.”

Olasky summarized his view.

“Everyone in our society thinks that compassion is a good thing,” Olasky said, “But in practice we are more afraid and more frail as a society than probably ever before.”

“One thing God really wants us to do with our lives is to learn to be compassionate,” Olasky said.

The full interview is available on The King's College’s Youtube channel.