The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
10th of June, 2014

Re: Prots

I think I should also note that Weber was wrong. The only things you can measure are the effects of this grace in which the Prots he observed were standing. But the effects are different from the grace that causes them. You cannot measure and study and essentially demystify that ultimate reason.

You will note that people say this same nonsense about the Jews. The standard accepted reason for the excellence of the Jews changes from generation to generation, because nobody really knows (and nobody can find out). In an epoch that favours high-IQ, they have high IQs. In an epoch that favours green thumbs, they are good green thumbs. So Max Weber said “Protestant work ethic!” as explanation for Protestant success, and that is a joke; because how are you going to explain the success of African Protestants, who generally have more of a “Bantu work ethic” (but also happen to have high yields to balance off their laid-back approach)?

The effects of grace can be studied very closely, but since the grace itself is kind of beyond “scientific” (and even “philosophical”) study—and can only be grasped by “fideism” (which the New Testament expresses as “by faith”)—there will never be this kind of “correct” explanation of success. Success is due to God deciding, for His own purposes. For Jews and Christians, He has a particular relationship that implies sovereign favour. You don’t really study this stuff; you believe in it. :o)