Exile: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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13 Responses

  1. Em says:

    Good words, Dr. Duane. They speak clearly to some of the things I’ve been pondering lately….
    wish i loved living up here in the mountains, but after 8 years i realize that i really don’t….
    That said, the old timers, who made this area bloom are now dying off, – salt of the earth. Their kids are taking advantage of the high prices and we’re now being invaded by suburban expats – shallow posers building their side by side getaways…. ?
    So at 85, later this month, i will adjust to being in exile… 😇

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Sometimes it is “exile in place”…

  3. Em says:

    Yes, it is. 😏
    Much to pray for, wherever we are

  4. Jean says:

    “Exile, in my opinion, is not the same as withdrawal. “

    As you are probably aware, Duane, this question was central to the Reformers. Obviously I agree with your conclusion.

    I might add that as far as I can recall, God imposes genuine exile; His people do not impose it on themselves.

  5. Duane Arnold says:


    “I might add that as far as I can recall, God imposes genuine exile; His people do not impose it on themselves.”

    It is interesting that even those who take up the religious life in community, do so at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. My dear friend, Sr. Mary Owen, is an enclosed Benedictine. She prayed about her calling for two years. As she was preparing to enter into the convent, she said to me, “I’m not running away from the world, I’m running toward God”…

  6. Em says:

    Exile is an interesting word….forced out of one’s comfort zone….
    As i sit here i can think of 5 locals in need of prayer… 2 dying of cancer and others coping with BIG challenges of various kinds. It is a privilege to sit outside among the tall evergreens, looking at the clear (not today – fires north of the border)blue sky and talk to God about their souls…. and bodies. Then i move on to the Phoenix peeps here and … me. 🙏

  7. Michael says:

    Here’s the point that I’ve been trying to make.
    “Exile” is the assumed status of every Christian in the NT.
    Therefore…it is ours as well.
    Thank you for this, Duane…

  8. Duane Arnold says:


    It is what we are…

    “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

  9. Michael says:

    Exactly…and until the church wholeheartedly embraces this and acts accordingly, it has abandoned its true place .

  10. Duane Arnold says:


    I agree, but I think it is more than the church embracing a new identity. It is also the church repenting of its love affair with politics, culture wars, and the consequent influx of cash and perceived power. Even if they might give up the illusory power, they won’t give up the money that politics and culture wars generate…

  11. Michael says:

    I fear you’re right…but for me and my house…

  12. Xenia says:

    I am not a fan of the idea of running away from where God put us and starting up new, faith based communities because they almost always sour. I agree we should do what we can where we are.

    However, that doesn’t mean we can engage in everything. For example, I can, in good conscience, be a member of the local Dickens Society whereas I had to quit the city’s book club because they kept choosing works of fiction that I, as a Christian, could not in good conscience, read. That’s the case with a lot of things. I can engage certain aspects of the local culture- for now, at least- but I have to be picky. I feel the same way about public schools. Where my son’s family lives, I wouldn’t hesitate to send my children to the public schools. Some places, no way. If people want to stay in these places and fight everything, God bless them if He gave them the constitution for continual battle, which in the US, will seldom result in godly outcomes, but maybe worth a try, and I am not faulting them, just noting that I don’t have the personality to engage. I am more of a “Let’s do something good” rather than “Let’s (perpetually) fight the bad.” I am an introvert and that’s how I do things. But some will choose differently than I do, and if God is in it, all I can say is Amen. My idea of “good” is finding alternatives, doing an end-run around the devil if I can. But some will stay and fight and God bless them.

    What a ramble. Sorry!

  13. Jean says:

    Exile is not something a Christian can avoid or escape from in this evil age. It’s the definition of the Christian life.

    However, if he/she has the means to provide a better life for himself/herself or their family somewhere else, then it is not a sin to go there. But that lessening of exilic experience is not a total removal from exile.

    The real fight (or better put, test) of exile is the fight against temptation to assimilate into the surrounding pagan world and its practices. When a Christian is at ease and in peace, that is actually the most dangerous moment, because one lowers their guard and can be seduced to assimilate into the surrounding culture.

    I live in a very peaceful, patriotic, self-professing Christian, conservative community. Guess what the most full parking lot is on an average spring Sunday morning? Answer: The youth sporting venues, such as baseball diamonds and soccer complexes. I would venture a guess that Sunday youth sports do more harm to young people in growing up to be practicing Christians than anything taught in a public schools. But how much consternation is there by Christian parents?

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