Frankie Schaeffer grew up in a modern, politically radical, Americanized “Christianity”. He is not pleased with what it teaches or how it operates. In a recent article he gives a fairly thorough explanation of his concerns and how they relate to current political personalities – e.g. Michelle Bachmann. I have to agree with much of what Schaeffer says. Here’s an example: America has a problem: It’s filled with people who take the Bible seriously. America has a blessing: It’s filled with people who take the Bible seriously.
Douglas W. Kmiec is a prominent Republican and committed Roman Catholic. He was head of the Office of Legal Counsel for Presidents Reagan and the first Bush. He became notorious for coming out in support of then-Senator Obama’s campaign for the Presidency, and for publishing things like the following. He speaks of “the Catholic tradition” as not just condemnation of the evil of abortion, but also as the building up of a society where those at risk of falling or disregarding this boundary will be far less like to do so because of the tangible help of their neighbor, inspired by the witness of Christ rendered both personally and through government. [p45]
James Dobson has resigned as board chair at Focus on the Family. I’m sure he can find legitimate reasons to do so – even though it represents a real loss in terms of the enthusiastic labor of most of his life. But I have to wonder also if it’s just another step in the fulfillment of what Jesus predicted so long ago – about false prophets.
I. Pessimistic Here’s a sad quote from a good Catholic philosopher, going from his own knowledge of history: In nearly every historical case we can think of, the bias of a group lasts the lifetime of the group… Truly moral communities hardly ever result from the reformation of a previously selfish community. They nearly always spring from prophetic leaders who gather members from among the disenfranchised in other communities. That is, the institutions of the religious right are unlikely to reform themselves, and are likely to continue losing people to more carefully Biblical fellowships.
How does “the world” see us? Recently I wrote about David Kinnaman’s treatment of that in his book, unChristian, based on an extensive research project by The Barna Group. Remember, Kinnaman is writing from within the conservative Christian establishment. He’s writing about himself, about us
The Barna Group exists to provide statistical information to Christian churches and ministries, to be a catalyst in moral and spiritual transformation in the United States. We accomplish these outcomes by providing vision, information, strategy, evaluation and resources. After extensive recent research the group’s president, David Kinnaman, wrote a book on the largely negative take on Christianity by “outsiders,” especially younger ones,
I. Waves of Slander I don’t have statistics, but we all know there’s a lot of falsehood circulating freely online. An email arrives with frightening accusations or innuendos and the reader gets frightened (as was intended) and forwards the email to warn others of the great danger revealed. But what if the email is one of the mostly false ones? How should we react if we’re not entirely sure of it’s truthfulness? After all, when we accept at face value lies about a person, group, or situation, and repeat those lies, we have put ourselves in a very bad place – we have become gossips and slanderers. Slander, you may have heard, is not a Bible virtue,
When I spend 10 minutes stretching my back on my inversion table I often read poetry or old cartoon books. This is from Tom Toles’ Mr. Gazoo: A Cartoon History of the Reagan Era, 1987. Ronald Reagan (runninng up the steps into a cathedral-like church building): Politics and religion DO mix. RR (sitting in a pew in the empty building): I need something to bash Mondale with. Voice from Above: Love your enemy. RR: That’s no good. Something else.
We watched tonight for the second time the movie “Bonhoeffer“ about the German theologian / pastor who was executed by the Nazis in April 1945, and whose books continue to have influence. I urge that you watch this film. I will not try to list or defend what were to me obvious parallels between then and now, particularly in the misuse and corruption of the Christian faith and the Christian churches. Those parallels will, I trust, be apparent. Well, I will mention one parallel. A historian being interviewed commented regarding the use of torture by the Nazis that it was a clear example of “the evil of the Nazi” regime. That was spoken in 2002 or 2003 before it was commonly known that our own President highly values the use of torture,
A book published in 1996 really nailed this Christian distraction problem. Funny how we never heard of it then or since! Well, I heard of it this week when Connie found an old magazine she’d been saving. It’s “Release Ink,” collecting reviews of and ads for Christian books. We still have it because of the nice article about Jack Hayford. Hayford’s rapidly growing Church on the Way was where Connie spent her formative teen years. Well, get a load of this list! It’s the outline of Bob Briner’s Seven Deadly Detours (Zondervan, 1996),