Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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Christianity Today's article roundup


I ran into a real treasure trove of links to articles, blogs and opinions on Christianity Today's weblog. It seems that there has been a lot of press- pro and con- about the push towards theocracy. A quote:

It's Will that offers perhaps one of the best prescriptions of the week:

Some Christians should practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various "assaults" on "people of faith." Christians are indeed experiencing some petty insults and indignities concerning things such as restrictions on school Christmas observances. But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic.

In his autobiography, Billy Graham notes just how much things have changed for the movement he sparked: "Evangelicals are no longer an ignored minority. In fact, our greatest danger may come from our public visibility and influence."

For the last 50 years, evangelicals have been complaining that they want "a seat at the table." They received not only a seat, but a seat of power. To continue claiming that Christianity is in immediate danger of being made illegal in this country (as says a new book from a respected Christian publishing house) is childish and wildly inaccurate, not to mention wrong-headed (would a persecuted church be less a church than a complacent church?).

But growing up does not mean that we take our seat at the table and prop our feet up on it, make sure we're well liked and that our seat stays secure. Such is what that Times columnist David Brooks suggested yesterday. He praises Abraham Lincoln as "guide and navigator. Lincoln had enough firm conviction to lead a great moral crusade, but his zeal was tempered by doubt, and his governing style was dispassionate. … Lincoln came to believe in a God who was active in human affairs but who concealed himself. The only truths he could rely upon were those contained in the Declaration of Independence: that human beings are endowed with unalienable rights. We Americans can be ardent in championing that creed, but beyond that, it's best to be humble and cautious."

Evangelicals, Brooks says, too often "overflow the banks defined by our founding documents." Right-thinking Americans cannot "share the conviction of the orthodox believers, like the new pope, who find maximum freedom in obedience to eternal truth. We're a little nervous about the perfectionism that often infects evangelical politics."

Evangelicalism, however, has always been a reform movement. And there is always more to reform. The Kingdom of God has arrived, but is not yet here. And we won't be satisfied until the king comes in all his glory.

And that's evangelical Christianity's little secret right now. We really are theocrats. Only in exactly the opposite way from how some op-ed columnists think we are. Our hopes lie far beyond the next election, or the next judicial fight. Our king isn't elected, and our judge isn't appointed. Sometimes we forget that. But it's what we're all about.


I missed this "On The Media" show because I was out of town. Happily, there's a transcript.


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