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Abuse & Authority: A Conversation with Susan Codone
Co-authored with Susan Codone “When Southern Baptists established the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1859, the prevailing orthodoxy of its white clergy included commitment to the legitimacy of slavery.” -Report on Slavery and Racism in the History of SBTS https://sbts-wordpress-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/sbts/uploads/2018/12/Racism-and-the-Legacy-of-Slavery-Report-v4.pdf The phrase ‘prevailing orthodoxy’ is doing a lot of rhetorical work here: ‘orthodoxy’ evokes the […]
Every word that public evangelicals uttered in the 90s about the importance of integrity in leadership now serves as an indictment of their own unfitness to lead. Our conduct in the political arena serves as a public refutation of our witness. Unbelievers read the Bible, too; and they can see that we’re not living out the values we claim to espouse.
Self-appointed spokesmen of the white evangelical church have no one to thank but themselves for the fragmentation of our political community. Instead of calling God’s people to do justice, they have been among the most reliable patrons of injustice.
According to Scripture, false teachers dwell in the political or religious establishment, and they misrepresent God to the people of God in order to fortify their own position of power or influence. False teachers lie about God for their own personal gain. So, in the logic of Christian theology, it doesn’t even make sense to say that those who demand systemic justice *on behalf of others* are false teachers. It’s a category mistake.
For decades, a pronounced majority of white evangelicals have reliably supported politicians who regard virtually all vulnerable classes except the unborn with utter contempt (and whose policies, at that, have actually done very little to protect the unborn).
What if America is just like all the other empires? What if America’s power and wealth aren’t a mark of divine favor, but merely a byproduct of empire-building? And what if, by mistaking the fruits of empire for God’s blessing, Christian nationalists have gotten confused about what sorts of things God favors—confused about the features […]
Imagine you’re in a movie theater somewhere in Nebraska. In the middle of the movie, your phone rings. You answer your phone and proceed to have a conversation at full volume. After about a minute, the guy behind you taps you on the shoulder and says, “Dude, we’re in a movie theater.” You could respond […]
I am dismayed by the number of evangelicals who publicly endorse a consequentialist approach to political participation—especially among pastors and those charged with supervising the theological training of pastors. Consequentialism is vexed by the human inability to foreknow the consequences of our actions. For example, suppose that Christians were to adopt a consequentialist approach to […]
Here are books I would recommend to those interested in questions at the intersection of moral and political philosophy, political economy, recent U.S. history, theology, evangelicalism, law and American politics. Justice and the Social Order by Emil Brunner Sovereign Virtue by Ronald DworkinThe Evangelicals by Frances FitzGerald Eclipse of Reason by Max HorkheimerStamped from the […]
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