Tag Archives: progressive evangelical

Can the past point us to the future?

October 24, 2012

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Swartz guides us down the baby boomer’s memory lane, evoking images of flames in Watts, Newark, and Detroit – and black arm bands and student marches and tear gas and police riots and F-4’s and B-52’s and U.S. marines dodging Hue’s snipers in the Tet Offensive. Through it all, I couldn’t help but mourn over the what-if’s: What if the Evangelical Left saw nuances and shades? What if some of its youthful, bulldog leaders possessed the politician’s wisdom and forged alliances with enlightened conservatives? What if the American Old Left, grounded in pro-religious New Deal liberalism and often embraced by evangelicals, had survived the assault of the fervently secular New Left, which scared off many Americans and tainted the “liberal” label?

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Liberating Advent and escaping the mire

December 10, 2011

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I feel the ground rumble as the panic-stricken advertisers stampede. Someone just told them we should rescue Advent from its kidnappers and let it roam all year. Advent was meant to be a season of prayer and fasting, with the look and feel of Lent. The shopping malls would open late and close early. We would slow down and dwell in Christ. Activists would join contemplatives in the ancient disciplines of stillness, meditation and contemplation — all of which would kindle a cool fire enflamed with resolve, conviction, compassion, and contentment. We’d be peaceful enthusiasts, free from the allure of gaudy knick-knacks forged from the fossils’ ooze.

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What is an evangelical?

October 22, 2011

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Lisa Sharon Harper discusses the historic meaning of “evangelical.” Some of this will sound familiar — conversion to Christ within the context of a Bible-centered faith — but some will not. Social action was key to such teachers as Charles Finney. Given her description, one must ask: Are some so-called “evangelical leaders” truly evangelical?

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What Would Jesus Occupy, Part 2

October 20, 2011

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Life is hard for us maniacal egotists. The Pulitzer committee takes no notice of this blog’s journalistic and literary excellence while the panels in Stockholm and Oslo repeatedly fail to reward me my first Nobel Prize. I’m beginning to think they’ve never seen my Internet knoll. That’s harsh.

Thus my swelling head with last week’s pingback flood: Everyone was fawning over my insightful October 10th entry, “What Would Jesus Occupy?,” which speculated that our Lord would cheer the marchers as they echoed his cries against greed. At last, the sun was shining on my head. At last, my bald spot was gleaming. At last the committees would send me their e-mails while fumbling for their sunglasses (“Ever thought of wearing a hat on sunny days?”).

But the fawners suddenly vanished.

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Spirituality & Occupy Wall Street: Leaders at the scene

October 15, 2011

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Faith leaders have joined the “Occupy Wall Street” throngs and and have given us their thoughts. Some samples …

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Signs of the times …

October 12, 2011

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A multiple choice question: How should biblical Christians react to the current “Occupy” movement?

_____ Pretend we’re ostriches and hide our head in the sand …

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What would Jesus occupy?

October 10, 2011

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Do those protesting against greedy Wall Street barons know they’ve got a friend in Jesus? Sample the following texts from the Good Book:

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“Occupy Wall Street” comes to Hartford and brings a host of questions

October 9, 2011

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One wonders: Will they swap a concrete overpass for the wobbly pedestrian bridge? Will the New Left see the wisdom in forging its long-delayed alliance with the Old Left? Will independent-minded vegans learn from well-honed, meat-and-potatoes union members?

Such were my questions as I snapped pictures of the spreading “Occupy Wall Street” campaign, which moved into Hartford, Connecticut, last night and featured 350 marchers lofting signs and chanting “We are the 99 percent!” Some camped on the corner of Broad Street and Farmington Avenue. I was on the ball: I arrived ahead of schedule but at the wrong location and I found no marchers – thus my Saturday-afternoon pictures of orphaned signs and a small knot of sleep-deprived organizers planning their next assembly, scheduled for 3 p.m.

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A Pro-Life, “Christian” organization gone rogue

October 1, 2011

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I hear the echoing booms. The Family Research Council is hammering nails into the coffin of its own credibility – and, once again, it drags the rest of us into its grave. I’ll crawl out and obsequiously plead before my agnostic friends: “I’m sure the FRC is well-motivated … they care … they’re sincere … law-abiding … love dogs and cats … but (that inexorable “but”) … not all of us are like them.”

My friends are not stupid. They see the organization’s mockery of its proclaimed anti-abortion stance; they see how the FRC is not genuinely pro-life; they see through the chimeras and phantoms and figments and find no resemblance with the New Testament lifestyle. It’s evident: The FRC is a ventriloquist’s doll for the Far Right fringe, complete with a Bible tucked beneath its wooden arm (witness the clone like resemblance between its budget cutting proposals and the Republican Party’s, here and here). The ventriloquist preaches from Ayn Rand’s notes while neglecting the baby in the womb as well as the infant in the crib. They want nothing to do with our ilk if it means resembling the Family Research Council.

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The Nightmare of the Dark Side

September 6, 2011

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Attempts at psychoanalyzing politicians are almost inevitably unfair and fruitless. Their protective smiles halt us at their personality’s foyer. They’re evaluating us: Potential ally? Political friend? Foe? Keep them all close – especially the enemies.

Yet part of me longs to reach out and walk with Dick Cheney, once an articulate conservative spokesmen and capable minority whip. Most accounts portray him as a stellar defense secretary. I enjoyed listening to him though I usually disagreed with him. What happened, Mr. Vice President? Was it the mood-swinging heart medication? Was it the haunting images of falling buildings and thousands of deaths? Is there lingering guilt? Do you feel, in your heart of hearts, that the government failed its most basic task: protecting its citizens? Did you make a silent pledge: Never again! Surely you must know that others – such as Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell – felt the same burdens and made similar pledges. Surely you understand that their differing advice stemmed from the same sense of obligation. So why the cheap shots against your former colleagues in your latest book? Why the vindictiveness?

But, of course, I will never see your heart – and I don’t need to. You’d smile the protective smile even if we were to meet, and that’s your right.

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