The born-again candidate

In an interview with Christianity Today, Barack Obama answered this question:
“You’ve talked about your experience walking down the aisle at Trinity United Church of Christ, and kneeling beneath the cross, having your sins redeemed, and submitting to God’s will. Would you describe that as a conversion? Do you consider yourself born again?”

I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn’t ‘fall out in church’ as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn’t want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fw

    This quote could sound like pandering.

    Actually Senator Obama has a rather well thought out opinion on the relation between religion and government that Lutherans would largely agree with.

    If you watch this speach, you will know that what he says briefly about faith here is probably sincerely meant because it is part of a far larger context for him.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/faith/

  • fw

    This quote could sound like pandering.

    Actually Senator Obama has a rather well thought out opinion on the relation between religion and government that Lutherans would largely agree with.

    If you watch this speach, you will know that what he says briefly about faith here is probably sincerely meant because it is part of a far larger context for him.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/faith/

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    There is an e-mail floating around that Obama is a Muslim. Urban legend?

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    There is an e-mail floating around that Obama is a Muslim. Urban legend?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    “But more importantly…”??? So, am I to conclude that Obama thinks that Jesus’ feeding the 5000 was MORE IMPORTANT than taking on all of humanity’s sins to create a bridge to eventual peace, love and eternal life?

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    “But more importantly…”??? So, am I to conclude that Obama thinks that Jesus’ feeding the 5000 was MORE IMPORTANT than taking on all of humanity’s sins to create a bridge to eventual peace, love and eternal life?

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  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I got the e-mail and checked it with truthorfiction.com. Like most such e-mails, it’s a mixture of truth and falsehood. But there are enough plain lies in it that no one should believe its conclusions.

    For instance, it is not true that Obama was sworn in to the Senate on a Koran. That was my congressman (for my sins), Keith Ellison, who is openly a Muslim.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I got the e-mail and checked it with truthorfiction.com. Like most such e-mails, it’s a mixture of truth and falsehood. But there are enough plain lies in it that no one should believe its conclusions.

    For instance, it is not true that Obama was sworn in to the Senate on a Koran. That was my congressman (for my sins), Keith Ellison, who is openly a Muslim.

  • Bob Hunter

    He believes that that faith gives him “a” path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life? Does he mean there are other paths?

  • Bob Hunter

    He believes that that faith gives him “a” path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life? Does he mean there are other paths?

  • organshoes

    I caught that too, Bob Hunter, though it struck me in a different way.
    Apparently there is work–or there are works–yet to be done for that cleansing to have to have its full effect. right now, I presume, he’s only mostly clean.
    Godspeed, Barack.

  • organshoes

    I caught that too, Bob Hunter, though it struck me in a different way.
    Apparently there is work–or there are works–yet to be done for that cleansing to have to have its full effect. right now, I presume, he’s only mostly clean.
    Godspeed, Barack.

  • organshoes

    PS: Reading again, it sounds as if he’s set himself on this journey and is taking Christ along. For good measure, maybe? As insurance?
    Maybe this is post-evangelicalism–that mixture of faith and works that saves not only one’s self, but others along the way; ‘making a difference’ because now the person is different.
    Seems the evangelical and the post-evangelical share that theology of change: that Christ, more than the agent of salvation, is the agent of change. And change is what is at stake–changed lives, changed neighborhoods, changed policies, etc.

  • organshoes

    PS: Reading again, it sounds as if he’s set himself on this journey and is taking Christ along. For good measure, maybe? As insurance?
    Maybe this is post-evangelicalism–that mixture of faith and works that saves not only one’s self, but others along the way; ‘making a difference’ because now the person is different.
    Seems the evangelical and the post-evangelical share that theology of change: that Christ, more than the agent of salvation, is the agent of change. And change is what is at stake–changed lives, changed neighborhoods, changed policies, etc.

  • CRB

    So if God were to ask him on the Last Day, “Why should
    I let you into My heaven?” and he said, (as many do today in the Evangelical world) “Because I decided to follow You,” or, “I gave my life to Jesus” where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?

  • CRB

    So if God were to ask him on the Last Day, “Why should
    I let you into My heaven?” and he said, (as many do today in the Evangelical world) “Because I decided to follow You,” or, “I gave my life to Jesus” where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?

  • fw

    c´mon guys and gals. don´t judge him by sound bite. see what he says in his speach on religion and politics that I linked THEN make up your mind what he is all about….

    No Barack is not Lutheran. This much is quite clear……what other viable candidates are out there that believe in grace alone´, possibly? hillary. huckabee. mcCain. just look at the ideological range this represents….

    not romney, guliani for certain. dunno about edwards.

  • fw

    c´mon guys and gals. don´t judge him by sound bite. see what he says in his speach on religion and politics that I linked THEN make up your mind what he is all about….

    No Barack is not Lutheran. This much is quite clear……what other viable candidates are out there that believe in grace alone´, possibly? hillary. huckabee. mcCain. just look at the ideological range this represents….

    not romney, guliani for certain. dunno about edwards.

  • S Bauer

    Yes, the quote above sets him smack dab in the middle of what passes for much of Christianity in this country. This lack of understanding and confusion in expressing the content of the faith does not mean Mr. Obama is not a member of the Body of Christ, any more than the intellectual ability to correctly recognize the confusion of Law and Gospel means that one is. It’s OK to point out the theological shortcomings in his statements but more helpful would be to go on and discuss what, if any, effect such lackluster theology would have on his ability to be president.

  • S Bauer

    Yes, the quote above sets him smack dab in the middle of what passes for much of Christianity in this country. This lack of understanding and confusion in expressing the content of the faith does not mean Mr. Obama is not a member of the Body of Christ, any more than the intellectual ability to correctly recognize the confusion of Law and Gospel means that one is. It’s OK to point out the theological shortcomings in his statements but more helpful would be to go on and discuss what, if any, effect such lackluster theology would have on his ability to be president.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Sarah, Obama was born to a Muslim father and an American mother–I don’t know his mom’s religion. He attended a moderate (not Al Qaida) madrassa when living overseas at one time.

    And now at an Afro-Centric Unitarian church calling itself “Trinity,” spouting off nearly born-again rhetoric but with a touch of universalism.

    If your head is spinning at all of this, take heart. So is mine.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Sarah, Obama was born to a Muslim father and an American mother–I don’t know his mom’s religion. He attended a moderate (not Al Qaida) madrassa when living overseas at one time.

    And now at an Afro-Centric Unitarian church calling itself “Trinity,” spouting off nearly born-again rhetoric but with a touch of universalism.

    If your head is spinning at all of this, take heart. So is mine.

  • RoJoLee

    I wouldn’t scrutinize Obama’s comment for theological accuracy. The most important conclusion to draw from this statement is that he clearly is NOT Muslim, as had been rumored.

  • RoJoLee

    I wouldn’t scrutinize Obama’s comment for theological accuracy. The most important conclusion to draw from this statement is that he clearly is NOT Muslim, as had been rumored.

  • CRB

    Ok, forget about what Obama says for now and please just consider the question since it concerns eternity and where one will end up. Anyone want to answer?
    If God were to ask a person on the Last Day, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” and he said, (as many do today in the Evangelical world) “Because I decided to follow You,” or, “I gave my life to Jesus” where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?

  • CRB

    Ok, forget about what Obama says for now and please just consider the question since it concerns eternity and where one will end up. Anyone want to answer?
    If God were to ask a person on the Last Day, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” and he said, (as many do today in the Evangelical world) “Because I decided to follow You,” or, “I gave my life to Jesus” where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    CRB asks if anyone wants to answer : “where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?”

    It is not possible for me to answer that question. Only God knows the answer. I can choose to judge remarks people make (and hopefully not sin in doing so), but I refuse to make judgment on their faith. I can have my guesses and opinions, but what good are those compared to God’s knowledge of the outcome of the faith He has planted?

    As a parent, I would worry and be in prayer if my child proclaimed that s/he was “saved” because s/he decided to follow Jesus. I think there is a great danger (ie. loss of faith) in believing that ages-old lie that you can somehow contribute to your own salvation.

    One fact is that Obama has heard God’s Word proclaimed in his lifetime; I have great confidence in God’s ability to draw people to Himself through His Word. I don’t believe that someone has to be completely aligned with every area of scripture, beyond faith in Christ as Savior, to be saved. And, as others have mentioned, the book has not been completed on Obama’s entirety of faith. We are just dealing with soundbites. Oy! Who could ever be prepared for 24/7 scrutiny of every aspect of one’s life? I’ll never run for ANY major office.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    CRB asks if anyone wants to answer : “where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?”

    It is not possible for me to answer that question. Only God knows the answer. I can choose to judge remarks people make (and hopefully not sin in doing so), but I refuse to make judgment on their faith. I can have my guesses and opinions, but what good are those compared to God’s knowledge of the outcome of the faith He has planted?

    As a parent, I would worry and be in prayer if my child proclaimed that s/he was “saved” because s/he decided to follow Jesus. I think there is a great danger (ie. loss of faith) in believing that ages-old lie that you can somehow contribute to your own salvation.

    One fact is that Obama has heard God’s Word proclaimed in his lifetime; I have great confidence in God’s ability to draw people to Himself through His Word. I don’t believe that someone has to be completely aligned with every area of scripture, beyond faith in Christ as Savior, to be saved. And, as others have mentioned, the book has not been completed on Obama’s entirety of faith. We are just dealing with soundbites. Oy! Who could ever be prepared for 24/7 scrutiny of every aspect of one’s life? I’ll never run for ANY major office.

  • David Thompson

    Whether or not Obama understands the theology behind the confession of faith he makes, I don’t know. But what is revealing and typical of liberals is this statement of his: “But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful.” This reveals the tendency of liberals to trust the State to carry out those responsibilities God has generally given to the estates of the Family and the Church. That is, loving one’s neighbor should not normally be assigned to the State. Government has the job to protect citizens, to reward good, and to hinder and punish evil. The Church and I have the responsibility to love my neighbor and to provide for him when I can and should.

  • David Thompson

    Whether or not Obama understands the theology behind the confession of faith he makes, I don’t know. But what is revealing and typical of liberals is this statement of his: “But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful.” This reveals the tendency of liberals to trust the State to carry out those responsibilities God has generally given to the estates of the Family and the Church. That is, loving one’s neighbor should not normally be assigned to the State. Government has the job to protect citizens, to reward good, and to hinder and punish evil. The Church and I have the responsibility to love my neighbor and to provide for him when I can and should.

  • CRB

    Yes, that’s true, only God knows the answer. But are we
    not obligated to teach a person who is in error about the
    only way of salvation? Certainly, if someone declares his/her assurance of salvation based upon their “decision to follow Jesus” or “giving Jesus my heart” we are to gently teach them that they are wrong
    and then give them the Scriptural answer, right?

  • CRB

    Yes, that’s true, only God knows the answer. But are we
    not obligated to teach a person who is in error about the
    only way of salvation? Certainly, if someone declares his/her assurance of salvation based upon their “decision to follow Jesus” or “giving Jesus my heart” we are to gently teach them that they are wrong
    and then give them the Scriptural answer, right?

  • organshoes

    So we’re to judge him by your sound bite, then, fw, and not this one?
    He says lots of important things in that speech about progressives and conservatives listening to one another and respecting one another, and that’s great. But he also identifies himself as a social justice sort of Christian (who is, granted, still a Christian).
    So, that being the case, I don’t see any difference between the two bites–they’re both the common sayings of progressive, social-justice oriented Christians, and both pretty vacuous theologically.
    He certainly seems like a nice, polite, gentle man, but who is no groundbreaker politically, and way lacking in the stuff of presidents.

  • organshoes

    So we’re to judge him by your sound bite, then, fw, and not this one?
    He says lots of important things in that speech about progressives and conservatives listening to one another and respecting one another, and that’s great. But he also identifies himself as a social justice sort of Christian (who is, granted, still a Christian).
    So, that being the case, I don’t see any difference between the two bites–they’re both the common sayings of progressive, social-justice oriented Christians, and both pretty vacuous theologically.
    He certainly seems like a nice, polite, gentle man, but who is no groundbreaker politically, and way lacking in the stuff of presidents.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Friends, the allegation that Obama is a Muslim IS an urban legend. See the investigation on Snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp

    If he WERE or HAD BEEN a Muslim, this confession of faith in Christ would constitute apostasy and would result in a sentence of death.

    So please, whatever we think of him, let’s help correct this violation of the commandment against False Witness against our Neighbor.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Friends, the allegation that Obama is a Muslim IS an urban legend. See the investigation on Snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp

    If he WERE or HAD BEEN a Muslim, this confession of faith in Christ would constitute apostasy and would result in a sentence of death.

    So please, whatever we think of him, let’s help correct this violation of the commandment against False Witness against our Neighbor.

  • B.Wink

    My question is this, how can one call oneself a “devout Christian” and still be prochoice?

  • B.Wink

    My question is this, how can one call oneself a “devout Christian” and still be prochoice?

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    David (Pastor?) brings up a good point: “This reveals the tendency of liberals to trust the State to carry out those responsibilities God has generally given to the estates of the Family and the Church. That is, loving one’s neighbor should not normally be assigned to the State. Government has the job to protect citizens, to reward good, and to hinder and punish evil. The Church and I have the responsibility to love my neighbor and to provide for him when I can and should.”

    One of my pet peeves (and a deal-breaker) is candidates who describe themselves as ready to fight for me, fight the big bad (drug, insurance, etc) companies, fight for the little guy, fight for the middle classes, etc. I don’t want government or politicians to take care of me. I do want a government that will fight for my right to take care of myself and not hinder my family to take care of me (and my neighbor). I do like the idea of a system that helps take care of the few who truly do not have anyone to help them. I realize that most Democrats will argue that people DON’T take care of their neighbors and that’s why we need them to fight for the little guy.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    David (Pastor?) brings up a good point: “This reveals the tendency of liberals to trust the State to carry out those responsibilities God has generally given to the estates of the Family and the Church. That is, loving one’s neighbor should not normally be assigned to the State. Government has the job to protect citizens, to reward good, and to hinder and punish evil. The Church and I have the responsibility to love my neighbor and to provide for him when I can and should.”

    One of my pet peeves (and a deal-breaker) is candidates who describe themselves as ready to fight for me, fight the big bad (drug, insurance, etc) companies, fight for the little guy, fight for the middle classes, etc. I don’t want government or politicians to take care of me. I do want a government that will fight for my right to take care of myself and not hinder my family to take care of me (and my neighbor). I do like the idea of a system that helps take care of the few who truly do not have anyone to help them. I realize that most Democrats will argue that people DON’T take care of their neighbors and that’s why we need them to fight for the little guy.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    One of things about Obama and his church is that it seems that they are involved in what was called “liberation theology”, (back in the 80s, when certain Christian groups in Central America thought it wise to mix Marxism with Christianity). This became pretty clear from an interview with Obama’s pastor on Hannity and Colmes, which can be found on YOUTUBE. The pastor, over and over again, runs Hannity down because he is not familiar with these liberation theologians. Too bad Hannity wasn’t, it might have made for an interesting segment.

    To judge a person’s faith on a sound-bite etc is not wise. However, for those of us who respect CFW Walther’s understanding of the Church, he states that if you wanted to understand someone’s faith, you need to judge them by the confession of the church they belong to. In fact, in The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, he states that if the pastor of a church is not orthodox, and nothing is being done, then neither can one hold that the layfolk are orthodox.

    Obama’s pastor/church seem to be quite a far piece from orthodoxy, but that is not unusual for the UCC.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    One of things about Obama and his church is that it seems that they are involved in what was called “liberation theology”, (back in the 80s, when certain Christian groups in Central America thought it wise to mix Marxism with Christianity). This became pretty clear from an interview with Obama’s pastor on Hannity and Colmes, which can be found on YOUTUBE. The pastor, over and over again, runs Hannity down because he is not familiar with these liberation theologians. Too bad Hannity wasn’t, it might have made for an interesting segment.

    To judge a person’s faith on a sound-bite etc is not wise. However, for those of us who respect CFW Walther’s understanding of the Church, he states that if you wanted to understand someone’s faith, you need to judge them by the confession of the church they belong to. In fact, in The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, he states that if the pastor of a church is not orthodox, and nothing is being done, then neither can one hold that the layfolk are orthodox.

    Obama’s pastor/church seem to be quite a far piece from orthodoxy, but that is not unusual for the UCC.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Bike Bubba (@12), it is NOT true that Obama “attended a moderate (not Al Qaida) madrassa when living overseas at one time.” In fact, it is almost certainly a smear designed to malign him. This falsehood was spread/repeated by Insight magazine and Fox News. (Draw your own conclusions about conservative media, accuracy, and bias vis-a-vis mainstream media.) The school he attended in Jakarta was a public school, and never was a madrassa. It is difficult to Google these topics and not discover the truth.

    David Thompson (@16), I don’t know how you read Obama’s quote, “I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful” and conclude that “This reveals the tendency of liberals to trust the State to carry out those responsibilities God has generally given to the estates of the Family and the Church.” He said nothing about the state in what you quoted — are you relying on another source that you didn’t indicate? I mean, I have a hard time believing any Christian could disagree with that quote. Should we not care about the hungry, sick, poor, or powerless?

    Theresa K. (@21), you said, “One of my pet peeves (and a deal-breaker) is candidates who describe themselves as ready to … fight for the little guy,” but then went on to say, “I do like the idea of a system that helps take care of the few who truly do not have anyone to help them.” How do you reconcile those sentences? Regardless, perhaps you are not the “little guy” that politicians vow to “fight for”?

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Bike Bubba (@12), it is NOT true that Obama “attended a moderate (not Al Qaida) madrassa when living overseas at one time.” In fact, it is almost certainly a smear designed to malign him. This falsehood was spread/repeated by Insight magazine and Fox News. (Draw your own conclusions about conservative media, accuracy, and bias vis-a-vis mainstream media.) The school he attended in Jakarta was a public school, and never was a madrassa. It is difficult to Google these topics and not discover the truth.

    David Thompson (@16), I don’t know how you read Obama’s quote, “I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful” and conclude that “This reveals the tendency of liberals to trust the State to carry out those responsibilities God has generally given to the estates of the Family and the Church.” He said nothing about the state in what you quoted — are you relying on another source that you didn’t indicate? I mean, I have a hard time believing any Christian could disagree with that quote. Should we not care about the hungry, sick, poor, or powerless?

    Theresa K. (@21), you said, “One of my pet peeves (and a deal-breaker) is candidates who describe themselves as ready to … fight for the little guy,” but then went on to say, “I do like the idea of a system that helps take care of the few who truly do not have anyone to help them.” How do you reconcile those sentences? Regardless, perhaps you are not the “little guy” that politicians vow to “fight for”?

  • allen

    “where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?”

    Perhaps when a soul arrives in heaven, Jesus immediately shows him the palms of His hands – in order to forestall any foolishness about who accepted whom.

  • allen

    “where do you think such a person would end up, heaven or hell?”

    Perhaps when a soul arrives in heaven, Jesus immediately shows him the palms of His hands – in order to forestall any foolishness about who accepted whom.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    Todd,

    I’m not sure why you don’t think the two are not reconcilable. I don’t think that liberal politicians are just speaking of incomes. I think liberals think the majority of the population is not capable of thinking for themselves and making “wise” decisions. For example, as I type Al Franken is telling me that he will fight for me. He didn’t add that he will only fight for some; he said ME. Do you think he didn’t mean it? Should I email him and ask? ;)

    “the few” was meant to refer to those who are truly not capable and are without family (such as significantly disabled, mentally ill, gravely ill, permanently injured, etc).

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com Theresa K.

    Todd,

    I’m not sure why you don’t think the two are not reconcilable. I don’t think that liberal politicians are just speaking of incomes. I think liberals think the majority of the population is not capable of thinking for themselves and making “wise” decisions. For example, as I type Al Franken is telling me that he will fight for me. He didn’t add that he will only fight for some; he said ME. Do you think he didn’t mean it? Should I email him and ask? ;)

    “the few” was meant to refer to those who are truly not capable and are without family (such as significantly disabled, mentally ill, gravely ill, permanently injured, etc).

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    CRB,

    The question, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” is not a question that God would ever ask. And we should not even contemplate the possibility that He would.

    The only correct answer to the question is, “You shouldn’t” and thus the question must lead to despair.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    CRB,

    The question, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” is not a question that God would ever ask. And we should not even contemplate the possibility that He would.

    The only correct answer to the question is, “You shouldn’t” and thus the question must lead to despair.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    The fact that Obama says “most importantly” in this quotation above, in light of what his church teaches, according to his pastor, gives an indication of what is *important*. For the liberation theologian, the focus tended to worldly troubles, class conflict, liberating the poor from poverty etc. Christianity was essentially used as a means for social justice. Rome complained about this quite a lot and the Wikipedia entry on this stuff reflects this.

    In any case, it is important to keep in mind that when you are theologically predisposed to marxist ideas, as evidenced by mixing them into your theology, this will color your ability to govern.

    Someone said earlier, that in one of his speeches he held to something of a Lutheran understanding of faith and politics. Well, his church does not. They inject political ideology (some of the worst kind) into their theology.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    The fact that Obama says “most importantly” in this quotation above, in light of what his church teaches, according to his pastor, gives an indication of what is *important*. For the liberation theologian, the focus tended to worldly troubles, class conflict, liberating the poor from poverty etc. Christianity was essentially used as a means for social justice. Rome complained about this quite a lot and the Wikipedia entry on this stuff reflects this.

    In any case, it is important to keep in mind that when you are theologically predisposed to marxist ideas, as evidenced by mixing them into your theology, this will color your ability to govern.

    Someone said earlier, that in one of his speeches he held to something of a Lutheran understanding of faith and politics. Well, his church does not. They inject political ideology (some of the worst kind) into their theology.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    pr lehman,

    I agree that the question is a poorly construed idea from a variety of evangelism programs, but the reality is it does not lead to despair…we confess Christ and Christ alone. The church in heaven, as recorded in Revelation, over and over again, sings the praise of the one who was pierced for our transgressions.

    Luther, when speaking in such fanciful ways, eg personifying the law, talks in this way, ie, that God *should*, *must*, will receive us into heaven because of Christ. Luther would stand the promise against the accusations of the law.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    pr lehman,

    I agree that the question is a poorly construed idea from a variety of evangelism programs, but the reality is it does not lead to despair…we confess Christ and Christ alone. The church in heaven, as recorded in Revelation, over and over again, sings the praise of the one who was pierced for our transgressions.

    Luther, when speaking in such fanciful ways, eg personifying the law, talks in this way, ie, that God *should*, *must*, will receive us into heaven because of Christ. Luther would stand the promise against the accusations of the law.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    Here is the link to the pastor’s interview…listen to the beginning, especially to the pastor’s discussion of Liberation Theology, Jim Cone and Dwight Hopkins…etc.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers

    Here is the link to the pastor’s interview…listen to the beginning, especially to the pastor’s discussion of Liberation Theology, Jim Cone and Dwight Hopkins…etc.

  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers
  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers
  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers
  • http://stpaulbluepoint.org dspeers
  • CRB

    Pr Lehmann,
    Yes, I agree that God would never ask that question and
    also agree with dspeers posted re: Luther, etc. The reason I mentioned this is because my son is going with
    a Baptist girl who believes in “decision theology”. My wife and I also know some folks who buy into this. Again, I repeat what I said above, that we who have the truth about conversion are, out of love, obligated
    to teach a person who is in error about the
    only way of salvation. Certainly, if someone declares his/her assurance of salvation based upon their
    “decision to follow Jesus” or “giving Jesus my heart” we are to gently teach them that they are wrong and then give them the Scriptural answer.

  • CRB

    Pr Lehmann,
    Yes, I agree that God would never ask that question and
    also agree with dspeers posted re: Luther, etc. The reason I mentioned this is because my son is going with
    a Baptist girl who believes in “decision theology”. My wife and I also know some folks who buy into this. Again, I repeat what I said above, that we who have the truth about conversion are, out of love, obligated
    to teach a person who is in error about the
    only way of salvation. Certainly, if someone declares his/her assurance of salvation based upon their
    “decision to follow Jesus” or “giving Jesus my heart” we are to gently teach them that they are wrong and then give them the Scriptural answer.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    Perhaps this is just a sound bite, but it’s a sound bite to Christianity Today — perhaps the only media outlet in Obama’s entire campaign that would let him fully speak his mind about faith and Christianity and not flich at the theological stuff. And the best he can come up with, in this environment, amounts to “Yeah, that ‘Christ’s atoning death’ stuff was good and all, but what’s MOST IMPORTANT is feeding the hungry” ? Color me unimpressed.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    Perhaps this is just a sound bite, but it’s a sound bite to Christianity Today — perhaps the only media outlet in Obama’s entire campaign that would let him fully speak his mind about faith and Christianity and not flich at the theological stuff. And the best he can come up with, in this environment, amounts to “Yeah, that ‘Christ’s atoning death’ stuff was good and all, but what’s MOST IMPORTANT is feeding the hungry” ? Color me unimpressed.

  • Eric

    Are the details of a candidates theology the be all, end all to determine his qualification? We are choseing the Commander-in-Chief not Pastor-in-Chief.

    Could a man (or woman) be a devout and orthodox Christian and still be a Tyrant? Yes.

  • Eric

    Are the details of a candidates theology the be all, end all to determine his qualification? We are choseing the Commander-in-Chief not Pastor-in-Chief.

    Could a man (or woman) be a devout and orthodox Christian and still be a Tyrant? Yes.

  • organshoes

    I don’t think anyone’s making that connection, Eric, between theology and fitness for office.
    You are most certainly correct. A person can be Christian and be anything–a tyrant or scoundrel, or a hero or a coward.
    But some of us are extrapolating, from Sen Obama’s ‘confession’ above, that his idea of faith calls the state into action on issues some of us wish the state would steer clear of. (In fairness, George Bush has behaved similarly.)
    It’s not his theology perse, but its inspiration. And he’s hardly the only candidate so inclined.

  • organshoes

    I don’t think anyone’s making that connection, Eric, between theology and fitness for office.
    You are most certainly correct. A person can be Christian and be anything–a tyrant or scoundrel, or a hero or a coward.
    But some of us are extrapolating, from Sen Obama’s ‘confession’ above, that his idea of faith calls the state into action on issues some of us wish the state would steer clear of. (In fairness, George Bush has behaved similarly.)
    It’s not his theology perse, but its inspiration. And he’s hardly the only candidate so inclined.

  • David Thompson

    tODD (#23)
    You are right that Obama did not mention that the State or government is the one to care for the hungry, sick, poor, etc. But he does say as much almost every time he speaks on the role of government. It’s not a matter of whether Obama or someone like me values caring for the poor, etc. Of course we should and hopefully do care. Christians should be in the forefront of clothing, feeding, visiting that Christ describes in Matt. 25. But the question that is being raised here is this: to whom has God given the responsibility of feeding the hungry, etc.? The government or someone else? One of the things that makes liberals liberal is this – they believe the government/state is to perform this work of compassion and charity. I disagree for biblical and practical reasons. Am I or any other conservative Christians therefore opposed to caring for others? Of course not. The Bible has called upon the individual, the Family, and the Church to carry the weight of compassion for the less fortunate. This is practice that our culture had in the past and to a large degree has now lost. The result is that the government is looked upon to be all things to all people – it has grown enormously. The result is also that the individual, the Family, and the Church have become diminished in their importance and roles.

  • David Thompson

    tODD (#23)
    You are right that Obama did not mention that the State or government is the one to care for the hungry, sick, poor, etc. But he does say as much almost every time he speaks on the role of government. It’s not a matter of whether Obama or someone like me values caring for the poor, etc. Of course we should and hopefully do care. Christians should be in the forefront of clothing, feeding, visiting that Christ describes in Matt. 25. But the question that is being raised here is this: to whom has God given the responsibility of feeding the hungry, etc.? The government or someone else? One of the things that makes liberals liberal is this – they believe the government/state is to perform this work of compassion and charity. I disagree for biblical and practical reasons. Am I or any other conservative Christians therefore opposed to caring for others? Of course not. The Bible has called upon the individual, the Family, and the Church to carry the weight of compassion for the less fortunate. This is practice that our culture had in the past and to a large degree has now lost. The result is that the government is looked upon to be all things to all people – it has grown enormously. The result is also that the individual, the Family, and the Church have become diminished in their importance and roles.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    Pr. Speers and CRB,

    I certainly enjoy and embrace the comfort of the Gospel daily, but I stand by the fact that the question as posed must lead to despair.

    God shouldn’t let us into his heaven, and so the answer “You shouldn’t” is the answer. And if we dwell on that reality, despair is the result.

    That’s why I rejoice that no question will be asked.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Lehmann

    Pr. Speers and CRB,

    I certainly enjoy and embrace the comfort of the Gospel daily, but I stand by the fact that the question as posed must lead to despair.

    God shouldn’t let us into his heaven, and so the answer “You shouldn’t” is the answer. And if we dwell on that reality, despair is the result.

    That’s why I rejoice that no question will be asked.

  • http://searchwarp.com/swa251576.htm Jesus Christ

    I’m in search of this data regarding this interview of Obama with Christianity today I’m very glad to get this interview review from your blog, thanks for this.

  • http://searchwarp.com/swa251576.htm Jesus Christ

    I’m in search of this data regarding this interview of Obama with Christianity today I’m very glad to get this interview review from your blog, thanks for this.


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