Why Paleo-Evangelicals are leery of Republicans

Thomas Kidd coins a useful new world–paleo evangelicals–and says why this brand of conservative Christians do not identify with the Republican party:

The paleo evangelicals are not liberal in any sense. They come from diverse backgrounds and perspectives: some are deeply conversant with the ancient history of the church, and with the Reformation; some are sympathetic to Roman Catholic social doctrines and traditions (if not all Catholic theology and ecclesiology); some are deeply conscious of the church’s mission outside of America; some gravitate toward outlets such as The American Conservative or the Front Porch Republic, publications and blogs focused on the conservative themes of local culture, limited government, and ordered liberty.

These paleo evangelicals keep the Republican party at arm’s length for three main reasons:

First is a deep suspicion of American civil religion. Civil religion seems to be a particularly prominent tenet of evangelical Republicans. But as this summer’s controversy over David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies illustrated, there are many evangelicals who have reservations about the blending of American national history with their faith. Last week’s post at the Anxious Bench by Miles Mullin represents yet another example of a young, conservative evangelical who believes that Barton and other Republican activists have conflated American history too closely with evangelical theology and conservative politics.

Our faith needs to be focused on Christ, the paleos say, and rooted in the deep, wide tradition of orthodox church history. We do not base our faith, in any sense, on the personal beliefs of Jefferson, Washington, or Adams. Especially when viewed from the perspective of the global church, American civil religion looks peculiar, at best. Yes, Christianity played a major role in the American founding, but that fact does not place the founding at the center of Christianity. The paleos admire many of the founders, but do not wish to read the founders alongside Scripture, as Barton would have us do in his new Founders’ Bible.

A second reason they are reluctant Republicans is that the paleo evangelicals do not place much hope in any political party doing that much good in this world. Big political promises of hope and change typically come to naught, whatever party is making them. Although some might agree that churches and pastors have the constitutional right to endorse particular candidates, paleos think doing so mistakenly implies that, as a church, we put our trust in that candidate or party to advance the Kingdom of God.

A third reason that paleo evangelicals may only tepidly support the Republicans is because of problems with certain Republican positions. Among those is a reluctance to keep getting involved with new overseas conflicts, such as what happened in Iraq. Paleos may wonder whether a President Romney would draw us into a precipitous war with Iran. War really should be a last resort, the paleos argue. Another problematic issue is immigration. Though these evangelicals undoubtedly support tough border security, they understand that the illegal immigrants among us are largely here to stay, and they should dealt with as charitably as possible. Churches should always be welcoming to the stranger, and the paleos — including some non-Anglo evangelicals among them — hesitate to endorse policies that seem angrily anti-immigrant.

But on some of the most compelling issues, the Republican Party still seems like the best option for many paleos. [Daniel McCarthy writes about similar electoral choices facing traditionalist conservatives, at The American Conservative.] Are Republicans really committed to doing anything about abortion? Maybe not, but at least they’re likely to nominate judges who are open to allowing states to protect unborn children. Likewise with preserving the historic meaning of family and marriage, and honoring religious liberty: many Republicans may just pay these issues lip service, but at least they’re not fundamentally opposed to the traditional evangelical positions on marriage, religious freedom, and the unborn, as some Democrats seem to be.

via Paleo Evangelicals as Reluctant Republicans.

Does this describe you?

“Paleo” means “old,” as opposed to “neo,” which means “new.”  There are “neoconservatives” and “paleoconservatives.”  The word “neoevangelical” is already being used, referring to evangelicals who are trying to be new and up to date.  But there is a semantic space that needs to be filled for evangelicals who are trying to be classical and archaic.  Thus, “paleoevangelicals.”  (Whether those morphemes should be run together or hyphenated or kept as two words, as Dr. Kidd has them, will be sorted out with further usage.)  Can we speak of “neo-Lutherans”–ones that love contemporary worship styles–and “paleo-Lutherans”?  Those who resisted the Prussian state church and immigrated to America, among other countries, and who would later form the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod were called “Old Lutherans,” so “paleo-Lutheran would fit.

So are you paleo or neo?

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.

  • Pete

    Über-paleo.

  • Pete

    Über-paleo.

  • SKPeterson

    Yes, this is pretty close. Paleo Evangelical Catholic.

  • SKPeterson

    Yes, this is pretty close. Paleo Evangelical Catholic.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Pretty close to who I am. Not so radical as to be non-political, but too many people confuse Republican with evangelical, and that’s not always the case. Of course, choosing between a pseudo evangelical party vs. choosing between an almost outright pagan party isn’t an easy thing to do.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Pretty close to who I am. Not so radical as to be non-political, but too many people confuse Republican with evangelical, and that’s not always the case. Of course, choosing between a pseudo evangelical party vs. choosing between an almost outright pagan party isn’t an easy thing to do.

  • Michael B.

    There are some conservatives who will welcome an Obama reelection, as it has a big silver lining: It will drive home the idea that America is figuratively (or literally) going to hell. That takes a way a sense of complacency among its adheritants, and is really helpful to their smaller organization. Consider the case of a Liberty University or Patrick Henry College. It’s mission is to provide a Christian education among a university system gone to hell. But if there is the impression that the University of Virginia’s values are just fine, what exactly does Liberty University bring to the table? With a liberal government leader, it will drive home the impression that government and even secular institutions are following in its path. I would be really curious to know if application numbers go up in these institutions during a Democratic presidency.

  • Michael B.

    There are some conservatives who will welcome an Obama reelection, as it has a big silver lining: It will drive home the idea that America is figuratively (or literally) going to hell. That takes a way a sense of complacency among its adheritants, and is really helpful to their smaller organization. Consider the case of a Liberty University or Patrick Henry College. It’s mission is to provide a Christian education among a university system gone to hell. But if there is the impression that the University of Virginia’s values are just fine, what exactly does Liberty University bring to the table? With a liberal government leader, it will drive home the impression that government and even secular institutions are following in its path. I would be really curious to know if application numbers go up in these institutions during a Democratic presidency.

  • Erik

    I resent the term ‘Neo-Lutheran’ being applied to those who practice what you refer to as ‘contemporary’ style worship. While we make use of the talents and abilities of the musicians and vocalists whom God has placed in our congregation in a ‘praise song’ format and I very rarely vest for services, we remain a liturgical congregation. The music we choose is every bit as rich and theologically correct as the hymns of our LCMS (some of which share the same problems as many of the modern ‘praise songs’).

    I have a deep, deep love and respect for the Lutheran traditions, and would in all ways consider myself Lutheran – period. I know this is partly in jest, but do we really need more labels dividing us within the Church?

  • Erik

    I resent the term ‘Neo-Lutheran’ being applied to those who practice what you refer to as ‘contemporary’ style worship. While we make use of the talents and abilities of the musicians and vocalists whom God has placed in our congregation in a ‘praise song’ format and I very rarely vest for services, we remain a liturgical congregation. The music we choose is every bit as rich and theologically correct as the hymns of our LCMS (some of which share the same problems as many of the modern ‘praise songs’).

    I have a deep, deep love and respect for the Lutheran traditions, and would in all ways consider myself Lutheran – period. I know this is partly in jest, but do we really need more labels dividing us within the Church?

  • trotk

    J. Dean -

    So don’t choose either of them. It is easy, and you will feel truly free when you acknowledge that your heart has always been third party.

  • trotk

    J. Dean -

    So don’t choose either of them. It is easy, and you will feel truly free when you acknowledge that your heart has always been third party.

  • Dan Kempin

    “Can we speak of “neo-Lutherans”–ones that love contemporary worship styles–and “paleo-Lutherans”?

    It is interesting that you would classify lutherans based on musical style rather than doctrine or political issues. I see what you mean in that contemporary music is “neo,” while the hymnal is in a style that is “paleo,” (though much of the content of the hymnal is “neo”–especially the liturgies.)

    Music, though, seems such a tepid distinction to make when a distinction could be made on doctrine. There are many congregations in the ELCA that practice traditional worship, for instance. Would they be “paleo” or “neo?” Likewise, a “high church” perspective of the liturgy is by no means a guarantee of lutheran influence. Become too “paleo” on liturgy and you quite overshoot lutheranism.

  • Dan Kempin

    “Can we speak of “neo-Lutherans”–ones that love contemporary worship styles–and “paleo-Lutherans”?

    It is interesting that you would classify lutherans based on musical style rather than doctrine or political issues. I see what you mean in that contemporary music is “neo,” while the hymnal is in a style that is “paleo,” (though much of the content of the hymnal is “neo”–especially the liturgies.)

    Music, though, seems such a tepid distinction to make when a distinction could be made on doctrine. There are many congregations in the ELCA that practice traditional worship, for instance. Would they be “paleo” or “neo?” Likewise, a “high church” perspective of the liturgy is by no means a guarantee of lutheran influence. Become too “paleo” on liturgy and you quite overshoot lutheranism.

  • Joe

    I’ve always considered orthodox Lutherans paleo-Christian. Isn’t that the whole point of the reformation?

  • Joe

    I’ve always considered orthodox Lutherans paleo-Christian. Isn’t that the whole point of the reformation?

  • Darren A. Jones

    This term and description describe me almost to a T. Thanks for the link!

  • Darren A. Jones

    This term and description describe me almost to a T. Thanks for the link!

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

    I’m pretty paleo-evangelical, and I’m also a pretty partisan Republican.

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

    I’m pretty paleo-evangelical, and I’m also a pretty partisan Republican.

  • Jim

    @Erik (5) and Dan (7),

    I don’t see where Dr. Veith equated “contemporary worship styles” with music at all. I think there is much more to it than that, including the removal of parts of the liturgy (some omit confession and absolution, some omit of change creeds), a move away from the lectionary and from Law-Gospel preaching in favor of what is seen as more relevant and topical sermon series on such things as sex, and even a change in liturgical architecture from a focus on pulpit and altar to a more stage-type atmosphere.

    Do all who use “praise songs” make those other changes? Certainly not, and apparently Erik does not. But the conversation needs to be bigger than just music, I think.

  • Jim

    @Erik (5) and Dan (7),

    I don’t see where Dr. Veith equated “contemporary worship styles” with music at all. I think there is much more to it than that, including the removal of parts of the liturgy (some omit confession and absolution, some omit of change creeds), a move away from the lectionary and from Law-Gospel preaching in favor of what is seen as more relevant and topical sermon series on such things as sex, and even a change in liturgical architecture from a focus on pulpit and altar to a more stage-type atmosphere.

    Do all who use “praise songs” make those other changes? Certainly not, and apparently Erik does not. But the conversation needs to be bigger than just music, I think.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    trotk @ 6,
    Oh, believe me, I’ll be leaning libertarian on several levels this November, but even then I realize that libertarianism is not perfect (although it is far more desirable to either of the other two parties).

    But the point is that, just like the liberal side (theologically, economically, and socially) of the political spectrum and it’s “government is the savior” creed, the conservative side is doing the same thing, even if it’s for a different end. Both sides as wholes are putting their faith in politics and politicians. And while we as Christians are not to completely shirk political duties, neither are we to look upon it as our salvation in any sense of the word.

    A man who trusts in a politician to save the world has a fool for a hero.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    trotk @ 6,
    Oh, believe me, I’ll be leaning libertarian on several levels this November, but even then I realize that libertarianism is not perfect (although it is far more desirable to either of the other two parties).

    But the point is that, just like the liberal side (theologically, economically, and socially) of the political spectrum and it’s “government is the savior” creed, the conservative side is doing the same thing, even if it’s for a different end. Both sides as wholes are putting their faith in politics and politicians. And while we as Christians are not to completely shirk political duties, neither are we to look upon it as our salvation in any sense of the word.

    A man who trusts in a politician to save the world has a fool for a hero.

  • Steve Billingsley

    This describes me pretty well. My attitude towards the Republican Party can best be described by paraphrasing what Winston Churchill said about representative democracy (“it was the worst form of government ever tried by humanity, except every other kind”)

    I think the Republican Party is the worst political party imaginable for the U.S., except the Democratic Party.

  • Steve Billingsley

    This describes me pretty well. My attitude towards the Republican Party can best be described by paraphrasing what Winston Churchill said about representative democracy (“it was the worst form of government ever tried by humanity, except every other kind”)

    I think the Republican Party is the worst political party imaginable for the U.S., except the Democratic Party.

  • Jeff

    Describes me fairly well.

  • Jeff

    Describes me fairly well.

  • http://www.wordoflifelbc.org Ed

    Today I discovered that I am a Neo-Lutheran/Paleo-Evangelical/Neo-maxi-zumdweebie

  • http://www.wordoflifelbc.org Ed

    Today I discovered that I am a Neo-Lutheran/Paleo-Evangelical/Neo-maxi-zumdweebie

  • P.C.

    Well said and I concur with Erik @ (5) and Dan @ (7).

  • P.C.

    Well said and I concur with Erik @ (5) and Dan @ (7).

  • http://Www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “if it’s neo, it’s not true; if it’s true, it’s not neo.”

  • http://Www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “if it’s neo, it’s not true; if it’s true, it’s not neo.”

  • fjsteve

    Yes, I’m a paleo-evangelical. A Center-Right, libertarian-leaning, reluctantly-Republican, Reformed, paleo-evangelical Christian who leans toward a belief in (or perhaps just a yearning for) universal salvation in Jesus Christ.

    Is that specifically vague, or vaguely specific enough?

  • fjsteve

    Yes, I’m a paleo-evangelical. A Center-Right, libertarian-leaning, reluctantly-Republican, Reformed, paleo-evangelical Christian who leans toward a belief in (or perhaps just a yearning for) universal salvation in Jesus Christ.

    Is that specifically vague, or vaguely specific enough?

  • Dan Kempin

    jim, #11,

    So you are saying that it IS about theology, rather than music. Good. We agree on that.

    Still, you do realize that your blanket statement sweeps up a lot of people who do not belong in your assessment. It’s a very serious matter to tell a lutheran pastor that he has forsaken the scripture readings and law and gospel preaching. Those pastors (Like Erik, apparently), who strive to be theologically faithful with any elements of the liturgy take rightful umbrage to the accusation that they are theological evangelical just because they had a drum set or a guitar in their church.

    But just for the sake of argument, what is particularly “lutheran ” about the use of a lectionary series or the inclusion of confession and absolution in the worship service? Are those distinctive of lutheran theology, and if so, how? (I’ll give you a hint: It used to be lutheran practice to have corporate confession and absolution in a separate service rather than in the order of holy commuion.)

  • Dan Kempin

    jim, #11,

    So you are saying that it IS about theology, rather than music. Good. We agree on that.

    Still, you do realize that your blanket statement sweeps up a lot of people who do not belong in your assessment. It’s a very serious matter to tell a lutheran pastor that he has forsaken the scripture readings and law and gospel preaching. Those pastors (Like Erik, apparently), who strive to be theologically faithful with any elements of the liturgy take rightful umbrage to the accusation that they are theological evangelical just because they had a drum set or a guitar in their church.

    But just for the sake of argument, what is particularly “lutheran ” about the use of a lectionary series or the inclusion of confession and absolution in the worship service? Are those distinctive of lutheran theology, and if so, how? (I’ll give you a hint: It used to be lutheran practice to have corporate confession and absolution in a separate service rather than in the order of holy commuion.)

  • Trey

    I’m paleo and a supporter of pro-life, pro-family politicians. Since they are almost extinct in the Democratic Party I cast my vote for the GOP candidates .

    I dislike “praise music” because it generally is about what I need to do for God or how I feel about Him and not about what God has done for us in Christ and how He feels about us. The former is me focused the other is God focused on us. Basic subjective vs objective.

  • Trey

    I’m paleo and a supporter of pro-life, pro-family politicians. Since they are almost extinct in the Democratic Party I cast my vote for the GOP candidates .

    I dislike “praise music” because it generally is about what I need to do for God or how I feel about Him and not about what God has done for us in Christ and how He feels about us. The former is me focused the other is God focused on us. Basic subjective vs objective.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Is paleo the new prefix that replaces reactionary?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Is paleo the new prefix that replaces reactionary?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay, progressives gave us the 18th Amendment prohibiting the transport and sale of alcohol. So, if progressives were for prohibition, who was for repealing it? Reactionaries, right? That is folks who looked at the results and were dissatisfied and believed in the political process to retreat from a stupid idea despite the fact that it was at some point popular enough to be ratified as an amendment to the constitution.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay, progressives gave us the 18th Amendment prohibiting the transport and sale of alcohol. So, if progressives were for prohibition, who was for repealing it? Reactionaries, right? That is folks who looked at the results and were dissatisfied and believed in the political process to retreat from a stupid idea despite the fact that it was at some point popular enough to be ratified as an amendment to the constitution.

  • Grace

    “Thomas Kidd coins a useful new world–paleo evangelicals–and says why this brand of conservative Christians do not identify with the Republican party:”

    I find the so called “new term” – “Paleo” Evangelicals simplistic. A not so clever way of gaining attention. It’s been used often,( “Paleo”) even by David Strackany noted for his so called , folk tangents. He wrote one every day for a year from April 2006 until April 2007.

    definition paleo
    1. Ancient; prehistoric; old: paleobotany.
    2. Early; primitive: Paleozoic.

    No one fits into all the categories mentioned, it’s a dumpster for any and all ‘TITLES one wishes to ascribe, to any group.

  • Grace

    “Thomas Kidd coins a useful new world–paleo evangelicals–and says why this brand of conservative Christians do not identify with the Republican party:”

    I find the so called “new term” – “Paleo” Evangelicals simplistic. A not so clever way of gaining attention. It’s been used often,( “Paleo”) even by David Strackany noted for his so called , folk tangents. He wrote one every day for a year from April 2006 until April 2007.

    definition paleo
    1. Ancient; prehistoric; old: paleobotany.
    2. Early; primitive: Paleozoic.

    No one fits into all the categories mentioned, it’s a dumpster for any and all ‘TITLES one wishes to ascribe, to any group.

  • Jason

    Oh yeah. That’s me.

    I’m voting for Wendell Berry or some other Agrarian on election day.

    It will be a useless vote, but at least I won’t feel dirty about it.

    And I love the American Conservative. National Review is just basically puff, ad hominem, polemical writing for the Republican campaign base.

  • Jason

    Oh yeah. That’s me.

    I’m voting for Wendell Berry or some other Agrarian on election day.

    It will be a useless vote, but at least I won’t feel dirty about it.

    And I love the American Conservative. National Review is just basically puff, ad hominem, polemical writing for the Republican campaign base.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    When President Obama wants to go back to the tax rates that we had under Clinton, he isn’t being paleo. He is being reactionary, right?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    When President Obama wants to go back to the tax rates that we had under Clinton, he isn’t being paleo. He is being reactionary, right?

  • Jason

    And FWIW, I loathe libertarianism. As a Calvinist, I cannot get on board with it.

    I like to think I’m in the Russell Kirk / Edmund Burke kind of tradition.

    I guess I’m a traditionalist.

  • Jason

    And FWIW, I loathe libertarianism. As a Calvinist, I cannot get on board with it.

    I like to think I’m in the Russell Kirk / Edmund Burke kind of tradition.

    I guess I’m a traditionalist.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace makes a good point @ 23: There is a proliferation of pigeonholes, which smacks more of a marketing exercise than anything else. Eventually, it becomes rather useless…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace makes a good point @ 23: There is a proliferation of pigeonholes, which smacks more of a marketing exercise than anything else. Eventually, it becomes rather useless…

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Quibbling about pigeonholing aside, I did find myself largely agreeing with the description, especially as regards keeping the Republican party (or, honestly, any political party) “at arm’s length”.

    As usual, Dan Kempin makes some fair points, though I’m not sure that musical style and theology are as orthogonal as he might hope.

    As one example, I find myself increasingly suspicious of any hymn that gets played in our church — even though it’s in our hymnal — with lyrics written in the 1800′s or later. In addition to usually being paired with music from the same time period — which I find is often cloying or hokey — said hymns all too often seem to reflect theology that isn’t clearly Lutheran. Oh sure, they can be given a Lutheran reading, which is why I suppose they’re in the hymnal (as well as their usually having attained some level of hymn fame among Christians, so we really try hard to include them?). But a less eisegetic approach usually leaves me wonder why Lutherans would sing many of those hymns.

    And while it’s certainly true that many theologically liberal congregations have a worship service that is quite conservative in style, still I have to wonder: can anyone think of a “contemporary” Lutheran church that also makes a big deal about the Confessions?

    Personally, I’ve never heard of such a thing. Do you think it’s a coincidence?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Quibbling about pigeonholing aside, I did find myself largely agreeing with the description, especially as regards keeping the Republican party (or, honestly, any political party) “at arm’s length”.

    As usual, Dan Kempin makes some fair points, though I’m not sure that musical style and theology are as orthogonal as he might hope.

    As one example, I find myself increasingly suspicious of any hymn that gets played in our church — even though it’s in our hymnal — with lyrics written in the 1800′s or later. In addition to usually being paired with music from the same time period — which I find is often cloying or hokey — said hymns all too often seem to reflect theology that isn’t clearly Lutheran. Oh sure, they can be given a Lutheran reading, which is why I suppose they’re in the hymnal (as well as their usually having attained some level of hymn fame among Christians, so we really try hard to include them?). But a less eisegetic approach usually leaves me wonder why Lutherans would sing many of those hymns.

    And while it’s certainly true that many theologically liberal congregations have a worship service that is quite conservative in style, still I have to wonder: can anyone think of a “contemporary” Lutheran church that also makes a big deal about the Confessions?

    Personally, I’ve never heard of such a thing. Do you think it’s a coincidence?

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @ 28 – You’ve hit on something there; the paucity of Lutheran hymns from the 19th Century on unless you’re a really big fan of “loud boiling test tubes.” How Great Thou Art is a favorite, and I do like Lift High the Cross, but not too many others.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @ 28 – You’ve hit on something there; the paucity of Lutheran hymns from the 19th Century on unless you’re a really big fan of “loud boiling test tubes.” How Great Thou Art is a favorite, and I do like Lift High the Cross, but not too many others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    I see a failure to distinguish the two kingdoms on all sides here. Tea-vangelicals. Paleo-Evangelicals. Republican Catholics. Democrat Baptists. Libertarian Lutherans. All of this is mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    I see a failure to distinguish the two kingdoms on all sides here. Tea-vangelicals. Paleo-Evangelicals. Republican Catholics. Democrat Baptists. Libertarian Lutherans. All of this is mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    In this country, we the people ARE the governing authorities. When you vote, your duty is to decide what is the best thing you can do with your ballot for your neighbor. Everything else is selfishness, pride, and ego.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    In this country, we the people ARE the governing authorities. When you vote, your duty is to decide what is the best thing you can do with your ballot for your neighbor. Everything else is selfishness, pride, and ego.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    L.L. (@30) said, “All of this is mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed.” Pardon? What, exactly, is being mixed that shouldn’t?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    L.L. (@30) said, “All of this is mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed.” Pardon? What, exactly, is being mixed that shouldn’t?

  • Grace

    L. L. @31 YOU WROTE: “When you vote, your duty is to decide what is the best thing you can do with your ballot for your neighbor. Everything else is selfishness, pride, “

    My neighbor doesn’t have anything to do with how I vote. I vote according to my beliefs, based on the Word of God -

  • Grace

    L. L. @31 YOU WROTE: “When you vote, your duty is to decide what is the best thing you can do with your ballot for your neighbor. Everything else is selfishness, pride, “

    My neighbor doesn’t have anything to do with how I vote. I vote according to my beliefs, based on the Word of God -

  • Grace

    L. L. @ 30

    It appears you are have mixed your altruistic ideas in a malt of confusion – it makes no sense!

  • Grace

    L. L. @ 30

    It appears you are have mixed your altruistic ideas in a malt of confusion – it makes no sense!

  • BW

    LL @ 30,

    But what if I don’t think that voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is the best thing I can do with my ballot

  • BW

    LL @ 30,

    But what if I don’t think that voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is the best thing I can do with my ballot

  • JR

    Oh, so THAT’s what I am! Thanks :)

  • JR

    Oh, so THAT’s what I am! Thanks :)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    The post is not intending to raise issues in the worship wars. It is playing with the “paleo-” /”neo” distinction. What’s wrong with being called a neo-Lutheran? This label affirms that someone is Lutheran. That would require adherence to Lutheran doctrines as articulated in the Confessions. Otherwise the person would have to be a neo- something else. “Paleo” implies adherence to the “old ways.” So how would you describe Lutherans who prefer TLH p. 15 or the LSB equivalent as compared to Lutherans who want new music, new worship styles, etc.? These are real distinctions and we need names for them.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    The post is not intending to raise issues in the worship wars. It is playing with the “paleo-” /”neo” distinction. What’s wrong with being called a neo-Lutheran? This label affirms that someone is Lutheran. That would require adherence to Lutheran doctrines as articulated in the Confessions. Otherwise the person would have to be a neo- something else. “Paleo” implies adherence to the “old ways.” So how would you describe Lutherans who prefer TLH p. 15 or the LSB equivalent as compared to Lutherans who want new music, new worship styles, etc.? These are real distinctions and we need names for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    The post ends by mixing the conflict between neo-conservative politics vs. paleo conservative politics and contemporary worship vs. traditional worship. And then asks the reader to choose between being neo or paleo. Politically, I reject both labels. I’m just a conservative. I don’t need hyphens and modifiers.
    A few years ago it “crunchy-conservatives”. Then “libertarian-conservatives”. Now “paleo-conservatives”. And everyone who isn’t identified with whatever trendy label the current sophisticated and intellectually and morally superior conservatives have chosen is deemed a “neo-conservative”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    The post ends by mixing the conflict between neo-conservative politics vs. paleo conservative politics and contemporary worship vs. traditional worship. And then asks the reader to choose between being neo or paleo. Politically, I reject both labels. I’m just a conservative. I don’t need hyphens and modifiers.
    A few years ago it “crunchy-conservatives”. Then “libertarian-conservatives”. Now “paleo-conservatives”. And everyone who isn’t identified with whatever trendy label the current sophisticated and intellectually and morally superior conservatives have chosen is deemed a “neo-conservative”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    This is why people are in denominations they don’t really agree with. This is why Christians shuffle from one church and one confession to the next. People’s personal political and cultural preferences are confused with the truth of Christianity. What if someone values traditional worship but thinks much tougher immigration laws are needed and likes identifying as a Republican and thinks the social teachings of the Roman Catholic church are goofy? Does that person not belong in the LCMS because he or she is not paleo enough?

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    This is why people are in denominations they don’t really agree with. This is why Christians shuffle from one church and one confession to the next. People’s personal political and cultural preferences are confused with the truth of Christianity. What if someone values traditional worship but thinks much tougher immigration laws are needed and likes identifying as a Republican and thinks the social teachings of the Roman Catholic church are goofy? Does that person not belong in the LCMS because he or she is not paleo enough?

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    There is nothing wrong with paleo-cons or crunchy-cons or neo-cons or anyone else having whatever political beliefs they want (with only a few exceptions). And there is nothing wrong with discussing how their religious beliefs and lifestyle preferences and cultural proclivities influence their politics. But confusing all of that with what it means to be a Confessional Lutheran is doing exactly the same thing these folks claim to be upset about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    There is nothing wrong with paleo-cons or crunchy-cons or neo-cons or anyone else having whatever political beliefs they want (with only a few exceptions). And there is nothing wrong with discussing how their religious beliefs and lifestyle preferences and cultural proclivities influence their politics. But confusing all of that with what it means to be a Confessional Lutheran is doing exactly the same thing these folks claim to be upset about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    Grace’s response to my comments says it all:

    “My neighbor doesn’t have anything to do with how I vote. I vote according to my beliefs, based on the Word of God”

    I repeat, failure to distinguish the two kingdoms on all sides here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    Grace’s response to my comments says it all:

    “My neighbor doesn’t have anything to do with how I vote. I vote according to my beliefs, based on the Word of God”

    I repeat, failure to distinguish the two kingdoms on all sides here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    @Gene Veith

    In response to you questions about what labels should be used to distinguish different kinds of Lutherans, I would STRONGLY suggest you pick labels that are not associated with political beliefs and movements.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    @Gene Veith

    In response to you questions about what labels should be used to distinguish different kinds of Lutherans, I would STRONGLY suggest you pick labels that are not associated with political beliefs and movements.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    In the days of Walther, the LCMS stayed neutral in the U.S. Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression as many paleo-cons would call it) and allowed members to choose whether to fight for either side or neither side. The LCMS used to understand the difference between the left and right hand kingdom. If I favor that, does that make me super-paleo? No. That would be just another pompous label confusing politics and religion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llbrown4 L. L. Brown

    In the days of Walther, the LCMS stayed neutral in the U.S. Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression as many paleo-cons would call it) and allowed members to choose whether to fight for either side or neither side. The LCMS used to understand the difference between the left and right hand kingdom. If I favor that, does that make me super-paleo? No. That would be just another pompous label confusing politics and religion.

  • reg

    Grace @ 34,
    As Homer Simpson might say “mmmmmmm, malt of confusion, mmmmmmmm”

  • reg

    Grace @ 34,
    As Homer Simpson might say “mmmmmmm, malt of confusion, mmmmmmmm”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@33):

    My neighbor doesn’t have anything to do with how I vote. I vote according to my beliefs, based on the Word of God

    A refreshingly frank assessment of the problem of legalism.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@33):

    My neighbor doesn’t have anything to do with how I vote. I vote according to my beliefs, based on the Word of God

    A refreshingly frank assessment of the problem of legalism.

  • Grace

    reg @44

    Some people love to confuse, and confuse themselves as well?

  • Grace

    reg @44

    Some people love to confuse, and confuse themselves as well?

  • Grace

    tODD @ 45 “A refreshingly frank assessment of the problem of legalism.”

    “Legalism” – a word which is used, especially by you and a few others to define anything you cannot understand.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 45 “A refreshingly frank assessment of the problem of legalism.”

    “Legalism” – a word which is used, especially by you and a few others to define anything you cannot understand.

  • cattail

    Dr.Veith’s post describes me almost exactly. For at least the past 20 years, the phrase I’ve used most for both parties has been Shakespeare’s “A plague on both your houses!” for those very same reasons.

    However, I dislike the term “paleo” and I consider myself an “confessional evangelical Lutheran,” not an “Evangelical” in the modern sense. I’m not fond of labels!

    Another issue in which I disagree with Republicans and Libertarians is their attitude on public land and conservation. I’d like to see a middle ground between keeping everyone else (even hikers and backpackers) out to preserve an endangered bug (Democrats) and the opposite view of either cut it all down or privatize it (Republicans) or sell it all off (Libertarians). And while I agree with cutting expenses, letting a whole bunch of expensive infrastructure such as roads, trails and buildings be abandoned and go to waste (seemingly all major parties are, in effect, promoting that) is, IMHO, not the way to do it!

  • cattail

    Dr.Veith’s post describes me almost exactly. For at least the past 20 years, the phrase I’ve used most for both parties has been Shakespeare’s “A plague on both your houses!” for those very same reasons.

    However, I dislike the term “paleo” and I consider myself an “confessional evangelical Lutheran,” not an “Evangelical” in the modern sense. I’m not fond of labels!

    Another issue in which I disagree with Republicans and Libertarians is their attitude on public land and conservation. I’d like to see a middle ground between keeping everyone else (even hikers and backpackers) out to preserve an endangered bug (Democrats) and the opposite view of either cut it all down or privatize it (Republicans) or sell it all off (Libertarians). And while I agree with cutting expenses, letting a whole bunch of expensive infrastructure such as roads, trails and buildings be abandoned and go to waste (seemingly all major parties are, in effect, promoting that) is, IMHO, not the way to do it!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith (@37) said:

    What’s wrong with being called a neo-Lutheran? This label affirms that someone is Lutheran.

    Hardly. Does anyone seriously believe that the label “neoconservative” likewise affirms that someone is conservative — by which I mean meaningfully conservative, according to what the word actually means, or used to mean?

    That would require adherence to Lutheran doctrines as articulated in the Confessions.

    Actually, belief that Lutheranism is defined by adherence to the Confessions marks you (and me) as fairly old-school Lutherans. Obviously, many self-labeled Lutherans do not subscribe to such a notion, at least not in full.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith (@37) said:

    What’s wrong with being called a neo-Lutheran? This label affirms that someone is Lutheran.

    Hardly. Does anyone seriously believe that the label “neoconservative” likewise affirms that someone is conservative — by which I mean meaningfully conservative, according to what the word actually means, or used to mean?

    That would require adherence to Lutheran doctrines as articulated in the Confessions.

    Actually, belief that Lutheranism is defined by adherence to the Confessions marks you (and me) as fairly old-school Lutherans. Obviously, many self-labeled Lutherans do not subscribe to such a notion, at least not in full.

  • DLiebelt

    It doesn’t really matter what label you put on it: neo, paleo, contemporary, traditional. The fact is, as someone new to the Lutheran Confessions in the last 12 months, before reading your post today, I wondered if I was the only one out here that was seeing this tension with the Republican Party. What a relief to know I’m not crazy for seeing many of my protestant -fundamentalist Moral Majority views fall by the wayside.

    It’s not like this was a conscious decision either. I believe it simply happened by finally seeing the world through the unadulterated glasses of the Gospel. (By the way, Dr. Veith, your book, The Spirituality of the Cross, has been a great help in this process.)

  • DLiebelt

    It doesn’t really matter what label you put on it: neo, paleo, contemporary, traditional. The fact is, as someone new to the Lutheran Confessions in the last 12 months, before reading your post today, I wondered if I was the only one out here that was seeing this tension with the Republican Party. What a relief to know I’m not crazy for seeing many of my protestant -fundamentalist Moral Majority views fall by the wayside.

    It’s not like this was a conscious decision either. I believe it simply happened by finally seeing the world through the unadulterated glasses of the Gospel. (By the way, Dr. Veith, your book, The Spirituality of the Cross, has been a great help in this process.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Dr. Veith, #37,

    I didn’t intend to devolve to “worship wars,’ so sorry. I meant, initially, that I think a preference on worship style is not a particularly helpful distinction. People prefer p.15 (as I do) for different reasons, from nostalgia to personality and running all the way to a belief that a particular liturgy embodies theology in a way that nothing else does. It’s like the time I started a “singles” ministry, and then came to realize that being single does not necessarily mean that the group is cohesive. People are single for a lot of different reasons.

    I would suggest, for instance, that “neo” lutherans (if the term “lutheran” is to retain its force) would apply to many contributors to this blog–those who maintaing the foundation of lutheranism, and yet seek to engage the culture meaningfully. “Paleo” would be those, of whatever liturgical stripe, who would retreat from the cultural grapple to the security of established ground. I don’t mean either description critically, and I am assuming that both are truly lutheran, but each represents a different mindset.

  • Dan Kempin

    Dr. Veith, #37,

    I didn’t intend to devolve to “worship wars,’ so sorry. I meant, initially, that I think a preference on worship style is not a particularly helpful distinction. People prefer p.15 (as I do) for different reasons, from nostalgia to personality and running all the way to a belief that a particular liturgy embodies theology in a way that nothing else does. It’s like the time I started a “singles” ministry, and then came to realize that being single does not necessarily mean that the group is cohesive. People are single for a lot of different reasons.

    I would suggest, for instance, that “neo” lutherans (if the term “lutheran” is to retain its force) would apply to many contributors to this blog–those who maintaing the foundation of lutheranism, and yet seek to engage the culture meaningfully. “Paleo” would be those, of whatever liturgical stripe, who would retreat from the cultural grapple to the security of established ground. I don’t mean either description critically, and I am assuming that both are truly lutheran, but each represents a different mindset.

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #28,

    “can anyone think of a “contemporary” Lutheran church that also makes a big deal about the Confessions?”

    Well, there is MY church. One of our weekly services is led in a contemporary musical style, but my partner and I work very hard to teach and act in a way that is consistent with the lutheran confessions. We actually read and study and teach them.

    But then, perhaps you will say that we are not truly a “contemporary” church because we are not on the leading edge and it is not a key part of our identity. That would be true.

    By the way, I was amused by your comment about newer hymns in the hymnal. My partner and I provide a quite rigorous evaluation of new contemporary music that could be used for worship. Since then we have noticed and chuckled about the fact that a number of hymns in our hymnal would not have “passed” the doctrinal review we apply to new songs.

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #28,

    “can anyone think of a “contemporary” Lutheran church that also makes a big deal about the Confessions?”

    Well, there is MY church. One of our weekly services is led in a contemporary musical style, but my partner and I work very hard to teach and act in a way that is consistent with the lutheran confessions. We actually read and study and teach them.

    But then, perhaps you will say that we are not truly a “contemporary” church because we are not on the leading edge and it is not a key part of our identity. That would be true.

    By the way, I was amused by your comment about newer hymns in the hymnal. My partner and I provide a quite rigorous evaluation of new contemporary music that could be used for worship. Since then we have noticed and chuckled about the fact that a number of hymns in our hymnal would not have “passed” the doctrinal review we apply to new songs.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I don’t understand the resistance to labels. It’s just language, which depends upon distinction, an application of God’s gift to man of “naming.” Labels need to be accurate, of course. But haven’t you noticed that there are different kinds of conservatives, liberals, evangelicals, Lutherans, and other such big categories? What’s wrong with attaching names to the different varieties? If you don’t like “neo-” and “paleo-”, what would you call the different groups referenced here?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I don’t understand the resistance to labels. It’s just language, which depends upon distinction, an application of God’s gift to man of “naming.” Labels need to be accurate, of course. But haven’t you noticed that there are different kinds of conservatives, liberals, evangelicals, Lutherans, and other such big categories? What’s wrong with attaching names to the different varieties? If you don’t like “neo-” and “paleo-”, what would you call the different groups referenced here?

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith, “I don’t understand the resistance to labels.”

    Did our LORD Jesus use many labels – either an individual is a Believer or they are not.

    How many people who are Lutherans hate the idea of Christians identifying themselves as Born Again Christians?

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith, “I don’t understand the resistance to labels.”

    Did our LORD Jesus use many labels – either an individual is a Believer or they are not.

    How many people who are Lutherans hate the idea of Christians identifying themselves as Born Again Christians?

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Hands down. Cannot not live without the Nunc Dimittus after the Lord’s Supper.
    “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace
    According to Thy word,
    For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation:
    Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people…”

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Hands down. Cannot not live without the Nunc Dimittus after the Lord’s Supper.
    “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace
    According to Thy word,
    For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation:
    Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people…”

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Cannot live without reciting the Creed in worship.

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Cannot live without reciting the Creed in worship.

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Cannot live without Confession and Absolution.

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Cannot live without Confession and Absolution.

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Cannot live without continuity with the Church of ages and places.

    Paleo. Period.

  • Hanzel

    Paleo. Cannot live without continuity with the Church of ages and places.

    Paleo. Period.

  • Andy

    I very much identify with the ‘paleoevangelical’ being described and would probably consider myself paleo-Lutheran. However, I would not link worship style and the like to the paleo or neo Lutheran distinction. If a particular worship style goes with the paleo-Lutheran label than I guess I am just Lutheran.

  • Andy

    I very much identify with the ‘paleoevangelical’ being described and would probably consider myself paleo-Lutheran. However, I would not link worship style and the like to the paleo or neo Lutheran distinction. If a particular worship style goes with the paleo-Lutheran label than I guess I am just Lutheran.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Regarding the neighbour thing: The confusion is that most people here are reading it as how does my vote, ie the policies I want ‘my guy’ to implement, affect my neighbour? Is it objectively for his/her good?

    Grace thinks in terms of her neighbour’s voting choices.

    Two different things.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Regarding the neighbour thing: The confusion is that most people here are reading it as how does my vote, ie the policies I want ‘my guy’ to implement, affect my neighbour? Is it objectively for his/her good?

    Grace thinks in terms of her neighbour’s voting choices.

    Two different things.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, that way of thinking can easily be corrupted too. Loving your neighbour would mean pursuing political goals that are for the greater, objective, sustainable good of everybody. And most political ideologies / economic theories promise that anyway. So, unless it is an obvious self-serving choice (pork-barrel politics), we are back at square one.

    If you really want to serve your neighbour by your vote, it would imply that you actually seriously study economic models, environmental science, sociology, criminology etc etc. But since that sounds like too much trouble, most people just revert back to their own tribal allegiences. And that includes evangelicals, neo, paleo, post or whatever.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, that way of thinking can easily be corrupted too. Loving your neighbour would mean pursuing political goals that are for the greater, objective, sustainable good of everybody. And most political ideologies / economic theories promise that anyway. So, unless it is an obvious self-serving choice (pork-barrel politics), we are back at square one.

    If you really want to serve your neighbour by your vote, it would imply that you actually seriously study economic models, environmental science, sociology, criminology etc etc. But since that sounds like too much trouble, most people just revert back to their own tribal allegiences. And that includes evangelicals, neo, paleo, post or whatever.

  • john

    So, crunchy-con without the crunchy. That’s me.

  • john

    So, crunchy-con without the crunchy. That’s me.

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  • Joy Rubenking

    I will reluctantly align myself with the Republican party this November because Mitt Romney’s own health care plan was very similar to Obama’s plan and in my mind then means that he does not understand the Founders’ notion of limited government. I will reluctantly vote for Mitt Romney because he has not seemed consistent on his social views. I am more impressed with his running mate, but even if Romney is elected, Paul Ryan will not be the President. Paul Ryan seems to at least have somewhat of a plan to reign in the tremendous deficit. I will vote for Romney, but only because I dislike Obama’s policies so much more. None of us this side of heaven will ever vote for a perfect candidate (just as we ourselves will not be perfect this side of heaven), but we must weigh all the issues and do the best we can when we vote in November.

  • Joy Rubenking

    I will reluctantly align myself with the Republican party this November because Mitt Romney’s own health care plan was very similar to Obama’s plan and in my mind then means that he does not understand the Founders’ notion of limited government. I will reluctantly vote for Mitt Romney because he has not seemed consistent on his social views. I am more impressed with his running mate, but even if Romney is elected, Paul Ryan will not be the President. Paul Ryan seems to at least have somewhat of a plan to reign in the tremendous deficit. I will vote for Romney, but only because I dislike Obama’s policies so much more. None of us this side of heaven will ever vote for a perfect candidate (just as we ourselves will not be perfect this side of heaven), but we must weigh all the issues and do the best we can when we vote in November.

  • http://strangeherring.com Anthony Sacramone

    Paleo-Lutheran who would bring back Luther’s German Mass. http://luthersliturgicalreforms.wordpress.com/
    I have even fought to have the Paleo Diet served during coffee hour.

  • http://strangeherring.com Anthony Sacramone

    Paleo-Lutheran who would bring back Luther’s German Mass. http://luthersliturgicalreforms.wordpress.com/
    I have even fought to have the Paleo Diet served during coffee hour.

  • Dan Kempin

    Anthony, #64,

    Didn’t you know that those services aren’t lutheran because they don’t have confession and absolution in them?

  • Dan Kempin

    Anthony, #64,

    Didn’t you know that those services aren’t lutheran because they don’t have confession and absolution in them?

  • Hanzel

    It is interesting to note the responses after G.Veith (37) introduced the word ‘label.’ What’s wrong with labels? Seems there is an abhorrent tendency latent in American society to ‘labels.’ Perhaps this is a ‘pre-Evanglical’ America’s scarlet letter influence?? Labels are beneficial. Can you imagine walking the canned goods aisle of you local supermarket and discovering nothing is labeled? The ‘evangelicalization’ American Christianity is leading down that aisle.

  • Hanzel

    It is interesting to note the responses after G.Veith (37) introduced the word ‘label.’ What’s wrong with labels? Seems there is an abhorrent tendency latent in American society to ‘labels.’ Perhaps this is a ‘pre-Evanglical’ America’s scarlet letter influence?? Labels are beneficial. Can you imagine walking the canned goods aisle of you local supermarket and discovering nothing is labeled? The ‘evangelicalization’ American Christianity is leading down that aisle.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Hanzel @ 66: Supermarket evangelicalism. Hammer, meet nail.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Hanzel @ 66: Supermarket evangelicalism. Hammer, meet nail.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @66 Why didn’t Luther like the name “Lutheran”?

    People don’t like pejorative labels. Generally it is easier to vilify a group once you find an objectionable individual who is either a member or self identifies as a member. That puts people on the defensive. Also, some labels are just plain inaccurate. So, of course the first step of adversaries is to establish a labels and then start attributing all manner of evils to it. Think of the label “liberal”. That should be a good label which is why people who are tyrannical are keen to self identify as liberal even as they proscribe normal behaviors.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @66 Why didn’t Luther like the name “Lutheran”?

    People don’t like pejorative labels. Generally it is easier to vilify a group once you find an objectionable individual who is either a member or self identifies as a member. That puts people on the defensive. Also, some labels are just plain inaccurate. So, of course the first step of adversaries is to establish a labels and then start attributing all manner of evils to it. Think of the label “liberal”. That should be a good label which is why people who are tyrannical are keen to self identify as liberal even as they proscribe normal behaviors.

  • http://Thesouthtexaslutheran@blogspot.com Rev Allan Eckert

    Paleo-conservative. Paleo-Lutheran.

  • http://Thesouthtexaslutheran@blogspot.com Rev Allan Eckert

    Paleo-conservative. Paleo-Lutheran.

  • Larry

    Labels are useful. The problem is that the concepts underneath them often move until the original “label” doesn’t mean the same thing. And so new descriptions have to be added to clarify, this is often hated because those who don’t like labels or similarly to be pinned down to say what the mean and mean what they say like to hide this way in a game of words.

    Generally the reason most don’t like labels is that it pins them down to say what they mean or mean what they say. So they either “hate labels” or they “slip and slide like greasy eels” to avoid being conceptually pinned down as to what a label means. Either way they are playing deception with malleable words point blank.

    E.g. concepts are doctrines and vice versa, and we label them. But then something is added to or taken away or even inverted about the concept under the label that alters it entirely. If new words are not given to refute the new words meant to convey another concept (or doctrine) and sometimes a relabeling, the new false words infiltrate and leave a new concept or doctrine contrary to the original concept.

    In fact the ONLY reason to not label a thing or to be unclear about its sine quo non is to in fact be deceptive, there is no other reason for it. For if one means the same thing, one can use the same language. Examples abound from “real presence” to “Christian” to even the term “atheist”. But even those who deceptively preach against labels in order to evade, in fact do not avoid as they become their own label, “the I hate labels” label.

    There’s something to be said about having a clear cut atheist in front of you who labels himself clearly in opposition to you as this, as opposed to the greater deception of the doctrinal/conceptual “iffy Christian”. The later flies under a false flag of falsehood, while the former flies under a true flag of falsehood

    Or as Patton is said to have put it, “Better to have the German army in front of you, than the French army behind you.” Most today labeled, “Christian” or secular are pretty much the French army behind you.

    The Paleo-evangelicals refreshingly draw a clear label and line in the sand, much preferred to the fuzzy fog of most.

  • Larry

    Labels are useful. The problem is that the concepts underneath them often move until the original “label” doesn’t mean the same thing. And so new descriptions have to be added to clarify, this is often hated because those who don’t like labels or similarly to be pinned down to say what the mean and mean what they say like to hide this way in a game of words.

    Generally the reason most don’t like labels is that it pins them down to say what they mean or mean what they say. So they either “hate labels” or they “slip and slide like greasy eels” to avoid being conceptually pinned down as to what a label means. Either way they are playing deception with malleable words point blank.

    E.g. concepts are doctrines and vice versa, and we label them. But then something is added to or taken away or even inverted about the concept under the label that alters it entirely. If new words are not given to refute the new words meant to convey another concept (or doctrine) and sometimes a relabeling, the new false words infiltrate and leave a new concept or doctrine contrary to the original concept.

    In fact the ONLY reason to not label a thing or to be unclear about its sine quo non is to in fact be deceptive, there is no other reason for it. For if one means the same thing, one can use the same language. Examples abound from “real presence” to “Christian” to even the term “atheist”. But even those who deceptively preach against labels in order to evade, in fact do not avoid as they become their own label, “the I hate labels” label.

    There’s something to be said about having a clear cut atheist in front of you who labels himself clearly in opposition to you as this, as opposed to the greater deception of the doctrinal/conceptual “iffy Christian”. The later flies under a false flag of falsehood, while the former flies under a true flag of falsehood

    Or as Patton is said to have put it, “Better to have the German army in front of you, than the French army behind you.” Most today labeled, “Christian” or secular are pretty much the French army behind you.

    The Paleo-evangelicals refreshingly draw a clear label and line in the sand, much preferred to the fuzzy fog of most.

  • http://strangeherring.com Anthony Sacramone

    Dan @ #65

    I brought it up with Luther but cannot repeat verbatim his response, as this is a family blog.

  • http://strangeherring.com Anthony Sacramone

    Dan @ #65

    I brought it up with Luther but cannot repeat verbatim his response, as this is a family blog.

  • Dan Kempin

    Anthony,

    I chuckle at every one of your comments. First the paleo diet, now this. Thanks.

  • Dan Kempin

    Anthony,

    I chuckle at every one of your comments. First the paleo diet, now this. Thanks.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Yes, “paleo-conservative” is much preferred than to simply being labelled a “libertarian” (as if libertarian thought was all the same without conservative, moderate, liberal strains.)

  • JunkerGeorg

    Yes, “paleo-conservative” is much preferred than to simply being labelled a “libertarian” (as if libertarian thought was all the same without conservative, moderate, liberal strains.)

  • rebecca w

    Hello. I read this blog regularly. I am a little late responding to this one but there are some things I noticed in your converesation that I wondered about…

    Could Paleo evangelical and Neo evangelical beliefs OVERLAP? How do their beliefs play out in political leanings? (I guess Thomas Kidd was trying to answer that for Paleo evangelicals.)

    –>I looked up “NEO-EVANGELICAL” for fun & found two references.

    The term “Neo-evangelicals” appears to have been coined by Christiantiy Today’s founder Carl Henry in the 1950′s as a counter to fundamentalism.

    BUT then, I found another recent article that speaks of Neo-evangelicals in this era .. (Would they then be “NEO-NEOS”?? ;-)

    http://frankviola.org/2012/02/13/evangelicalism5/

    –> A few days after I read this post, I received this in my inbox..

    Tim Keller is What Carl Henry Had in Mind

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2012/10/23/tim-keller-is-what-carl-henry-had-in-mind/

    Sooooo it appears that neo-evangelicals have been around awhile

    PS: Someone mentioned that Progressives were responsible for PROHIBITION but from what I have read, Fundamentalist Christians kinda started the whole deal. As the clamor for Prohibition increased, the Progressives and Fundamentalists “partnered” to get the amendment passed.

    Highly recommended on the subject:

    “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” by Daniel Okrent

    The “PROHIBITION” DVDs are based on Daniel Okrent’s book “Last Call”. Well done series about a fascinating period in American history.

  • rebecca w

    Hello. I read this blog regularly. I am a little late responding to this one but there are some things I noticed in your converesation that I wondered about…

    Could Paleo evangelical and Neo evangelical beliefs OVERLAP? How do their beliefs play out in political leanings? (I guess Thomas Kidd was trying to answer that for Paleo evangelicals.)

    –>I looked up “NEO-EVANGELICAL” for fun & found two references.

    The term “Neo-evangelicals” appears to have been coined by Christiantiy Today’s founder Carl Henry in the 1950′s as a counter to fundamentalism.

    BUT then, I found another recent article that speaks of Neo-evangelicals in this era .. (Would they then be “NEO-NEOS”?? ;-)

    http://frankviola.org/2012/02/13/evangelicalism5/

    –> A few days after I read this post, I received this in my inbox..

    Tim Keller is What Carl Henry Had in Mind

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2012/10/23/tim-keller-is-what-carl-henry-had-in-mind/

    Sooooo it appears that neo-evangelicals have been around awhile

    PS: Someone mentioned that Progressives were responsible for PROHIBITION but from what I have read, Fundamentalist Christians kinda started the whole deal. As the clamor for Prohibition increased, the Progressives and Fundamentalists “partnered” to get the amendment passed.

    Highly recommended on the subject:

    “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” by Daniel Okrent

    The “PROHIBITION” DVDs are based on Daniel Okrent’s book “Last Call”. Well done series about a fascinating period in American history.

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