Religion Prof: The Blog of James F. McGrath
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
Patheos is hosting a symposium on progressive Christianity. I’ll let you know when my contribution to it appears, but in the mean time, here is the link to the main page of the symposium so far.
Without reading in depth, my first response is that ‘Progressive Christianity” has a certain bias politically. Politics is where our lives speak about our beliefs, as actions speak louder than words.
Beliefs matter as they reveal what we really think about ourselves, our family, community and nation. So, really, I believe one’s political views determine everything about one’s values and how one chooses to live.
When the progressive says that “Jeus is the ultimate moral model”, are such progressives selling their own bias, to influence others, or determining the political arena for another’s life? Is liberty of values important to affirm in a free society, when there are differences of belief priorities of value and commitment to those values?
Christianity within a modern liberal State like America’s should never be politcized, because it causes factions to grow more defensive and resistant. And faction was not what brought about our “Revolution”, but a commitment to liberty and letting people define how that liberty is to be “used” for their own lives.
I disagree. At least for me, it has been the other way around entirely – my faith has radically changed my political views. I grew up in a conservative-voting family in a blue ribbon conservative heartland electorate, but as my faith deepened and I spent more time looking at what the Bible says, I have changed my political views because I cannot see how the conservative agenda on so many things aligns with the biblical positions on justice.
I agree that Christianity shouldn’t be politicised, if by that you mean that the church says that Christians should vote for party X, but in modern liberal states I think that being Christian and living a christian lifestyle means that you have to be heard and counted when politicians try to take the country to places that are antithetical to the biblical witness.
Judy, using the “bible” is the problem! The Bible can be useful for any agenda….”social justice” does not conform to indivdiual rights, as social justice is “group” identification and “group think”. And such justice is a “means” of “some elite’s agenda to “sell” their agenda under the guise of Christianity or faith. Such thinking can lead to special interests which undermine our nation’s affimation of liberty. Conformity, under the guise of “group think”, is conditioning, and indoctrination of “faith”, which cannot be built except through a politicized “Church” or “elite”, who “discipline” those into “disciples”, followers, slave, or such. It is cultish thinking
Individual rights on the other hand, is dependent on “self chosen values”.
Values drive one’s personal goals, which cannot be defined by others, without others imposing their goals upon the individual…
Progressive Christians: http://possil.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/progressive-christians/
The conclusion of the post you linked to led me to repost something I wrote a while back
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