Archives For Christian Culture
Somebody asked me recently whether Osteen and Hinn were big in the UK. My answer was simple: no, not at all, nothing like they are here in the USA. Why is that? came the follow-up, to which I replied: They simply wouldn’t work in the UK because the idiom is all wrong; the British do not respond to religious language in the way many Americans do; thus, we have psychobabble self-help gurus, not prosperity preachers. Of course, both preach the same message: prosperity through realizing your own inner potential; but while the British equivalent is obviously secular, the American version has a veneer of orthodox religiosity.
- Carl Trueman, Republocrat, 27
Most of us have come across those evangelicals who, in reaction to the Religious Right, like to parade the fact they they vote Democratic in a kind of schoolboyish “Aren’t I naughty?” kind of way. It’s often an empty gesture, a kind of theological vegetarianism; vegetarians do something that costs them nothing, but my, oh my, does it not make them feel morally superior to the rest of us. So many of the evangelical intelligentsia have bought the concerns of the New Left, with its nebulous and psychologized notions of oppression, which allow for many a “right on” gesture that costs them nothing.
For someone like me, here lies the heart of the problem of the New Left: once the concerns of the Left shifted from material, empirical issues – hunger, thirst, nakedness, poverty, disease – to psychological categories, the door was opened for everyone to become a victim and for anyone with a lobby group to make his or her issue the Big One for this generation. “Authenticity” and “inauthenticity” are entirely subjective categories, and forms of oppression are thus whatever the oppressed person claims them to be. This is why the media outrage that greets a perceived racist or homophobic comment often far outstrips that which greets scenes of poverty and famine, and it is what leads the like of Richard Rorty to compare the Holocaust of the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s to the treatment of homosexuals in America and to do so with an apparently straight face.
- Carl Trueman, Republocrat, 15, 17
Well, it’s almost that time of year. That time that comes every fall in even numbered years and counts the most every four years. You know, that time. That time when Facebook friend lists get pruned because some people are just a little too politically vocal about the wrong side of an issue. That time when real life friendships become strained, or perhaps are completely split by some loose lips.
I am speaking of course of election season. It’s the time when you usually have the opportunity to vote for whichever candidate you despise the least, knowing that your single vote does little to sway the inevitable. I am being rather pessimistic, but growing up in a pretty committed red state (so committed in fact that it didn’t even vote for Al Gore even though he was from there) and then spending four years in another one helped mold my thinking. I live in a blue state now so I am more compelled to take action. But still, I have a pretty good imagination for how it will all turn out.
In the midst of all of this, I’ve been thinking more about politics. I haven’t been speaking more about it yet, but I’ve at least been doing some homework, and part of that was digging into Wayne Grudem’s Politics According To The Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues In Light of Scripture. Grudem is writing not “from the perspective of a lawyer or journalist or professional politician, but from the perspective of a professor with a Ph.D in New Testament studies and twenty-eight years of experience in teaching the Bible” (13). To me this was good news and just might mean he brings some sense into the discussion. Continue Reading…