Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches

From: Robert Schneider (rjschn39@bellsouth.net)
Date: Fri Oct 04 2002 - 09:33:50 EDT

  • Next message: John Burgeson: "Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches"

    I understand Terry's misgivings about what he sees in Burgy's list as a
    conflation of politics with theology, but I think there is some merit in
    Burgy's doing so in the context of some expressions of American-style
    Christianity. Unfortunately, there are many fundamental believers in the US
    who have done just that--conflated the two: they have politicized their
    theology and theologized their politics. The moral-theological positions of
    some on abortion, homosexuality, school prayer, gun control, and YEC are so
    often articulated in political terms, that one wonders if it is possible for
    some now to separate them in their minds. I saw a bumper sticker here in
    Boone recently that reflects this: "Christian--and a Democrat!" This
    person obviously felt the need to make the point that you don't have to be a
    Republican in order to be a "true Christian."

    This politico-theology phenomenon is not confined to fundamental Christians
    of the Protestant variety. An elderly Catholic woman reported during the
    2000 election that she received a letter from her priest, who noticed the
    "Vote Democrat" bumper sticker on her auto and informed her that he would
    not administer communion to her if she was going to vote with the
    abortionists. She was outraged, of course (she opposes abortion), but the
    anecdote illustrates the extent to which some go on such matters.

    As for dispensationalist theology, thanks to the phenomenal success of the
    Left Behind movement, it seems to me that there are many conservative
    Christians who are buying this theology without realizing what it is. From
    what I have read of LaHaye's work there is a clear political agenda wedded
    to his dispensationalism.

    Bob Schneider

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Terry M. Gray" <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
    To: <asa@calvin.edu>
    Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 12:16 AM
    Subject: Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches

    > Burgy,
    >
    > Several have responded--perhaps that is adequate, but I thought I'd
    > throw my two-bits in. I'm again disappointed in your conflation of
    > politics with theology. I'd like to think that this was all
    > tongue-in-cheek (we'll abbreviate that TICIH--"tongue in cheek, I
    > hope"). I'm going to answer from my perspective which would be the
    > fundamentalism of Warfield and Machen (not the fundamentalism of
    > Whitcomb, Morris, Lindsell, etc.). As most of you know I represent a
    > fairly conservative brand of presbyterianism (although I'm considered
    > to be somewhat liberal in those contexts--I can ditto Bob's comment
    > that "one man's Mede is another man's Persian.")
    >
    > To say what Gordon Brown said slightly differently, right-wing
    > politics must be separated from right-wing theology. Their overlap
    > sociologically shouldn't be interpreted to mean that right-wing
    > politics are part of right-wing philosophy.
    >
    > One that you may have left out that I think is more prominent in
    > conservative American evangelicalism (although not so much in more
    > Reformed expressions of it) is a view that tobacco, alcohol and other
    > recreational drug use even in moderation are forbidden by scripture.
    > Also, the groups that seem to be represented by your list would also
    > tend to advocate dispensationalism and premillenial eschatology (the
    > rapture, 7 year tribulation, the importance of modern day Israel in
    > God's plan, etc.)--again, not part of my theology.
    >
    > I'd also suggest that you include as parts of your list the
    > affirmations of the Apostles' and Nicene Creed, i.e basic Trinitarian
    > theology, the vicarious, substitutionary, and propitiatory atonement,
    > the necessity of the new birth, the abrogation of Old Testament civil
    > and ceremonial laws, the necessity of Holy living and good works, the
    > work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification and spiritual gifting (not
    > necessarily with the charismatic flares), the importance of prayer,
    > the practice of the Lord's Supper and baptism, the importance of the
    > church (some kind of fellowship of believers), the importance of
    > worship (praise, prayer, preaching, etc.), the reality and
    > universality of sin (probably more if I took more time to think about
    > it).
    >
    > Here's my reaction to your list:
    >
    > 1 Adam and Eve were actual people**********Yes
    > 2 Those who never hear of Jesus in this life are lost.*******Probably
    > (that's why we send out missionaries)
    > 3 Those who hear of Jesus and reject him are lost.********Yes
    > 4 Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. are lost********Yes
    > 5 All lost people will suffer endless punishment*******Yes
    > 6 Homosexual acts are always sinful.***********Yes
    > 7 Abortion at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason is always
    murder***Yes
    > 8 Only males should be ordained as ministers, elders, bishops or deacons.
    > (I like to divide this question--ministers,elders, bishops--yes,
    > deacons--no)
    > 9 Jesus second coming will happen***********yes
    > 10 Believers will be resurrected with new bodies********yes
    > 11 Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation********yes
    > 12 It is not sinful to be a Democrat, but it is close to it.*******TICIH
    > 13 It is always sinful to have a female lead in a worship service*******no
    > 14 Republicans follow God more closely than Democrats*******TICIH
    > 15 Salvation means the attainment of heaven after death***Yes (among
    > other things)
    > 16 There are only two possibilities after death, eternal bliss or
    > endless punishment*****yes
    > 17 Jesus Christ is both human and divine********yes
    > 18 Government welfare is not fair to those who have been sober and
    > thrifty*********TICIH
    > 19 Jesus had a physical body after his resurrection**********yes
    > 20 Satan is a real entity********yes
    > 21 Jesus does not approve of gun control laws********TICIH
    > 22 Jesus does approve of the government mandating public school
    > prayers*****TICIH
    > 23 Divorce is always sinful***********no
    > 24 The flood really happened*************yes
    > 25 Jonah is literal history***********probably
    > 26 Job is literal history***********probably
    > 27 The original manuscripts of the Bible are inerrant*****yes
    > (with the word inerrant properly defined)
    > 28 What we have today is quite close to the original manuscripts*******yes
    > 29 The earth was formed in its present state less than 10,000 years
    ago******no
    >
    > --
    > _________________
    > Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    > Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    > Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
    > grayt@lamar.colostate.edu http://www.chm.colostate.edu/~grayt/
    > phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801



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