Re: [asa] Manhattan Declaration

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Wed Nov 25 2009 - 20:22:23 EST

>>> Allan Harvey <> 11/25/09 5:31 PM >>> wrote quite a bit about this topic, and I will respond here to just a single phrase:

 I don't know what Ron Sider is doing on there


Allan, obviously I can't speak for Ron Sider. I can say however that he is perhaps the most prominent Brethren In Christ theologian; Messiah is a BIC college; he's been our commencement speaker; at one point I even was academic adviser to one of his children. In short, I'm pretty familiar with his views, and I'm not the least bit surprised that he signed it. Ron has for a long time advanced the view that Christians ought to be what he calls "consistently pro-life," by which he means opposition to the death penalty, to abortion on demand, to warfare (Ron is a pacifist, just as Messiah is a pacifist college) and to government policies that he regards as oppressive to the poor. Insofar as this statement is consistent with his well-known views on those issues, I'm not the least bit surprised that he signed it.


To everyone else: IMO this topic is appropriate to discuss on our list, b/c in the way it came to us it's been explicitly linked with issues that we normally do discuss. I am concerned however that this could degenerate into the kind of conversation that we don't want here, in which people with divergent political or theological views start shouting at each other, instead of simply listening and offering their own perspectives on the content of the statement and why they (as individual persons) might agree or disagree with the Declaration. In the paragraph above, for example, I explained why I am not puzzled that Ron Sider signed it, simply by summarizing publicly stated views that Sider holds.

What the paragraph above does not do, however, is to state what's right or wrong about Sider's political views. There's lots of places where people can go to get into that, if they wish. This isn't the place for it. I haven't seen anything like that so far; I simply want to make sure that we keep it in mind.

No less importantly, let me add a "Happy Thanksgiving" to all.


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Received on Wed Nov 25 20:22:57 2009

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