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4/28/2006

FIRE AND FUEL

I'm being called liberal in the comments section of this post which forced me to admit what I really am there as well.

Here's some fuel for the fire - and some more.

See, I'm not the only one.

28 Comments:

Blogger Nialle said...

Have you heard of the book "Full Gospel, Fractured Minds?"

Being in a Evangelical church myself, I see self-enforced ignorance all the time , masqueraded and innocence.

The thread of anti-intellectualism running through the Evangelical movement is disconcerting at best, downright scary at worst.

4/28/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

How do you define "anti-intellectualism"?

4/28/2006  
Anonymous Stephen said...

If we're referencing the book Full Gospel, Fractured Minds?, read this article at Christianity Today that is an excerpt from that book: Our Anti-Intellectual Heritage.

4/28/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

anti-intellectualism seems like another word for anti-orthadoxy. These doctrines mentioned in that article you gave stephen, are doctrines that have been solidified (dogma) for 500-1600 years. What people are wanting more and more of is authority. I was teaching a sundayschool class the other day and these college students want help. We do not educate people on doctrine (very much) in the protestant Church because we are so busy saying "hey, let the Scripture and the Holy Spirit lead you." Is this very wise to leave them at that? N.O. it is not, and really they want more and so do I. They want to know and someone to tell them what the heck and how does the Trinity work. What about those spiritual gifts? Can i trust my pastor and how do I know I can? What is established Christian Dogma and what is not? It seems that the protestant church in America, because of political posturing and POOR theological teaching, is moving toward Orthadoxy. For myself, I was suprised to find such clear teachings on important matters and theological issues outside of C.S. Lewis (Orthadoxy-an authorized or Generaly excepted theory by an Authority)

Yet another sign for me that Church Unity is a comin' I hear the bells ringing... it may take another 100 years, but it is coming.

4/28/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

Sorry its, OrthOdoxy, if you want to Check the Chesterton book out. just noticed my crappy spelling.

4/28/2006  
Blogger cruz-control said...

Your response under "What to call me" sounds great Shaun. You're sounding more and more like Hauerwas. =)

4/28/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Orthodoxy. Read it long ago. Don't remember it. I'll have to skim it on the plane tomorrow to refresh my memory.

SG

4/28/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/29/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

Happy skimming

Actually, my favorite Chesterton read is Everlasting Man. i know, the title sounds kinda ...interesting... but it is his masterpeice.

4/29/2006  
Blogger Clare said...

'Liberal' isn't always an insult you know.

Us liberals are human, and quite nice and cuddly most of the time.

4/29/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I don't take it as an insult, I just take it as a political term with a relative definition.

But "cuddly" could work too. Of course Limbaugh says he's a cute adorable fuzzball. Thats pretty close to "cuddly."

Conclusion: Limbaugh might be liberal. Or liberals and conservatives are equally likely to be cuddly.

SG

4/29/2006  
Blogger Clare said...

I meant theologically liberal...although I guess I'm fairly politically liberal too.

Its interesting actually. I'm English and there seems to me to be less of a correlation between liberal theology and liberal politics on this side of the pond than on your side.

That is only annecdotal of course, not a statistical proof or anything. But it does appear that way.

I haven't heard any of Limbaugh's shows although I've just googled him and Wikipedia tell me he is conservative, and I'm happy to take their word for it. He looks quite cuddly.

4/29/2006  
Blogger The Cachinnator said...

Clare, I wish to God that people would do their homework over on this side of the pond and find out how unrelated the two are or should be.

4/30/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

I have started what seems to be hopefully a great read: "The Politics of Jesus" - Yoder

Anyone here read it?

4/30/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

YODER! Hauerwas' theological grandpa. Good stuff.

4/30/2006  
Blogger Kat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/30/2006  
Anonymous Loren said...

It would be interesting to get some opinions on what the actual definition of Liberal and Conservative (politicaly speaking) are?

I guess the stereo type that I have in my mind is:
GOP= pro-life, anti-gay, Christian.
Dem= pro-welfare(as a whole, not just the program), Pro-gay, not Christian.

again, read STEREOTYPICAL, not my definitions, just what I learned/absorbed in church and bible college.

4/30/2006  
Anonymous Randy Webb said...

I must be a Christian Liberal too cause I tend to agree with your observations...

that could be scary

4/30/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Funny how "gay" enters the definition at all.

My STEREOTYPE would be:

Republican = conservative
Democrat = liberal

OR

Relying on market forces of a free market economy to solve many of society's ails = Conservative

Relying on bigger government and it's programs to solve many of society's ails = Liberal

OR

Against new taxes, pro national defense growth, against abortion (at least many types), pro death penalty, against euthanasia, against regulation of business, pro tax breaks as a means of aiding business growth (corporate welfare), pro marriage of church and state to a degree via prayer in schools and religious displays in public buildings = Conservative


For redistribution of wealth via taxes, Pro smaller military or at least not making it larger than it is, pro "choice" (abortion), against death penalty, split on morality of euthanasia but against government stopping it, against breaks for businesses, for entitlement programs like welfare, against marriage of church and state = Liberal

OR

More government intervention on morality, less on economy - conservative

More government intervention on economy, less on morality = Liberal

How's that stack up?

Even if I'm incorrect you can see now why I have a problem with supporting either party and why I see the Church as the only viable alternative. Seeing the sides as I do I have no other option.

How do you see them?

5/01/2006  
Blogger Jason...aka Farky said...

Shaun,
I think your definitions are probably pretty dead-on. When I use those words I usually mean something very near the one after the first ‘OR’. Let me also say that after reading your comment near the end of the previous post on this subject I would not call you a liberal. I’m not sure I meant to call you that before, but I’m still trying to refine my “comment section communication skills”.

While I empathize that you have issues with the current political landscape, I’m not sure how the church can solve our political issues. What makes me politically conservative is the fact that I think far fewer issues should be addressed by our politics. As an example, I think poverty is an obvious issue that the church should be addressing and the government shouldn’t. This is also where I’ve run into problems with Derek Webb. I might be wrong, but part of the message I’m getting from his latest record is that he’s crawled into bed with the Jim Wallis’ of the world. Big government enforcing or performing the will of the church. With that I cannot abide.

And again, I never meant to call names or point fingers. I just got irked, and well, you see what happens when I get irked. Oh, and thanks for letting me be here.

5/01/2006  
Blogger Chaotic Hammer said...

Shaun - I agree with Jason that your definitions are right on as far as how the different political parties currently frame the issues. Though I've been pretty dogmatically conservative for many years, I'm not at all offended by you challenging us to think differently about how some of these views square (or don't square, as the case may be) with the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. One of the best ways to solidify and fortify your foundations in the Lord is to have those foundations directly challenged, and to dig deeper into the reasons we believe what we do. If certain beliefs we hold stand up to the scrutiny, and are Bible-supported and true, then they are not damaged by scrutiny anyway. But other beliefs, which we have held without really questioning -- suddenly start looking like they need re-examination, and may even need to be changed in order to reflect the heart of Jesus effectively.

I'm finding myself lately increasingly willing to hear whatever He says, regardless of whether I like the answer or not. Thanks for what you do, Shaun, please continue to be an Instigator for Jesus. :-)

5/01/2006  
Anonymous Sonflower said...

Stuck in the middle again. ;)

5/01/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Jason, if that's Derek's position - and I truly don't know - I can't go there with him either.

Now there's something you said that I'd love to talk about if you have the time. You said, "I’m not sure how the church can solve our political issues." Then you cite poverty as an issue currently being worked on by government that perhaps the church CAN solve.

What "political issues" do you NOT think the church can solve?

I'm not saying there aren't any. I'm wanting to better understand what you see as a "political issue", what you see as the government's job and what you see as the church's.

Great posts.

SG

5/01/2006  
Blogger GrovesFan said...

I must be stuck in the middle too, or else I broke the mold.

I'm against abortion, against the death penalty, for a military that does more at home (civil service) and less abroad, no new taxes, no breaks for the corporate big boys. They make it, they should pay it. A flat tax would be nice. Much less government involvement in citizens' lives. Definitely less in states' rights, etc. Against euthenasia, for freedom OF religion and no regulating of it by the government. Against homosexuality as a life style or as a means to seek "equality."

As the war in Iraq drags on, I become less and less for it. Not just because it kept my husband away from home for 7 months last year and 6 or more this year, (many more have sacrificed so much more) but because there's no appropriate agenda, no end in sight, and no chance of the Iraqi's coming out any better by our continued presence. It's time to send in the church, by the thousands; to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, build homes for the homeless, and do it in the name of Christ. I'd gladly send my husband (or take the whole family) if we could build houses or teach school or run a soup kitchen or help in a hospital.

I do not wish to rely on my government to provide any means of support, yet, since we're a military family, guess what? I believe in welfare programs only for the very neediest and for very temporary times unless totally unable to provide for themselves otherwise. Government should spend more time really regulating insurance companies, drug companies, and oil companies instead of helping them to get rich off the sweat of our backs. Every Congressman and Senator's salary's should be cut by 50% to start with no raises. No retirement fund until they reach retirement age and only if they've maxed out their terms. Let them earn it. Last time I checked it was their job to act on BEHALF of their constituants, not get rich off their lack of work and integrity.

Sorry for ranting, politics always gets everyone going. I don't keep up with politics or even the news most days. I just know what I believe, how I feel about certain things and am willing to do my part to keep them alive.

Beth

5/01/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

That was a well-written rant. Always appreciated, Beth.

5/02/2006  
Blogger Jason...aka Farky said...

I’ve always got time for you Shaun…
Anyhoo, I guess I owe Derek Webb an apology. After reading his interview in Relevant I now believe my analysis of the possible political bent of his songs to be dead wrong. It either says something about my interpretive skills (and that of some of my friends) or something about his song-writing skills that I could be that wrong, but I’ll leave that for another day.

As to your question, I guess what I should have said was that while poverty is currently a political issue, I do not believe it should be. I also believe, though, that there are some issues that the church should probably not be doing and left to a government. Law enforcement and national security come immediately to mind. I believe government is essentially a necessary evil. For that reason, I want to keep it small. I don’t believe government should be in the business of effecting social change, but in the business of protecting my freedom and liberty. I’m not saying that the church shouldn’t have a voice in political issues, either, just that in some cases the Bible is fairly reticent on issues with which a government must deal. I just don’t see how the church could completely replace or supercede all the aspects of government that ensure some semblance of civilization.

5/02/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

The church can lessen the need for law enforcement by mending the heart of man, feeding his belly, clothing his body, listening to his problems, paying him a fair wage, educating his mind, sustaining his health and caring for his family. But it's the heart - the first thing on this list - that ONLY the Church can do. The rest of the list is what only the Church is commanded to do by God.

I'll soon tell the story of Compassion International 54 years in South Korea as an example as well of how compassion, mercy showing, begets peace and renders the military needless.

So, no I don't think the government is needed, in theory, if the Church does her job perfectly. But the Church will never do her job perfectly and so the government is allowed - not commanded - to enforce man's laws and protect it's people. (Romans 13) We are commanded to obey those laws (also Romans 13) but not to grow complacent because of their existence and forget what we were saved to do: bring heaven to earth - the salvation of all things at all levels.

How's that hit you? Agree or not? Anything to add?

Thanks for posting, farky. (Where's "farky" come from??)

5/02/2006  
Blogger Jason...aka Farky said...

Actually, that hits me just fine. Can't really find anything wrong with that. Theoretically, at least.

"Farky" comes from having a last name that begins with F-A-R and then being very hard to pronounce.

5/02/2006  

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