Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kurt Warner on what God looks like

The Cardinals' quarterback on what God looks like. (Spoiler alert: pretty much the way he looked the first time you drew him in Sunday school.)

Evangelicals: God appointed Obama

According to George Berkin:

For evangelicals, who hold a Bible-based view of politics, it is God himself who has placed the new president in office - even if the president does not in any way agree with evangelical political views.

As evangelicals believe, the Bible teaches that God, in his sovereignty, chooses who he wants to place in office. Not in a hocus-pocus way, but through natural and "secular" mechanisms such as political parties, election campaigns and ballots, God put the guy there.

Good, bad, or indifferent, evangelicals believe, the man is in office through divine appointment.

Berkin admits that this may sound "medieval," though dangerous and flawed are more appropriate since we can only hope for the day when such a view is a relic of our past. Berkin says it is important to understand this perspective since evangelicals need to decide how to interact with a president with whom they strongly disagree.

The two thoughts seem contradictory. On one hand there is a belief among Bible believers that God has a "'behind the scenes' involvement in government." On the other hand there is a belief that Bible believers must "woo policymakers into a more 'biblical' approach to policy, even if it is not identified as such."

God does, indeed, work in mysterious ways.

Katy Perry: the trouble with Bible bending

Before Katy Perry was famous for singing about kissing girls, she was Katy Hudson, singing about faith. The tension between her background, as the daughter of two pastors, and her recent single, which has been received in some Christian communities with the sentiment best illustrated in this church sign, has been the source of much discussion both in the rags and in Christian websites.

Katy Hudson/Perry recently held a telephone conference with journalists to clear up some confusion, including Ok! magazine's failure to recognize her "vow of celibacy" as a joke.

Beliefnet now depicts a woman who is "just like thousands of other Christian teens," someone working to reconcile the tensions between her religion and her experiences. I don't know who gets to decide what those tensions are and how the rest of the world will know if and when they dissipate, but websites like Beliefnet seem to think they will know it when they see it.

Good luck, Katy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kathryn Jean Lopez: We're a nation for Him

K.J-Lo, editor of the National Review, having fun with italics:
We’re a nation not just where you are free to believe or not to believe; we’re a nation founded for Him — so we could praise Him, so we could do His will.

[...] But we’re not always that into Him when we’re thinking about us.

In a town of doers, it’s easy to forget Him, especially when your daily schedule is all about you — your campaign, your vote, your speech, your award.

For more on submission "to him" see here.

UPDATE: A reader asks: Is this the same Him from the Power Puff Girls?

Novak: Obama's Bible Fail

Novak is already passing judgment:
[From Obama's appeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the ban on abortion and the closing of Guantanamo] we learn that President Obama recognizes no difference between the Jewish-Christian covenant between a woman and a man (a covenant that they will have and nurture children, if they are so blessed), and a civil contract between two persons of any sex, in order to set up a household of affection and sexual favors.

This is a relapse into paganism. The point of monogamous family networks is to treat male and female with complementary and mutually cooperative dignity and to tie the power of sexuality (male, especially) to self-sacrificing communities of love.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dave Ramsey: Fighting Bible Bending with Bible Bending

On his January 27th radio show Dave Ramsey answered a listener's question:
Jeb in Tennessee sends this [...]: "Considering the religious foundation of your scheme, please respond to the following Bible verse: 'Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom God' (Mathew 19:24, NIV). You talk all the time about how much cash you have stock piled and the BMWs you have owned, sounds hypercritical to me. Please respond."

So Jeb, are you telling me then--to start with I don't have a scheme I've got a game plan that does align with biblical teachings--I guess your statement is that "no rich people go to heaven." Is that your statement? Because that's the context by which you have laid this out.

In which case, I would say as a Christian that you are blaspheming the scriptures. You have just said that the price that Jesus paid for sinners on the cross was enough to cover murders, prostitutes and drug deals should they choose to ask for forgiveness of their sins and accept Jesus as Lord, but not a rich man. Is that your premise?

Well, I mean, it doesn't take a doctoral genius to grasp the idea that blaspheming then, sir. And so, what you are... you have the spirit of Eeyore. You think anyone who has done better than you, anyone who has won out there, must be pulled down by your toxic view of Christianity and you make me sick.

Your backwoods crap because you haven't learned the Bible; you ought to be ashamed of yourself. So yes, I am offended for you to say that because I have build wealth using God's ways of handling money, that I don't get to go to heaven. I am offended by that and I think Jesus' blood will cover that.

But I'll also give you another Bible lesson. One thing you need to learn to do if you are going to study the Bible, sir, is that you are going to read things in context. That is, continue to read. You can pull a few words or one line out of the Bible and make it say anything if you have twisted it with the level of toxicity of which you are doing this. If you continue to read, right after this, Jesus says that, "no man gets to the Father, except through the son." And he was penetrating the myth of the day that rich people could buy their way into heaven. So if you knew the context, historically, and if you were to read four or five verses on either side of this you would begin to get an idea of what the Bible was really saying. So, now I have responded...

Gosh, sounds like someone struck a nerve.

Sunday, January 25, 2009