Jesus had to “die for our sins,” right? But what does that actually mean? We mess up, God gets mad, so someone needs to pay for our sin or we can’t go to heaven when we die? But what if our ultimate problem isn’t sin, and what if our ultimate goal isn’t heaven?? Egads!! World-renowned theologian N.T. Wright joins Phil and Skye to talk about his new book – The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. No biggie… just the absolute heart and soul of the Christian faith!!
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NT Wright seems a thoughtful, focused man. He’s reminiscent of a CS Lewis style demeanor. I’m intrigued by his thoughts on
I am surprised that he would suggest endorsing a candidate so violently antithetical to Christian principles, simply on the basis of her knowledge of “statecraft”. That’s like endorsing Nero because he was, despite his flaws, “good with matches”.
Other than abortion rights, where else do you see Clinton “violently opposed” to Christian principles? Just curious.
A very fair question to ask in return.
There’s a lot of various events over her history in politics that I could point to as examples, many of which deserve more time than a simple comment. Also, there are admittedly stories as well of her Methodist faith through her early career, none of which I can directly verify so they remain anecdotal but likely influential. So I’ll focus on two specifics (in no order of priority) that I believe point to a deep and antagonistic stance toward core Christian principles, despite support for certain other principles that promote a Christ-centered viewpoint (concern for the poor, for instance).
In her 2015 speech at the Women of the World Conference in its entirety (not the chopped up versions that float around the Internet), she made very clear the need to bend religious attitudes to the adoption and acceptance of abortion and sexual deviancy. This was in the midst of other initiatives that were admittedly non-hostile (even in parallel) with scriptural mandates, but these two issues are in direct opposition to Scripture. So I guess the other markedly hostile viewpoint would be endorsing sexual depravity, not just tolerating or coexisting but making it a focal point of insistence and compliance.
Second, her speech to the Human Rights Campaign last fall starkly lambasted religious liberty and Christianity directly. Not sure if it’s still viewable online, but it was unmasked in its point. She had very pronounced criticism of all three religious freedom bills, and was openly against Little Sisters of the Poor and their victory in not wanting to dispense contraceptives. I can see that this might not directly be considered ‘Christian principles’ as much as ‘freedom to be a Christian’. I would put it in proximity, however, and would posit that ones view toward one rarely deviates from one’s identical view towards the other.
On an earlier episode, you discussed an employer demanding employees wear T-Shirts endorsing sin, and polled your cohorts as to what they would do. Do you think Mrs. Clinton would respect your right to abstain based on your Christian conscience? Her track record is emphatically no.
These examples don’t touch on any character level attributes. The most disturbing attribute is a continual appetite for deception. This is ‘evidence by a thousand cuts’, so to speak. Early on in the infancy of her political career, there were very acute signs of deception and self-contradiction (Whitewater grand jury transcripts are an interesting resource for this, as just one example).
The current hot spot topics wherein its suggested she willfully deceived people (Bengazhi, email server knowledge and such) are pretty well already hashed over and not worth regurgitating, but it’s really been a long running history of deception even when it’s not necessary. Is some of it media melodramatics? Yeah, but some of its without a doubt willfully misleading.
In a larger sense, is deceit commonplace in politics? Absolutely, it’s by no means limited to Hilary alone. Doesn’t make it right, though. Doesn’t mean an endorsement, however slight, isn’t cause to ponder how aware one is of the long legacy of the candidate in question.
I guess I’d ask a question back: Do you believe that Christians will be more free to share what they believe in and engage with unfettered dialogue with the populace under a presidency of Clinton than they would be with Trump? Do you believe it has no impact either way? Or that both presidencies will have harmful elements in the above regard? Or, do you feel that it *shouldn’t* matter either way? Or d.) None of the above. Or e.) All of the inverse of none of the above.
I believe that the company that one keeps is as important as the company one is. Do you feel Clinton’s advisers, staff, judicial selections, and administrators will be friendly (or at least neutral) to those who follow Christ in America and around the globe, more than Trump’s advisers and assembled staff? In the case of Hillary, the rather timely revelations of private emails showing the need for “infiltration” of Catholic groups and the formation of a “Catholic spring” by one of her (and her predecessors) close advisers isn’t very encouraging in that light. Again, not her direct words, but this is the company she keeps.
In the end, we’ll get the president we ‘deserve’, if New Testament scripture is correct in who establishes governments and leaders. I’m not thrilled with any candidate, and can see the viewpoints of many different folks, even ones that are fervent Clinton supporters. I’m just not convinced that a compelling reason to vote for someone who’s revealed emails and public statements paint a picture of a sentiment at odds with scripture deserves to be considered based on ‘statecraft’ alone. ‘Statecraft’ is neither compelling nor disqualifying, if the ‘statecraft’ is just an avenue to manipulate at the government level.
I’d vote for Bob the Tomato though. But I’d need assurances that candies and confections would not be harmed during his tenure.
Thanks for your time, and your show.
Cool. Thanks, Jasper. To answer your question, it sounds like some of your concern is loss of Christian privilege more than opposition to Christian principles. Might it be less comfortable for Christians to live in a society that values individual rights of gender expression above individual rights of religious expression? Sure. But that’s where Western society is headed overall, so I think we get there eventually regardless of President or Supreme Court. And it really has very little to do with our ability to follow Jesus and live out our faith.
I think much of the world (i.e. NT Wright and other Christians in the UK and elsewhere), find Trump much more concerning for the health of the entire world, and it’s hard not to agree. Clinton may not be as friendly to conservative Christians as we would like, and her choice of email server is really stupid, but Trump’s A) ignorance of economics, both domestic and international, B) irrationality in communication about and positions taken on foreign affairs, and C) surprising unwillingness to learn what he doesn’t know or even acknowledge it (“I know more about ISIS than the generals” … “I’m going to teach the generals a thing or two”) makes him profoundly dangerous to the stability of the entire world.
Thus many would conclude that the Christian thing to do in this unfortunate election is take a candidate who might not be great for us over a candidate who very clearly wouldn’t be good for the least of these, whether they be Americans or not. To some it up simply, his governing principle of “America First” is wildly unChristian. It is quite literally the opposite of the attitude Christians are commanded to take with the world around us, and the opposite of the attitude we have taken when at our best.
I think voting “none of the above” is absolutely acceptable in this case. I have to say, though, I’m not sure we’ve had a major party candidate in modern times with less respect for Christian values than Trump. His favorite verse in the Bible is “an eye for an eye,” and that is how he has lived his life. That attitude represents America at it’s very worst, and the attitudes coming out of Trump’s followers toward minorities, immigrants, the press, Jews, etc., make that point again and again.
So I tend to agree with Wright. Knowledge of how the world works and respect for the least of these “trumps” a vague yet clearly xenophobic call to put “America first.”
Awesome 🙂 nice work again guys. Thanks for the podcast 🙂
God bless you Phil
I do not even understand how I stopped up here, but I believed this put up was good.
I don’t understand who you’re however definitely
you are going to a well-known blogger in case you aren’t already.