Tag Archives: Christianity

My #NaNoWriMo project this year: #TheNewPacifism

NaNoRebel

For the third year in a row, I am participating in the NaNoWriMo as a Rebel, that is I am not writing a work of fiction, but non-fiction on the New Pacifism. I am hoping to get 30,000-35,000 words with the number of posts I wrote last year/will have up for this year. The project I have titled The New Pacifism: Discipleship and the Cost of Peace. I know that I am already way ahead of last year’s epic fail, and someday I may go back to completing that one when the time is right.

Synopsis:

“Incited by the popularity of contemporary visions of intersectional justice and liberation, and provoked by the ever looming questions people have about violence, the New Pacifism project seeks a new way forward beyond the trendy pacifisms of TheoBrogians, just war theory, and the imperial horrors of the Crusading tradition.”

Why The Church Needs A Political Theology

In my last post, I wrote about why the church needs a theology of pop culture. Today I want to discuss a part of a theology of pop culture, political theology. Specifically, I will be discussing US Politics as it relates to political theology. Some might ask why does the church need a political theology? If you’re naive enough to ask this question, all I have to say is, “Wake up and take a good hard look!” In US culture, political theology is one of the most used and abused theologies out there.

In his book, Political Theology, Michael Kirwan writes

Christians who take their faith seriously know that it has political implications – that the gospel calls us to imagine and work for a transformed world. However – here is the anguish – the Bible leaves no blueprint or manifest for this transformation; only lots of opinions (some more feasible than others) about what kind of society Christians should be struggling for, and by what means. (Kirwan, 3-4)

But one wouldn’t know this from the scores of voices coming (mainly) from the Religious Right. (Note: I say mainly because there are those on the Religious Left whose voice adds to the abuse of a political theology, but they appear in a much smaller number.) One only needs to turn to Twitter or Facebook to see this in action. See the Twitter feeds for Bryan Fischer, John Hagee, Matthew Hagee, the IRD, or the Christian Post for proof. Can’t bear to have them on your Twitter feed? Check out Right Wing Watch. And this abuse of political theology just trickles down from there.

Here’s a recent example of the kind of theological abuse I’m talking about.

The reason the church needs a political theology is due largely in part to the prevailing thought in the Religious Right, mainly the Tea Party; that only “true” conservatives are Christian and only “true” Christians are conservatives. Basically, if you’re a Democrat, you are not/cannot be a Christian. And then there’s the mindset about government.  According to “conservative Christians, government is a bad word. The problem with this prevailing mindset is that an ideology (conservativism) is placed about Scripture and tradition. In essence, it is a form of idolatry. Sadly, I expect things to get worse over the next few years.

The good news for us is that I’m not the first one out there to wrestle with the question of how the church should handle a political theology. Carl R. Trueman has written an excellent book, Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative. For those who don’t know, Dr. Trueman is a theologian and church historian and he teaches at Westminster Theological Seminary. He also regularly blogs at Reformation21. Let me be clear, Dr. Trueman and I probably disagree on a number of theological points, but I think his analysis of the intersection of US politics and religion is spot on.

Additional Resources
Christian Political Witness edited by George Kalantzis and Gregory W. Lee
Political Theology by Michael Kirwan
Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative by Carl R. Tureman

Over at Ecclesio: Preaching to Transgress

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of having my #AnaBlacktivist presence welcomed over at Ecclesio.Com, a website for Presbyterian (USA) clergy. Many thanks to fellow KillJoy Prophet Mihee Kim Kort for this opportunity. Here’s a quote to whet your appetite:

“I learned to dance with the Triune God  along the margins of society.  Whereas before, my freedom was restricted but once I encountered the plight of the oppressed and the Word within me was unleashed, I began my journey as transgressive preacher.”

To read the rest, go to Ecclesio: Preaching To Transgress: Christian Education And Difference