Russell Moore on Glenn Beck and American Christianity

by Brandon Smith on August 30, 2010 · 147 comments

Honestly, this is one of the best articles I have read in quite some time. Russell Moore nails it on the head in regards the influence Beck and those like him have on American Christianity:

Rather than cultivating a Christian vision of justice and the common good (which would have, by necessity, been nuanced enough to put us sometimes at odds with our political allies), we’ve relied on populist God-and-country sloganeering and outrage-generating talking heads. We’ve tolerated heresy and buffoonery in our leadership as long as with it there is sufficient political “conservatism” and a sufficient commercial venue to sell our books and products.

Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it. There is a liberation theology of the Left, and there is also a liberation theology of the Right, and both are at heart mammon worship. The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barabbas, to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death. The liberation theology of the Right wants a golden calf, to represent religion and to remind us of all the economic security we had in Egypt. Both want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah.

Leaders will always be tempted to bypass the problem behind the problems: captivity to sin, bondage to the accusations of the demonic powers, the sentence of death. That’s why so many of our Christian superstars smile at crowds of thousands, reassuring them that they don’t like to talk about sin. That’s why other Christian celebrities are seen to be courageous for fighting their culture wars, while they carefully leave out the sins most likely to be endemic to the people paying the bills in their movements.

Where there is no gospel, something else will fill the void: therapy, consumerism, racial or class resentment, utopian politics, crazy conspiracy theories of the left, crazy conspiracy theories of the right; anything will do. The prophet Isaiah warned us of such conspiracies replacing the Word of God centuries ago (Is. 8:12–20). As long as the Serpent’s voice is heard, “You shall not surely die,” the powers are comfortable.

Read the rest here.

1 Rick August 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

Didn’t Russ once work for a Democratic congressman? Just sayin’ his articles may not be the “spin free” zone they appear to be.

While I’m not a big fan of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh or, for that matter, the late Jerry Falwell, I do have a great deal of respect for James Dobson.

It seems to me that Christians today are lacking the kind of voice we once had in the public square. By vacating that voice, we hand the microphone to Mormons like Beck and we remain far too silent as homosexuals get married and the abortion death count rolls on.

If Conservative Christians are going to give up, we should not be surprised when Conservative Mormons take our place.

2 hariette petersen (a.k.a. selahV Today) August 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

Rick, “If Conservative Christians are going to give up, we should not be surprised when Conservative Mormons take our place.”

Conservative Christians would better serve the purpose of the Lord if we spent as much–and more–energy preaching the Gospel, teaching the Gospel, and living the Gospel in our world.

I find Beck a funny character. I appreciate him one day, and wanna sock him the next. In fact, I could probably do that within an twenty-minute span of listening to him, sometimes. I don’t watch Beck faithfully–as some might assume, since I occasionally agree with his “actions” to instill a sense of pride, patriotism, and vigilance to the citizens of America. I don’t even agree with 8% (that’s a rough estimate) of his understanding of Christians.

But, I do not see him as a voice to be ignored–simply because he is a Mormon–or because he doesn’t fall into the same “box” I check when I speak of God in my life.

I find it amazing that the same “Christians” (Al Sharpton), who might defend a Muslim’s right to build a Mosque at what is considered sacred ground by another’s Christian’s view, finds Beck’s desire to bring Americans together to restore the character, integrity, and due diligence to one’s citizenship–an appalling act of arrogance and hypocrisy.

Indeed, sometimes one must scratch one’s head at the duplicity we see and are told to ignore.

I am one of the conservative Christians. I do not agree with all those who are conservative, nor all those who are Christians. But one thing I think we could be consistent about is how we talk about those with whom we disagree. So often the message is lost when the multitudes try to dissect and explain the motives and intents of a messenger’s heart, soul, and mind. selahV

3 Joe Blackmon August 30, 2010 at 11:45 am

Conservative Christians would better serve the purpose of the Lord if we spent as much–and more–energy preaching the Gospel, teaching the Gospel, and living the Gospel in our world.

This, THIS, THIS!!!!!

Salvationn is not of the Republican’t or the Dumbacrat party. No one is going to get to heaven because they voted right. God will work His purposes and plans out in spite of the bozos on either side of the eisle in DC.

4 Rick August 31, 2010 at 7:56 am

Hariette and Joe,

I could not agree with you more that in our Christian walk, “gospel preaching and living” is far more important than mere “citizenship.” However, these are not two opposing ideas, so why set them against each other as if they were? The opposite of gospel proclamation would be something like “silence” or “absence of Christian witness in word and deed.” Thus, civic involvement and evangelism are not enemies. The enemy of evangelism is silence, and the enemy of civic involvement is civic apathy. We can speak up for both at the same time without compromising either.

In fact, what if our involvement in the public discourse concerning moral and social issues is not a distraction to the gospel but an avenue of ministry in proclaiming it? One could argue that as we demonstrate “salt and light” in this world through our active involvement in Christian citizenship issues, we are actually living out the very gospel that all of us desire to emphasize and proclaim in our lost and dying world.

5 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 8:03 am

Rick; not a bad thought on the face of it, but Louis’s 30 percent. How do you engage the 30 percent that is too often mislead by Bad Gospel or the Birch Society, Texas Regulars or Louis’s latest concern, Glenn Beck.
Who has the best antenna here? Richard Land or Louis and Russ Moore, and are there even better antenna than Louis and Moore?

6 hariette petersen (a.k.a. selahV Today) August 31, 2010 at 8:43 am

Rick, I’m not in disagreement with your words here. Read again what I said:
“Conservative Christians would better serve the purpose of the Lord if we spent as much–and more– energy preaching the Gospel, teaching the Gospel, and living the Gospel in our world.”

I see that foremost in our walk as Christians is to preach, teach, and live the Gospel. As light and salt, we can simultaneously be good citizens and help aid in social justice.

However, without a word of testimony regarding the suffering, crucified, risen Lord we are not going into the world to “tell” what Christ is to them, and how He sustains, provides, keeps, adds, guides and enriches their lives in the most difficult obstacles and trials of life. Hope this clarifies what I mean in the above statement. as much and more energy. selahV

7 bill September 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Jesus is a Republican?!?

Who knew?!?

8 D.R. Randle August 31, 2010 at 10:50 am

Rick,

You wrote, “Didn’t Russ once work for a Democratic congressman? Just sayin’ his articles may not be the “spin free” zone they appear to be.”

This may be the best example of the worst ad hominem of all time. Seriously? That’s like saying, “I heard Paige Patterson once worked for a liberal professor, just sayin’, his theology just might not be ‘spin free’.”

Deal with Dr. Moore’s argument, namely that conservative Christians have sold out to the idea that politics and not Christ is the solution to this country’s problem. As a pastor, I see it every day. Even had one of my smartest men tell me that they though Beck preached the Gospel. Sheesh!

We need to get off the political train and get on the Gospel train. Far too many Christians understand fiscal policy than they do propitiation. Far too many Evangelicals spend time discussing immigration than they do imputation. Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world, let’s stop trying to build it through American politics and get back to preaching the only thing that can bring real change (and abundant and eternal life) – THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!

9 Paula August 31, 2010 at 11:02 am

This is what Dominionism and Mormonism have in common: they expect to create a theocracy so Jesus can return and pat them on the head (i.e., reward them with high positions). But they are unwittingly setting up the kingdom of Antichrist. The Dominionists recognize that they can use Mormonism for their advantage, so they spin Mormonism into legitimate Christianity. But to do that they must water down the gospel and abandon sound doctrine.

Some of them have gotten so desperate as to drool over Islam’s command and control of its subjects, with its ruthless conquest and iron fist on any dissent, real or imagined. Any religion will do, as long as it means these men get to be kings.

10 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 11:10 am

Paula: Don’t forget Paul Pressler of the SBC when you start talkin about Dominionism. Remember his boast to Reconstructionist leader Gary North in the Firestorm Chat that went through the roof in Baptist circles Nationally on the Bill Moyers documentary where Pressler boasted:

“And then we had a Resolutions Committee that was conservative for the First time and that Just Infuriated the Liberals”
You are quite naive of Pressler’s politics with Jesse Helms, and his family history with the Texas Regulars to act as if the SBC is virginal in this area.
That’s where Harold Bloom’s the American Religion can give you a lot to think about.

11 Paula August 31, 2010 at 11:16 am

I don’t give a rip about SBC politics.

I read scripture for my values, and other things just to know the world I live in so I can be “salt and light” to it. And if you ever visit my blog and go to the Ooo page, you’ll find I’m full of surprises.

12 Bill Mac August 31, 2010 at 11:05 am

I see this all the time as well. Many of my Christian acquaintances would stumble over explaining sanctification, but would be able to speak with great passion about how they know the President is both a flaming liberal AND a fundamentalist muslim at the same time. They spend more time with Fox News than with the church.

13 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 11:12 am

Exactly Bill Mac:

John Pierce is BAptists Today is lamenting that fact this morning on his blog:

http://www.johndpierce.com/2010/08/not-all-evangelicals-blindly-led.html

14 Rick August 31, 2010 at 1:33 pm

D. R.,

Thanks for describing my words and thoughts as “the best…”

I’m really not trying to take a cheap shot at Dr. Moore, whose views on many moral and social issues strike me as decidedly to the left of those held by Patterson. I’ve noticed Southern Baptists taking a turn to the left over the past few years generally in terms of our moral voice. Coincidentally, the country has gone to pot. Maybe those conservative Christian voices taking a strong stand over the past few decades were doing some good after all.

If it’s fair for Moore to question the more conservative stance held by those leaders who preceded him, then it should be fair for us to question his more “centrist” views. And yes, I cannot help but wonder if his service to the Congressman helped shape his political ideology.

Finally, as I’ve shared elsewhere, this business of setting the gospel against “civic moral conviction” has got to stop. I don’t know a Christian who is trying to usher in the Kingdom through politics. I just know a bunch who want us to stop killing babies, and it is an incontrovertible fact that most of the politicians who favor these baby killing policies are affiliated with only one of our political parties.

15 D.R. Randle August 31, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Rick, a few thoughts.

1) I don’t think Moore’s views are centrist in any way, shape, form, or fashion. How much have you read of Russell Moore prior to this article? Do you know that he is right under Dr. Mohler at Southern? And that he filled in for Dr. Mohler every time he couldn’t make his radio show? I don’t think his views are any further to the left than Mohler’s are. And certainly no one questions Mohler’s conservative credentials.

2) Nothing Moore said in his article had anything to do with rejecting conservative politics. Again you didn’t deal with his specific arguments. Note that his argument is that American Christians are replacing the message of the Gospel with a political message. He calls out liberal “Christians” for doing the same thing.

3) I don’t know what Southern Baptists are taking a turn to the left on moral issues. Perhaps you could give me an example. Do you really think Moore rejects a pro-life stance? Embraces gay marriage? What moral issues does Moore’s article deal with?

4) I can’t believe that you are serious about Russell Moore being influenced by a Democratic congressman who he worked with for a short time BEFORE going into ministry, BEFORE being educated at NOBTS and SBTS, BEFORE serving with Dr. Mohler, and BEFORE his appointment as Dean of the School of Theology. Again, that’s like claiming that because you stole a candy bar when you were 9, you’ll be influenced by the mob if you become a policeman at age 25 (I can give you examples of this sort of bad logic all day). I can’t believe you don’t get how ridiculous of an argument that really is.

5) Russell Moore and all who agree with him want people to stop killing babies, but Russell Moore and SBTS have done something about it by supporting pregnancy crisis centers, by leading the SBC to adopt resolutions on adoption and orphan care, and by actually adopting children personally. What have you done besides vote? Caring about the unborn goes beyond voting and political posturing. And changing the political climate doesn’t change hearts, only the Gospel can do that, which is Moore’s point.

6) Rick, I am sure you are smart guy and a faithful Christian, but on this issue, you need to consider what is most important to God – politics or the Gospel, because, yes, they are at times at odds with one another. We can have a moral voice without accepting the full Republican Vision. And sometimes having a moral voice requires rejecting Republican politics.

16 Rick Patrick August 31, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Health care, socialism, gay marriage, etc. Our SBC resolutions are weaker than before on such issues. Much, much, much, much, much more often, having a moral voice requires rejecting Democratic politics.

You may be right about Moore’s conservatism. He may have left the Democratic party just like Reagan did. It just doesn’t come across that way.

17 Bill August 31, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Maybe the SBC is realizing that Resolutions are worth less than nothing and are a huge waste of time. On second thought, I doubt that.

18 Lydia August 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm

“) Russell Moore and all who agree with him want people to stop killing babies, but Russell Moore and SBTS have done something about it by supporting pregnancy crisis centers, ”

BTW: I was astounded today to hear an ad on the radio that this Christian crisis pregnancy center is giving away the Prayer of Jabez when you make a donation.

19 Bill August 31, 2010 at 10:00 pm

“BTW: I was astounded today to hear an ad on the radio that this Christian crisis pregnancy center is giving away the Prayer of Jabez when you make a donation.”

Please tell me you’re kidding.

20 D.R. Randle September 1, 2010 at 10:35 am

Rick,

I don’t think you get it. Do you think the SBC is here to push politics or present the Gospel? And no, they are not the same thing. Please show me where the Biblical writers spoke against universal health care? What about socialism? While I disagree with both, I preach the Bible, not politics. And the SBC should be doing the same thing. We aren’t here on Earth to bring about a Republican/conservative Kingdom. We are hear to preach the Gospel. And again, you still haven’t shown where Moore is a centrist or where anything he said isn’t 100% correct here.

21 D.R. Randle September 1, 2010 at 10:57 am

Lydia,

That’s probably because Bruce Wilkinson is doing a great deal with Pregnancy Crisis Centers all across the U.S. He is speaking at 5 different benefit banquets for such centers just in September. I certainly don’t care for the man’s theology and writing (especially Jabez), but I do appreciate his commitment to the unborn. BTW, he also does has a ministry to AIDS victims in Africa as well.

22 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 10:43 am

It will be interesting to see how this board in particular navigates the nuances of Russ Moore’s take on one hand, and the take of Robert Parham which I generally lean to but not in every specific this morning at Ethicsdaily.com
I must say there was enough Highpoppalorum and LowPoppahiram in Chris Wallace interview of Beck yesterday on Fox News to confound even the wisest.
And then last night on Booktv, a Moslem scholar from American University had some pregnant thoughts on early Mormonism’s embrace and collegiality with Aspects of the Moslem Tradition in America.

But here, the Best Baptist thought of the Day in Regard Beck’s Integrity Ralley.
It had not dawned on me till reading Parham that Richard Land was front and Center in Beck’s “Black Brigade”.
If that is so, then for sure looks like there is a strong conversation that goes to the heart of the Conservative Resurgence on the Horizon between Russ Moore and Richard Land and where and what percentage Cooperative Program Dollars will go.

Robert Parham on Beck’s Generic God:

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=16593

23 John Fariss August 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

Brandon,

Thanks for the article (even though you were not the author). Believe it or not, I consider myself to be conservative, though moreso theologically than socially (though that depends on what social issues being discussed). And I was disgusted by Beck’s use of a conservative Christian vocabulary while defining it very differently because he is a Mormon–and perhaps made sick by people I am sure are well-meaning, well-intentioned, possibly Christians, yet follow him without recognizing, first, that his religion is as different from Biblican Christianity as is Islam, and second, that many of them confuse American “civil religion” with a saving relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I am willing to say that Beck is probably sincere in his patriotism; but at the end of the day, it is his sensationalism (not patriotism or religion) that pays his bills (and makes him rich).

No matter what happens, America cannot recreate a mythical “golden era” in which we were a Christian nation, with Baptist or Baptist-like leadership. In 1790 (the first year of the US Census), I have been told that something like 10% of the population had membership in ANY church; and while we may debate how many of the Founding Fathers were “really” Christians verses how many were Deists who used a Christian vocabulary but a different dictionary (hmmm–like Beck perhaps?), the fact remains that most of those who were church members were of the liturgical church (i.e., Episcopal) rather than any interpretation of evangelicalism. While the post-WWII era was one of unprecidented growth among Baptists, it was also an era when we blurred the distinction between the dominent culture of white America and the Kingdom of God and thus were on the wrong side of the Civil Rights movement, as well as possibly some other issues. The sooner that we in the church recognize that we are missionaries and strangers in a land not our own, the better it will be for the Church of Jesus Christ.

Pardon me for rambling, but this posting struck a sympathetic chord with me. Thanks for posting it. And I quite agree that “Both (the left and the right) want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah.

John

24 hariette petersen (a.k.a. selahV) August 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm

John, you write: “The sooner that we in the church recognize that we are missionaries and strangers in a land not our own, the better it will be for the Church of Jesus Christ.”

Amen! selahV

25 Brandon Smith August 31, 2010 at 12:31 am

John,

Thanks, brother. I thought it was an important post considering the ground Beck is gaining with Christians through politics and such events as speaking at Liberty U.

I agree that his best point is that we have sold our doctrines for political jargon.

26 jack August 30, 2010 at 11:32 am

The article I read said that Richard Land “head of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission” was there because he had an invitation ! He hasn’t been on the correct side of a subject as a representative of SBC for a long time. Probably rode in on a wheelbarrow with some of his personal, but SBC paid cronies taking turns pushing. And their short of money.

27 Dr. James Willingham August 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I, too, appreciate the article. Mr. Beck is a liability, not nearly as good and right as he thinks. His Mormonism is a handicap, but, sadly, some folks who are really devout Christians fail to see the problems with his flawed understandings of American History and political documents.

28 Christiane August 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm

“Rather than cultivating a Christian vision of justice and the common good (which would have, by necessity, been nuanced enough to put us sometimes at odds with our political allies), we’ve relied on populist God-and-country sloganeering and outrage-generating talking heads.”

Bravo, Dr. Moore

29 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Tim Rogers and Aaron Weaver join the Uneasiness about Richard Land and Glenn Beck.
Lot of uneasiness with Land. Except for some moves in the right direction on Immigration he has been a disasterfor Southern Baptist Cooperative Program Dollars.
I think Randall Balmer got it right when he called him a “counterfeit Baptist”. But what could you expect from the Con Resurgence.
Here is Tim Rogers Blog today with Aaron Weaver and Peter Lumpkins weighing in straightaway at some length.
I think Land misses Rove, and has now found Beck and will ride that Glory Train as far as it goes.

http://rebekah1.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/glenn-beck-and-my-uneasiness/

If Russell Moore puts up a No Vacancy sign out next time Land takes his Values Bus out on the Road, where will he lodge after his first night with Ronnie Floyd. Looks like Louisville is out of the itinerary.
Guess he’ll have to head straight for Salt Lake and the Great Temple for 2nd Night’s Stay and theat could be the end of it for 2012 unless he works something out with Dobson in Colorado Springs.

30 Brandon Smith August 31, 2010 at 12:33 am

Fox,

I’m sincerely overjoyed that no one is biting on your random attempt at including the CR in this discussion. Not everything goes back to that, brother.

31 jack August 30, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I tried to “research” mormonism within my abilities which included Joseph Smith’s brother who was a member of the masonic fraternity and Smith who built a “religion” around the masons required memorazation work – I wanted to call it catachism but it wasn’t in my dictionary for spelling or meaning – and tons of other stuff like “golden tablets” no one but Smith ever saw. I am a mason with a lineage in this regard in the North & the South and I know that masons as well as Christians are unaware of just how “make -believe” mormonism is. Example; They have many gods but only one chief god at a time and one of which came to this planet from another planet and impregnated Mary the Mother of Jesus. So much for the Virgin Mary. Not only do Christians not know but they seem to not care less. Beck may be having a spiritual evolvement but at the moment he is bragging that he is a mormon and with the smarts he has maybe he would like to explain some of this. The NRA was involved with Beck and somehow now I think they regret it. I belong there also.

32 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Jack: Don’t know how serious you are in your research, but as a friend I suggest it very sophomoric until you give hard consideration to what I consider the Brilliant deconstruction of Mormonism–often with affection–in Harold Bloom’s The American Religion.
In that book I think he prophesies the Alliance of Richard Land and Glenn Beck.
Hope you can get your hands on a copy soon. Through used books should be able to turn up a copy for 8 bucks or less within ten days if you aren’t near a decent Library, or lyberry as they call em in NE Alabama.

And there was a great piece on Mormons when the Olympics went to Salt Lake 2004 or so in the New Yorker; talks about the sophistication of their PR machine in Salt Lake; comparable to the Masters of Spin at Baptist Press with the CR keeping the Lottie Moon and CP dollars streaming in whatever it takes.

33 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm

And Not to beat a Dead Horse in the Ground but there is a sense in which the Mormons have acknowledged and become more Honest about the Mtn Meadows Massacre and Brigham Young’s alleged involvement than Southern Baptists have with Pressler’s historic Racism and Criswell’s speech to joint Session of the SC Legislature and its implications in historical context.

34 jack August 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I’ve got to mail my Flood insurance Premium before todays is over, but I have gotten books out of print by a women who was married in a mormon church and the gown and wording of the ceremonies were strongly related to the masonic business. I have a book written at the time of Nauvoo, Ill. when Smith was taken out of jail never to be seen again and I’ve discussed these things on facebook with a guy who was a mormon in w. Texas who told me that the Mormons “would get me”. I researched only to know the truth because many don’t seem to. I’m off to see the “wizard”. I’m also a Christian and Baptist with strong lineage North & South.

35 Lydia August 30, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Beck worships another god. He is not a “Christian” and to define himself as one is startling because most Christians will not recognize that fact. Mormonism was not even around when our country was founded so the angel “Moroni” had no influence on our Founders.

He needs to stick to politics and our churches need to do a better job of teaching WHO the REAL Jesus Christ is. Even Jimmy Carter said that Mormons are Christians. A lot of folks believe that lie.

36 Lydia August 30, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I think Moore has some problems with his position considering his boss has been a culture warrior for many years instead of focusing on the Gospel and training future pastors as a seminary president. This is exactly what it leads to.

Will Mohler speak out, too? Or was Moore tapped to do this? Beck is a danger because he calls himself a Christian.

He also has a problem because ESS is very big at SBTS which also tampers with the Trinity in a nefarious way.

37 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Lydia, are you a Independent, Hardshell or Primitive Baptist? Fine if you are, just doesn’t seem to be much in your spirit where you would do a lot of cooperation outside your immediate congregation which looks like it could be your extended family.
Don’t mean that condescendingly, just trying to figure out how you get to where your are.

38 Lydia August 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I follow Christ, Stephen. I don’t do movements or follow celebrities or promote denominations. I do not even know what a primitive baptist is…do they live in the woods?

“ine if you are, just doesn’t seem to be much in your spirit where you would do a lot of cooperation outside your immediate congregation which looks like it could be your extended family.”

Stephen, this is a blog. It is a place for opinion and debate. Where does cooperation fit into this?

Why is it you always leap to such strange conclusions about people?

39 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Do you participate in much church outside blogging and expressing your opinion.
Roughly what is your church community and how far does it extend or are you flying solo on this deal.
If you could name a community of like minded believers that rougly approximates where you feel comfortable, who would that be and what would they call themselves.

40 Lydia August 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm

“f you could name a community of like minded believers that rougly approximates where you feel comfortable, who would that be and what would they call themselves.”

Stephen, you entire comment is a conumdrum. What is so bizarre to you about my opinions? Could you elaborate?

BTW: We call ourselves: Christians

41 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Lydia:
Did you see my Lyle Lovett song in the Pastor Appreciation Thread?

42 bapticus hereticus August 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Russ: … cultivating a Christian vision of justice and the common good ….

bapticus hereticus: Which is also a goal of those with a liberal/progressive theological orientation.

Russ: There is a liberation theology of the Left ….

bapticus hereticus: Any theology, left, right, or the, apparently, just right theology of Russ’s choosing that does not stress liberation in its varied forms misses the essence of the gospel.

Russ: The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barabbas ….

bapticus hereticus: Any theological position may become dis-oriented and momentarily lose its way, even the, apparently, just right theology of Russ’s choosing, which, of course, is not being criticized here by Russ, however.

Russ: … to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death ….

bapticus hereticus: Our problems are not so simple as to be this or that; they are this and that and also ways that this and that interact that we most likely are unaware. Neo-orthodox theology, even more so than orthodox theology, pointed to the radical nature of evil, but let’s not raise ‘heresy’ to an art form, shall we?

Russ: Leaders will always be tempted to bypass the problem behind the problems: captivity to sin, bondage to the accusations of the demonic powers, the sentence of death.

bapticus hereticus: Right up the alley of neo-orthodox theology, as well. One could cite Tillich with these insights. Congrats, Russ, for beginning to see the wisdom in some of the ones that we have found, for decades, to be deeply insightful.

43 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Hereticus is making some points.
For the record, Oscar Romero, and Jesse Helms was not; and the SBC Takeover seems to honor One, Helms; and dismiss or stay comfortably ignorant or mischaracterize the Other, Romero.

44 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm

My apologies for crowding this blog with corrections.

Oscar Romero was a Saint.

Jesse Helms was Not.

45 Brandon Smith August 31, 2010 at 12:36 am

Fox,

Neither is a saint short of the blood of Christ.

46 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 6:57 am

Brandon; do you know of the witness of Oscar Romero. Have you heard of him and his testimony?

47 stephen fox August 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

And this just In.
In my mind now with this close to spot on piece in TNR:

http://www.tnr.com/article/77299/beck-top

in my mind Beck may be upstaging WA Criswell for best example of the preacher in Wise Blood that comes over to Haze Motes on the Street Corner of Macon Georgia and proposes they go down to Mississippi for the Rest of the Summer for a Month of Simultaneous Revivals.

48 Lydia August 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm

“Lydia:
Did you see my Lyle Lovett song in the Pastor Appreciation Thread?”

No, does it answer my question to you? I am not real big on popular culture or even the less popular sub cultures. :o)

49 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 6:59 am

Lydia, the Southern Baptist Convention is a Subculture. In fact one of the best books written about it in the last 35 years had Subculture in its Title, written by Ellen Rosenberg. She found Mississippi fascinating in her field work there as an anthropologist.

50 Lydia August 31, 2010 at 10:00 am

“Lydia, the Southern Baptist Convention is a Subculture.”

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Stephen. I would never have guessed that by your comments and many links. (wink)

51 jack August 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm

You either loved or hated Jesse Helms. He was a big time mason and a big time racist. Whether he was a Baptist I don’t know but I expect he was as his funeral was held in a Baptist Church. They had to find a pastor from out of town to conduct the ceremonies. Elizabeth Dole and her husband attended sitting right up front and the T.V. cameras showed them well. She was running for some office with some difficulty and this was indeed exposure, whether good or bad and she had her own train with a “campaign car’ to wave from which is expensive. She lost big time. The remnants of this machine are still there I’m very sad to say but every day, month, year the neo-nazsis, local masonsand people whose decendants were hung by the union disappear. The young people black & white are worsshipping together there and now and the adult blacks extend teir hands in church and out. SBC churchs have problems which they think they are covering. They throw the new pastors out for reaching across “their” imaginary line which Glen Beck didn’t do a good job of bridgeing either had he made a real effort. That crowd was white and FOXNEWS and Glen advertised it.

52 jack August 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm

We need to start getting along. Ignoreing swmall things and concentrating on what the Bible teaches get bthe hiarachy of the SBC to honestly and actively try to make a difference. Otherwise I’ll go to a church , maybe a black baptist church where I feel at ease with it all. If the SNC goes belly up , then where do the billions and billions in cash and investments go? SBC employees maybe. Is that their retirement that’s going down the tube and their concerned. I’ve seen this scenerio happen twice before and some signs are evident. Questions are o.k. That’s “secret” as an answer is not productive.

53 Louis August 30, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I have never read a Glen Beck book or watched his show for more than, say, 3 minutes. I did not watch the rally. I did read Mr. Moore’s and Mr. Parham’s pieces.

Doesn’t Mr. Beck fall into that big group of public speakers who say things one can agree with about 30% of the time?

I am not bothered by Beck at all, despite the Mormon connection, the mixed up references etc. He seems sincere. He makes some good points.

Is it disjointed? Probably (based on what I have seen). He mixes references and says things that any careful historian would avoid.

But he falls squarely within the American tradition. A call to God that is broad enough to encompass several faith traditions, but which acknowledges a shared theology of some basic points about God and some shared political theory.

One hears this rhetoric from the Founders, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Kennedy, Carter, Reagan, Bush I and II and Clinton. Go back and listen to FDR’s prayer over the radio before D-Day, or his speech to Congress after Pearl Harbor.

I think a country with any cohesion at all needs some sort of shared beliefs about God, right and wrong, and that nation’s destiny. Everyone recognizes that limitations exist because of different backgrounds etc., but we all engage in this ritual, part of which is true (and necessary) and part of which is fantasy.

So, none of this worries me too much as long as Christians keep their priorities straight and don’t loose their heads.

54 Brandon Smith August 31, 2010 at 12:37 am

Louis,

Sincerity is great, worshiping another Gospel is not.

55 Louis August 30, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Watching Stephen and Lydia relate is hilarious. I haven’t had this much fun in a couple of years.

56 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 7:08 am

Louis, to paraphrase Sean Hannity, Glad you’re enjoying the show.

You may like what Randall Balmer said in regard Frank Graham and Billy Graham yesterday; one whose pilgrimage started with fundamentalism and ended an evangelical, and the other the reverse. See if you and Lydia can figure out the difference.
Religion Dispatches for that one.
And glad you have entered the Beck discussion. I was wondering what you were thinking.
‘ I think Chris Matthews framed it best yesterday in his Top of the Hour foray on Hardball. Said the Beck thing reminded him of the old Strategy of Kick em in the Cohones, and they when they regained a sense of calm after the shock of the pain, talk about the History of the State of Pennsylvania; kinda like Unce Fremont’s best joke or one of his top ten about the fellow who went in the Piggly Wiggly and asked for a half a head of lettuce.
You remember the line from the novel, one of the great poems throughout Mason and Dixon the Novel, don’t you Louis:

As Penn ascended the Delaware
SAvages from the Banks covertly Stare
As if at the arrival of some Prescient Prince
Before whom, Chaos Reigned
And Order Since.

From Memory; know you are proud of me and I appreciate it. Poem comes near the end of the novel if you want to check; ole Tom Pynchon.

57 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 7:12 am

And Louis, here’s one on ignoring fact in the face of mounting evidence.

Kinda reminds me of when Vines and Rogers and Patterson walked away at Ridgecrest in the face of the mounting evidence of Mark Noll and Clark Pinnock.
But Brandon doesn’t like that so there is plenty of room here to nuance Beck:

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=16601

Vaughn’s sister is a smart woman. Saw her on panel once at Samford with one of CB Scott’s good friends, Mike Shaw. On that occasion I was quite proud of Shaw. He was in good company.

58 Rick August 31, 2010 at 8:12 am

Stephen,

“Who has the best antenna, Richard Land or Louis and Russ Moore?” From my perspective, Richard Land.

59 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 8:31 am

Richard Land says Mormonism is the “Fourth Abrahamic Faith”; said it on NPR best I can understand this blog:

http://www.thebigdaddyweave.com/2010/08/richard-land-vs-russell-moore-southern-baptist-ethicists-differ-on-glenn-beck.html

And CB Scott, as he himself said, does in fact have an interesting comment at Tim Rogers blog, as does BDW.

60 Rick August 31, 2010 at 9:57 am

Is this not simply a polite way of saying that a Mormon is no more of a Christian than is a Jew or a Muslim? I believe that. Don’t you? The direct quote is even more nuanced. He says “perhaps” the most “charitable” way to speak of Mormons is in this manner.

Is everyone upset because Land leaves the door open for Mormonism to be elevated from the status of “cult” to that of “false religion?” Not that much of an upgrade, really. The main point is still that they are not Christians, which is truly offensive to a Mormon, no matter how nicely Dr. Land chooses to phrase it.

61 tom jefferson August 31, 2010 at 10:11 am

I agree with most of what DR. Moore says. I have never read a book by Beck, don’t watch his show or listen on the radio and did not attend or watch the rally Saturday. BUT, agree or disagree with him and his message and his method, he sees something amiss in our nation, he took a huge risk and DID something.
Yes, the world needs the Gospel. Christ alone can save. But most Christians I know are lazy and would rather do NOTHING than try something great. Followers of Jesus should be willing to take great risks, instead of trying to be liked and accepted by the world.
So as DR Moore rests behind his desk on a college campus, I urge him to take his Gospel message to the streets — at least like Beck did with his message.

62 jack August 31, 2010 at 10:12 am

I’m just starting to realise how addicted The SBC has become sucking the blood of our churchs and feeding the unholy agenda which they believe assures their continued success. I think things are changing and circumstances have even encouraged Richard Land to stand below, physically , a mormon, a sacrilage and attempt to justify him with his remarks – and the SBC is quiet- quiet. Quiet before a storm maybe ?

63 Paula August 31, 2010 at 10:27 am

Jack, I honestly believe that all the churches, not just the SBC, are dead on their feet. They are hollow shadows of what they once were. They were corroded by many factors: materialism, excusing or hiding sin, theologies that undermined the authority of scripture or put division in the Body, etc. But once the gospel itself is forgotten or replaced, the game is over. We have lost our salt and light and are good for nothing.

Yes, the leaders of said churches have been silent at all the wrong times. That’s because there are many skeletons in their closets, and exposing the sins of other leaders might backfire on them, so they are essentially blackmailed by Satan into silence.

64 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 10:28 am

Which raises the question, What is Ronnie Floyd Thinking; or Mike Huckabee.
I think Huckabee is about something different from Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, a little more authentic than the two of them and Richard Land; but Huckabee is troubling as well.
The trick will be addressing the complaint of the mostly white Middle and struggling working class without benefitting the money behind the Koch Brothers and the Birch Societyand those who benefit from the puppet pulling string mastery.
Something more equitable that is just; and I’m not sure the Beck/Land formula has much real justice in its politics or the outcome of its politics.
Huckabee may start from a better point than Land and Beck and his aspirations be more authentic and virtuous in their intent; but the baggage he brings unwittingly is of concern.

65 jack August 31, 2010 at 10:19 am

#46 should be “and attempt to justify THEM ” not him. Sorry

66 Tom Parker August 31, 2010 at 10:39 am

Paula:

You said:”Jack, I honestly believe that all the churches, not just the SBC, are dead on their feet. They are hollow shadows of what they once were. They were corroded by many factors: materialism, excusing or hiding sin, theologies that undermined the authority of scripture or put division in the Body, etc. But once the gospel itself is forgotten or replaced, the game is over. We have lost our salt and light and are good for nothing.

Yes, the leaders of said churches have been silent at all the wrong times. That’s because there are many skeletons in their closets, and exposing the sins of other leaders might backfire on them, so they are essentially blackmailed by Satan into silence.”

What a negative view you have of chuches and especially the SBC. The CR saved the SBC–have you forgotten this, Paula?

67 Paula August 31, 2010 at 10:45 am

Tom, you see everything through the lens of CR. Take off those silly things, they keep making you stumble.

I have a negative view of sin and spiritual adultery, Tom. Why don’t you?

68 jack August 31, 2010 at 10:59 am

What Paula said has been on my mind but I’ve not said anything because I thought it would be jerked off the post. Just to mention it but it appeared to me that Beck was wearing a bullet proof vest more obvious when you look at his back shoulder. Did MLK wear a vest? I don’t think so. My sonwho is a graduate of Elon in English Education and SEBTS fought hard for a year as pastor of a church that didn’t want to make friends with blacks and won a vote to throw him out, but let them buy him out. I’m partial but this kid is tough, knows what the Bible teaches and preached Kings “Dream ” speech after which most of the church came forward and most of them were crying. I still think Right is Might and the Puke Pockets will get their due. Sometimes a person can’t live with the wrong decision – unless it makes you a lot of money .

69 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 11:20 am

At the top of his show yesterday Beck said he was indeed wearing a bullet proof vest on the appeal of his Wife.
Said he offered one to Alveeda King but she declined the offer; Beck calling her the Bravest Woman in America.

70 jack August 31, 2010 at 11:51 am

How would Beck really know what BRAVE is ? A cream puff actor who is making millions running his mouth using churchy jargon – like I will testify- while getting fitted for a bullet proof vest to better enable him to recruit more , make more , and spend more , all of which is the American way.

71 jack August 31, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Is there such a thing as a black, Catholic Church ? Then where ?

72 Christiane August 31, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Jack,

I have never been to a ‘segregated’ parish by race. As a child, we went with an aunt to the ‘French’ Church (St. Joan of Arc) in Aldenville, MA. My father’s family were all French-Canadian Catholics and the parish served that ethnic population with Latin-French masses, and with the school four-hours in French and four-hours in English each day. There were other ‘ethnic’ parishes in the area. I remember a Polish Catholic Church (I attended this with Auntie Rhoda whose husband was of Polish descent). No church was ‘restricted’ to any one group only, no.

I never saw any racial discrimination growing up, and my schools were integrated at a time when the public schools in the South were not integrated.

The ‘ban’ on segregation morally, apparently comes from the Catholic understanding of the dignity of the WHOLE human race in the eyes of the Lord, who ALL descend from Adam and Eve, those first human parents, who were created ‘for God’ as their destiny.

73 Louis August 31, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Jack:

There are Catholic Churches in the South that are not officially segregated, but are practically so. Catholics have been doing good work in the Southern inner cities for years. They even have local schools that consistently outperform the public schools in the same areas.

Clarence Thomas was raised in integrated Catholic schools. He autobiography is a very powerful book about that experience.

74 Christiane August 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Louis,

I have taught in Catholic school in Paterson NJ.
Sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.
The parish had seen quite a turn-over in its residents over the years. A dear friend who was of Italian descent grew up in that parish and told me it was ‘mostly’ Italian when she was a child.
When I came to work, the parish had changed and was serving basically a Hispanic community. My students were a mixture of races: African-American, Hispanic-American, and Caucasian American. There were some students who were non-Catholics in my classes. I never thought about the mixture of races, as I had grown up with it myself, so I had no difficulty in serving these beautiful children. Later, I went to work in the inner-city, and the ‘integrated’ school I served was primarily African-American because of the projects in the surrounding community. I loved it. No problems. A lot of sadness, though at some of the special needs.

Congratulations, Louis. Someone on one of the blogs comments had you on a list for people who could dialogue with other faiths. I can see you in that way, also.

75 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 5:07 pm

There are some aspects of Thomas’s life that are inspiring; however he is a disaster for the SCOTUS; was one of the worst expedient decisions of Bush 41 Presidency; the worst of Lee Atwater’s kind of RAce politics, though Atwater sought redemption in the end.
I had a chance to ask Mary Matalin about it once in person. Interesting exchange.
Carol Swain, Louis, has much more integrity as Black Conservative than Thomas. You should get to know her; at Vanderbilt.

76 bill September 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Go read Clarence Thomas’ opinions and then come back and try to claim he’s been a disaster on the Supreme Court.

77 jack August 31, 2010 at 1:48 pm

A Party doesn’t commit abortions. Indiviguals DO and Indiviguals in the North and South and members of BOTH parties are your friends or foes. To have your vote associated with one party only increases the number of free dinners Land gets invited to. Vote for the Indivigual. I understand Party politics.

78 Dave Miller August 31, 2010 at 2:46 pm

What is an indivigual?

79 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm

David Miller an Individual with an informed voting conscience Jack is referencing would unlike Timothy George and Richard Land for instance, on the wedge issue of abortion; Jack’s citizen would have a walking conversational knowledge of Karen Gormley’s Parsing the Politics of Abortion; especially if they assumed the DEus Ex Cathedra routine pontifications of George and Land and got them published at CP expense and distributed throughout the SBC in the Rovian Gameplan.

80 SSBN September 3, 2010 at 12:15 am

“indivigual”

Fried, they taste like chicken :)

81 jack August 31, 2010 at 2:14 pm

John Wayne and Glen Beck are both ACTORS and while I would probably agree with John Wayne’s theology more than Becks’, I wouldn’t allow John Wayne to lead Christanity in any forum because Christanity would take a “HIT” just as it did with Beck and his mormonism. People don’t seem to see into this or can’t or maybe I’m way off base. Now that’s more on subject.

82 Louis August 31, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Brandon:

You said, “Sincerity is great, worshiping another Gospel is not.” I agree. (Though technically we don’t worship the Gospel).

I am not a fan of Mormonism. It’s theological foundation is not Christian, despite the Mormon reverance for Jesus.

But I really don’t worry about people of other faiths in the public square. Hasn’t there been a lot of that in our history? People of other faiths or no faith who espouse certain things that may be true and inspiring. Jefferson, Franklin and other Founders fit there, as do others of more modern times.

I would have supported Romney, if he had won the nomination. From a Presidential leadership his Mormonism did not bother me. I was disappointed that some Christians made a deal about that.

I am not a Beck fan, mind you. I just understand that he says some populist things that resonate with people, Christian and non-Christian. I really haven’t followed this closely.

Oh, and I think it is a silly point to make about Russ Moore not getting out and doing what Beck does. Does anyone think that Russ Moore is not vocal enough?

Beck is an entertainer and commentator, like Huckabee.

Moore simply does not have those skills, in my opinion.

83 D.R. Randle September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Louis,

I wouldn’t say that Moore doesn’t have similar skills to Beck and Huckabee, I would just simply say that he doesn’t choose to use those skills the way those two do. If you’ve every heard Moore in person, I think you would be impressed with how good of a communicator he is. I think he is very similar to Huckabee in his ability to assess with humor and intelligence. But he’s certainly not the type of guy to manipulate emotions and arguments like Beck does. You really should check out his preaching (he posts videos on his website at “Moore to the Point”). I think you would enjoy it.

84 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Russ Moore spoke to Bama Conservatives back in the 90′s and his shameful declension of my friend, the Novelist Vicki Covington as he tried to worm his way into more fundamentalist control over Samford and the Bama SBC was pathetic and unbecoming of a man who seeks credibility in the conversation about America’s culture.
On that day Moore demonstrated backwood lack of sophistication when talking about an up and coming novelist whose Baptist influence and roots were well known; and was a monthly columnist for John Grisham’s parented magazine, Oxford American.
Ultimately with the exception of an occasional strong column like the recent one on Glenn Beck, Russ Moore is captain of a very small world.

85 Jeff T September 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

I could care less who they wrote for—you parade those things out like they should mean something. They mean nothing. You give no specifics to how Dr. Moore hurt your friends feelings. Do you think for yourself or do you just follow what other SBC hater’s tell you?

86 stephen fox September 3, 2010 at 6:51 am

Jeff: How old are you, I got you figured to be in late 20s.

87 Jeff T September 3, 2010 at 10:53 am

Stephen, thanks for comment. I have not seen 29 in years.
Care to give specifics how Dr. Moore hurt your friends?

88 stephen fox September 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Ask Russell Moore, Jeff Tee, to get in touch with John Grisham to discuss Vicki Covington and Hal Crowther.
Crowther has a fine collection of essays, Gather at the River, where he pays tribute to among other folks that Great Son of a Baptist Minister, Marshall Frady.
For Crowther’s estimation of Paul Pressler’s great friend Jesse Helms, you can read his quarterly piece in the current issue of Oxford American magazine at your local Barnes and Noble.
You can google the website but I don’t think Crowther is available online.
Vicki’s husband wrote the Highly acclaimed book about snake handling, Salvation on Sand Mtn.
To paraphrase Lynyrd Skynyrd on Neil Young, Russ Moore came to Alabama to speak to a political gathering of state fundamentalists who had designs on Samford and he used Vicki as an example to put her down.
Vicki had a grand reference to my Dad’s first cousin who was chaplain to Nascar in a column in the Bham News on the occasion of the death of one of the Allisons.
Cousin Max Helton spoke at the funeral and Vicki celebratedhis remarks.
So in a sense Russ was dissin may extended family and I took it personal.

89 stephen fox September 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm

And Jeff if you and Dr. Moore want to pursue this further, dig deeper, here is a grand article from SI on Requiem for a Racing Legend

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1138324/index.htm

Max was raised Church of God, but with Vicki Covington had the grace unlike you and Russ Moore, to step outside his province and be a witness to this legendary American family who happenned to be Catholic.

90 Jeff T September 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Steve, So basicall you like to slander people but offer no proof just links. Steve tell me how you are better than the fundies. You are using their tactics.

91 stephen fox September 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

No, Basically JeffTee you are a stubborn fundamentalist whose reading comprehension and openness to Grace is very poor.
You go ahead now and spend your last days on this earth with your Absolute Truths and try to do as little harm as you can cause Idon’t see much good left in you.

92 Joe Blackmon September 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Steven

Thank you for bringing a smile to my face this morning as I read about your extended family getting hurt. Brought a smile to my face.

93 Jeff T September 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Steve, You have been swimming with the fundie’s too long. You sound like one now. What say ye Colonel Tom? Are these the words of a man who claims to follow Christ?

Steve Wrote: No, Basically JeffTee you are a stubborn fundamentalist whose reading comprehension and openness to Grace is very poor.
You go ahead now and spend your last days on this earth with your Absolute Truths and try to do as little harm as you can cause Idon’t see much good left in you.

94 stephen fox August 31, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Louis, I think there may be a little more to Huckabee than you give him credit for. He is what he is, but he has more integrity than Glenn Beck, is my perception; maybe more than Richard Land.
To this point I am convinced he has much more Integrity than Karl Rove, about whom to my knowledge Richard Land and Ronnie Floyd have always maintained a deafening silence when not accommodating him or working obliquely as his operative.

95 jack August 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm

#71 Dave Miller In answer to your question of what an Indivigual is, I will offer “a humanoid with one rectum.”

96 Christiane August 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm
97 jack August 31, 2010 at 6:45 pm

That’s very pretty with the right music to match. I want to tell you that living next to the ocean I’ve seen many sunrises. On the ocean it’s rarely flat calm; but, on the marshes with a little fog and my son & I and a good dog is without description. It beats anything I’ve seen from the cockpit for over 30 years when I was doing it. Quiet – stillness is the difference and those that don’t duck hunt might never know. Good Post but I want to be on the correct side of any subject if I can. Makes me testy at times.

98 Christiane August 31, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Hello jack,

‘evensong’ is a part of ‘the Hours’ in traditional Christian liturgy that honors Him Who once asked of men, this:

‘could you not wait with Me an hour . . . ?’

It’s not meant as any kind of a ‘rebuke’ to anyone,
Sometimes people are offended because ‘evensong’ is not in their way of ‘remembering’ Him.
I’m very glad you liked the psalm/hymn.

99 Louis August 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Stephen:

O.K. There “may” be a “little more” to Huckabee than I give him credit for.

But I’ll stop there.

He is great on TV. He is not Presidential material, in my opinion.

Too many evangelicals are into identity politics, so voting for him is so tempting.

As for convictions, former supporters in Arkansas would disagree. I can see him getting rolled easily. He enjoys adulation so much, in my opinion.

100 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 12:05 am

A perfected Fred Harris I think is the aspiration of Mike Huckabee but he may not have enough to pull it off.
I met the guy in person fall of 08; nice guy, talked to him and his wife briefly about Immigration.
I don’t think he is Presidential material either, but he did oppose Ronnie Floyd; was a less refined version of Jim Henry in Arkansas SBC politics of the late 80′s from what I can gather.
New Yorker profile about a month ago was pretty interesting, not condescending in the least; gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Sad thing about the GOP is there aren’t many Danforth’s left.
Huckabee had a grand interview with Robert Duvall not long ago.

101 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 12:17 am

Mohler, Huckabee and Darwin:

Another problem with Huckabee is his world view is too narrow to get his mind around science and the First Eleven Chapters of Genesis.
Al Mohler is having problems as well.
Hope some of you will wade through the 60 comments and counting as some good Baptists there are having a fairly substantive discussion, as Baptist discussions go.

http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5635/53/

102 Jeff T September 2, 2010 at 12:22 am

Steve, you can’t get this because you don’t really believe the Bible. Mohler doesn’t bow down to Science. The Bible is his authority, not some writer for Grisham’s wacked out mag.

103 stephen fox September 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

Jeff, I think you got confused in this ABP story about Darwin and Mohler.
It had nothing to do with Oxford American of which I am aware.
On the other hand there is an excellent story 04 in MOther Jones you can google for Jeffrey Lyle and Underwood then at Baylor.
Underwood is a GRand Baptist now the President of Mercer. Al Mohler, if he can ever come out from under Francis Schaeffer’s skirt, could learn a lot about Baptist inflected higher education from Underwood.
And for your further edification, JeffT –and by Extension MOhler. Land and Russ Moore–I offer this very troubling look at religion and stem cell politics from the current edition of New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/09/06/100906fa_fact_boyer?currentPage=all

104 hariette petersen (a.k.a. SelahV Today) September 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Louis, since the topic has dipped a bit into politics and who “enjoys adulation”, I’m wondering which president, in your opinion, we’ve every had in the U.S. that was not concerned with adulation and just the good of our country. And another question if I may, who do you think might be one we could begin to scrutinize more closely for our up and coming 2012 elections? Blessings and grace upon you…selahV

105 jack August 31, 2010 at 10:41 pm

It’s well after President Obama’s speech and a lady from Murfreesboro Tennesee with muslim headgear is speaking in an American accent and dialect about expanding the mosque she belongs to and needing police protection at the existing site. Is this just another puke pocket of red necks similiar to or the same as those that won’t allow blacks in “their” Baptist churchs in the south ? Add that to Richard Land standing in a white crowd listening to a mormon “preach” and I hope the SBC sees what a lousy job they’ve done with the abundant resources and priviledges given them. Their only fix is to ask for more money which is like a wife when things are short asking her husband to work more so she can have more. They , SBC, must not like the challenge or they would be out here building something and making something happen.

106 SSBN September 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm

QUOTE I hope the SBC sees what a lousy job they’ve done with the abundant resources and priviledges given them. END QUOTE

That’s right “given.” If I don’t give to an organization I don’t feel like I have the right to complain about the way they go about their work of charity.

Your post reminds me a little of those church members who want to give a $100 opinion with a $10 tithe.

107 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm

And as churches go SSBN I guess you would be referring to the percentage gifts to the SBC of the churches whose pastors became Presidents of the SBC from 79-2000 which if I remember correctly with the exception of Jim Henry the average was 2.3 percent; pretty much like your hundred dollar opinions for a ten dollar tithe analogy.
Again, no hating here, just some truth telling you refuse to acknowledge which would be Charles Kell’s Tongues of Fire on the Rhetoric of the SBC Takeover Masters, and then the pamphlet which I have linked for you many times.
But go ahead and live with your own illusions and chips on your shoulder; not much I can do about that.

As for the beck discussion I did leave for you the link to the excellent piece by Andrew Murphy of Rutgers this morning on the nostalgia of Beck and the SBC CP funded Richard Land.

108 Debbie Kaufman September 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

They are entitled to give a $100 opinion with a $10 tithe or 1.00 tithe.

109 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 8:35 am

Larry Greenfield has a word for Both the Mosque and the Beck discussions though it may be most appropriate in this thread:
Particularly interested in comments and reactions from Jack, Louis and Brandon on Greenfield’s offering here:

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=16609

110 Brandon Smith September 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Fox,

My only reaction is that Beck also practices a version of religion that is “a perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it” as he accuses Obama of doing.

111 stephen fox September 3, 2010 at 6:48 am

Brandon: Andrew Murphy’s effort on Fervent Nostalgia is also calling your name. Would love for you to disseminate the link around Dallas Seminary and see if their is a consensus response.
Also and I hate to have to add the disclaimer, that the following is not a taunt; just curious if Harold Bloom’s The American Religion is in your Library there.
For me. Bloom makes a grand case that SBC Fundamentalism of the Takeover Stripe is as foreign to Historic Christendom as the Mormon faith. That in the gut, as SBC faith and practice has been processed through Presslerism, Helmsism and the Gospel according to Karl Rove and Richard Land,not too much left for yall to celebrate; that in effect like REsolutiion NumberFive from 88, BFM Two thousand is a Mockery of the Priesthood of the Beliver.
So Two things; Andrew Murphy of the nearby religion dispatches link; and Harold Bloom.
But, no kiddin, thanks for taking a look at the ED.com piece.

112 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 10:30 am

One of the most substantive articles to date complete with picture of Richard Land standing beside Beck. This from Religion Dispatches this morning and I quote:

Both of these would-be Jeremiahs — King and Beck — sought to call the nation to something, something deeply American as they understood that term. The different registers in which they spoke, the different approaches they took to the past, and the different issues on which they chose to focus their criticisms, though, betray fundamentally different understandings of prophecy and its relation to political critique. Beck’s critique evoked tradition, Christian faith, and the goodness of America, suggesting that his listeners “concentrate on the good things in America, the things we have accomplished and the things we can do tomorrow.” By contrast, King sought to transform the very foundations of an American society shot through with racial prejudice, to bring the past to bear on the present as a form of critique, to transcend past and present practices, to draw on the nation’s founding to envision a new future of racial harmony.

Of course one might object that unlike King, who confronted a governmentally-sanctioned system of American apartheid, we in the twenty-first century face no such organized evil and thus the nation needs no fundamental transformations in the way it clearly did in 1963. But this seems to me precisely the point in distinguishing Beck’s from King’s attempts at prophecy. The kind of celebration of tradition that lies at the heart of the Christian Right’s interpretation of American history and its interpretation of American politics rules out, almost by definition, the kind of searching national self-critique that King insisted on.

End Quote:

From this article:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/3252/beck_plays_prophet_%E2%80%94_politics_pervade/

113 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

Russ Moore gets a lot of attention this morning in this companion piece at Religion Dispatches.
I have made a comment there.
The underbelly of Pressler and Helms aspirations for the SBC is being exposed; and even if Mohler and Moore had long run using Francis Schaeffer for Cover–James Dobson and Timothy George as well as Barry Hankins examines in Babylon Uneasy–the light is shinking.
Maybe some good will come of the Beck ralley after all

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/3249/the_evangelical_%E2%80%9Cplummet%E2%80%9D_from_francis_schaeffer_to_glenn_beck/

114 Jeff T September 2, 2010 at 12:23 am

New nickname for Steve—copy and paste….that’s all you do. You are always right…we are always wrong. You practice the very thing you accuse the fundies of doing.

115 stephen fox September 2, 2010 at 6:53 am

New Nickname for JeffTy: Ignorant Fundy

You don’t like that do you Jeff. Well I don’t like your little miserable attempts at being fundy cute either. So let’s raise the discourse a little and be more civil.
Here is something to help get this chat back course, a Course Correction to paraphrase Judge Paul Pressler.
Social Justice in the Scripture from one of the grandest Baptist Christians of the 21st Century

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=16615

116 Jeff T September 2, 2010 at 7:13 am

Yawn!!

117 stephen fox September 2, 2010 at 6:55 am

BTW Jeff; those are two great articles key to the topic at hand I brought to your attention if you can risk taking a look.
I am hoping Louis, Jack, Bill and Bill Mac may address them and I guess I will just have to tolerate you witnessing the discussion.

118 Jeff T September 2, 2010 at 7:14 am

Who cares what you think? I already know that you hate anything southern baptist.

119 stephen fox September 2, 2010 at 7:17 am

No, Jeff; some of my best friends are Southern Baptists.
I eat meals with Southern Baptists on a regular Baptists.
My Momma was a Southern Baptists.
What I despise is what nitwits like you did to a Grand Tradition.
I despise the demagoguery and deceit of the Fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.
And I have low tolerance for your kind of pontificating ignorance and may God forgive me if sometimes it shows.

120 Kay Mathis September 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

The SBC today is what is turning most people against them and questioning their motives. They are only out for your tithes so the old suits can keep a job. I go to a Southern Baptist Church, but stopped believing a word the SBC has to say a very long time ago. The SBC is for the SBC, not for seeing souls saved. Glenn Beck is not telling you to follow him, he is asking for all faiths to stand together. The SBC wants to be a dictator of you.

121 Dave Miller September 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

When you say the SBC, to whom do you refer?

We are all “out for you tithes?”
The SBC is “for the SBC, and doesn’t care if souls are saved?”
The SBC “wants to be the dictator of you?”

To me, these are ridiculous and slanderous statements. I think they are unfair as well as ungodly.

You smear the motives and intent of all of us who are a part of the Southern Baptist Convention. I certainly do not agree with every denominational action, but this kind of screed is unworthy of Christian conversation.

122 Joe Blackmon September 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

Don’t tell me, let me guess…you’re from Enid, right?

123 stephen fox September 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

And you live in the basement of Bellevue Baptist in Cordova, Tn, right?

124 stephen fox September 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

For the record wanted to point out JeffT, DebbieK and myself had a little diversion in the about 330 section of the Irresistible Grace chat that woulda been better placed here in the Beck Universe or the Mosque chat.

125 SSBN September 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm

QUOTE The SBC today is what is turning most people against them and questioning their motives. END QUOTE

Kay, I’ve noticed on this blog that SBC Haters love certain words like, “many and most” when one wishes to slam the SBC. All I know is from my limited experience — unlike you I have not surveyed and researched all 45,000 plus SBC churches — but in our area the SBC churches are sought out as a place where the Bible is taught and principles matter.

We certainly could be doing better, but I’ve never even met one outsider (and I talk to many each week) who has the same opinion of the SBC that you have.

You must be in a moderate SBC church if you don’t believe “anything” that the SBC stands for. If I thought an organization was so full of terrible people and so corrupt as you feel we all are — I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough.

But, then again, principles and truth matter to me.

Keep hating. I think you will find it always leaves a mark on the soul and a bitter taste in the mouth.

Sign Me,
An Imperfect Christian Associated with Other Imperfect People Doing Our Best to Honor and Serve a Perfect God — or just abbreviate it, SBC.

126 SSBN September 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Wow! I jsut scanned a few dozen posts and wonder who changed the name of this blog to “sbcbashers.”

And, many of the “bashers and haters” are not even members of SBC churches and others are decidedly and lovingly connected to CBF churches.

So much hate, so little time.

127 Jim Champion September 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

SBC bashing! And I missed out on it?? Well there is always tomorrow…

128 bill September 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I’m confused.

Are we Bashing SBC Today, the entity or the website?

I’m willing to withhold bashing the SBC Today, but I’m always up for bashing the website which I think is a book burning away from suppressing free thought like 1939 Germany.

I even more up for bashing SBC Tomorrow.

129 Rick September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm

D. R.

You wrote: “Rick, I don’t think you get it. Do you think the SBC is here to push politics or present the Gospel?” Insulting on so many levels. The only defense for condescension is sarcasm, so let me thank you for pointing out that I “don’t get it.” Now that you mention it, I realize what a thick headed idiot I was all along. Fortunately, your superior knowledge and ideas are so overpowering that brain cells are literally jumping from my computer screen and attaching themselves to my head. Thanks for the contribution!

Of course, we are here to present the gospel. But once we present it, we live it out in countless ways that impact our culture. One of those legitimate ways is to give voice to concerns in the public square that will lead to a better life for everyone. We do that as an expression of Christian compassion and love. I can’t remember quite where it is, but I think that can be found someone in the Bible.

Your question is like: “Are Christians here to share the gospel or sponsor Upward Basketball?” The youth sports league can be an avenue for ministry just as surely as a rally to save the lives of babies. It’s not an either/or but a both/and.

Once we share the gospel with people, and they come to know the Lord, and they start to ask how it should practically impact the way they live their daily lives, then the liberal issues of (1) legalizing marijuana, (2) removing cross necklaces in school, (3) eliminating prayer at public functions, (4) indoctrinating students in evolution, (5) handing out birth control to elementary school kids, etc., will need to be opposed if we are to be “salt and light.”

And no, I’m not here to bash Dr. Moore. I’m sure we agree on much more than we disagree on. But really, if he wants Baptists to take a more “neutral” approach — if you prefer that term to “centrist” — in the culture wars, refusing to tackle issues because we think it limits our evangelism, I simply disagree that it does. In fact, the world needs to hear our voice on such matters.

For what it’s worth, I often hear the similar argument that Calvinism is the enemy of evangelism. While I am not one, I don’t believe that is true, either. Again, the opposite of evangelism is silence. The opposite of legitimate Christian moral and social activism is the kind of apathy that only leaves one side fighting the culture wars, and it’s the wrong side.

130 jack September 2, 2010 at 9:23 am

Here comes the storm . At least God Moves ! Count on it.

131 stephen fox September 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

Two thoughts: One, Jack Iguess you are talking ABout Earl.

Two: Ihope Dr. Randle and Rick will read Anthony Murphy of Rutgers great analysis of King and Beck linked above. Especially Rick as he could work Murphy’s template of Fervent Nostalgia vs Prophetic Witness into his thinking,and I hope Rick would be strong enough to recommend, share Murphy with his people in his church for them to think about.
Hope Russ Moore reads it as well as Moore was getting heavy discussion at http://www.religiondispatches.org yesterday.

132 jack September 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

Yes, I’m talking about Earl and of course when I said God moves I know you realise that I mean the Christian God not the mornons, or the Buddhists etc. Almost time to get some supplies and lunch from a very good black, Christian owned restaurant that doesn’t want to argue stupid stuff like some on this blog. One little girl the daughter of an employee will come up to the tables and offer to say a blessing – no money involved. The food is really good and is priced for us commonors . I’m really not anti anything that will take up a lot of time just talking about. I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said,” If it is to be , then it is up to me.” I barely got a high school education but it was enough to raise and educate mine and for them to learn to find the truth and act in accordance with good judgement. Good judgement as it effects all they touch is what is missing from the SBC and I haven’t seen any indications of a positive change yet. Love a storm, geese are taking refuge behind my house like they’ve been watching the weather channel; good dogand a few firearms for any that want to steal while the power is out or the police are overwhelmed or pilfer the ruins. When I’m ready then I say a prayer. God was always my co-pilot but I never turned loose of all the controls and watched him fly .

133 jack September 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm

While Mormons accept original Bible manuscripts as being accurate, they believe that every translation is corrupt. The also believe that their god continues to give “up-dates” to the scriptures and that’s the reason the church head can “revise & extend” the scriptures and do just that. The mormon version of the Bible includes a passage in Genesis 50 that predicts the COMING OF JOSEPH SMITH ! The mormon church takes in over 4 million dollars in income each day in tithes alone. They got the bucks to buy the cars to carry their bicycles around on a trunk rack and distort the truth to whoever they talk to. And we elevate Beck and them to a higher plane of legitamously by standing beside him. I’ll nominate him for an Oscar for his performance for the actor he is.

134 jack September 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I don’t understand when that was said here if my statement was worth more than what I have contributed or less or just how he was entitled to the information he implied he had. Just moe bologna from a bologna artist. You can only get so far with bologna and I think he has reached his limit.

135 jack September 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Maybe he’s mormon and got it from a new scripture in the book of mormon created just to support his way of thinking. Such a good idea that the country, civic leagues, city councils could put time limits or voting limits on citizens depending on how much in taxes they pay or could have paid without deductions. Sounds like a statement meant to intimidate or belittle someone with a legitimate idea. What does he do I wonder?

136 stephen fox September 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Will Richard Land and Russell Moore address this latest deceit?
Grand article that goes to the silence and inadequacy of the SBC ERLC on many issues:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/09/06/100906fa_fact_boyer?currentPage=all

137 Jeff T September 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Steve, It’s easy to claim to deceit, what was the deceit? You like to slander people but never offer proof.

138 stephen fox September 4, 2010 at 7:33 am

Jeff: I think it is way past time to get back on topic; or maybe you should open up a guest blog with your complaints since your variety of fundamentalism has so many.
You asked for my personal lament about Russ Moore and Vicki Covington.
I offered it up with a personal story and then you slapped me saying it was slander.
How ridiculous. I gave a very strong tale about a Nascar Driver and how that extended to my cousins and Vicki Covington’s column in the Bham News and you slapped me around after asking that I tesify.
Who would want to go to Church with you.
I am trying to wipe my feet, be done with you on this and get back on topic.
I hope you have the manners for the sake of the civil intent of this board to stay on topic to take your whine somewhere else.

139 Jeff T September 4, 2010 at 7:55 am

Steve, I got you figured now, when you are called on the carpet you run away. You like to point fingers, but you have no proof to back up your charges. You are off topic because you are not even SBC. But I will move on….

140 stephen fox September 4, 2010 at 8:09 am

Jeff; go back and read my story about Nascar, Vicki Covington, and Russ Moore; somethng I offered from the heart at your Request.
You are much like the SBC Fundy leaders at Ridgecrest in 87. In the guise of Peace Mark Noll and Clark Pinnock shared their heart, and it wasn’t what Pressler and Patterson and their cabal wanted to hear, so they slapped the Good will Baptists around with it.
I am trying to find the text for Will Campbell’s grand OT parable about the futility of fundamentalism cause you are a perfect example.
On another occasion Campbell called people of your stripe

Soul Molesters.

I’m tired messin with you. Looks like a beautiful day in store and I got better things to do than wallow in Slop with you.
Hope you otherwise have a Nice Day.

141 jack September 4, 2010 at 10:26 am

Adios Jeff.

142 stephen fox September 5, 2010 at 8:00 am

HOw will Ken Ezell remonstrate Richard Land and the Black Robed Regiment if Land starts channelling Ed McAteer and seeks to morph his Values Campaign for Karl Rove of 2000 and 2004 for 2012?
Serious Question raised by this article:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/danielschultz/3237/glenn_beck%E2%80%99s_black-robed_regiment/

And Can Brandon tell us how Beck’s Honor Ralley was different from Ed McAteer and Adrian Rogers and Criswell’s Religious Roundtable, Dallas 1980?

143 stephen fox September 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm

How old is Paul Pressler? What year was he born?

144 stephen fox September 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I think he was born about 33 but I could be mistaken.

145 stephen fox September 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Will Bunch in His Book The Backlash has Glenn Beck and Richard Land’s number. I read the last chapter tonight.
Any sensible thinking church that continues to support Land’s ERLC with their Cooperative Program Dollars is buying into a scam.
Bunch makes that pretty clear in this book.
Russell Moore musta got a prepublication copy to start damage control.
Some of the people who fall prey to this Beck Crock have their blog pages linked to the homepage of their local SBC church; that’s how ridiculous this whole mess has become.
And Bunch has a warning for folks like me; the more you fight it, the more it multiplies so I don’t know what the magic potion is.
Hope yall read it and engage some of his points here on this board. And please tell me how Ed mcAteer and his 1980 Roundtable wasn’t the forerunner of all this. I can’t distinguish except for the technology:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/The_Backlash_Homepage.html

146 stephen fox September 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

Urgent: Contact Richard Land and have him get this article to Glenn Beck immediately.
Russ Moore needs to break it down for Land and Ronnie Floyd; and somebody help Ken Ezell understand it as well.
FRank Page certainly has the ear of SC Senator Lindsay Graham.
This needs to circulate at the Highest Levels of the SBC so they don’t remain dumbfounded by the Beck hysteria:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/culture/3232/narco-violence_and_the_failure_of_the_church_in_mexico/

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