Is this “a Bonhoeffer moment” in American political, cultural and spiritual life? A lot of people, across the theological spectrum, seem to think as much, or at least find the question worth pursuing.
Might churches claim and enact a kind of gospel triage, responding with immediacy and intentionality to the external/internal struggles of persons impacted by gun violence?
Many elements of Lost Cause religion were rooted in distorted biblical hermeneutics, interpretative methods that gave proof texts for anti-Semitism, chattel slavery, Jim Crow separatism and white privilege.
Perhaps the signers are really mourning the loss of a post-Constantinian culture in a society where Protestant privilege wanes and churches must give witness to Christ’s gospel, not depending on principalities and powers to assist them.
The Baptist orthodoxy wars taught me this: When ideologues decide you are a heretic, they’ll raise the doctrinal ante until they prove it — if not to you, at least to themselves.
It was a killing field, and accounts of those brutal murders make for heart-rending but necessary reading.
What if health care legislation becomes so draconian and human need so great that churches have to initiate or expand community clinics, not because Obamacare is repealed, but because Jesus requires it?
Substance abuse is a complex issue because pain is multilayered, taking on parallel and distinct configurations in every human being. Can persons enmeshed in pain and Percocet feel safe enough in our congregations to seek physical, mental and, yes, spiritual assistance?
What if campus carry is simply the most dangerous of an unceasing set of classroom distractions, existing alongside tweets, texts, Google, Wikipedia and Facebook, diversions that thwart both instruction and provocation, disengaging students from ideas that might form or re-form them?