The church has not just been on the wrong side of history, but on the wrong side of Christianity. Anti-Semitism is by definition a repudiation of Christianity as well as of Judaism, and an enemy of pluralism and democracy.
Jerry Falwell Jr. and other evangelical leaders espouse what Martin Luther called a “theology of glory.” Falwell has a lot of company. Christian history is full of examples of people finding God on their side when articulating their theology, even, and especially when, their theology concretely harms people.
Learning dissent is never easy. One person’s prophet is another’s anti-Christ. One person’s conscience is another’s bigotry. Sometimes dissent can get you damned. Sometimes (like now?) silence can too.
If I read my Bible correctly (and if I read my American history correctly), the only real hope we have for reconciliation isn’t actually through reading our Bible correctly. And it isn’t through winning an argument with someone who disagrees with us. Reconciliation only seems to happen in one way — through carrying crosses.
Churches should see themselves in this movie. The church, like the board of the Post, is tempted to focus on survival. When well-meaning, frightened Christians worry only about the budget, the church ceases to be the church. Institutional Christianity, like a bad newspaper, is organized, conventional and uninteresting.
The year 2017 may not have been the biggest ever for religion news in the U.S. or the world, but it has to be close.
Happy birthday, Protestants. This week marks 500 years since Martin Luther’s actions sparked the Protestant Reformation. But is anyone really celebrating? Church historian Bill Leonard says yes, some are.
Five hundred years after the Reformation, our world again echoes with a plethora of similar tensions, prickly personalities and transformative technologies.
Many Christians — especially in the United States — are struggling with their Protestant identity these days. Articles and blogs abound on the topic. The religiously unaffiliated don’t resonate with the concept of Christianity defined by a religious revolution sparked in the…