Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Myth of A Christian Nation, Q&A

I told you once we finished to book that I was going to be emailing Greg with some questions that came up from my second reading of the text. I have done that and he has answered. Here is what he had to say:

1. You refer several time to the ways of the Kingdom of God being simple. Could you expound a bit on that? It seems that with they myriad of opinions on every topic under the sun, that it is anything but simple, or, at the very least, that man has made it not simple.

It's simple in that it always looks like Jesus and thus reflects a Calvary type of love.

2. Some (friendly) critics have said that Colossians 1 contradicts your thesis a bit:

"I sincerely believe that Christ seeks to redeem everything. I believe what is written in Colossians—"For by him (Christ)all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him…For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." (Col 1:16, 19-20)."

Most scholars grant that the Powers referred to here are not earthly powers and thrones, but spiritual entities. As such, I don't see how it affects my thesis.

3. We hear stories of heroic acts like the passengers on flight 93, who used violence/power over to subvert the terrorists and save lives. what would your comment be on a situation like this? I know it is a bit unfair to throw extreme exceptions into the fray, but I'm just curious.

AS with many acts of violence throughout history, the violence on flight 93 was good and heroic. But the Kingdom is not about being good or heroic. It's about imitating Jesus. Now, this mightnot rule out using a minimal ammount of force to restrain the high jackers, but it would mean, at the very least, refusing to kill them. Ideally, however, I think a Jesus follower would try to communicate God's love to them, non-stop, even if they killed them to get them to shut up.

4. Can you tell us a bit about the next book you have coming out?

It's called REvolting Beauty: A Theology and Practical Guide for Kingdom Revolutionaries. The central thesis is that followers of Jesus are called to manifest the beauty of God's reign and revolt against everything in the world -- and against the Powers -- that stand against it. This always looks like Jesus. So I explore Jesus' life and suggest ways his followers can manifest the beauty of God's reign by revolting against such things as * idolatry * judgment * religion *secularism *individualism *nationalism * racism * classicism * poverty * violence * sexual immorality * sickness * demonization and * earth abuse. (each of these has a separate chapter). It's due in 3 weeks and should be out late fall or next spiring.

This concludes our series. I hope it has caused us to think in this election year. Thanks for tuning in.

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