Tuesday, August 31, 2010

(A Couple More) Reflections on "Restoring Honor"

I have just got off of the phone with a friend with whom I've discussed the Restoring Honor rally in some detail. He's a Southern Baptist minister who agreed with me that Russell Moore's column was spot on. As we talked, I was reminded of a couple of things that built upon what I wrote last night:

1. When there was some discussion regarding Mitt Romney's Mormonism in 2008 I said at the time that I could vote for him if he got the nomination (I was a Fred Thompson backer from the beginning but when he dropped out after a lackadaisical campaign -- long after the South Carolina primary -- I hoped that Romney would be the candidate) because I was voting for my President, not my Bishop. It was, and is, a matter of sphere sovereignty; I could easily vote for a candidate whose positions were in line with a Christian worldview despite their having a heterodox theology over against a candidate with whom I was in theological agreement but whose politics were less than sound.

Ironic, then, that much of American Evangelicalism is ready to elevate Glenn Beck to something uncomfortably close to its episcopate.

2. I also recalled a conversation that I had years ago in college with a professor -- now deceased -- who leaned to the left both politically and ecclesiastically (a Southern Baptist, he was an early member of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and complained about what had become of his Alma mater, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the "Fundamentalist Takeover*"). I studied under him at a state university and, while our theological differences became more stark over the years, I learned much from him and counted him a friend until his death. As we were talking it came up that the Army curiously classifies LDS chaplains as "Protestant." He retorted, "I guess they don't have a category for 'cult!'"

Ironic that my liberal friend got what many of the Evangelicals in the United States seem to be missing!

*As an aside, when trying to determine the theological position of a Southern Baptist, a good indicator is to see how they refer to what happened in the late 1970s through the early 1990s. If it is called the "conservative resurgence" then they are reliably conservative/evangelical. If they call it the "Fundamentalist takeover" they are almost certainly a liberal. Another quick indicator is to casually work the name of Al Mohler into the conversation. If they get visibly angry, they're probably a liberal. If they smile, they're probably a conservative/evangelical, if they get puppy dog eyes, they're almost certainly of a Reformed stripe and are probably members of the Founder's Movement.

I hope all of my Southern Baptist friends know that the above was written in good natured fun, accurate though it may be!

1 comment:

  1. Drew, got a date I'd like to have you come talk with my CofC class, but lost your email. Drop me a line. I'm looking at 7pm on Wed 9/29.