J Walking

J Walking

More on Warren and Obama

David van Biema in has just posted a very interesting article: The Real Losers in the Obama-Warren Controversy.

He says, “Rick Warren’s invitation to have Barack Obama speak at his mega-church’s AIDS conference has sparked a furor in the evangelical community. But pro-life critics of Obama’s inclusion may end up regretting their stance.”


The last thing that political evangelicalism should do is play the fundamentalist to Warren’s Graham. There are those like David Kuo, the former second-in-command at George W. Bush’s faith-based office who expressed his frustrations in the recent book Tempting Faith, who feel that, as he puts it, “there is one camp [in Evangelicalism] who truly want to follow Jesus, and another, much narrower, the Christian political power brokers, who want to follow conservative politics.” He thinks the latter will soon be exposed to the majority as wordly operators rather than God’s servants and shrivel away. He regards some of Warren’s more prominent critics this week as prime examples.


If those critics want to hang on a little longer… or for that matter, if they want to prove Kuo wrong both in his assessment and his prediction… or if they’d simply like to live up to the full meaning of their pro-life commitment, they might consider letting Warren host Obama in peace. Otherwise, more broad-minded Christians may eventually demand a different kind of leadership.

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posted December 2, 2006 at 12:43 am

“…they might consider letting Warren host Obama in peace. Otherwise, more broad-minded Chrisitans may demand a different kind of leadership.” Now that’s a seamless closing sentence – incredible, excellent commentary!

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posted December 2, 2006 at 2:11 am

These people have not, and have never been, my leaders. I’m very glad that to some extent people are finally seeing that these sorts do not represent all evangelicals. Thanks for writing this blog and helping get the word out. All the same, I would never identify myself as an evangelical, and I don’t even call myself a Christian unless asked directly — “follower of Jesus” is enough of a label for me. By the way, the media helped create these people, and now it’s the media finding new drama in their decline. The media will always be finding stories, but whether those stories are favorable (or accurate) or not my life is following Jesus.

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posted December 2, 2006 at 3:28 am

Andy, Some great comments. As David Kuo’s writings can remind us, publicly self-identifying as “Christian” must not be conflated with with actually “following” or “enacting” Jesus’ teachings.And as U.S. evangelical fundamentalism all too often illustrates, precisely those “Christians” who shout the loudest are the ones most offended by the profound, radical gospel of Christ.

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posted December 2, 2006 at 5:46 am

This has been a defining week for evangelicals and I’m grateful to David and Rick for their leadership. The quote in Time is a perfect word to help us remember that politics and the lust for power is not the best path for the redemption of our world.

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