Crunchy Con’s Rod Dreher has joined with Joe Carter to declare that Obama is not a Christian. What do you think? Do you have to believe everything in the Nicene Creed to be a Christian? Is the Nicene Creed open to interpretation? By heterdox Christology, does Dreher imply that there is only one way Christians have approached the divinity of Jesus? What do people gain by saying that another person is religiously illegitimate? I wonder…
From Dreher: In the last post, I highlighted Michael Brendan Dougherty’s contention that Americans are theologically illiterate. Well, here’s Exhibit A: a fascinating, and illuminating, controversy started byJoe Carter, who questioned whether or not Barack Obama is a Christian. As a statement of minimal Christian orthodoxy — that is, what it is necessary to believe to be a Christian — the Nicene Creed is as basic as it comes. And yet, in a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani, published in full the other day by Steve here on Bnet, Obama apparently professed a heterodox Christology:
FALSANI: Who’s Jesus to you?
(He laughs nervously)
Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he’s also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.
And he’s also a wonderful teacher. I think it’s important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.
Unless Obama was being incredibly and uncharacteristically inarticulate, this is heterodox. You cannot be a Christian in any meaningful sense and deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. You just can’t.