Trump and Cyrus

For those who claim God has raised Trump up to be America’s ruler at this time even though he does not (despite his protestations to the contrary) evidence anything like a Christian approach to dealing with people or policy. I mean just how gullible are we, folks? Yet still the claim is made that in spite of that God tapped this man to lead America back to its former greatness. Kind of lack Cyrus, the Persian king God chose to facilitate the people’s return to the land after the exile. However, there are several crucial differences that to my mind invalidate this claim.
1.God chose Cyrus for one specific purpose: to allow Israel to return to the land.
2.He was not chosen to make Israel great again.
3.Israel was not to follow his policies and practices in her life as God’s people.
4.Cyrus, in spite of being chosen by God for this one purpose, was also to be judged as the pagan ruler he was for his sins both in oppressing Israel after its return to the land and in other places where he rule…

White Tribe Rising

The Hedgehog Review: Vol. 20 No. 2 (Summer 2018)
James McWilliams
The Hedgehog Review: Summer 2018
(Volume 20 | Issue 2)

Someday, when we—or our descendants—have enough distance from the present to contemplate who knows what this country will have endured, the presidential election of 2016 will evoke three words: basket of deplorables. This ill-conceived phrase, delivered by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at a Manhattan fundraiser two months before Election Day, was the rhetorical flashpoint of a broader takedown:
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?… The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.1
Those comments marked the moment when an apparently new white identity—though in fact an amalgam of new and older white identities—was ingloriously named. Within hours, thanks largely to Donald Trump’…

CS Lewis Was a Red

by Mervyn Nicholson

Red Tory, that is.  The famous author and religious writer, C. S. Lewis, is revered by right-wing conservatives as a saint, their trophy intellectual, but ironically, he was not “conservative,” not in their way.  He was not right wing.  He was a “Red Tory”, a political type unfamiliar in the U.S.  Almost everything he says about capitalism is negative.  Given his rather liberal views on divorce, birth control, and homosexuality, he was not a recognizable “social conservative”.  Above all, he rejected right-wing political and economic ideology.  In Mere Christianity, Lewis bluntly states that “a Christian society would be what we now call Leftist.”

OK, Lewis was certifiably conservative in terms of religion. But not exactly.  He was a middle-of-the-road Anglican—he was not “conservative” in the current sense meaning “Evangelical” or fundamentalist—treating the Bible as “literal” or as magical (“inerrant”).  He emphatically was not a “literalist”; he was not an “Evange…

Republican or Conservative, You Have to Choose

By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist
The never-Trumpers are having an interesting debate over the question, Is it time to leave the Republican Party? George Will and Steve Schmidt say yes: The Trumpian rot is all the way down. Bill Kristol says not so fast: Once Donald Trump falls, the party could be brought back to health, and the fight has to be within the party as well as without it.
My instinct is that we can clarify this debate by returning to first principles. Everybody in the conversation is conservative. Where do conservative loyalties lie? How can we serve those loyalties in these circumstances?
Conservatism, as Roger Scruton reminds us, was founded during the 18th-century Enlightenment. In France, Britain and the American colonies, Enlightenment thinkers were throwing off monarchic power and seeking to build an order based on reason and consent of the governed. Society is best seen as a social contract, these Enlightenment thinkers said. Free individuals get together and contract w…

07: Luke 1:46-56: Mary’s Magnificat

After the peculiar yet affirming moments at the meeting of Elizabeth and Mary, the younger woman bursts out in a song that continues to reverberate through the corridors of time. Her song echoes the song and life situation of another mother of a prominent Jewish leader: the prophet Samuel (1 Sam). Here are some of the echoes:
-in both events, it is the sons who are central to the respective biblical books (Samuel and Luke), and the mothers play dramatic ad vital roles.
-a common feature is that the roles of both women are centered on their motherhood (especially in the case of Mary, whose divine maternity is foundation for her spiritual maternity and her other titles), and not directly the salvation of a people, as with Esther or Deborah.
-both glorify God with hymns of praise which bear great similarity to each other (see chart below). It’s not impossible that Mary had Hannah’s song in the back of her mind as she sang her hymn of praise to God.
Mary’s song of praise
The Magnificat (the fi…

On the Lord's Prayer

But its familiarity to us from regular liturgical and devotional usage and it being called the “Lord’s Prayer” hides its radicality from us. This prayer is a Cross-eyed disciple’s prayer given by his or her cross-eyed Lord. Read it slowly and reflect on what it says in the context we’ve been developing.
Jesus introduces this prayer in 6:7–8 and appends a conclusion (6:14–15). Its seven petitions relate to both the divine (6:9-10) and the human (6:11–1). The first three petitions concerning God decenter and correct us. It’s God’s name that matters, not ours; and God’s agenda for which we are to pray, not ours. It is earth and not heaven for which we are to pray. Our favorite preoccupations, ourselves and our agendas, are sidelined and our hope of escape to a “better place” than earth (i.e. heaven) is thwarted. As I said, this prayer decenters and corrects us.
The last three petitions undercut our desire (expectation) for a life of comfort and ease. Daily bread, like daily manna for Isra…

The Four D’s Prior to Destruction - Michael Gorman

1. Delimitation: find a group of people, a corporate “other,” to blame for social, economic, and additional problems (such as crime) 2. Description: portray this group at first with half-truths and hyperbole, and then with out-and-out lies that demonize them 3. Dehumanization: take the next step and call this group of people non-human, or sub-human, or part-human—they are more like animals or things—and take away their basic human rights 4. Desecration: inflict emotional and then physical damage on these sacred persons (made in the image of God) who have been dehumanized 5. Destruction At the moment, thank God, the U.S. is not at #5, but certain people and so-called leaders are deeply entrenched in #1-3, and some have already participated in aspects of #4. Let the rest of us resolve to oppose and reverse the path before we go any further in the wrong direction. (And even if we cannot imagine #5 or never get there, #1-4 must still be overcome.)