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Donald Miller at the DNC: The Reactive Poltics of Evangelicalism

Davey has helpfully pointed us to a rather bizarre occurrence at the Democratic National Convention, namely the closing prayer by fellow Portlander and author, Donald Miller. Miller many of us know from the wildly successful book Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligous Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. This book has, in many ways, come to be cast as the quintessence of the sensibility of so-called emerging church. Miller’s actual writing is really not  bad. It is funny, whimsical, and sometimes insightful. It is the bane of all memoirs to appear self-consumed (how could they not?) and as such, I certainly don’t fault Miller on that score. However, one must pause to think about the oddity of a fellow like Miller being asked to offer a closing prayer at the DNC. Since when did major political parties start seeking out those perceived as emerging Christian bohemeian hipster types to chaplain their events? What is going on here?

Miller, like Jim Wallis and others among the “evangelical left” (a term I use with trepidation — clearly it could be taken pejoratively, but we need some sort of workable descriptor) are central among those whose vote the Democratic party is courting. Obama’s current surge of seemingly indestructible popularity is largely grounded in his appeal to young social justice-oriented people, many of whom are inclined towards the spirituality and thinkers associated with the emerging church.

Miller claims, on his website that his prayer at the DNC is part of “sending a message to Washington that no single party has the Christian community in their pocket.” This echoes Jim Wallis’s tired rhetoric about how both the left and the right are misguided, but pretty much everything about the left is actually pure gospel and the right is irredeemably diabolical. However that is not the point I am interested in.

I suppose it is not a horrible thing to let Washington know that Christians cannot be absorbed by one political party, but how is that message really all that good? The implicate of Miller’s message seems to be that Christians as a whole are not the political capital of the Republicans, rather, depending on what kind of Christian you are, you can be the political capital of either the Democrats or the Republicans. (I’ll leave aside the question of whether or not Wallis and Miller really want to send that message at all.  I suspect they’d far rather have all Christians be voting Democrat than have Christians voting against one another.)

The real question that is going unasked here is how is it a good thing if Christianity is so plastic as to be easily circumscribed within the architecture of either the Democratic or Republican parties? Why would the fact that Christians are no longer of the same mind about which political party to get in bed with be a good thing? Its as though Wallis and Miller are reveling in the fact that finally some of us Christians are different than the religious right and are able to express that difference by opposing them through the apparatus of the Democratic party. What is ultimately the point of rejoicing for Miller and Wallis is that Christians are finally dividing from one another over the causes they find important.

My point in this is not to suggest that things were better when evangelicals were almost universal expected to vote Republican. Surely they were not. However, the kind of political imagination that delights in the fact that finally new lines are being drawn along political lines and Christians are falling on both sides of them is surely not a very Christian way of thinking. It is agonistic and divisive all the way down. Certainly there are issues that must be divisive for the sake of truthfulness (cf. 1 Cor. 11:19), but I don’t think this is at all what is going on here. This has far more to do with the sort of identity politicking and social self-branding that has become fetishized in late-capitalist culture. What is ultimately important to Miller and Wallis, or at least the sort of spiritual-political sensibility that they have come to represent, is that they be differentiated from the Religious Right, this barbarous Other which they despise. What is crucial for them is all the trappings that come along with their differentiation from this Other. Their politics are reactive from begining to end. Thus, if praying at the DNC stands in opposition to praying at the RNC then that is clearly the move to be made. By making it Miller brands himself the certain sort of religous-political persona with whom the current culture of disaffected evangelicals have come to identify. The notion that it might be just as problematic for two political parties to have sectors of Christianity in the pocket as one is not really a consideration.

All of this points to a fundamental problem with the evangelical ethos in the United States from which the emerging church movement springs. Evangelical identity, at least in the U.S. is so utterly determined by the American political imagination and the capitalist economy which grounds it, that it is unable to express or realize itself except through the political-economic architecture of America, regardless of what political subdivision it finds itself in. It is part of the fabric of evangelical identity to be beholden to a certain notion of what meaningful political existence means, namely good citizenship, responsible participation in the “public sphere” for the sake of ordering society towards the relative good. As such, any and all forms of evangelical religious practice must by definition take their  bearings and derive their intelligibility from their participation in the American political apparatus which is constituted by late-capitalism.

Thus, the whole capitalist superstructure — upon which Democrats and Republicans feed like pilot fish upon an whale — constantly absorbs any and all evangelical political action into itself. It doesn’t matter to the capitalist structure whether or not evangelicals are in the pocket of one party or two in the least. As long as evangelicals remain within the orbit of their historic ethos they will always be seamlessly enfolded in the capitalist tapestry. Donald Miller praying at the DNC says absolutely nothing whatsoever to allay or contrast the captivation of evangelicals to the rhetoric of the religious right. It makes absolutely no difference to it whatsoever because it simply occupies an opposing nodal point within the binary antagonisms which make up the fabricated antinomies that run the capitalist order. Insofar as evangelicals, emergent or not continue to simply take their place on either side of the given polarities of micropolitics, they will continue to remain satiated subjects of capitalist discipline.

The only truely theopolitical form of Christian witness in the world will be one that is not caught up in the binary oppositions that obtain in contemporary political discourse. By remaining within the polarity of action and reaction, Christian politics is endlessly determined by the political logic of the civitas Cain rather than the civitate dei. Christian politics can only truly be Christian when it is not determined by the cycle of action and reaction that establishes the agonistic order of the earthly city. For Christian politics to be truly Christian they must be, at their very core, nonreactive. The peace of the city of God is in no way determined, constituted, or defined by the agonism of the earthly city. In the same way the translation of human bodies out of the body of Adamic death into the body of Christic life in baptism is in no sense determined by the powers of domination. Baptism is the translation of bodies into the realm of gift-giving and receiving, a realm which is not determined by the logic of violence that underwrites the reactive nature of all earthly politics.

Of course, there are many objections that could be lodged against the positing of this nonreactive theopolitical alternative that I have just hinted at. Surely all churches and all Christians are always-already circumscribed within the violent agonistic logic of the earthly city. Simply to pretend that we inhabit a pristine paradise of gift is nothing more than the construction of fictions, is it not? To this I can only say no. And I can say this on no basis other than the promisory reality that lies at the heart of the gospel. To be sure the line between the earthly city and the city of God runs through each one of us, but that by no means entails that we should settle down and break off our pilgrimage toward Jerusalem simply because we are not there yet. To inhabit the city of God is not to inhabit a stable defined space which we could counterpose with the earthly city. The city of God is the company of pilgrims who journey eschatologically through the present age, bearing within themselves the firstfruits of the age to come. We live not by the stability of something given, but in the instability of promise and gift. The nonreactive politics of the pilgrim people of God is not a total system which could supplant the earthly city or which is free from the violence of the earthly city. It is rather the proclamation, expectation, and experience of the apocalypse of God’s gift which breaks into the totality of the earthly city opening up spaces of infinite peace in which real human life can and does take place in the midst of this present world. What we are called to believe is that this sort of thing really happens. And such a belief cannot be inferred from the logic of prior sequences of events. What we are called to, as Craig Hovey has helpfully pointed out is not the stability of prediction, but the insecurity of promise.

To live in that promise would be to inhabit a space in which we are willing to do that hard work of problematizing our attempts to easily participate in the political binaries of this present age. To live in light of the Trinitarian future of promise and gift is to live in the realm of inutiliy, in which our political practices are likely to look like utter foolishness. But what else would we expect when the criterion of political intelligibility in our world is based on the very structure of reaction that the Christian order of peace calls into question?

It may be that I have finally drifted too far afield from my initial questions about the political and theological logic of Miller’s participation in the DNC. Ultimately  the question revolves around political content of the gospel. Insofar as we allow the promisory imagination of the gospel of Christ to be circumscribed by the political logic of the earthly city we are failing to truly embody our theopolitical calling as the ekklesia of of the triune God. And in so failing we become simply another branded commodity to be bought, sold, and fetishized in the ubiquitous market of global captitalism. I fear that Donald Miller, by casting in his lot where he has may have done just that. It is my hope that ultimately the call of the pilgrim people of God will be sweeter and more alluring than the apparent utility false polis and the cool trappings of insidious agora of this age. And I think that hope is not ill-founded.

39 Comments

  1. Alex wrote:

    The DNC didn’t “seek Miller out.” Cameron Strang of Relevant Magazine, who was supposed to give the benediction pulled out and personally recommended Miller to them to pray in his place.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    Interesting, but I don’t know that it’s really relevant to my point given the same sort of culture of spirituality represented by Relevant Magazine and Miller. What’s important is the social dynamic at work in this whole nexus of issues, not Miller the individual per se.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Permalink
  3. eugenecho wrote:

    thanks for a compelling read. it’s one of those posts i’m going to have to read again tomorrow to better digest. peace.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  4. Hill wrote:

    I wanted to express my appreciation for bringing this up as well. I resent how readily people who have spent a lot of time pointing out the incompatibilities between the life of the Church and the Republican party are so readily assumed to be mere “liberals.” It’s one of the most profound ironies of our modern political climate that if you could run a candidate with a John Paul II platform (basically, a serious Catholic) and call him a Presbyterian Republican, he’d win in a landslide. Of course, our political system makes it essentially impossible for someone like this to rise to power in either party. Conservative Evangelicals tend to be pap-o-phobes, at least when it comes to elected officials, and in order to have any power in the Democratic party as a Catholic, you have to go heterodox on fundamental issues (in addition to saying absurd things like the classic quote from JFK).

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  5. Indiefaith wrote:

    “Evangelical identity, at least in the U.S. is so utterly determined by the American political imagination and the capitalist economy which grounds it, that it is unable to express or realize itself except through the political-economic architecture of America, regardless of what political subdivision it finds itself in.”

    “For Christian politics to be truly Christian they must be, at their very core, nonreactive. The peace of the city of God is in no way determined, constituted, or defined by the agonism of the earthly city.”

    Yup.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  6. R.O. Flyer wrote:

    Great post, Halden. Miller has the prayer posted on his website. Here’s a section of the prayer:

    “Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

    A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

    Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

    Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

    Lastly, father, unify us.

    Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

    And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

    God we know that you are good.

    Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.”

    Find the whole thing here

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 7:29 pm | Permalink
  7. tha trev wrote:

    well said halden -

    i do wonder, given the ideas you’ve posted here, what then should our involvement and actions be in this earthly polis?

    how are we as compassionate, Christ imitating, disciples to deal with injustices in our country like orphans, abortions, and the unevangelized. should we forsake lobbying, running for office, and voting all together? if my question sounds like i’m asking for a “no” response, i’m not, i just am unclear as to how far you would take this idea of walking not in the “stability of prevention, but in the insecurity of promise.”

    anyways, thanks again for a thought-provoking post.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 7:46 pm | Permalink
  8. Nathan Smith wrote:

    I had hoped against hope that Miller would denounce the more ridiculous aspects of the DNC platform. He would probably even receive a free pass from the crowd, since no one would dare boo during a prayer. That would have been a heroic and terribly unpopular thing to do.

    Halden, this post is great. Many thanks.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 8:31 pm | Permalink
  9. pilgrimguide wrote:

    Great post Halden. I’m going to read it again, but you say so well, what I’ve felt for some time. I’d like to hear what you would propose as an appropriate path for the future for those who no longer see value in the current system.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  10. scott wrote:

    Halden,

    Thanks for another brilliant post. I have a few questions.

    I’m sure you could, with recourse to a little Marx, substantiate your claim that the dominant American political parties are merely structural appartuses based upon and determined by the capitalist ‘superstructure’. No argument there.
    But I wonder if you would go on to argue if God disrupts the capitalist order only from without, or if Christians should not also listen for or expect to listen for that Word (which is as such extra nos) also in the critiques of capitalism’s injustices that come from within.

    In other words, are Christians called only to witness to God’s final vanquishing of and redemption from the powers – e.g., the deviant and demonic capitalist order – or do they have also to look, in faith in Christ’s present rule over the unjust powers, for spaces where their rule is provisionally broken, and a word of hope (from within ‘the system’ which is doomed to pass away) may be proclaimed?

    I am thinking first of all of John Yoder’s life – which was full of all kinds of very mundane speeches, recommending, for example, that Christian bankers try and move their banking practices in the ‘direction’ of the Gospel’s proclamation of jubilee. And also of Yoder’s Christian Witness to the State, where he states that the proclamation of the Gospel to a statesmen doesn’t require in principle his giving up his office, but does require his commitment to Gospel fidelity wherever it may concretely oppose a particular course of state action.

    You state that “To inhabit the city of God is not to inhabit a stable defined space which we could counterpose with the earthly city.” And I couldn’t agree more. My question, then, is whether we should see the American political system (or any given system) as a ‘stable space’ that is hopelessly trapped within the binary, reactive, agonistic logic it does indeed embody at the present. Your argument seems to suggest we can only see earthly politics in that kind of ‘stable’ way (i.e., their systems simply are the fallen powers), while maintaining at the same time that Christ’s peace comes as a dynamic gift we can only expect, recieve and share. Can that peace in its dynamism not break into the unjust system from which God’s kingdom is utterly different, too? And if it does – for example, in small improvements of government welfare, or less militaristic national policies- should Christians, even while emphatically maintaining the utter difference of God’s eschatological reign, not also give their support?

    You’ve again foreseen my potential criticism to some extent, and mentioned it above, I just need to hear more!

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 3:09 am | Permalink
  11. Evan Kuehn wrote:

    Wonderful post, Halden. As usual, I have some basic theoretical differences with your thoughts on political theology, but there is plenty that I agree with. One thing that strikes me about this “mission” of Wallis, Miller, et al. to make room for an evangelical left in opposition to the prevailing religious right is, well, how EVANGELICAL it is. Because seriously, it’s not as if the Republicans were ever the “Christian” party. They were perhaps the “conservative Catholic and Evangelical” party, and there have always been plenty of Christians selling their souls… err… voting for Democrats. I think the rising evangelical left fails to recognize that things are very much as they always were, that Wallis and Miller are no revolutionaries. Just another demonstration of Evangelicalism’s rather myopic, self-absorbed vision of Christianity. And as you say, none of this will change just because the emergent hipsters put an Obama/Biden sticker on their car.

    Here’s the chunk of your post that I have some reservations about:

    “Surely all churches and all Christians are always-already circumscribed within the violent agonistic logic of the earthly city. Simply to pretend that we inhabit a pristine paradise of gift is nothing more than the construction of fictions, is it not? To this I can only say no. And I can say this on no basis other than the promisory reality that lies at the heart of the gospel. To be sure the line between the earthly city and the city of God runs through each one of us, but that by no means entails that we should settle down and break off our pilgrimage toward Jerusalem simply because we are not there yet.”

    I would agree with you that the civitate Dei is not a “construction of fictions”, but I don’t think that precludes an acceptance of the fact that we are also “always-already circumscribed within the violent agonistic logic of the earthly city”. And this is the problem that I have with many political theologies that claim an Augustinian pedigree these days but do so with a (supposedly) radical turn away from the earthly city. Without advocating an agonistic logic as natural or original, we must also avoid any presumption that we can stand outside of it, even given the promissory reality. Precisely because it is a promise, the reality of the civitate Dei remains with us today amidst the earthly city where we are truly stuck. And recognizing this does not mean that we are breaking off our pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It also doesn’t mean that we should throw in our lot with the agonistic structures of the earthly city, of course, and this is where I agree with you entirely regarding Miller, Wallis, the religious right, etc. I just think that our current state, insofar as we are sinners ourselves saved by grace, is more agonistic than you admit it to be. And by not recognizing this, you run the risk of creating a reactionary polis yourself by pitting the civitate Dei against the earthly city and presuming that Christians can speak and act as fully realized citizens of the city of God.
    We simply cannot do so. Our citizenship, as you say, is a promissory reality, and if we try to recognize it as anything stronger than this… anything that can now inhabit a city other than the earthly one… then I think you are creating a polis that looks like, but is not, the city of God. And so we return to agonistic politics.

    This sad turn is a significant part of the heritage of anabaptism, and I don’t think it can just be ignored lest we repeat these errors. To be sure, no other tradition has done any better in the political sphere (in fact most others have done much worse!) but I say this here because I think you are making some of the same theoretical moves that led to Münster.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 6:05 am | Permalink
  12. mike d wrote:

    Nice post. It brought to mind an essay by Richard Mow in Religion in the Liberal Polity. He recounts an exchange from the 70′s between Nicholas Wolterstorff representing Reformed Journal and Sojourners. Sojourners leveled the charge that Wolterstorff’s stance was:

    “one of moderate to liberal reform of existing structures, using a “realistic” approach which accepts the fundamental values and the basic framework of the American system of economics and politics. Thus, beneath all the doctrinal assertions, what one finds is the theological version of traditional Western liberalism.”

    Mouw continues:

    “This kind of attack “realism” and “strategic effectiveness”, Wolterstorff reported “seems to me to exhibit a crucial confusion”. Unless we are willing to work for “total revolution”, what alternative do we have but to work for justice within the existing political and economic structures of American life? It certainly doesn’t follow, he argued, from an advocacy of working within the present system “that we accept the structure of American politics and economics as fundamentally right” Indeed:

    [t]he Sojourners community, living as it does in Washington, D.C., likewise makes all its decisions within the basic framework of American society, using the American system of communications, the American system of food production and distribution, the American system of transportation, and so forth. That does not entail that they accept all those structures, or regard them all as basically the way things should be, needing only a bit of tinkering here and there. Not at all. To work within the structure to alleviate the evils it causes and to change it wherever one can for the better is not to accept that structure as fundamentally good.”"

    I have no reason to defend Miller but I don’t see how its fundamentally un-Gospel to work within a structure you recognize is far short of the New Creation. You might be advocating “total revolution” but I’d want to know exactly what that means before signing on.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 6:25 am | Permalink
  13. mike d wrote:

    Richard Mow should read Richard Mouw

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 6:26 am | Permalink
  14. Halden wrote:

    Wow. A lot of good comments. Probably more than I can respond to in any adequate way. Here’s a couple brief things.

    @ Scott

    I think I can boil down your comments to two questions, 1) Must all critique be from “outside”? and 2) Is the earthly city really “stable”? In response I’d say no on both counts. Regarding the first question I don’t think there is any place that is truly “outside” from which we could critique. We are always to some degree or other within the system. I don’t think this precludes the notion of the church as a distinctive community in the world giving us a certain amount of critical distance from the machinations of the world, but that does not mean we are somehow “outside.” The question is, given how we are inside, what must we do and be like? And because we are inside, the alternative of Christ’s peace either breaking in “outside” or “inside” the system is a false one. Christ’s peace does break into the “inside” of the system, but the locus of this inbreaking is the church itself which is always itself inside. I don’t think this precludes Christ acting outside the church, but it is in the church that we are trained to recognize this action and respond to it. What that looks like I suppose will always be a matter of prudential judgment in specific cases. In the case of Miller and the DNC I don’t think such judgment was duly exercised.

    And to your second question, no the earthly city is not stable, rather it is, as Augustine noted, chaotic and disorderly. What I meant was that it presents itself as a totality, and as such the temptation of the church is to present itself as a kind of alternative totality (this I think is Milbank’s problem in a nutshell). Could the earthly city ever conceive of itself in a non-totalizing way? Perhaps, but I don’t think I can answer that question in the abstract. Again we are thrown back to the importance of prudential judgment. It seems to me that Yoder’s work in Body Politics must go hand in hand with the work you mention. Hope that clarifies somewhat.

    @ Evan

    Perhaps you misunderstand me or perhaps I misunderstand you. What I meant to convey was that yes indeed we are always already implicated and complicit in the violence of the earthly city. To say we cannot simply inhabit the heavenly city is, in fact, exactly what I did say. However I think you and I take this in different directions. For you it seems to yield a dialectic similar to Luther’s simul iustus et peccator — we remain in a constant tension of justification and sinfulness that we must simply realize will always be there. To my mind this is not quite right. We are certainly mired in the earthly city, but that does not preclude the reality of promised city of God apocalyptically breaking into the world and creating a genuine social space therein. The heavenly and earthly cities are not just locked in a never ending dialectic, but are in conflict, with the city of God superseding and displacing the earthly city (ultimately for the sake of the world’s redemption).

    So I agree that our state is agonistic, in the sense that the non-reactive peace of Christ will receive a violent and drastic response from the world of sin, both within our selves and in the wider world of politics and power. However, this does not, I think preclude the hope and fact that the peace of Christ can take shape in this world in eccleisal form. We never start from a position of innocence, but that does not mean that the reality of redemption cannot truly happen in this time. Ultimately it seems that for you, if I understand your second to last paragraph aright, that in the “real world” all there in fact is is the earthly city and we must just realize that such is the case. Here I simply disagree. The reality of redemption must exist and take shape and space in the real world or our gospel is simply false. To sequester redemption entirely to the future cannot square with the Bible and the tradition to my reading. This certainly does not throw us into some sort of Munsterite triumphalism (which does not represent Anabaptism in any real sense), but neither should it lead to the kind of resignation and capitulation that dominates the magisterial protestant imagination. If our gospel cannot be embodied in time and space that time and space has not been redeemed.

    @ Mike

    I think my response to Scott should address your question about “inside/outside” and such. I do think we should work for “total revolution”, though that would have to be very carefully defined in such a way as to avoid notions of innocence, total separation, and so on. But the gospel can be nothing less than a total revolution. But ultimately it is Christ’s revolution that we witness to and, when given the gracious gift thereof, participate in in our own common life together.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 9:53 am | Permalink
  15. Doug Harink wrote:

    Halden,

    Thank you for this outstanding piece of critical analysis of evangelicalism and American politics. I think your alternative description of the political witness of the church is also spot-on.

    It is not only the fact that Miller prayed at the DNC that is disturbing; even more so is the content of the prayer — Miller prays here as a chaplain of America, rather than as a minister of the gospel. He prays for “individuals and the nation” but not for the church, implying that America rather than the church is the body politic of God. Truly sad.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink
  16. Evan wrote:

    Prof. Harinck, thanks for your comments… much of what Halden said reminded me of your recent thoughts on Wallis. I’m completely lost, though, as to why Miller’s praying for someone or something outside of the “Church” makes him anything other than a minister of the gospel, or makes America rather than the church into “the body politic of God”. How else, exactly, do you expect someone to intercede for their neighbor if not by praying for them? You seem to assume some of the same intentions that you argued about Wallis (that for him America rather than the Church is the congregation of God’s people) simply from a 2 minute petition for God’s grace in the work of a political party and a nation.

    Halden, thanks for the clarification- it’s good to see how much we agree on this. I would also say that I’m happy to recognize an inbreaking of the city of God for the redemption of the world rather than sequestering redemption to the future. I don’t think that a Lutheran simul iustus et peccator means that the earthly city is “all there is”… Luther’s entire point is that this ISN’T all that there is (one must ignore the “iustus et” to interpret it otherwise). What it does do is prevent us from identifying the inbreaking of the city of God and the gospel in all of its authority and power with any immanent and earthly structures, be they the Church, the state, the Democratic party, or the local bowling league. This recognition of our own abdication to sin is the only thing that can prevent us from a violent triumphalism. And the name that the Church has given this recognition is “confession”.

    Speaking of triumphalism… I don’t mean to wholly identify anabaptism with the Munster rebellion. But I do think it’s necessary that we deal with this instance as a veritable legacy of the anabaptist tradition. I would say the same thing for Calvinist Geneva, or Puritan New England, or Lutheran Germany, or Catholic France and Spain. I think that we simply must avoid washing our hands of the atrocities our various traditions have perpetrated if we are to learn from them what to guard against in our own theological inclinations. And it’s especially dangerous to ignore something in our own eye while noticing only what is in our neighbors’. For you to assert that Munsterite triumphalism isn’t representative of anabaptism while “resignation and capitulation” somehow dominates magisterial protestantism seems highly disingenuous to me. In any case, I did not argue that Munster is representative of Anabaptist thought, but rather that Anabaptist thought was representative of Munster and that we should learn from this history so as not to repeat it.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  17. Halden wrote:

    Evan, what I inferred about your position was from your statement: “Our citizenship, as you say, is a promissory reality, and if we try to recognize it as anything stronger than this… anything that can now inhabit a city other than the earthly one… then I think you are creating a polis that looks like, but is not, the city of God.”

    From this I gathered that you think any attempt to embody or instantiate the reality of the city of God on earth is misguided or just impossible. That was where I disagreed. It seemed to me that you were saying that the city of God is wholly future and right now we have to deal with “citizenship” solely on the terms of being citizens of the earthly city. It was on that point that I disagreed, though perhaps I haven’t totally understood your perspective, as a summary paragraph can often not present ourselves as well as we mean to.

    I totally agree about confession. I guess what I would add is that I think that confession must be followed by repentance and that repentance is a real possibility, even if sinless perfection is not.

    Also, I have no problem with looking critically at our ecclesial histories, in fact such a self-critical posture is built into Radical Reformation sensibility at a fundamental level, indeed at a level that I think is unique within all of Christian history and tradition. However, I think Munster too easily becomes a cipher for the “dangers” of Anabaptism as a whole. To make that move requires that we not look closely at the history in question. Everything that happened at Munster was roundly condemned by the Anabaptist contemporaries and, if memory serves, the Munsterites simply cannot be considered Anabaptists if we take seriously the key theological distinctives of Anabaptism. In other words, I think blaming the Anabaptists for Munster would be something akin to blaming Calvin’s Geneva on the Waldensians. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t learn from that history, but to posit it as somehow encoded within the fabric of Anabaptism per se just isn’t quite accurate.

    My point about magisterial protestantism was not, I hope, disingenuous. I think there is a genuinely present historical reality that is part of the fabric of magisterial protestantism that underwrites a certain notion of church-state coinherence that is fundamentally different from the Radical Reformation. To be sure, by nominating it “resignation and capitulation” I am making a sort of ideological advocacy for the Anabaptist tradition, and I make no secret of that. My reading of Luther and Calvin’s political and ecclesial thought, for all its gifts, and they are many, seems to me to fundamentally capitulate to the state in ways that I think are vitally wrong. The way in which those tendencies are built into mainline protestantism is fundamentally different from the relationship between the Munster fiasco and the Anabaptist tradition I think.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
  18. Evan wrote:

    I wonder what people think of Michael’s thoughts over at Levellers:

    http://levellers.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/non-messianic-progressive-movement-politics/

    What he calls “non-messianic” earthly allegiance is exactly what I’m trying to articulate here. To be honest, I was shocked to find Michael describing his political commitments in this manner… happily shocked, to be sure. It was yet another instance that leads me to believe that Christians of both anabaptist and magisterial Protestant inclination are really committed to the same gospel in their political theologies, and that the difference between their views has mostly to do with how each interprets the other.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  19. Doug Harink wrote:

    Evan,

    What troubles me about Miller’s prayer (notably in the section quoted by R.O.Flyer above) is the “us.” Christians should indeed pray FOR leaders, but WITH nations and political parties, I am not sure at all. When Miller says “us” in his prayer, it seems he is thoroughly embedding himself in the collectives of nation and party, identifying himself with them, and then functioning as their priest. It is their cause he is lifting up as his own — the prayers of the people — “in the name of your son, Jesus.” Nation, party and (Christian) priest are all united into a single “us” — as usually happens in “civic” prayers. I find that fundamentally problematic.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  20. Evan Kuehn wrote:

    Functioning as their priest? A rather sloppy use of the term, I’d say. What exactly is the basis of this priesthood? That Miller has agreed to pray in solidarity with a group of Democrats? Did he ever once claim to represent the people of the Democratic party before God? Or to be the representative of God’s presence for the Democratic party? You say that he is functioning as a priest, but you offer no reason for this other than that a man has prayed with other men and women claiming to be one of them.

    And “thoroughly embedding” oneself in nation or party? You make this sound like a corny spy movie. If Miller holds US citizenship then he’s as thoroughly embedded in the collective of the nation as any other citizen… if he’s a registered Democrat (I don’t know if this is the case), then the same goes for this collective. And Halden, or Hauerwas, or whoever else are no less embedded in the modern nation state as a collective until they decide to renounce their citizenship. That we are a part of this collective doesn’t mean that we’ve compromised our membership in the body of Christ. By framing the issue as such an either/or, however, the Church is demeaned insofar as it is set on the same plane as the political collective of the nation-state. This is a more radical capitulation to the nations of the world than anything Miller has done in praying with a group of Democrats.

    That Miller has identified himself with a civic cause and lifted up prayers on its behalf is also not a damning claim, by any stretch. A cause, if it is a good cause, is no threat to the gospel that the Church preaches- it works in tandem with the gospel in the world. Until Miller moves beyond an affiliation of causes to an actual establishment of the nation state or a political party as a civitas privileged instead of the Church as the vessel of God’s redemption, as the ground of true freedom, or as the basis of true communion, then he is just a guy praying with a bunch of people for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and praying with the conviction that a common good is being pursued towards this end. Didn’t the good Lord cover this in Mark 9:38-41?

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  21. Nathan Smith wrote:

    I think Evan makes a good point which is informed by Miller’s response: “If someone asks you to pray, you pray.” And I have to say that I agree with that sentiment. There is, of course, a risk of being taken advantage of. And to be honest, the Democrats need a real live Christian praying a benediction in order to “koserize them for the goyim” to borrow a phrase. So they took advantage of him. So what? I am not sure who said it, but I heard it said recently that being taken advantage of is not something Christians necessarily need to avoid at all costs.

    Now, as I noted above, I think Miller could have used the invitation to say something prophetic and scandalous. Instead, he basically prayed the DNC platform. And, as Prof. Harink noted, it is disturbing in a way that he is praying as America.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 9:48 pm | Permalink
  22. Halden wrote:

    Evan, you’re obfuscating quite a bit here when you claim that everyone is equally embedded simply by virtue of being born citizens. Being born enmeshed in a system is not the same thing as intentionally sanctifying it. Your sweeping statement would make the the members of the Mennonite Central Committee and the U.S. Army equivalently implicated in the American political venture. Or were the citizens of Germany who hid Jews equally as equally embedded in the political machine of Nazism as were those who ran its death camps? Clearly not.

    This rigid binary you’re positing of either a total renunciation of citizenship or total participation is misleading and false. Must one never American eat apple pie if they are to disassociate themselves America’s unjust wars? Since when did absolute moral purity become a prerequisite for legitimate criticism and action? One need not be completely outside of a system in order to have a legitimately critical or dissenting voice. How is critical selective participation not a viable option?

    To be honest this kind of argumentation gets under my skin quite a bit. It’s the same kind of banal “love it or leave it” logic that has been spouted in every conflict in American history. I’m not saying you’re trying to do that, just that in your (over)reaction to Harink’s comments, you’re waxing a bit sensationalistic at the expense of critical thought.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 10:16 pm | Permalink
  23. Evan Kuehn wrote:

    I think you’re only reading my points as a rigid binary between “love it” or “leave it” because you (and Harink) are injecting into it a meaning that I didn’t articulate. I didn’t say anywhere that we are all equally embedded by virtue of our citizenship which is the same thing as a full acceptance and sanctification of every political action and stance of the United States. My whole point is that participation in the nation state has nothing to do with whether one “loves it”. Here I think you and Harink may be collapsing the two into one another, and pointing to one’s mere participation as suspect because it supposedly demonstrates an unacceptable capitulation to the worldly powers. By pointing out that participation itself in a civic collective is no reason to assume this, I wish to say exactly the opposite of what you’re interpreting me to say. And I’ve talked about Miller because that’s what the discussion is about, but the Mennonites are another example worth bringing up- you’re exactly right that their participation as citizens does not put them on the same level as the US Army (over the moral issue of war, I’m assuming you mean… I’m sure Mennonites sin just as or more gravely than soldiers do in other areas). This separation of participation in a political collective from sanctification of the theopolitical imagination which works against the city of God in a political collective is precisely why “absolute moral purity” is NOT a “prerequisite for legitimate criticism and action”… Miller’s prayer, in my mind, being the legitimate action that is the subject of our discussion. As Nathan brings up, he could have coupled the legitimate criticism you speak of to his legitimate action of praying with the assembly. He didn’t, but again, this doesn’t illegitimate what he did do. That he didn’t play the damning prophet who points out the errors of a people doesn’t mean that his words of affirmation about the common good that was present are any less prophetic.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 4:31 am | Permalink
  24. Donato wrote:

    You strike a good balance here, Halden. Many accuse this thinking of being dualistic. I think it can be, if not deliberately guarded against. Over at my blog, I’ve tried to apply this (two-kingdoms model) somewhat practically to the notion of pacifism.

    There is an “otherness” by which Christians ought to be known, and which transcends every attempt to build kingdoms here and now. For all the horrors of this past century, the ungodly optimism alive in this present darkness (yeah, I know—but it’s a cool title at any rate) never ceases to amaze me.

    And as far as evangelicals are concerned, if they’d simply attend to the reading of Holy Writ in communion with God and each other, while informing their politics with something akin to natural law and not (primarlily) scripture, we’d all be better off. (I’m not saying scripture doesn’t have political implications; but I am saying that they are few and far between.)

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 7:19 am | Permalink
  25. Halden wrote:

    Evan, you yourself made the equation when you claimed that me (or Harink, or Hauerwas) are just as tied up in the nation-state by virtue of our citizenship as Miller is by virtue of his participation in the DNC. I think you’re backtracking here rather than acknowledging the force of your original statement. It was your words themselves that collapsed citizenship into active capitulation, setting up the binary I mentioned.

    I think for those of us that disagree with Miller’s action in this case the issue is, as Harink notes his use of the “us.” It presupposes that the “us” of America is the proper social body to be prayerfully addressing God. This confuses America and the church in an important way. Its not just innocuous as you seem to think. Moreover, in this case the “us” is specific to the democratic party which at numerous levels advocates policies that seem (at least to most Christians) to be contrary to the gospel, abortion on-demand being one of the most pressing. How can we intentionally and overtly identify ourselves with this polis, treating it as some sort of worshiping community that has legitimacy before God, when it flagrantly violates the imperatives of the gospel? This is the question we have for Miller. There was nothing prophetic whatsoever about his prayer. I don’t know why you just want to dismiss these concerns.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  26. Evan wrote:

    “It presupposes that the “us” of America is the proper social body to be prayerfully addressing God.”

    I think it presupposes that it can be a proper body, and here I seem to disagree with you and Harink. But I don’t see how you can say that it presupposes America as the proper body. To be a social body at prayer is of course something that the Church is, but this is a rather bare definition of the Church if some other prayerful body of people is able to do violence to the Church’s identity the way you seem to think it does here. I have not seen a compelling argument for why gathered prayer makes the Church in a way that Miller’s DNC prayer would break it.

    “How can we intentionally and overtly identify ourselves with this polis, treating it as some sort of worshiping community that has legitimacy before God, when it flagrantly violates the imperatives of the gospel? This is the question we have for Miller. There was nothing prophetic whatsoever about his prayer. I don’t know why you just want to dismiss these concerns.”

    Dismiss these concerns? Heavens no! But are we really so daft as to think that the Church any less flagrantly violates the imperatives of the gospel? I would hope not. Thank the Lord he hears the flagrant sinner’s prayer. You seem to interpret my statements here as a dismissal of collusion with sin as significant. What I’m dismissing is the idea that our sinfulness disallows us from praying to God. I would also like to dismiss the idea that the Church is anything but an earthly and broken social body, even in its consecrated status as the Body of Christ.

    What concerns me is how you can dismiss the prophetic nature of his prayer for orphans, parents, teachers, his request for grace to be humble, to avoid gluttony and apathy, etc. Are these not prophetic because they are too mundane? Because that stuff doesn’t sound radical enough? Does a sinful posture vis a vis the state nullify such goodness where it is present?

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 9:36 am | Permalink
  27. Evan wrote:

    “Evan, you yourself made the equation when you claimed that me (or Harink, or Hauerwas) are just as tied up in the nation-state by virtue of our citizenship as Miller is by virtue of his participation in the DNC.”

    My point in saying this, however, was specifically to deflate Harink’s talk of “embededness” by pointing out that the mere fact of the embededness of active citizenship cannot be conflated with an acceptance of any sort of salvific import of the state or political party. My statements could only be read as equating these two if the fact that I was criticizing Harink’s framing of the issue was overlooked and I was read with the same assumptions of what “embededness” means as you and Harink are employing. I specifically said that I don’t begin with these assumptions.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  28. Evan wrote:

    In other words, don’t read me as saying, “Hauerwas is like Miller on account of his citizenship”, as your preconceptions of Miller will determine what you think I’m saying about Hauerwas. Better to read, “Miller is like Hauerwas on account of his citizenship” in order to be clear about the fact that I am differing with what you are assuming about Miller to begin with and not using such assumptions to make a normative statement.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  29. Halden wrote:

    Well, I suppose that it comes down to a difference in ecclesiology. I just don’t think the church is a merely earthly reality. The Spirit is present in it, bringing the future of God into the world through it. Surely the church is broken and scattered but it is not merely one human social group among others. It is not just a human reality, but a divine-human reality. It is “the fullness of him who fills all in all” even in its broken state. It is the church that manifests the “wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” As such I don’t think the sort of ecclesial minimalism you’re proffering comes close to being adequate to Scripture’s claims.

    Ultimately I don’t think that the church’s own sinfulness should serve as the occasion for relativizing the sinfulness of capitulation to the powers. Our sinfulness in se should never become the excuse to softpedal the gravity of our false allegiances. They should become occasions for repentance rather than resignation.

    Also, if you note Davey’s post, which I linked to at the start of this post, the issue is not all the specific claims Miller made in the prayer, it is the the context in which they are spoken. But his prayer was not the sinner’s prayer. It was not a prayer of repentance, it was a prayer asking for divine aid. Asking to be made humble on the trajectory we are already on is not asking anything too radical, in fact it constitutes little more than a veiled self-affirmation to the social group in question.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  30. Halden wrote:

    “My point in saying this, however, was specifically to deflate Harink’s talk of “embededness” by pointing out that the mere fact of the embededness of active citizenship cannot be conflated with an acceptance of any sort of salvific import of the state or political party.”

    But that’s precisely where you beg the question, Evan. For myself (and Harink I think) the idea that active citizenship (in the sense of how we define our social-political identity and allegiance) can ever be non-Messianic in its overtures is highly in doubt. Political allegiances are, in my view always predicated on a sort of ubiquitous totalizing. They do purport to be salvific and our denying that reality by simply claiming that they do not do so simply blinds us to the facts.

    In other words, your attempt to “deflate” Harinks comment did not really dispute the position he was articulating. It merely asserted its contrary under the assumption that it is obviously correct that active allegiance to America is different from imbuing the state with salvific status, inadvertently or not. If you wanted to argue with Harink you would have needed to actually dispute his idea on its own terms, rather than obfuscating by collapsing categories in the way you did. At present all you’ve done is beg his question rather than argue with him.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  31. Evan wrote:

    The Church itself is a human reality. Certainly constituted by the divine reality and presence of God who in the Spirit forms his people as a manifestation, representation, and indeed culmination of God’s work in the world. But the Church itself isn’t a divine reality. Rather than my understanding of the Church being minimalist, I think any recognition of the Church as itself divine is grossly idealist.

    You are correct that the Church’s sinfulness shouldn’t serve to revitalize the sinfulness of the world, and perhaps my stating of the issue went too far in this direction. My point, however, was to counter the idealism that I see in describing the Church as a “divine-human reality”. While it is not “merely one social group among others”, it is only not this because of God’s grace. In itself the Church itself is merely a social group. The Church is not the civitate Dei, that is. It should not be pitted against the earthly city as an ultimate oppositional polis.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 10:05 am | Permalink
  32. Halden wrote:

    I think there are still some important differences between us here (obviously), but one other point I would make is that from the begining of this post I have been arguing precisely that the church “should not be pitted against the earthly city as an ultimate oppositional polis.” However, while the church is nonreactive as a polis, I don’t think this mitigates its status as a polis. Perhaps you do. It seems to me that on your view the church just isn’t really a social reality with any sort of distinctive integrity to it, except in the world of ideas.

    And of course any notion of the church as a divine-human reality is predicated on the unio mystica. There is no such thing as the church “itself.” There is only the church dynamically constituted by the gracious action of Triune God. But I just think that gracious action creates a real reality in the world, not merely an ideal.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink
  33. Evan wrote:

    “But that’s precisely where you beg the question, Evan. For myself (and Harink I think) the idea that active citizenship (in the sense of how we define our social-political identity and allegiance) can ever be non-Messianic in its overtures is highly in doubt. Political allegiances are, in my view always predicated on a sort of ubiquitous totalizing. They do purport to be salvific and our denying that reality by simply claiming that they do not do so simply blinds us to the facts.”

    …and I could say that this is where you beg the question. But rather than going back and forth doing that, it may be more helpful to say that we each disagree on the matter and that we should not interpret the other through our own definitional assumptions. Which is exactly what I said above.

    If we want to go beyond simply disagreeing, though, I need more to go on of Harink’s own terms. He himself simply makes the claim that the nation state argues for its salvific significance and in doing so attempts to usurp the Church’s role. But he only makes this claim. If you can find some terms to dispute, I’d be happy to do so. All I’ve seen, though, is conclusions about the nation state, and all I can do with that is offer an alternative narrative.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink
  34. Evan wrote:

    “And of course any notion of the church as a divine-human reality is predicated on the unio mystica. There is no such thing as the church “itself.” There is only the church dynamically constituted by the gracious action of Triune God. But I just think that gracious action creates a real reality in the world, not merely an ideal.”

    Agreed, but the church dynamically constituted by the Triune God in mystical union is still constituted… it is still graced… and as such, it is not divine. God in his divinity constitutes and graces the Church in its humanity… in itself. Speaking about the Church in this way need not introduce a two-tiered ontology that separates the divine from the human in its distinction between the two. And the distinction is absolutely necessary if union is to be protected from confusion. If we cannot speak in these terms about the Church in itself without losing its constitutive union with God, then we have lost our entire grammar of redemption and are left with no gospel to preach- either because there is no hope for salvation or there is no need for such hope.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  35. Doug Harink wrote:

    Evan,

    Perhaps things have moved on by now, but just in case…

    You wrote: “He (Harink) himself simply makes the claim that the nation state argues for its salvific significance and in doing so attempts to usurp the Church’s role.”

    I’m not sure the nation state is capable of making any argument for itself, but its leaders often do. And even in Canada we have heard enough of McCain’s and Obama’s speeches and rhetoric to make the judgment that they certainly do argue for the “salvific significance” of one nation state in particular. Christians are invited to join in — indeed, to aid with their prayers — the salvific task of this nation state. And they seem eager to do so, seeing little or no conflict between their allegiance to Christ the kyrios, who holds their citizenship “in heaven,” and their allegiance to earthly nation states — indeed, often willingly subordinating the former to the latter, putting it in its service. That is what I detect in the context, act and content of Miller’s prayer.

    Halden has already made very good arguments for a more adequate ecclesiology. He in no sense has an “idealistic” theology of the church: the claim that the church is a “divine-human reality” (and how can you argue otherwise in light of Eph. 1:23; 3:9-10) is an ontological claim, a claim about what God has made the church to be, not a claim about the church’s moral virtue or lack thereof; just as the claim that Israel is the elect people of God is not a claim about what God has made Israel to be, not one about its unswerving keeping of the law. The church is that called-out people of God, whose holiness, rooted in God’s election, must nonetheless be displayed in its resistance to being co-opted by the gods and lords of the nations.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  36. Doug Harink wrote:

    Correction: the latter part of the second last sentence of my previous post should read:

    “just as the claim that Israel is the elect people of God is a claim about what God has made Israel to be, not one about its unswerving keeping of the law.”

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  37. Evan wrote:

    Thank you, prof. Harink, for pointing to something more concrete in making your claim about the salvific intentions of the nation state. I don’t know what exactly of Obama’s or McCain’s speeches you see as a claim to salvific significance- I haven’t run across any of that. Delusions of grandeur, perhaps… oh yes, and McCain’s suggestive attack ad that paints Obama as a messiah/antichrist (the metaphors in that ad are rather confused, to say the least!)

    One thing that I would agree with you on- I do think that the notion of the state as a free civic space where religions can come to neutral territory is a constant myth asserted by both parties- and especially by Obama, much as I like him otherwise. Since his 2004 Renewal speech where he hits this theme hard, I’ve been quite critical of this aspect of his views myself.

    But I’d have to see what you’re talking about as to their salvific claims. My guess is you’re just using salvation terminology in a rhetorical rather than a theological fashion. The one place I could see someone making a real argument for some salvific complex is Obama’s June 3 victory speech in St. Paul where he closes by talking about restoring America’s “image as the last, best hope on Earth” Troublesome words, to be sure. Rhetoric to be countered, if Obama means this last, best hope to be soteriological, as opposed to an ecomonic hope, or a social or political hope, or a medical hope, or a….

    But if the gospel promises neither economic success, social concord, political fulfillment, nor medical progress “on Earth”, then how do these words of Obama’s usurp the work of the Gospel? And if they don’t, why should we read his platform as in any way salvific?

    Perhaps this speech isn’t what you were referring to. If you were looking elsewhere, I’d be interested in hearing more. “We hear enough of McCain and Obama in Canada” isn’t justification for a claim, though, it’s simply another claim.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
  38. Jared wrote:

    I’m coming to this conversation a day late and a dollar short, but, great post, Halden. I really enjoyed it, and it summed up much of what I’ve struggled with without dismissing the strong feelings I have over the whole issue.

    I find it equally disturbing that Brian MacLaren has endorsed Obama. Again, a footfall on the same path you’ve just described.

    Monday, September 1, 2008 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
  39. Andrew wrote:

    jesus for president.
    What madness. As if a christian’s impact in the world, and ultimate loyalty and unity are contingent on his vote. As if checking a box is the action that we should do to heal this world. RENDER unto caesar or mcain or obama what belongs to obama- but CHRISTIANS transcend this- DIVERSITY IS NOT DIVISEVENESS.
    thank you for your highly academic, condescending entry.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The child is father of the man. « The Kibitzer on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 4:26 am

    [...] Miller gave a closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention. Halden at Inhabitatio Dei posted a smart response (though I cannot agree with the apparent quietism he proposes as an alternative): The real question [...]

  2. [...] more nuanced critique of Miller’s participation can be found here at Inhabitatio Dei where Halden writes: It may be that I have finally drifted too far afield from my initial questions [...]

  3. When Will Zoomarama Replace Obamarama at Zoomtard on Friday, August 29, 2008 at 7:54 am

    [...] It is much more likely that the this newly confident-but always there wave of evangelicals with a social conscience will end up being devoured whole and spat out by a political machine intent on prosperity and self-interest. The Democratic party will not absorb Don Miller’s values because the market will always rule. The best Jesus can hope for is some of the crumbs. Halden posts about this much more articulately than I ever could here. [...]

  4. Politics and Christianity: Some Perspectives « Theology Forum on Friday, September 5, 2008 at 5:29 am

    [...] Halen on the Reactive Politics of Evangelicalism [...]

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