Monday, March 24, 2014

"The Egregious Misuse of Dietrich Bonhoeffer"

Via Fred at Slacktivist, a look by Scott R. Paeth, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, at Eric Metaxas and Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

A tease
it is worth noting a couple of the underlying problems in Metaxas's whole approach, particularly in this interview. First is his insistence that the dividing line between his evangelical cohort of followers and "liberal Christianity" is over this idea of "Biblical orthodoxy," which is of course another way of saying "Liberal Christians don't go out of their way to condemn homosexuality," a topic that occupies all of about five verses in the entire Bible. "Biblical orthodoxy" never seems to attend such issues as, for example, nonviolence, which was central to Jesus' teaching, or charging interest on loans (known in the Bible as usury, but known in the United States as "the engine of our economy").

But then again, evangelicals of the kind who like to be flattered by Metaxas's historical distortions aren't really all that concerned with war or economic injustice, both of which are much more central to the moral concerns of the Bible than any issues of "sexual orthodoxy." It's passing strange when your conception of what constitutes orthodoxy of any sort revolves around the isolated focus on such a minuscule aspect of the Biblical text. It's even stranger when your conception of orthodoxy focuses, not on questions of God's nature, Christ's incarnation, the nature of his sacrifice or the possibilities of salvation, but instead on one question that was culturally marginal at the time the Bible was written and has become crucial today only because a subset of the human family has decided that it would very much like to be treated as fully human thank-you-very-much. If that's orthdoxy, I'll take heresy any day of the week.

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At 10:44 AM, March 25, 2014 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

For the most part, orthodox christianity completely ignores the portions of the New Testament that are quotes from the man they believe to be their god.


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