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writing things down…

More Harink: American Liberal Democracy

I’m still slowly moving through Harink’s book.  I want to remember some of the things I’ve read and I want to share them with the few of you who read this blog.  Here, then, is another brief excerpt:

The churches of America, whether conservative or liberal, are divided in their loyalty; divided between allegiance to American liberal democracy and society on the one hand and to the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ on the other. When it comes to the decisive moments—the apocalyptic, revelatory moments, when America goes to war in the name of “freedom,” “justice,” and “democracy”—the latter loyalty almost always takes second place to the former. … American liberal democracy is the One Great Thing for which most American Christians are prepared to make the costliest sacrifice: the lives of their own and others’ children. Such human sacrifices declare final—apocalyptic—allegiances. (84–85, in the context of discussing Hauerwas’s hatred of idolatry)

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2 Comments»

  B-W wrote @

I’m seeing lots more folks make that sacrifice for American conservative democracy.

Yeah, yeah, I know that’s not what you meant, but someone had to say it.

Seriously, though, there is a lot of truth to your post.

  Tyler Watson wrote @

I agree with B-W that there is a lot of truth in this quotation, and it’s sobering truth at that. Matters of allegiance will always be key to Christians as long as they live within boundaries of nations. And since it seems that Christians are more willing to join and support the military as it defends the US Constitution rather than join churches (I have no evidence to back that statement up, so take it with a grain of salt), we must wonder what is most important in our lives.

Still, I wonder if the last sentence in the quotation goes too far. What of Jesus’ statement that no greater love exists than to law down one’s life for one’s friends (Jn. 15.13)? Does that mean that the allegiance of the person giving their life is to their friend and not to the Triune God?


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