30 Sept – Virtues in Society. A Symposium

The problem of the half-churched Christian – Christians, Conflict and Change

On the negative effects of the wafer-thin church commitment that characterizes many self-identified Christians.

Source: The problem of the half-churched Christian – Christians, Conflict and Change

David Gushee on half- churched Christians in America and how this impacts the way people live their lives or engage politically.

I think the same is quite true of Romania and other countries in Europe, at least in what evangelicals are concerned.

David Gushee’s Rules of Political Engagement for Clergy

Kiril & Putin

Us elections are drawing near, and such events are good opportunities for clerics to either get some advantages by getting ‘in bed with power’, or, alternatively, to examine their hearts and play the prophetic role to which God called them.

In a recent article published on his blog hosted by Religious News Service, American ethics theologian David Gushee suggests some rules for political engagement by clergy, in order to avoid being used as mere instruments in a dirty political game. Here they are: Continue reading “David Gushee’s Rules of Political Engagement for Clergy”

David Gushee – Reflecting on the contributions of Martin Luther King

Reflecting on the contributions of Martin Luther King.

Baptist ethics theologian David Gushee explains why he admires Martin Luther King jr.

David Gushee – A Tribute to Glen Stassen

Glen Stassen

My friend Glen Stassen died today (Saturday, April 26) in Pasadena. He was 78. But because he was born on Leap Day—February 29, 1936—Glen liked to joke that he was only 19. Until an aggressive cancer took his vitality over the last year, and finally his life, Glen as 78-going-on-19 was totally believable. It is impossible to believe that he has gone to be with Jesus.

There are only a small number of people beyond family who deeply affect the course of one’s life. Glen Stassen was one such person for me, perhaps the primary person outside my family who shaped who I am and what I have become. Having him gone makes me feel like an orphan.

I have written at length about Glen’s personal and professional journey in a festschrift in his honor for Perspectives in Religious Studies, the journal of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. But for those not privileged to know him, here is what I would want you to know in 900 words. Continue reading “David Gushee – A Tribute to Glen Stassen”

David Gushee in Romania

Afis Gushee Bucuresti

Atasez mai jos si afisul in format PDF. In curind va aparea o pagina web dedicata acestei prime vizite in Romania a acestui foarte important etician baptist din Statele Unite. Va vom tine la curent.

Afis Gushee Bucuresti

David Gushee – Rethinking that word “evangelical”

david_gushee

Evangelicalism is best understood as a global renewal movement within Christianity. An evangelical is someone with a passionate love for Jesus Christ, a commitment to the authority of the Bible, an embrace of some version of historic Christian orthodoxy, a desire to spread their faith through word and deed, and a hunger to see this world become what God intended it to be from the beginning. Evangelicals have included confessional Lutherans, ardent Calvinists, reformist Methodists, pacifist Anabaptists, liberationist African-Americans, and tongue-speaking Pentecostals, among many others.

There is no intrinsic reason why a theological-pietistic movement of this type should have a particular shared politics and certainly not a particular shared conservative politics in the US. Even a cursory tour of today’s global evangelicalism reveals all kinds of political affinities and activist commitments, as Pally argues in her essay. Continue reading “David Gushee – Rethinking that word “evangelical””

Associated Baptist Press – Pro-life, pro-choice speakers urge common ground on abortion

Associated Baptist Press – Pro-life, pro-choice speakers urge common ground on abortion.

‘ After nearly 40 years of polarization over abortion, two speakers at a Mercer University event said Jan. 24 it is time for people who are pro-choice and pro-life to seek common ground to reduce the current number of 1.2 million abortions a year.’

Abortion is a very hot topic, and rightly so, because it is about life and death. However, the way this issues was politicised by both liberals and conservatives has clearly not led to a reduction of the number of abortions in the US.

The search for common ground between the proponents of the two opposed positions on abortion is a must if this social problem is going to be addressed in an adequate way.

Associated Baptist Press – Opinion: Advent hope

Associated Baptist Press – Opinion: Advent hope.

David Gushee is always interesting to read, even when you do not agree with him, which, I hope, is not the case with this text.

Reply to the many responses to David Gushee’s and Glen Stassen’s Open Letter to Christian Zionists


David Gushee and Glen Stassen

Thank you so much for paying our letter the honor of your responses, pro and con. Healthy dialogue is important for the healing we need in the Middle East and here at home.

The point of our letter was to challenge biblically the claim of Christian Zionists that God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis says all the land should belong to Israel. We were hoping for dialogue on the clear meaning of the biblical covenant with Abraham. Our claim is that misconstruing the biblical teaching is misleading many Christian Zionists to support settlements on Palestinian land that are unjust, that violate God’s will as well as international law, and that cause dangerous hostility against Israel. We ask responses to focus on the biblical teaching.

Continue reading “Reply to the many responses to David Gushee’s and Glen Stassen’s Open Letter to Christian Zionists”

An Open Letter to America’s Christian Zionists

 

From David P. Gushee and Glen H. Stassen
September 19, 2011

Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We write to you about an urgent matter of common concern.

In a week or so, unless their plans change dramatically, Palestinian leaders will make a unilateral declaration of a State of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders and will turn to the United Nations for a vote to recognize their new state.

The present Netanyahu government of Israel is, of course, totally opposed to this course of action on the part of the Palestinians. The United States government (predictably) shares this opposition. Both nations tell the Palestinians that the proper path to a state is through negotiations leading to an agreement that can settle all outstanding territorial and political issues. Palestinian leaders respond that they continue to support negotiations but that they can no longer pin all of their hopes on them. Continue reading “An Open Letter to America’s Christian Zionists”

David Gushee – Zionisms and the quest for peace

This is the last in a series of four columns about my recent trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories. It reflects on the disturbing role of Jewish and Christian Zionism in worsening the conflict in this complex land.

A casual newspaper reader might think there are two discrete places called “Israel” and “the Palestinian territories” but a visitor soon discovers the intertwining of these populations. That intertwining could be a good thing. There were parts of uncontested Israeli territory that we visited in which Jews and “Arabs”/Palestinians live near one another without a problem.

But a visitor soon discovers that “the West Bank,” which is supposed to belong to a future Palestinian state, has been intentionally populated over the last 40 years by hundreds of thousands of Jewish “settlers” in dozens of civilian communities. They are able to take this land because Israel has occupied it since its military victories in 1967, even though it is still Palestinian territory under international law. Continue reading “David Gushee – Zionisms and the quest for peace”

David Gushee – Encountering the Palestinians and their Plight

David Gushee, distinguished professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University, continues his series of reflections following his visit this summer in the Middle East.

This one is on the plight of Palestinians. Here are a few quotes: Continue reading “David Gushee – Encountering the Palestinians and their Plight”

David Gushee – How Israel remembers the Holocaust

Ethics theologian David Gushee has written for ABP a very powerful reflection following his visit this summer in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Here are a few significant quotes:

As a scholar, I have long recognized the Holocaust for the grotesque and epochal evil that it was. Before I went to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories this summer, however, I had little idea how much its memory continues to play a role in the tragic conflict in that land. Continue reading “David Gushee – How Israel remembers the Holocaust”

David Gushee – Surprising debate on torture

It was an odd reunion last Wednesday at the Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Atlanta. I had reluctantly agreed to engage Dan Heimbach of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Keith Pavlischek of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in a scholarly debate about the ethics of torture. Pavlischek, called away to serve in Afghanistan, was replaced by Mark Coppenger of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Thus it turned out to be an all-Baptist panel at the Hilton as the three of us presented papers and then dialogued with each other and a sizable audience. It is interesting, if not disturbing, to note that at an international gathering of almost 2,000 evangelical scholars, the three participants in a debate about torture were all current and former Southern Baptists. Continue reading “David Gushee – Surprising debate on torture”

David Gushee on the the House health-care bill

David Gushee

From a Christian perspective aiming to advance human dignity at every stage of life, the version of the health-care bill that passed in the House Nov. 7 was a remarkable public-policy victory. It is stronger than the version that passed the Senate Finance Committee, and dwarfs in impact the Republican alternative offered in the House by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Continue reading “David Gushee on the the House health-care bill”

David Gushee – What is the future of moderate Baptists?

david_gushee

David Gushee, Distinguished Professor of Ethics at Mercer University, and a moderate Baptist himself, reflects in an article published by the Associated Baptist Press about the identity crisis of moderate Baptists after the fundamentalist turn of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The term ‘moderate’ is really a misnomer, because under its umbrella we find both true Christians – in the Biblical, historical sense of this word, as well as straight liberals – in the real (as opposed to the manipulative) sense of this word, as people who deny the basis tenents of historic Christianity. Thus, ‘moderate’ means, in this context, rather ‘non-SBC’, which is mostly a structural, denominational label, not a theological one.

Yet, the same is true with the term ‘Evangelical’, rightly argues Gushee. Because SBC has ‘taken captive’ this label, for most ‘moderate’ Baptists ‘Evangelical’ really means ‘fundamentalist’ (whish is, thus, a also a structural term). Now, obviously, not all SBC Baptists are real fundamentalists, from a theological point of view, though its leadership may be so. Many of them are real Evangelicals, in the general, theological sense that this term has received after 1950, when applied to the ‘new Evangelicals’, as opposed to the theological fundamentalists, who become, consequently the ‘old Evangelicals’.

In this context, ‘moderate’ Baptists have a real identity problem (nevertheless, it seems that SBC Baptists are beginning to feel the same way, although they are not yet ready to admit it).

Where will the future of ‘moderate’ Baptists take them, asks Gushee? Read his (tentative) answer HERE.

Rethink Afghanistan

There is a growing outcrz in the world, both in the US and Europe about the need for a radical change of strategy on Afghanistan.

The riddled recent elections, the drug traffiquing controlled by the Afghan worlords and the endemic corruption of the Afghan government lead more strategists to the conviction that the present solutions do not work. I offer you here two perspectives on this issue.

Continue reading “Rethink Afghanistan”