Trinity Forum: The Challenge of Christian Nationalism

June 18 at 1:30 Eastern Time, via Zoom

Trinity Forum is hosting a discussion on The Challenge of Christian Nationalism with Mark Noll and Vincent Bacote. We are all threatened by Christian Nationalism these days, both believers and non-believers. (And these Nationalists would just love to dictate the science taught in public schools.)

If you miss it it should be on YouTube later

Register Here

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Noll and Bacote? :slightly_smiling_face:

I hope it restrains some that are leaning that way.

The Xian Nationalists, of course. I’ll edit the original post

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I was just being facetious. Your meaning was quite clear. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Related to Christian nationalism is this quote from the Experimental Theology blog that resonates with me in this day
“ The prophetic imagination is the capacity to imagine that God can speak–and is speaking!–a word of indictment against you.

When we lack this capacity God is “captured” by the status quo. God comes to endorse, baptize, sacralize, legitimize, and spiritually underwrite your political party, church, tribe, social position, and nation. This is how, for example, Constantinianism leads to idolatry. An identity relationship is formed between God and Country. Speak against America and you’re speaking against God.

The prophetic imagination, by contrast, is the capacity to imagine that America stands under God’s judgment. “. Experimental Theology: Will the Real Christianity Please Stand Up!: Part 5, The Prophetic Imagination

I hesitate to post this as it could get political in a heartbeat, so try to keep discussion on the ideas and not the politics, or we will have to close discussion.

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I would agree, but we have a huge precedent (that influences many) in the Warrior God image in the OT. I don’t agree with it, and believe it was an egregiously mistaken impression by the Israelites of how God really acts. I hope that Mark Noll will help clarify this. I am not familiar with the other gentleman.

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I had to look him up. He’s the Associate Professor of Theology, Director of Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton.

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Sounds like what happened in Nazi Germany when Jesus got an Aryan makeover:

During the Third Reich, a group of German Protestant theologians, motivated by racism and tapping into traditional Christian theological anti-Judaism, redefined Jesus as an Aryan and Christianity as a religion at war with Judaism. In 1939, these theologians established the Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Religious Life, which was financed by the Protestant church and flourished successfully until 1945. The Institute's members – over 200 professors, bishops and pastors – published a new version of the Bible and hymnal purged of Jewish references, as well as “research” on Judaism aimed at supporting Nazi measures against the Jews.

I remember reading about this at one time. It’s sad.
I wonder how they renamed the book of Hebrews (not to be too lighthearted. It just seems like an impossible task to remove Jewish connections from the Bible).

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Interesting that some invoke the Warrior God, yet ignore the many prophets condemning Israel and calling them to repentance.

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would you like to listen to the program? It’s only about an hour long, from the National Library of Israel. It was very disturbing. It shows why I’m leery of “Let’s dump the Old Testament” movements.

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Sure you can PM me. Though the issue at hand seems to be the Warrior God and rejecting that part? Thanks

Christian Nationalists say that repentance is condemning abortion and “disorder” in the streets.

This event was good. If you missed it, here is a recording:

The Challenge of Christian Nationalism

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Listening to it today. It us indeed a terrific one. It us humble, kind and insightful. Thanks

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Thank you very much for listening, Randy.

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Religious nationalism is the norm in non-secular therefore socially conservative societies. It suits populist politicians in America, Russia, India, Turkey, Brazil, Poland, Hungary, Austria. Where you don’t have superstition, in non-plural societies, you will have reversion to cultural nationalism as is happening in China. It’s a very cheap trick by those in power and is as old as Nimrod.

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Since the gospel from Christ was to be preached to very nation and the church actually started creating multi-racial communities (Greeks, Romans, Jews and others) we need to continue to believe that the cosmic Body of Christ, which is the Church) must extend beyond every race and language and be inclusive of such. There has ever been an racial preference assigned by Christ and no race of people can claim superiority.

Terribly the Church in its local manifestations in much of its history has become bound up with specific national identities and national churches have been political rivals and, worse still been co-opted into wars, each praying to Christ for their side. The Church was often co-opted into colonial power and used racial inequalities. Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich who as German experienced Nazism wrote a lot about the demonising and corruption of faith with the idolatry of nationalism.

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Here is the lecture, from the National Library of Israel. Chilling, yet fascinating!

How Jesus became a Nazi: Christian Theologians in the Third Reich

Lecture by Susannah Heschel , Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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