Sermon Resources: Faith and Politics

This past Sunday, John preached on the connection between what we believe to be good, right, just, and beautiful and the way we engage politically. John encouraged us to engage politically from a place of faith in Christ. Here are quotes, resources and recommended reading from the sermon.

 

CEO of Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, said: “While people may have a right to express their beliefs in public, that does not mean companies cannot take action when women are subjected to comments that perpetuate negative stereotypes about them based on their gender,”

https://www.recode.net/2017/8/10/16125452/google-sundar-pichai-fire-james-damore-diversity-memo

 

David Brooks to speculate: “The mob that hounded Damore was like the mobs we’ve seen on a lot of college campuses. We all have our theories about why these moral crazes are suddenly so common. I’d say that radical uncertainty about morality, meaning and life in general is producing intense anxiety. Some people embrace moral absolutism in a desperate effort to find solid ground. They feel a rare and comforting sense of moral certainty when they are purging an evil person who has violated one of their sacred taboos.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/opinion/sundar-pichai-google-memo-diversity.html?mcubz=0&_r=0

 

James Damore at the WSJ: “In my document, I committed heresy against the Google creed by stating that not all disparities between men and women that we see in the world are the result of discriminatory treatment…Those most zealously committed to the diversity creed—that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and all people are inherently the same—could not let this public offense go unpunished. They sent angry emails to Google’s human-resources department and everyone up my management chain, demanding censorship, retaliation and atonement.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-i-was-fired-by-google-1502481290

 

Lindsay Graham: “”Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer,””

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/16/politics/lindsey-graham-donald-trump-charlottesville/index.html

 

 

Charles Taylor from A Secular Age “Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God in, say, 1500 in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy, but even inescapable?” (p. 25)

 

James K. A. Smith on Taylor: “Once upon a time, … we believed in sprites and fairies and gods and demons. But as we became rational, and especially as we marshaled naturalist explanations for what we used to attribute to spirits and forces, the world became progressively disenchanted. Religion and belief withered with scientific exorcism of superstition. … There is a dramatic tension here, a sense of plot, and a cast of characters with heroes (e.g., Galileo) and villains (e.g., Cardinal Bellarmine).”

 

Cloudflare CEO:  “Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision. It was different than what I’d talked with our senior team about yesterday. I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet. … It was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company. Having made that decision, we now need to talk about why it is so dangerous. I’ll be posting something on our blog later today. Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/08/17/cloudflare_ceo_matthew_prince_is_right_we_can_t_count_on_him_to_police_online.html

 

N.T. Wright on Justice Longings in a postmodern world from Simply Christian: “I had a dream the other night, a powerful and interesting dream. And the really frustrating thing about it is that I can’t remember what it was about. I had a flash of it as I woke up, enough to make me think how extraordinary and meaningful it was; and then it was gone. And so, to misquote T.S. Eliot, I had the meaning but missed the experience.

Our passion for justice often seems like that. We dream the dream of justice. We glimpse, for a moment, a world at one, a world put to rights, a world where things work out, where societies function fairly and efficiently, where we not only know what we ought to do but actually do it. And then we wake up and come back to reality. But what are we hearing when we’re dreaming that dream?

It’s as though we can hear, not perhaps a voice itself, but the echo of a voice: a voice speaking with calm, healing authority, speaking about justice, about things being put to rights, about peace and hope and prosperity for all.”

 

Richard Hays and the hermeneutics of biblical ethics from The Moral Vision of the New Testament: 

“The Devil can cite Scripture to his purpose,’ so my grandmother used to say. Or, as we prefer to say now in the academy, ‘The text has inexhaustible hermeneutical potential.’ … the Bible itself contains diverse points of view, and diverse interpretive methods can yield diverse readings of any given text.”

 

Recommended Further Reading:

  1. Hays, Richard, The Moral Vision of the New Testament
  2. Smith, James K.A., How Not to be Secular
  3. Wright, N.T. Simply Christian

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