Issue #7

Witness to Misery, Faith and Reason, Ephesians Class, Head Covering, Theological Triage, Chuck the Passion, and the Prosperity Gospel

Issue #7

The Christian Witness to Misery

One thing, however, is sure: unless Christians fulfill their prophetic role, unless they become the advocates and defenders of the truly poor, witness to their misery, then infallibly, violence will suddenly break out. In one way or other ‘their blood cries to heaven,’ and violence will seem the only way out. It will be too late to try to calm them and create harmony.

– Jacques Ellul, French sociologist, via Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, pg. 268

When I came across this quote it struck me as deeply prophetic. The outbreaks of violence and rage which we have seen in the American context over race and other factors is something that Christians should oppose as stewards of Jesus’ application of the 6th commandment (Matthew 5:21-22).

But, I also believe that the American Christian church has failed in its prophetic witness to this suffering for a long, long time. The American Christian church was often complicit in slavery. It was often complicit in opposing racial reconciliation. It has often feared what it would mean to call for change. One must read no further than Rev. Martin Luther King’s ”Letter from a Birmingham Jail” 📃 to know that. We have too often failed to enter into the misery of others, to seek understanding, and to seek change even when it is difficult.

I’m not saying that you, reader, are complicit in this. I’m not calling you a racist. I’m not advocating for a critical race theory worldview. I’m not doing any one of a hundred things you may think I’m doing merely by writing about race. I am a white, generally politically and theologically conservative, evangelical Christian. What I am saying is that the American Christian church has become far too comfortable with political, worldly power for far too long. Perhaps we need to re-examine how we may be failing to be “little Christs” in how we follow His example of entering into the lives of the weak, poor, and oppressed. I know that I have been far too comfortable. I must do better.

Let’s move on to today’s links.

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Christianity Is True

Faith and Reason—a Parable | David A. Horner 📃 →

Today, faith and reason are described as opposites. One must display faith in the face of reason. If someone seeks to understand something through reason, then there’s no room for faith. I cannot stress this more strongly: this is not biblical faith. A few hundred years ago a movement started to separate these concepts and place reason against and above faith.