David P. Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter: @dpgushee.
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Reading the Classics May Save White Souls
TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUMP PHENOMENON, which is at least in large part about race, I decided to read. Instead of reading more white people wrestling with what has gone wrong with white people, I, a white man, focused on African-American sources, mainly novels.
This move was first suggested to me by womanist ethicist Katie Cannon, who read the novelist Zora Neale Hurston as a primary source. I, too, began with Hurston, and then couldn’t stop. For two years, I have been reading classic novels by African-American authors, seeking an answer to these questions: How do black characters experience white people? How do they describe white Christian people’s morality and religion? The answers are clear—and devastating.
The Trump Prophecy
I REMEMBER THE EXACT DAY I discovered that some conservative Christians are not all that into democracy. It was 20 years ago. My daughter asked me for help with her social studies homework. I discovered that her Christian school taught a neo-Puritan civics curriculum, which proclaimed that God’s design for human government is rule by “godly Christian men” applying scripture under the sovereignty of God. I was shocked.
In the Trump era, we again witness a conservative Christian flirtation with authoritarianism. These conservative Christians compare Donald Trump to Cyrus of Persia—both authoritarian rulers, both “friendly” to but not part of God’s people, both supposedly used by God—and Trump is lauded as the president of divine providence in shlock films such as Liberty U.’s The Trump Prophecy.
Meanwhile, a quote attributed to Russian Orthodox priest and monarchist St. John of Kronstadt that “in hell there is democracy, in heaven there is a kingdom” is making the rounds on social media, occasioning much comment leaning in the direction of authoritarian rule. John of Kronstadt died in 1908 before the Russian revolution and likely associated democratic tendencies with atheism.
Escaping The Bonds Of Privilege
Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World. Fortress Press.
Five books that are changing the evangelical discussion about LGBT Christians and the church.
Tackling the Hard Questions
The fact that gay people—indeed, gay evangelical Christians—are no longer just being talked about but are finding their own voices and making scriptural, theological, and ethical arguments for themselves, inevitably changes the nature of the conversation—if we are willing to have a conversation.
The Stubborn Persistence of 'Jew-Hatred'
The term "anti-Semitism" hides an ugly history of racialized animus.
A Tribute to Glen Stassen
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared at ABPNews/Herald HERE.
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.
In the Name of Security
How the U.S. became a torturing nation—and how to make it stop.
Toward Life Abundant
Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation. Fortress Press.
Mr. Obama, Close Down This Jail!
Guantanamo reminds us of the fragility of constitutional democracy.
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