Tag Archives: Liberation Theology

Useful idiot Jim Wallis accepts $150,000 more from leftist atheist George Soros

From World Magazine. (H/T Jay Richards)

Excerpt:

Last year Jim Wallis encountered a barrage of criticism when WORLD reported that his religious left organization, Sojourners, took $325,000 from the world’s most notorious billionaire, pro-abortion atheist George Soros (July 17 and Sept. 11, 2010). Now he’s at it again: In an email note to me, Wallis confirmed that Soros’ Open Society Foundation has just given Sojourners $150,000 more.

The donation is more evidence that Wallis and Sojourners are on the left, even though the organization appeals to young evangelicals by claiming to be apolitical—in Wallis’ summation, not left but “deep.” Sojourners has paid its bills through contributions from co-religionists but also with $250,000 from The Tides Foundation, $200,000 from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and additional sums from Barbra Streisand and others.

For some contributors, Sojourners is a useful tool in reducing evangelical support for conservatives. Others have grander motives: Soros himself has stated, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.”

I think all Christians should have a view of economics, because we need to understand how to be effective at helping the poor. It may sound like a good idea to raise the minimum wage, but economists understand that raising the minimum wage actually hurts the poor, especially the young. It never hurts to study and to understand the way the world works – in any area of knowledge. I think that Christians should know how Christianity relates to every area, from science to history to philosophy to ethics to marriage and family.

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Philosopher Ron Nash lectures on capitalism, morality and freedom

Watch the lecture. (H/T Luis)

Nash speaks from 0:06 to0:45. Then he takes questions.

His two favorite economists are… WALTER WILLIAMS and THOMAS SOWELL! Just like me!

Christianity isn’t something you do in church to have happy feelings, or to get along with your parents and friends. It’s a worldview. And the whole point of it is that is is true, and helps us to make sense of the world because it is true.

By the way, he even talks about how Jesus uses hyperbole to get people’s attention in the question and answer time. I blogged about that a while back because one of our Christian commenters told me that Jesus never uses hyperbole. (She is a Calvinist, so… you know… ). F.A. Hayek also comes up in the Q&A time. Hayek is my third favorite economist. I think all Christians should have favorite economists. I think we should think about how Christianity relates to every area, from science to history to philosophy to ethics to marriage and family. And to politics and economics, as with this lecture!

We should all have favorite scholars, just like non-Christians have favorite musicians and movie stars. Ron Nash is one of my favorite philosophers.

Who is Ron Nash?

I learned about economics by listening to all the lectures in this course taught by Dr. Nash. He presents a view of economics that is consistent with the laws of logic and the Bible. And this course is comprehensive. I’ve moved on from Dr. Nash’s course to read F. A. Hayek and Thomas Sowell, and then Walter Williams. And I found that Dr. Nash’s course was excellent preparation for these more advanced books.

Take a look at some of the topics:

  • the role of the government in regulating commerce
  • the meaning of justice
  • capitalism and socialism
  • interventionism vs free market capitalism
  • introduction to economics
  • marxism
  • wealth and poverty
  • liberation theology and the religious left
  • judicial activism vs legal positivism
  • pollution
  • public education

You can grab the lectures here.

A little blurb about Dr. Nash

Nash taught theology and philosophy for four decades at three schools. He was chairman of the department of philosophy and religion and director of graduate studies in humanities at Western Kentucky University, where he was on faculty from 1964-91. He was a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary from 1991-2002 and at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1998-2005.

Nash wrote more than 35 books on philosophy, theology and apologetics, including “Faith & Reason: Searching for a Rational Faith,” “Life’s Ultimate Questions” and “Is Jesus the Only Savior?” Nash received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University; his master’s degree from Brown University; and his undergraduate degree from Barrington College.

From this Baptist Press article.

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William Lane Craig asks John Dominic Crossan: do you believe in God?

The answer is NO, Crossan does not believe in God.

And here is the proof from William Lane Craig. (H/T Glenn Peoples)

This exchange with Crossan occurred in their debate entitled “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?”.

The MP3 file of that debate is here.

Now look over this post about theological liberals, from philosopher Glenn Peoples.

Excerpt:

Secondly there’s a palpable dishonesty at work here too. If you’re going to present ideas, it’s helpful to name them. But if you name them, you need to be conscious of the fact that some names are already taken, and already have meaning. Some of these names are covered by copyright (such as Coca Cola), so you wouldn’t be able to use those, but others aren’t. When you identify as a Christian theologian and say “I believe that God exists and that Jesus rose from the dead,” you’re using terminology and also theological phrases and concepts that have recognisable meaning. In a Christian context there’s an existing understanding of what those concepts are and what those terms mean. God is the being who created the Universe, and Jesus rose from the dead by coming back to life and exiting his tomb. That’s what Christians have always meant when they say those things. But how honest is it to say “I’m a Christian, God exists, and Jesus rose from the dead” when what you actually mean is “I have a healthy respect for the teachings of a man who was no saviour, I believe that there is such a thing as goodness, and Jesus’ teachings still have some relevance for today”? Surely the respectable thing to say is “Look, Christianity is false, there’s no God, but we can still gleam a thing or two from what Jesus said.”

And more:

I have no doubt that for people who – for whatever reason – have an emotional or wistful connection to chapels, ecclesiastical robes and moving liturgy but who cannot stomach the perceived balderdash about inconvenient things like God, liberal (or “progressive”) Christianity is perceived as more intellectually respectable and credible. But those on the outside are a little more discerning and quite frankly aren’t this easily duped. However wrong they might be, they are not uniformly stupid. The genuinely honest and self respecting thing would be to stop receiving the church salary or pension, stop using its land, buildings and resources, admit that you reject Christianity outright and be done with it. Do something a little less duplicitous with your life. Start your own religion if you must, but face the fact that a more respectable version of religion is not what you have created.

That’s an excellent assessment of theological liberalism.I would have liked it even more if Glenn had talked about Crossan’s other pre-supposition – of religious pluralism – which requires that nothing in Christianity be exclusive such that people in other religions would be mistaken in their view of God and face whatever consequences that entails.

By the way, if you like that kind of frankness, I really recommend getting hold of the Greer-Heard forums with John Dominic Crossan (2005), Bart Ehrman (2008) and Paul F. Knitter (2009) – three apostates who are strongly questioned by the other respondents to the debate. Especially by the philosophers, Paul Copan and Doug Geivett. That is one excellent thing about philosophers. While historians and theologians see to me to often what to cloud things over, philosophers (analytical philosophers anyway), seem to want to clear things up.

I do not yet have the 2010 MP3s yet, but will buy them this weekend. Greer-Heard does a great job on these MP3 recordings – $15 for an entire forum with respondents. You learn a ton, but it is definitely intermediate level material.

Disclaimer: I don’t agree with Glenn on some things – I believe in non-material souls and I believe in Hell, and he seems to be more for material body only and annihilationism. But he keeps writing these amazing posts, so I keep linking.

Is Barack Obama a socialist? What is his connection to socialism?

Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?
Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?

Here is an interview with Stanley Kurtz of National Review regarding his new book exploring the real Barack Obama and his past interest in socialism.  (H/T Muddling Towards Maturity)

The answers to this interview are too awesome to quote here. So I will quote some of the questions, and you should click through and read the WHOLE THING.

Questions:

LOPEZ: Why was the 1983 Socialist Scholars Conference “so formative an influence on Obama’s political career”?

LOPEZ: What actual evidence do you have that Obama attended the annual Socialist Scholars Conferences in New York between 1983 and 1985?

LOPEZ: What is socialism? What is socialism to Barack Obama? How has that changed since 1983? How has it stayed the same?

LOPEZ: How important is black liberation theology to understanding Barack Obama? And where does Jeremiah Wright fit in here?

LOPEZ: Was Bill Ayers his mentor or not?

LOPEZ: How important is ACORN to understanding Barack Obama and the Democratic party today? Is ACORN still a factor?

LOPEZ: Barack Obama wrote in Dreams from My Father: “Political discussions, the kind that at Occidental had once seemed so intense and purposeful, came to take on the flavor of the socialist conferences I sometimes attended at Cooper Union or the African cultural fairs that took place in Harlem and Brooklyn during the summers — a few of the many diversions New York had to offer, like going to a foreign film or ice-skating at Rockefeller Center.” You read a lot into “diversions.” How? Why? Is he really that smart?

LOPEZ: So is Saul Alinsky really, truly important to understanding our president?

LOPEZ: What does the Midwest Academy have to do with the milestone health-care legislation the president signed this March?

LOPEZ: Do you have insights into what exactly Barack Obama makes of the abortion debate and where that fits into a full picture of him? Despite a radicalism there, he’s been stealth about it, somewhat consistently, in his national career.

OK, here is an excerpt from the interview.

LOPEZ: What actual evidence do you have that Obama attended the annual Socialist Scholars Conferences in New York between 1983 and 1985?

KURTZ: Obama tells us himself in Dreams from My Father that he attended socialist conferences at the Cooper Union. Detailed evidence from socialist archives shows that there was only one socialist conference at the Cooper Union, and that was the Socialist Scholars Conference of 1983. Obama’s name also appears on a list of pre-registrants for the 1984 Socialist Scholars Conference. There is less evidence that he attended the Socialist Scholars Conference of 1985, although I think it’s likely that he did. Not only did Obama attend the previous two conferences, evidence indicates that in 1985 he was studying the writings of Harry Boyte, an important theorist of community organizing who spoke at the 1985 conference. Boyte, by the way, advised Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. I carefully dissect the evidence for Obama’s conference attendance in the book.

LOPEZ: What is socialism? What is socialism to Barack Obama? How has that changed since 1983? How has it stayed the same?

KURTZ: These are the big questions. In the 1980s, the failure of Sixties and Seventies radicalism and the ascent of Ronald Reagan forced America’s socialists to take another tack. They de-emphasized strategies of nationalization and focused instead on local organizing as the way to move the country toward socialism. Now, instead of nationalizing a company, the idea was to get community organizers onto boards of directors, or to force banks to run loans through groups like ACORN. This was socialism “from below,” and it is the strategy that captivated Obama.

Obama’s socialist community-organizing colleagues followed French Marxist theorist André Gorz. Gorz advocated a strategy he called “non-reformist reforms,” proposing a series of seemingly minor tweaks to the system that were in fact designed to undermine capitalism and usher in socialism over time. This led Obama’s socialist mentors to devise an early version of the “public option,” although at the time they applied the idea to the energy sector, not health care. The socialism of Obama’s mentors was incremental and intentionally disguised. In the book, I argue that Obama follows many of his socialist mentors’ ideas to this day.

OK, here is ONE MORE answer at the end of the interview.

LOPEZ: If there’s one thing you could drive home to Americans about the president, what would it be?

KURTZ: He hasn’t been telling us the truth about his political convictions.

We need to start to understand Democrats by looking at their voting records, the policies they push, their positions, their past affiliations, and their life experiences. You don’t know anything about Barack Obama until you read books like these that go beyond the mainstream media puff pieces and Comedy Central slapstick interviews. You need to delve into who the man really is and what he intends to do to this country. The prosperity, liberty and security of your children depends on your diligence today. Inform yourself and persuade others.

And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, and then buy the Stanley Kurtz book and the David Freddoso book. Then read them.

Journalists conspired to spike the Jeremiah Wright story

Story here in the Daily Caller. (H/T Hot Air)

Excerpt:

It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.

The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”

Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

The mainstream news media is not objective. They’re Democrats. They vote Democrat. They give money to Democrats.