Some good reads to bounce around in your brain this week:
First, on the supposed phenomenon of Barack Obama stealing away some of the “evangelical vote” usually reserved for Republicans:
Telling quote #1: “We did what they said to do. We elected all these people, we got conservative justices appointed at the bench, and nothing happened,” said Tony Jones, the 40-year-old leader of Emergent Village, a national group that often speaks for more liberal Christians from an evangelical background.
Note to Tony: think a little longer before you say such (foolish) things. To say “nothing happened” is, first, incorrect, and second, fundamentally misunderstands the critical nature, balance of power, and direction of the Supreme Court. One more justice who actually believes in the Constitution, to replace one of the five who do not, and the dreadful Roe v. Wade decision is overturned, throwing the question back to the several states, where it belongs. So, since it hasn’t happened as quickly as we might like, we declare defeat right on the verge of victory? Nice strategy, Tony…
Telling quote #2: “I’ve only met one person in my travels in recent months who has said he is voting for McCain, and that was because he was an admittedly single-issue voter,” Mr. McLaren said. “Nearly all the vocal people I’ve met are enthusiastic about Obama. Based on the people I’m in front of as a speaker, I’d never guess the poll numbers are as close as they are.” (The Rev. Brian McLaren, a nationally known speaker and author who represents a more liberal branch of evangelicalism and has endorsed Mr. Obama, said he thinks Democrats are succeeding.)
Note to Brian: um, seems to me that that says a whole lot more about the folks you’re speaking to these days than it does anything else. Sort of like the media member who said, shortly after the 1972 presidential election where Richard Nixon trounced George McGovern, “I can’t believe Nixon won; I don’t know anybody who voted for him.”
Next, a few thoughts on the “Lakeland Revival”, a charismania phenomenon that defies description, coming unraveled, apparently, because the individual at the forefront, one Todd Bentley, turns out to be a guy better at punching the people he’s “healing” than keeping his marriage together (very, very sadly). First response is by Lee Grady, himself the Charisma magazine editor…
Telling quote #1: “Why did so many people flock to Lakeland from around the world to rally behind an evangelist who had serious credibility issues from the beginning?
To put it bluntly, we’re just plain gullible. ”
Telling quote #2: “A prominent Pentecostal evangelist called me this week after Bentley’s news hit the fan. He said to me: ‘I’m now convinced that a large segment of the charismatic church will follow the anti-Christ when he shows up because they have no discernment.'”
And the second by John Piper:
Breakpoint is daily reminding the world that, while the Olympics carry on in Beijing for 16 days, China is still one of the worst human-rights violators in the world:
A great article posted sometime back by Christianity Today made its way into my laptop this week, on crossing racial barriers as evangelicals: