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Saturday, April 16, 2005

'Boston Review' on religion and liberalism.

What am I reading now? The April/May issue of the Boston Review, which features "American Salvation: The Place of Christianity in American Civic Life" by Princeton professor Albert J. Raboteau (an Orthodox Christian and scholar of African-American religion); "Compassion Capital: Bush’s Faith-based Initiative Is Bigger than You Think" by Lew Daly; "Taking Faith Seriously: Contempt for Religion Costs Democrats More than Votes" by community organizer Mike Gecan; "Losing Faith: The Democrats Called, but They Didn't Call Back" by GBIO organizer Ari Lipman; and especially "Christ's Militia: How Evangelical Protestantism Came To Dominate American Religion" by historian Gary B. Nash. Good stuff.

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 16 April 2005 at 5:09 PM

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April 16, 2005 10:09 PM | Permalink for this comment

Good jumpin jeebus. I can't even keep up with "Entertainment Weekly."


April 16, 2005 10:40 PM | Permalink for this comment

That's probably why Brother Flaming Sword reads the slower-paced stuff. Unless you happen to be a premillennial dispensationalist, there's plenty of time to absorb it before anything new and critical is likely to happen.


April 19, 2005 07:14 AM | Permalink for this comment

"Premillinneal dispensationalist" sounds like gobbledygook to me . What is that in plain English ? I find such words to be cumbersome. LOL


April 19, 2005 09:08 AM | Permalink for this comment

A "premillennial dispensationalist" is somebody who thinks The Rapture is going to happen any day now, during which all pious, right-thinking Christians will be levitated up into the clouds to meet Jesus in the air (cf. I Thessalonians 4:15-18), and after which everyone who is left behind will get on with the grim business of hashing out Armageddon. (The only condition left to fall into place for the Rapture to occur is the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.) Christ's eventual triumph at Armaggeddon after seven years of unimaginably horrible "tribulations" will usher in the Seventh Dispensation or final millennium, aka the Kingdom of God on Earth, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation.

Premillennialism is the basis of the wildly popular "Left Behind" series of books. Also of the bumper sticker sported on the beat-up jalopy of one of my fellow parishioners: "When the Rapture comes, can I have your car?"

We doubters may consider it schizoid fantasy, but "premillennial dispensationalism" is nevertheless important gobbledygook to become familiar with, the way things are going. Premillennial dispensationalists already control much of the Republican Party, and therefore much of our government whenever the GOP is in power. A lot of America's foreign policy (think Judaea and Samaria) and domestic policy (think natural resource exploitation) is currently based upon theologicical premises, rather than pragmatic considerations of national interest or idealistic concerns such as protection of the environment or the advancement of justice and human rights. As Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior (and the current Secretary Gayle Norton's mentor) once said, there's no need to abate pollution or conserve natural resources, because "when we cut down the last tree, Christ will return."

It's not for nothing that authors like Mike Gecan pick titles for their books like Taking Faith Seriously: Contempt for Religion Costs Democrats More than Votes.

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