Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/02/2008

Is Barack Obama God’s chosen agent here on earth?  Jonah Goldberg on Barack Obama and the Social Gospel:

While Obama may have deep roots in BLT [Black Liberation Theology], he doesn’t
actually talk about it much. He does, however, talk a great deal about
the Social Gospel ..

the collectivist impulses [folks] are cataloging so thoroughly in BLT are also central to
the Social Gospel .. In
other words, Obama’s rhetoric of collective redemption through
government action is not as exotic as all of this emphasis on BLT would
suggest .. nearly 50%
of the board of the American Economic Association, were ministers. And
the Institute for Christian Sociology was founded by leading
progressive economists. The Social Gospel journal Dawn, founded in
1890, was intended “to show that the aim of socialism is embraced in
the aims of Christianity and to awaken members of Christian churches to
the fact that the teachings of Jesus Christ lead directly to some
specific form or forms of socialism,” according to William G.
McLoughlin, the acclaimed historian of America’s “Great Awakenings.”
Both the planners and the preachers shared in the belief that the state
was the means by which society would be redeemed collectively. Members
of the Institute for Christian Sociology were sworn to deliver God’s
“kingdom as the complete ideal of human society to be realized on
earth.” Obama himself has promised that we can create a “kingdom here
on earth.” ..

Again, I don’t know enough about BLT, though I’ve
been reading a bunch, but from what I’ve seen .. I’m
wondering whether Black Liberation Theology is in part a holdout of the
older Social Gospel tradition, a surviving remnant from the Progressive
era. Much is made of the BLT rhetoric about blacks being chosen people
and the like. But that rhetoric was commonplace among [white] Progressives ..

the point is that the politicized Christian rhetoric, or
Christianized political rhetoric isn’t unique to this obscure black
church in Chicago or even to the work of black theologians generally.
Rather, it is much more central to the progressive tradition generally.
As Joe Knippenberg and other’s have argued Obama’s Christianity is the
Christianity of Jim Wallis and others who think God is a welfare state
liberal ..


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