Fors Clavigera: God’s Politics?

 There he goes again, and I mean James K.A. Smith.  I wish I didn’t like so much of what he says and writes,  so I could dismiss him and chalk this up to something degrading,  like some sort of condescending intellectual arrogance,  because that’s how it has often struck me.  And heck,  I’m smart enough to freakin’ understand much of what Jamie writes.

I don’t mean to keep flogging the same horse, but man I find Jim Wallis frustrating!

there is a remarkable irony about Wallis’ posturing. At one point Wallis says this: “When Democrats can run authentically as persons of faith, they can beat back the idolatrous claims of the Religious Right that God is only on their side.” This from a guy who has the audacity to write a book called God’s Politics. I think the “only” in this quote is superfluous, and masks the fact that Wallis thinks that God is on his side.

Ok, then,  whose side is God on?  Yours?  That’s the way it sounds whenever we call into question something someone with whom we strongly disagree.  So all I see here is a three way argument (although I find myself closer to your point of view……but I also worry about the way you say it,  and all the stuff you neglect to say).

Come on, Jamie!  Just where do you think we all need to be.  I find YOU frustrating sometimes!  I agree with your point about the questionable idea that the “Christian Left” had much to do with this election.  THAT indeed does sound similar to the claims of the Right in 04.  But you make WAY too big a deal,  and you DO come off sounding a bit know-it-all when you rather one-sidedly , consistently criticize Wallis,  who I feel is probably going to be much more effective at helping most honest Christians do some filtering of political BS.  I would never have given a rat’s ass about anything you have written had I not been drawn in by the Sojourners community and theology.  But I’m glad I did,  and through that, grew to appreciate your contributions,  along with Hauerwas, Cavanaugh, Daniel Bell,  and others. 

So I’m concerned when I read one esteemed teacher rip another.  It almost hits me as calling me stupid for having not noticed any of this about Wallis for 20 years.  I know I’m not up on graduate level philosophy and all,  but just where do you  think most people in the church are on these things?  Doesn’t Wallis merit just a bit of credit?  You’ve strained a bit to say just a couple of grudging “I’ll give him this…….or I prefer him to Falwell”  ,  but as I wrote in an earlier post a few months ago,  I think he’s more on a par as a “theological peer”,  although I strongly prefer your ecclesiology.  But I just wanted to say this still hurts.  I don’t know how else to say it.

Source: Fors Clavigera: God’s Politics?

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I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

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