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The Sunday Morning Post, 5.4.14

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Every Sunday morning, we’ll be posting articles and links that are saying something important about church, culture, and mission (or that just made us laugh). Here’s what resonated with us this week on the web:

On Al Mohler Interviewing Stanley Hauerwas

Southern Seminary President Al Mohler interviewed theologian Stanley Hauerwas on his podcast Thinking in Public.

He also posted the transcript on his blog:

Mohler: But when I think about the state of the church and of Christendom in this post-Christian age, just to stress the point a bit further, it is clear that many of the things that trouble most Christians you seem actually to celebrate the end of Christendom and the collapse of a Christian worldview and Christian influence in the society. Just play that out a bit.

Hauerwas:  I think isn’t it wonderful, we are free! The idea that now that now somehow or the other, America has to be a Christian nation is gone and we are free. Now all that we have left as Christians is to say the truth and I think that is a great thing God has done for us.

David Fitch contributed his thoughts on the interview:

Mohler used Hauerwas positively as most evangelicals do. They hop on his critique of the consumerism of American Christianity. But they avoid (or are unable to see) what Hauerwas is criticizing – the very foundations of evangelical thought that make such a critique possible: i.e. Enlightenment individualism, reading the Bible isolated unto oneself, a critique of conversion as a moment before God where he pronounces pardon upon faith, and the alignment of evangelicalism with American values/economy/nationalism. Hauerwas takes shots at all of these in the interview. Mohler seems to avoid disagreeing with him when he does. The inter-change is interesting.

Chris Morton then summed things up with seven great quotes from Hauerwas:

On the Death of Evangelicalism:

I think evangelicalism is destined to die of its own success and it will go the way of mainstream Protestantism because there’s just—it depends far too much on charismatic pastors, and charisma will only take you so far. Evangelicalism is constantly under the burden of re-inventing the wheel and you just get tired.

On Swiftly Subverting the Sarah Palin “Baptism” Comments

Keegan Osinski contributed a 30-second spoken piece exposing the sacrament of violence in the American religion.

Josiah Daniels posted this eulogy for Jerry Umanos that shows the true meaning of baptism:

Much has been made about a certain political “leader’s” comments this past week concerning waterboarding as a way of “baptizing” the U.S.’s enemies. No doubt there are those who attempt to characterize Christians as the epitome of stupidity and insensitivity. Yet here, in Jerry Umanos, we have the ultimate representation of how a Christian should live–indeed, what the sacrament of baptism actually entails.

On Execution & 300 Nigerian Girls

Roger Olson weighs in on Al Mohler’s defense of the death penalty:

Frankly, I am appalled at Mohler’s support for capital punishment. His reasoning is extremely weak, unless he’s a theocrat and wants the state to execute teenagers for rebelling against their parents and idolaters for worshiping false gods. His claim that capital punishment is a deterrent has been disproven many times. Finally, his caveats about how capital punishment is applied add up to a strong case for its abolition.

Professor Wil Gafney makes the stunning point that the “rape-marriage” forced upon the kidnapped Nigerian girls is…biblical:

We must tell the truth that the bible says that fathers can sell their daughters into sexual slavery (Ex 21:7)—given that enslaved women were used to breed slaves and for sexual gratification; there was no slavery for women in the bible that was not sexual slavery. (An argument can be made for the sexual abuse of male slaves as well.)

We must tell the truth that the bible says soldiers can take virgin girls home with them as the spoils of war (Num 31:17).

We must tell the truth that the bible says cut the nails off the woman you take home as your war prize (Deut 21:11)—making the rape easier on the rapist.

On Fresh Expressions & New Alliances

Ed Stetzer wrote on his blog about the success of fresh expressions of church in the UK (there is a US branch of this movement as well):

“Evidence suggests that for every one person sent out to be part of beginning a fresh expression of Church, now there are two and half more people. Nothing else in the Church of England has this level of missional impact and adding further ecclesial communities” (6).

“This is a 250% increase over time” (35).

Missio Alliance announced Biblical Seminary as a newly added cornerstone partner!

So what did we miss? What have you read or written this week that needs to be shared? Feel free to add your links in the comments!

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