I was drawn in by this title. Althought this article really doesn’t have much substance to it. I think its true that the emerging movement has more in common with old line liberalism than people realize (follow the names listed in the article). All the same, I wonder how we’re going to answer the charge of theocracy which is being leveled at mainline evangelicalism (not to mention think critically about the concept of liberalism and what scripture says of it). Does anyone know any books which would help me to learn more about evangelical thinking with regard to this topic?
Link – “the charge of theocracy” – American Theocracy, By Kevin Phillips
From a review of the book:
But as the book’s title suggests, it is the religious right that most occupies Phillips. He is not subtle in his descriptions of this group: “The rapture, end-times, and Armageddon hucksters in the United States rank with any Shiite ayatollahs.” The GOP has been transformed into “the first religious party in U.S. history,” Phillips argues, and it is ushering in an “American Disenlightenment” that rejects the separation of church and state and ignores the teachings of science.
Much of Phillips’s focus is on the eschatology of evangelical, fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christians, including their understanding of the prophecies in the New Testament book of Revelation that describe the events leading to the world’s end, events that some evangelicals believe may be foreshadowed by today’s turmoil in the Middle East. “Conservative politicians understood that for true believers their imminent rapture and the subsequent second coming of Jesus Christ were the only endgame,” Phillips argues. “We can estimate that for 20 to 30 percent of Christians, this chronology superseded or muted other issues,” such as economic self-interest and the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But Phillips provides no source for this estimate. He also asserts, rather than proves, that such ideas animate the Bush administration — worrying, for example, about “White House implementation of domestic and international political agendas that seem to be driven by religious motivations and biblical worldviews.”
This seems due in part to the low opinion Phillips has of born-again Christians, whom he sees as victims of a form of religious false consciousness. He argues that “Some 30 to 40 percent of the Bush electorate, many of whom might otherwise resent their employment conditions, credit-card debt, heating bills, or escalating costs of automobile upkeep . . . often subordinate these economic concerns to a broader religious preoccupation with biblical prophecy and the second coming of Jesus Christ.”