Speaking Mush to Power

Here is an interesting and valuable article on American Empire, N.T. Wright, the emergent church, and Pauline studies (HT: Justin Taylor).

And here are just a couple of random (and brief) observations on the same general subject. I am not going to argue for these; I am just going to say them.

1. It is self-evident to me that America has become an empire (of sorts), and that the New Testament provides us with a pattern as we seek to operate as consistent Christians within the confines of empire, supporting the powers that be as needed, and challenging them prophetically as needed.

2. The challenge to empire in the NT is presented in the name of the Lord Jesus, and is done through the Church. It is not done on behalf of and in the name of aggrieved Parthians, disenfranchised Scythians, post-colonial tinpot dictators complaining about the loan policies of the World Bank, or UN health workers urging a more expansive condom distribution policy.

3. Those who want the American empire to behave itself, and yet who have an allergic reaction to all forms of “Constantinianism,” want something that has never been and never will be. As much as they like to pretend otherwise, anti-Constantinians don’t really believe in speaking truth to power. They believe in speaking limp nostrums to power, or cheesy bromides to power, or sentimental cliches to power. And power laughs and does what it wants. The pagans running the show will behave as pagans always have until and unless they submit to the saving and authoritative grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. Submitting to the lordship of Jesus Christ is not the same thing as trendy leftism. Sorry. See number two again.

5. The only genuine postmodernism possible is theonomic postmillennialism. This is not a cute debating trick. It is a serious point, easier to dismiss with a secularized and nonchalant laugh than it is to answer. True postmodernism is not possible until all the postmodernists are dead.

6. And last, although I write as a Christian, a conservative, and a Calvinist, in that order, everything I argue for here is deeply rooted in the blues.

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