Saturday, May 29, 2010

One More From Hart on Lillback and Beck

Here. My favorite passage:

A similar understanding of the relationship between the religious and the social, or the theological and political is at work recently in the Manahattan Declaration, the very statement that Lillback recommended to Beck at the end of their interview, when he said:

I would like to tell all of your listeners and Glenn, you personally, that you need to put your signature on the Manhattan Declaration. Chuck Colson spoke to me about this some months ago and he said, “Would you help me sign it?”

And I had the privilege of being one of the first 100 signatories. And basically, he said this — we need to bring together the movement of people across this country who are willing to die for what they believe in. And the things that are being challenged where the government is going to come to force us out of the convictions are the sanctity of life, our definition of historic marriage and our resounding commitment to protect rights of conscience of religious liberty.

In the Manhattan Declaration, not only have the differences among Protestant denominations been placed in the background compared to the pressing social demands of the sanctity of human life and religious liberty. Also Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodoxy are now united in the name of Christ and for the sake of the gospel to advocate certain moral and social causes in the public sphere....

Ooops. I think Lillback doesn't know that Mormons WERE NOT INVITED to sign the Manhattan Declaration because they are not "Christians" according to the MD's ecumenical orthodox Trinitarian understanding of "Christianity."

Sorry Glenn you can't sign unless you convert to "Christianity."

1 comment:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, you certainly caught Lillback off-base here, a gotcha post worthy of Dispatches.

The historic milestone was roping in the Eastern Orthodox, who had previously stood outside "Moral Majority"-type interfaith movements. Protestantism isn't all that produces sects by the sackful, although it's been far more prolific.

I'd guess it was the Roman Catholics who did the heavy lifting of getting the Easterns and the evangelicals in the same room. But Mormons would be a bridge too far at this time for many evangelicals. And perhaps always will be. To speak with one voice would be a theological affirmation of Mormonism, too much for some orthodox Christians.

And indeed, the Manhattan Declaration was designed to make a univocal Gospel and natural law case on current issues contra drifting mainline Protestant sects like Episcopalianism. Its purpose was only facially political; it's more an intramural [Trinitarian] theological document. Lillback didn't quite get that.

Robbie George: "For too long, the historic traditions of Catholicism, Evangelical Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy have failed to speak formally with a united voice, despite their deep agreement on fundamental questions of morality, justice, and the common good. The Manhattan Declaration provided leaders of these traditions with an opportunity to rectify that. It is gratifying that they were willing--indeed eager--to seize that opportunity. Of course, as Cardinal Justin Rigali observed at the press conference at which the Declaration was released, the foundational principles it defends ‘are not the unique preserve of any particular Christian community or of the Christian tradition as a whole....They are principles that can be known and honored by men and women of goodwill even apart from divine revelation. They are principles of right reason and natural law.’ So the signatories are happy to stand alongside our LDS brothers and sisters who have worked so heroically in the cause of defending marriage, our Jewish brothers and sisters, members of other faiths, and people of no particular faith (even pro-life atheists such as the great Nat Hentoff), who affirm our principles and wish to join us in proclaiming and defending them."

But "brothers and sisters" was too much for this evangelical: