Jay gets Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37 wrong

A few months ago, in fact a few months after my book was published—this article was released on the Stream called “After Pentecost, was the Church Communist?” Of course, being a right wing Christian website the answer is “no”—but what I find interesting is how they arrive at that answer. The author of the article, Jay Richards defines communism this way:

Communism is based on Marx’s theory of class warfare. Under capitalism, Marx predicted, the workers are exploited and at some point, revolt against the capitalists — the owners of the means of production. The workers take control of private property by force and then the state owns it on behalf of the people. Then, after a while, Marx claimed, the socialist state would wither away and you’d get a communist utopia in which everyone lived in peace, harmony and preternatural freedom.

Continue reading “Jay gets Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37 wrong”

Advertisements
Jay gets Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37 wrong

An interview

I recently did an interview with John Shuck on the radio show/podcast progressive spirit, also on youtube about my book “All Things in Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians.” I hope you enjoy it.

An interview

Christian Pacifism and Just War Pragmatism – Part 1

Starting with Saint Augustine Christianity had always had a concept of ”Just War, ” whereas Christian pacifism has always been a force in Christianity, historically the “Just War” theology won over. The conservative religious journal “first things” published an article recently By William Doino Jr. where he defends the Catholic “Just War” theory against what he calls “The Pacifist Temptation.” The temptation he’s referring to a conference held by the Pontifical Council for Justice and peace and the Pax Christi movement, which led to a declaration by Pax Christi that appealed to a commitment to Nonviolence and insisted that there cannot be such a thing as “Just War.”

Continue reading “Christian Pacifism and Just War Pragmatism – Part 1”

Christian Pacifism and Just War Pragmatism – Part 1

Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 2 – Slavery

In the previous post, we went over Reza Aslan’s theological assumptions coming from the school of thought beginning with Friedrich Schleiermacher. We ended with me agreeing with Reza Aslan that the answer to religious violence must come from religion. But how is this to be done? In his lecture, Reza Aslan doesn’t really explain how, but during the questions, he addresses it by saying:

Continue reading “Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 2 – Slavery”

Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 2 – Slavery

Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 1 – Equivocation

The last post on this blog was about the Not peace but a Sword saying found in Matthew 10:34-39. The impetus for that post was actually a lecture I saw recently given by Reza Aslan on the connection between religion and violence. I’ve written on Reza Alsan before. His argument is based on a few fallacies, one of which is found around the 20 Minute mark, he says:

A Muslim is whoever says he or she is a Muslim, the end.

Continue reading “Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 1 – Equivocation”

Reza Aslan, Religion and Politics – Part 1 – Equivocation

Not Peace But a Sword

Matthew 10:34:

Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν· οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν.

And in the NRSV:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

This scripture is used over and over again, by Reza Aslan types who want to prove that the New Testament and Christianity is just as potentially violent as the Koran, the Old Testament, or any other religious text, or to show that Christianity is entirely open to any and every potential interpretation. The argument goes something like this usually, the first person says “Such and Such religious text is problematic because of what it teaches,” and the Reza Aslan type responds with “well, the new Testament says I came not to bring peace but a sword” and Christians choose to ignore than, or interpret it away, so we can do the same with other religious texts. I is not legitimate to simply isolate a text in any religious tradition that may be violent and think that this in and of itself shows anything, for Christianity or any other tradition, you need to do exegesis and theology, and think the whole tradition through. So can this scripture be legitimately used to defend violence? Well let’s examine it.

Continue reading “Not Peace But a Sword”

Not Peace But a Sword