What Would Jesus Do (in College)?

[When I was a student at Union Theological Seminary in NYC in the late 1950s, American Protestantism was at its height both with its orientation towards social justice and brilliant intellectual leadership of theologians such as the Niebuhrs and Paul Tillich. My particular year a half dozen of us were students who were taking a look see at a possible career in religion through a variety of fellowships we had received that offered that option. None of us in the end stayed with that career. As a group we met weekly with Daniel Day Williams, our resident theologian who had replaced Tillich, but Reinhold Niebuhr and others were cautioning that American Protestantism was moving in weird directions under the inspiration of evangelicals such as Billy Graham — away from the social gospel and towards self importance with negative overtones towards others that were to emerge as anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro war blicks against ‘evil enemies’ such as we now see in its culture. This is not to say that all evangelicals are haters. Some such as Jim Wallis of the Sojourners are breaking a bit with negativism, but such is still not the Christian heritage which we studied in detail — it is make it up as one goes along religion plucked from whatever sources — ancient and all too contemporary barbarisms — that can be sold to massive audiences unaware of the best elements of their Christian heritage. How sad.

The following piece also has some intelligent comments following that can be accessed at the website. Ed Kent]



What Would Jesus Do (in College)?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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