Atonement in Scripture: Why Trump and Cruz Are the Direct, Logical Result of American Evangelical Theology

Some people might say oh this is American, however American Christianity is hugely influential around the world, so this must be looked at and engaged with. This is a reblogged post from elsewhere. Not mine.

New Humanity Institute

Donald Trump Delivers Convocation At Liberty University LYNCHBURG, VA – JANUARY 18: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers the convocation at the Vines Center on the campus of Liberty University January 18, 2016 in Lynchburg, Virginia. A billionaire real estate mogul and reality television personality, Trump addressed students and guests at the non-profit, private Christian university that was founded in 1971 by evangelical Southern Baptist televangelist Jerry Falwell. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Thirst for Retribution

‘How could this happen?’ bemoan some conservative evangelicals.  Titles abound, such as:  The Inexplicable Evangelical Support for Donald Trump.[1]  But the reality is far from inexplicable.  Noam Chomsky weighed in with an argument about economic inequality and working class whites, which I think has lots of validity.[2]  But the argument from economic inequality doesn’t explain everything – after all, why did Southern states refuse Obamacare?  Why don’t more Southerners vote for Bernie Sanders?  We are becoming…

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Christmas fragment 3

Christmas celebrates a this worldly God. This is a problem. Some find the fleshliness difficult. Others find God difficult. A this worldly God on close reflection is a constant challenge to our ideas of world and god.

After I wrote that sentence I realised that I did the classic act of reducing world and god to ideas. So I add: A this worldly God on close reflection is a constant challenge to our ideas and experiences of world and god.

A this worldly god is inevitably messy intricately weaving himself into our experience, our biases and our appropriations.

A this worldly god seems infinitely interpretable; he is part of each ones experience through all time, but a this worldly god is also frighteningly particular and singular for as a human creature he is limited to his body.

A this worldly God is a problem.

Christmas Fragment 2

Christians worship a refugee.

At a time when politically stable societies celebrate Christmas with family it’s worth remembering that Mary and Joseph suddenly had to move from Nazareth to Bethlehem and then a little while later flee to Egypt.

The Christmas story is inherently filled with instability and danger. From this place of confusion it looks outwards and says ‘Peace to all’.

Christmas Fragment 1

Christmas is messily materialistic. The Word became flesh. Blood, bodily fluids, wordless crying are at the heart of Christmas story. It is icky, joyful and fills the senses.

This is why with so many objects criss crossing the planet it fulfils part of the spirit of Christmas. The handling of the card, the wrapping of the gift, the prising of the plastic, the eating of food, the drinking of wine affirms our bodily humanity; for God affirms bodily humanity in its messy state by taking on a breathing, weeing, gurgling body.

A parable of talents

Once in the land of Naad three young people were sent away from their home, each to a different land. They were to learn of that land and come back with new skills and knowledge.

Three years passed; they came back and there was a feast to welcome them. At this joyous time the priests and the elders summoned the young ones to ask them of their journey. All became quiet as the first one spoke.

“I learnt of how things work. How to put together things. How to harness energy, how to make lights flash and how to programme machines so that they do our bidding.”

“Welcome!” cried the elders and priests, “enter into our community, use your gifts here, make money here, be part of the greatness of our people.”

The second one stood forward. “I learnt about the body and its diseases. I learnt of many cures, how to fix a broken nose and how to get nicer skin. I even learnt the strange art of ‘fitness regime’ so that we might never be ill again.”

“Welcome!” cried the elders and priests, (especially the ones who had a stinking cold), “enter into our community, use your gifts here, make money here, be part of the greatness of our people.”

The third one stood forward, eyes bright, countenance joyful. “I learnt of God. Who reaches out to us. I learnt about us. Who reach out to God. I learnt of many great things; of how to transform our lives, of new ways of doing our festivals, of ways to fight for justice as God would love us to do.”

There was a great silence. Then a small cough. A shuffle of feet.

One of the priests then cried out. “Diane!…Diane!”

Diane stepped out from the crowd.

“Diane, can you put this bright young thing on your ROTA?”

Incarnation 3

The Incarnation asks questions of our privileging of the mind  and its activities, over the body. The young discipline of embodied cognition does a lot of research in how we seem to use our bodies in much deeper ways than we’ve been led to believe. The problems that AI and robotics face is from this over privileging of the mind over the body. Moravec’s paradox indicates that reasoning and thinking need far less computational resources than simple motor tasks of the body. Therefore there is something about the human body which is more than just simple mechanics. It could be argued that is how contemporary society over a variety of cultures views our body. A mechanical motor home for a disembodied ‘I’. The Incarnation seems to indicate otherwise.