Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tony Jones on Emergent Politics
Tony Jones has an excellent article on the God's Politics blog about the tension that many of us emergents feel regarding political involvement. He writes (with my own emphasis added):

Emergents seem stuck in a no-man's-land: on the one hand, they're committed to a deep, political engagement in American society, but on the other hand, they vow not to be co-opted by a political party. This is driven both by the belief that the national parties are ultimately concerned with self-perpetuation (not a gospel value) and by the clear inference in the Gospels that Jesus remained independent from all of the political parties of the day: the Essenes, Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots, and Herodians all appear on the biblical stage, yet Jesus identifies with none of them. The one thing predictable about Jesus' interactions with the powers that be: he was predictably unpredictable.

Consequently, emergents are looking for a couple of things. First, they're intent on finding and supporting politicians who will change the political landscape, those who will resist doing business as usual. This may not differ appreciably from many politically engaged Americans, but the emergents may be the generation of Christians to represent a critical mass, a tipping point to upset the political apple cart. Second, emergents will look at political engagement as an art rather than a science. Therefore, they will artfully look for points of intersection and moments of potential cooperation with politicians on both sides of the aisle. The junctures of the gospel and political engagement are myriad, and they will surely not line up exclusively with the ideology of one political party. But the independence of emergents does not preclude activism. In fact, it begets activism.

Read the rest of the article here.

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posted by Mike Clawson at 5:09 PM | Permalink |


2 Comments:


At 2/21/2008 10:04:00 PM, Blogger BLM

Hi Mike,

I read the rest of Tony's article and I'm wondering about this:

"Consequently, emergents are looking for a couple of things. First, they're intent on finding and supporting politicians who will change the political landscape, those who will resist doing business as usual."

Do you think this is an apologia for Obama?

"This may not differ appreciably from many politically engaged Americans, but the emergents may be the generation of Christians to represent a critical mass, a tipping point to upset the political apple cart."

How does that make them/us different from the Christian Right who upset the political apple cart as part of conservative/Republican coalitions over the last 20, 30 years, or of any other group that tips an election on way or another?

peace,

BLM

 

At 2/24/2008 11:15:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

"Do you think this is an apologia for Obama?"

I doubt it.

"How does that make them/us different from the Christian Right who upset the political apple cart as part of conservative/Republican coalitions over the last 20, 30 years, or of any other group that tips an election on way or another?"

I think Tony was talking about more than merely tipping an election or supporting some existing party. I think he was talking about changing the way politics is done altogether - about moving away from both partisanship and political withdrawal (the two dominant narratives of American Christian political involvement in the past century).

 

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