>Some may wonder why a “conservative, reformed” blog would devote space to the ideas of those associated with the dreaded emerging church (yes, that was tongue-in-cheek, by the way). Why give a platform to someone many conservatives consider to be a heretic? Well, we are the ones who raised the issue of Doug Pagitt running for the MN state legislature. We have two choices: we can either speculate about why he is doing this and be content to call left-leaning Christians hypocrites for increasing their political efforts after they criticized the Christian Right’s efforts for so many years or we can ask him the questions we have directly and let him explain. Doug has agreed to discuss these issues with us. Although we are not a watchdog/attack dog blog, despite the mean stare of our doggie mascot Grace, it is safe to say that no one would confuse Doug with being a member of a conservative reformed mafia. That being said, Doug Pagitt is responding here as our guest and will be treated with respect. Please post your comments accordingly. Feel free to express disagreement but leave the nastiness for other blogs (Or as Doug mentions in his preliminary remarks, just leave it out altogether).
Doug has responded to our questions via video which helps to take away from the disconnectedness and anonymity which marks blogging oftentimes. He has also posted this video on his blog here. The text of our questions is posted below. Jeff Wright
J_Wizzle writes: Doug, first, let me say thank you for being willing to take time to answer some questions with us. We may not agree on everything, but I appreciate your willingness to be open and to talk to others. With that said, here is my question for you: Why do you think that the overwhelming majority of emerging/Emergent Christians support leftist politics?
Also, many emerging Christians grew up as conservative (both theologically and politically) evangelicals. Many of them have grown disillusioned with what they have grown up with and have switched to more liberal beliefs. Do you feel that the pendulum has just swung from one side to another (so to speak) for many of these people?
Jared Nelson asks: What is different about the role of the church from the role of the state in God’s plan? In other words – can directives given to Christ’s church be done congruently or substitutionally by the state?
Jeff Wright asks: In Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches (pg. 133) you talk about no longer seeing Christendom or the church as “the sole proprietor of the hopes of God through Jesus.” You also mention that “the church, or self-professing Christians, hold no special right to speak for God.” I am not sure if this is what you believe or if you were only relaying what “those outside the church have already concluded” or both. But if what you have written is true then what do you as a Christian pastor hope to bring to the table in the state legislature? What will be unique about your message and efforts?
Jared Nelson asks: Do you plan to resign from Solomon’s porch to either run or if you win election? If not, how would you respond to Christians who see the story of Uzziah (2 Chron. 26:18) as a cautionary tale for people assuming both roles of minister and governor?
Jeff Wright asks: In his book The Kingdom of Christ (pg. 133), Russell Moore writes, “[Carl F.H.] Henry pointed out the irony of church officials proclaiming the certitudes of redemption with less and less certainty while simultaneously making sociopolitical statements that seemed to come with their own self-attesting authority.” He goes on to quote Henry as saying, “Is it not incredible that some churchmen, whose critical views of the Bible rest on the premise that in ancient times the Spirit’s inspiration did not correct erroneous scientific concepts, should seriously espouse the theory that in modern times the Spirit provides denominational leaders with the details of a divine science of economics?” Henry is apparently being sarcastic about the Spirit providing details about economics but he does raise an interesting point. What level of certitude will you have about the legislation you will be proposing or supporting – legislation that will be binding upon all the citizens of Minnesota?
Matthew Bradley asks: How do you characterize the political involvement of James Dobson, the late Jerry Falwell, and others of the evangelical right and how will your political involvement be different than theirs?
Thanks again for taking the time to interact with us on these issues of faith and sociopolitical activity, Doug.