Tony Campolo, evangelical Christian college profs, Obama, abortion, sodomy, and Hell...
(Tim, w/thanks to the usual suspect) Growing up in Wheaton among evangelicalism's elite, it became apparent to me more than twenty years ago that my Christian sanity depended upon never looking at, let alone subscribing to, Christianity Today or her many sister publications. Alas, it's never been that easy.
Some years back, a young couple attended Church of the Good Shepherd while doing graduate work at Indiana University. Too, too late, I discovered they were related to CTi's CEO (since retired). Had I known it from the beginning, I would have nipped our relationship in the bud. By the time I found out, alas and alack, we loved them and they us. Ever since, we've made do as best we could. For their part, they became reformed and he stepped into the eldership of a PCA church in the D.C. area. For our part, we assured them regularly that some of our best friends work on Gunderson Drive.
My father-in-law looked at my aversion to CT as quixotic and several times gave me a gift subscription, urging me to read it. It took a while, but finally I was able to convince him I was seriously opposed to that thing entering my home. With a temperament as sweet as honey, finally he gave in.
Normally, then, I'm able to escape knowledge of the suits and their profitable religion.
Just now, though, I let down my guard and it all came back to me when I ran across this at Touchstone's "Mere Comments." It's a post responding to a recent news piece CT ran on Tony Campolo's membership on the Democratic Party's Platform Committee. Yes, you read it right: That patriarch of Christian liberal arts colleges and chapel service prophet worked with other members of the Democratic Party and produced these planks on child-slaughter...
Reproductive Health Care: We oppose the current Administration’s consistent attempts to undermine a woman’s ability to make her own life choices and obtain reproductive health care... We will never put ideology above women’s health.
Choice: The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
Since the adoption of his party's platform, Emeritus Professor Campolo has been doing damage control, announcing to the world that the Platform Committee's process was very open, that the Democratic Party listened to him very carefully, that he was taken very, very seriously... He claims the high moral ground of being truly committed to reducing the number of abortions while accusing those who won't vote for Senator Obama of being uncommitted to the same. Seriously.
You know the routine. I'd say Professor Campolo was co-opted but to be co-opted one must have principles the process leaves behind.
Back to evangelical Christian college professors, from the public discussion here and other places along with private conversations I've had with Christian college faculty and students, I find myself wondering whether Professor Campolo isn't the perfect lens for understanding evangelical faculty who believe Senator Obama is a true Christian and support him for president?
Professor Campolo claims to be pro-life but sits on a Platform Committee that produces a plank that is more uncompromising in its promotion of child-slaughter than the platform it replaces. Professor Campolo's pro-life? Really?
“There was a sense that both the policy people with the Obama campaign and the platform committee draft people took seriously and responsibly what Catholics and evangelicals had to say,” said Tony Campolo, who served on the committee. “They listened. They took us seriously.”
Yes, yes--of course.
Professor Campolo opposes sodomy and sodomite marriage but he believes that the sexual orientation of Christians isn't healed and his wife promotes sodomite marriage. Professor Campolo's against sodomy? Really?
Professor Campolo claims to be an orthodox Christian but his son, Bart, denies both Hell and the God Who made it--and he does it without blushing (please see quotes in comments below). Professor Campolo's an orthodox Christian? Really?
Do we ever get to the point where we feel the need to look at a man's fruit, or is it always, always sinful?
Think about it: There's not much content left to orthodox Christian faith if one endorses the orthodox Christian confession of a man like Senator Obama.
So I find myself wondering precisely what the professors who believe Senator Obama is a follower of Jesus Christ believe a follower of Jesus Christ is? It seems evident that, as one man commented here, many evangelical Ph.D.s hold to a bare minimalism concerning Christian faith in which Trinitarian baptism figures quite prominently. Have they ever read the Westminster Standards? Or the Gospels of Jesus Christ? Or even one of the New Testament Epistles?
Maybe so, maybe not. But I'm absolutely certain they've read Professor Tony Campolo.