Monday, March 19, 2007

The truth is, I have a lot to say, a lot of the time. I'm just not sure that now is the time to be posting.

But I'm going to take a shot anyway.


If you haven't read The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder, and you know nothing about what it says or the arguments around it, then you don't know anything about the politics of Jesus.

In particular, I think it's worth stressing that Jesus was not a modern political liberal. Or conservative, for that matter -- I'm using "liberal" here in the broadest sense, to cover both liberals and conservatives. In particular, Jesus did not believe in the separation of church and state. When Jesus said "Render under Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's," he was not saying "religion and politics should be kept separate." There was no such words as religion available to Jesus. And everything that we know about Jesus and his time indicates that such a distinction would have been inconceivable to him. To paraphrase something that Martin Marty enjoys saying: "in the Christian tradition, God isn't much interested in religion.

I mention this for a reason. Some otherwise very smart folks seem to believe that Jesus really was a separation-of-church-and-state guy, and that "render unto Caesar" really is a proof-text for that position. Among bloggers, Andrew Sullivan and Brad DeLong may agree on little else, but they seem to agree on this.

I'll write more about Yoder another time. I have a whole book about Yoder inside me, waiting to come out.

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