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Friday, March 28, 2008

A Powerful Letter to Senator Barack Obama

I make it a habit to check out Pajamas Media and Real Clear Politics on a daily basis. One can find real news there, not just what the Main Stream Media wants you to hear. Sometimes certain articles there hit a person right between the eyes. That was the case today. An Open Letter to Senator Obama by Lionel Chetwynd eloquently gets to the heart of what is lacking in Senator Obama's understanding and defense of Reverend Wright's hate speech. We'd all be better off if we had a better understanding of the issues raised in Mr. Chetwynd's letter. The comments on the letter are very much worth a read too.

Lindsey

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At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Campbell professor speaks on real meaning of Christian unity

BUIES CREEK - When Barack Obama refused to denounce controversial pastor and mentor Jeremiah Wright recently, he was doing something that reflected the Bible's teachings about the nature of Christian unity, according to Steven Harmon, associate professor of Christian theology at Campbell University.

As Campbell's Staley lecturer for 2008, Harmon used the analogy in the third lecture in the series, "One Life With Each Other: The Theology of Ecumenism," to illustrate the spiritual meaning of Christian unity as explained by scripture.

A specialist in patristics, or the study of church fathers, and ecumenical theology, Harmon is the author of several books, "Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision," and "Every Knee Should Bow: Biblical Rationales for Universal Salvation in Early Christian Thought." His research interests focus on ways in which Baptists and other evangelical Christians may find resources in post-biblical early Christian tradition for contemporary faith and practice.

"Christian unity is no easy unity," Harmon said. "We are members of one another, but we can be angry and disagree with each other without turning it into a sin."

Paul's letter to the Ephesians illustrates the theology involved in ecumenism, which is the quest for greater visible unity among the currently divided Christian denominations. Though drawn from different backgrounds and nationalities, the members of the "body of Christ" have been called by God, redeemed and forgiven through his spirit. They are not just members of a church or a denomination, but of a "fellowship" that is directed by God.

Harmon added that the cross of Christ unifies all believers into one body. Baptists and Catholics may differ in their worship practices, but they should tolerate each other in "love" or they will forge divisiveness.

"When Senator Obama said Wright was like family to him, that he couldn't disown Wright because he was a part of him, he was precisely right. Baptism creates a new family that takes precedence over the relationships we have with the families that include parents, siblings, spouses and children," Harmon said.

A graduate of Howard Payne University, Harmon received both master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Harmon has pursued additional graduate studies at The Catholic University of America, the University of Dallas and Westfˆilischen-Wilhelms UniversitŠt in Munster, Germany, as well as sabbatical study at Duke Divinity School. He is vice chair of the Doctrine and Interchurch Cooperation Commission of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), a member of the BWA delegation to conversations with the Roman Catholic church, a member of the Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and a book review editor for the journal, "Perspectives in Religious Studies."

Harmon has served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern and Howard Payne and as a visiting professor at Duke. He has also served as pastor and interim pastor of Baptist congregations in Texas and North Carolina. In the fall, Harmon will join the faculty of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

 

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