May 20, 2005


Bush Visit to Calvin College Exposes Divisions: Commencement address invigorates debates about the Reformed relationship to American politics and evangelicalism. (Collin Hansen, 05/20/2005, Christianity Today)

Professor David Hoekema couldn't believe his ears when news spread in April that President George W. Bush would deliver the commencement address at Calvin College. He's thankful for the national attention focused on the 4,300-student Christian liberal-arts college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. But that doesn't mean he's happy with the visit.

"While the media have sometimes portrayed evangelicalism as unanimous in support of a particular political agenda, that's not the case [at Calvin]," said Hoekema, a professor of philosophy. "With the Iraq war in particular, the [Bush] administration really didn't even try to make the case based on traditional criteria of justified warfare. The longstanding commitment of the Reformed tradition has been that war is to be used as a last resort when some very steep moral hurdles have been cleared."

If you include the dead of both sides from his Iranian and Kuwaiti adventures and credit his account for those who died as a result of sanctions, Saddam killed an estimated two million people. How high would Mr. Hoekema require the body count to go before it was just to remove him from power?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2005 12:42 PM

Yeah, but evangelicals do not consider Bush a Christian, because he says he believes in works as well as faith.

To an outsider, it's a strange controversy, because on the ground we haven't heard much about, and have seen even less of, compassionate conservatism.

But there you are. GW is not saved.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at May 20, 2005 1:42 PM

Harry, when you talk as if you understand Evangelicals, it's embarassing to all of us.

Posted by: Timothy at May 20, 2005 1:45 PM

Mr. Eagar, you are confused and insulting.

Any evangelical would tell you that works are absolutely expected of one who is saved. Works flow naturally from the faith; the works themselves do not save one, but neither would someone who had faith lack them.

Posted by: John Thacker at May 20, 2005 2:04 PM

Harry's not serious. Just a sophisticated, semi-informed yet highly opinionated bigot. In his world believers are, uniformly, ignorant morons.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at May 20, 2005 2:14 PM

In [Harry's] world believers are, uniformly, ignorant morons.

Maybe that's because, in the real world, many of them are.

Harry overreaches at times, but his fun apparently comes from pointing out the contradictions between what people of faith profess, and what they actually do, an endless wellspring of material.

The vast majority of people in the U.S. claim to harbor some religious faith, and, as Orrin points out, that is enough to provide some important benefits for America.
However, one need not probe too deeply into American society to see that only a small minority actually live their faith in any holistic way.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 20, 2005 3:43 PM

Ah, hypocrisy. The all too human trait unique to those I disagree with.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at May 20, 2005 3:49 PM

Michael H:

Contradictions between profession and action aren't exactly unique to people of faith.

Posted by: Mike Earl at May 20, 2005 4:25 PM

I'm just repeating what the Evangelicals say.

Maybe not all of them say that. But the ones who do say that have hundreds of radio stations and claim tens of millions of listeners. Shoot, I have to take off my socks to count so many.

Hypocrisy is only necessary if your actual beliefs do not match what you perceive (usually incorrectly) to be the beliefs of people you care about misleading.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at May 20, 2005 4:30 PM

maybe not all...


Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 4:32 PM

the "sophistication" eludes me; that's pretty thin gruel to base a life on -- pointing out perceived flaws in others. i guess in a kind of useless way, it does appear to make one superior. i read and post here because i enjoy the company and usually learn something -- why does harry come here ?

Posted by: cjm at May 20, 2005 4:32 PM

It would seem Harry is scratching some sort of metaphysical itch.

Posted by: ted welter at May 20, 2005 4:38 PM

He defines himself in opposition.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 4:46 PM


No one lives a lack of faith.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 4:57 PM


True, but then there's no difference between those who lack faith, and those who don't act upon what they profess to believe.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 20, 2005 5:10 PM

No one lacks faith.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 5:12 PM


Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 21, 2005 7:29 AM

Do you know everything, Michael?

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at May 21, 2005 10:32 AM

I don't know anything about brain surgery.

There are many periods of history that I couldn't give you detailed information about.

Why do you ask ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 22, 2005 4:26 AM

If you would submit yourself to brain surgery you would be acting on faith.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at May 22, 2005 4:23 PM
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