Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Important Messages from Blog-Friends

Over at The Fire and the Rose, D. W. Congdon, a fellow Barthian who is a seminary student at Princeton, is finishing up his series on “The Heresies of American Evangelicalism.” D. W., by his own admission, grew up in a fairly typical U.S. fundamentalist-to-conservative evangelical context and so encountered all these heresies first hand. They are evaluated not from the position of secular disbelief, but from the “Great Tradition” of historic orthodoxy and especially the broadly Reformed tradition as conveyed via Karl Barth. These are worth close reading and study, even if one challenges some points. An adult Sunday School class would do well to have such serious discussion over such a series.

Likewise, Byron from Sydney, Australia, over at Nothing New Under the Sun, has finished his wonderful series “Heaven: Not the End of the World.” He finishes with implications. Look at the bottom in small print for links to each post in this long series. I came late to this series, so I do not know if Byron affirms any intermediate state, but his main purpose is to affirm the orthodox truth that the Christian hope is for the resurrection of the body and the eschatological new/renewed heavens and earth, not a hope for a disembodied life of the soul in “heaven when we die.” This common heresy is apparently rampant in Australian evangelical circles as well as in the U.S. Byron’s series is an important correction. Like all his work, it is “illustrated” throughout with photos from around the world and Byron invites guesses as to what the photo shows and what city it’s from. It makes for fun amidst serious theological reflection.

Also, on that site, Andrewe Errington has posted 2 parts of a guest series on Why Christians Need Not Be Pacifists, trying to refute folk like Kim Fabricius, myself, and the giants on whose shoulders we stand (e.g., Yoder, Hauerwas, Menno Simons, St. Francis of Assissi, Paul, Jesus, etc.). I think Errington plans 3 major posts in that series. I have, of course, weighed in to suggest that this brother in Christ is, as most of the church since Constantine, quite mistaken.

On a different “level” (for lack of a better word), my dear friend and fellow church member, Dan Trabue, a layman married to a wonderful minister and social worker, has written a 2 part defense of pacifism from Scripture. Dan’s blog, A Paynehollow Visit, reflects his commitment to simple living for the sake of the planet, his commitment to justice for the poor, his nonviolence, Anabaptist faith, and, from time-to-time, his defence of sexual minorities against all the attacks on them in the name of Christian “love.” It was Dan, poet, musician, photographer, and friend, who got me to try blogging.

Of course, I think all the blogs I list are worthy of visiting, but I thought I’d highlight these as they finished (or nearly) important series. Good work, friends.

November 22, 2006 - Posted by | blogs


  1. Michael, thanks for the link. I’ve been asked a few times about intermediate state. Perhaps I’ll put another postscript post together about it.

    Glad you like the photos. It allows me to share shots from a recent trip to Europe and the US with family and friends who mightn’t feel up to commenting on the posts.

    PS Andrew Errington spells his name the usual way. He just signs himself AndrewE (though all in lowercase).

    Comment by byron | November 23, 2006

  2. Thanks for the link, Michael! I hope this series will be of at least some benefit to people, particularly to those who grew up in a similar environment. I am very thankful for many of the habits and traditions within evangelicalism that have shaped me so positively, such as the close and reverent attention paid to Scripture. Hopefully, by God’s grace, I can be a positive and constructive influence in the other direction.

    Comment by D.W. Congdon | November 23, 2006

  3. D.W., I come from a similar background, though I rebelled against aspects of it from the beginning. I know where you are coming from, which is why I recommend your series so highly.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | November 24, 2006

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