Saturday 27 February 2016
Eternity’s newspaper columnist Obadiah Slope is branching into digital with a new weekly online column. Here, he’ll be commenting on what he’s observed in the news and in life. Enjoy.
Late mail: Obadiah’s good friend the editor of Eternity received a letter from one of the paper’s more regular correspondents this morning.
“In seeking to provide an answer for the question: Do Muslims worship the same God? (Eternity Feb 2016) John Stackhouse has expressed a very stimulating and challenging point of view. Mark Durie also wrote a valuable, though one might add expected, response for the negative. John’s ‘outside the square’ approach, yet inside the borders of God’s revealed Word, was a reminder to me that we can often superimpose our own narrow framework on how God chooses to reveal Himself. C.S. Lewis tackled the same theme in ‘The Last Battle’ where Aslan says to a pagan: ‘Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.’ As much as I love Lewis’ writing, to this day I still don’t agree with his illustration. John Stackhouse has made a much more compelling case.”
Stephen Fry, Hoppers Crossing VIC
It seems great minds thought alike. Because Stackhouse got there first, blogging “”Sidenote for those who get their theology of such matters from The Chronicles of Narnia: This is why I think C. S. Lewis gets it wrong in The Last Battle. (I say this with trepidation as a great admirer of CSL.) The god Tash is so clearly devilish that it seems incongruous to me that the estimable Emeth could worship this version of God and then, as it were, rather effortlessly transfer his allegiance to Tash’s adversary, Aslan (the Christ figure). I think Lewis overreaches here.”
First Australians: A series of testimonies from Indigenous leaders is running at http://40stories.com.au. It is brought to you by the 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting team. Obadiah thinks they have done a good job.
The last Trump: Donald the Trump keeps on sounding. Obadiah is puzzled as to why he gets more of the evangelical votes than the other Republican candidates. In the South Carolina primary he got 34 per cent of the evangelical vote, Marco Rubio 21 per cent and Ted Cruz 26 per cent. Rubio and Cruz have both given good presentations of the gospel during their campaigns, while Trump has famously said he has never needed an opportunity to repent. Now as Obadiah always says, Christians don’t have to vote for Christians, but why would you see Trump as the better candidate anyway? Why did (white) evangelicals vote for Trump in greater proportion than the general population?
Obadiah wants to put it in perspective. When the “evangelical” vote is reported in the US it usually means white evangelicals. African Americans who go to evangelical (or any other church) tend to vote Democrat unlike their white counterparts. At this point Obadiah is reminded of all the problems Judah had with the Edomites when he was writing his book in the Old Testament. When God’s people are divided by race something bad is bound to happen.