John Kampfner of the Guardian (UK) writes about: The new authoritarianism. He asks the question, “Why is it that a growing number of highly educated and well-travelled people are willing to hand over several of their freedoms in return for prosperity or security?”
This question can be asked as well of Americans! From the commentary:
Many countries, including our own [Britain], are entering into new pacts with their rulers. Resurgent autocrats draw strength from the many weaknesses of western leaderships, not just their mistakes in foreign policy, but their failure to rejuvenate their own political systems, or to deal with a business culture that had lost touch with the needs of society.
It was Oswald Spengler who at the turn of the last century predicted that “the masses will accept with resignation the victory of the Caesars, the strong men, and will obey them”. A modern form of authoritarianism, quite distinct from Soviet Communism, Maoism or Fascism, is being born. It is providing a modicum of a good life, and a quiet life, the ultimate anaesthetic for the brain. (emphasis mine)
Caron, who commented on the “Prosperity Gospel” in a post from yesterday, added a link to the website of Justin Peters who conducts seminars on the “Word of Faith” movement, which encompasses the prosperity teaching. I think he does a decent job in his overview. I particularly like his differentiation between those in the “Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel” movement and mindful Charismatics. Peters is a Southern Baptist, and generally speaking Southern Baptists are not too keen on things Charismatic/Pentecostal. Certainly, not all Charismatics or Pentecostals subscribe to the “Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel.”
Here is the link to Justin Peter’s website. Click on “Watch a demo of Justin’s Seminar” to see a video of a presentation he gave as an overview of his seminar.
As I said below, we need to recognize the influence these groups have on Anglican thought and practice in Africa and other parts of the world. This theological and experiential perspective predominates within much of the explosive growth of Christianity in Africa. While African Anglicanism may be of this one kind of expression of Charismatic-Evangelicalism, they cannot but be influenced by the phenomena and its influence on the general culture within the different nations of Africa.
Believe it or not, there has always be a “radical” streak in me. Early on when doing campus ministry right out of college, the pastor of the church through which I did ministry, a friend, would always tell me that I’m rebellious.
I like this:
I particularly like the, “With the theology of empire… We will not comply.” I made a post a while back that I will not subscribe as an American to Empire, even while those leaders in the present government and ideology are bent on attempting to create an American Empire. The Ordinary Radicals Merging Lanes