Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Excerpts from "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama

I recently had the opportunity to listen to The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama on audiobook. (Yes, the book is now several years old, but I finally found it at Half Price Books!) Below are a few of the quotes that stuck out to me, and my initial thoughts re: these quotes, which I will place under the quotes in bold.

"[Clinton's vision of politics] tapped into the pragmatic, non-ideological attitude of the majority of Americans." (Chapter 1: Republicans and Democrats)
-But isn't pragmatism itself an ideology?

“[T]his New Conservative leadership was eerily reminiscent of some of the New Left’s leadership during the ‘60s. As with their left-wing counterparts, this new vanguard of the Right viewed politics as a contest, not between competing policy visions, but between Good and Evil: you had to choose sides. It was Bill Clinton’s singular contribution that he tried to transcend this ideological deadlock.” (Chapter 1: Republicans and Democrats)
-It seems that Mr. Obama makes a good point about Congress elevating every instance of "competing policy visions" to a battle "between Good and Evil." On the other hand, I think that he would be forced to admit that there are some "competing policy visions" that do, indeed, amount to a battle "between Good and Evil." Debates in Congress about slavery, "Indian removal," anti-lynching laws, and civil rights, to name a few-- debates that centered around the commitment of Congress to either protect or repress the people's rights to life and liberty-- were battles "between Good and Evil." Similarly, I would argue, there are certain "policy visions"-- his denial of the right to life for the unborn being the chief example-- held by Mr. Obama that do ascend to the level of being a battle "between Good and Evil."

"[American] values are rooted in a basic optimism about life, and a faith in free-will: a confidence that through pluck and sweat and smarts each of us can rise above the circumstances of our birth." (Chapter 2: Values)
-This statement does, indeed, seem accurate re: American values, but it is sub-biblical re: Christian values, though the mentality expressed by Mr. Obama is certainly present within the current American church scene [see R.C. Sproul's essay, "The Pelagian Captivity of the Church"].

"I wasn't sure what happens when we die, anymore than I was sure where the soul resides or what existed before the Big Bang. Walking up the stairs, though, I knew what I hoped for: that my mother was somewhere, together in some way with those four little girls [killed in the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham], capable in some fashion of embracing them, of finding joy in their spirits." (Chapter 6: Faith)
-This agnosticism re: the state of the soul after death and affirmation of "the Big Bang" are extremely odd coming from someone claiming Christian faith.

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