Syncretism in action

In an earlier post about Dr. Sharon Crowley's book, Toward a Civil Discourse, I pointed to the the religious syncretism I witnessed during earlier evangelical Christian experiences. The New York Times has a nice story today documenting how Rev. Gregory A. Boyd in St. Paul, Minnesota embodies this syncretism. Conservative by most measures of the word, Reverend Boyd is radically separating Apocalyptsm from his congregation's evangelical practices:

Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

“When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.”

Mr. Boyd says he is no liberal.

Perhaps this is a version of the invention Dr. Crowley calls for. I saw this (and participated in this) this kind of religious invention throughout my spiritual life (I still do, to a certain extent). Looking for these kinds of articulations in the everchanging streams of politics, thought, and religion will, I think, provide those interested in building bridges a few more places to build. Heraclitus was right.

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