Because people from different academic disciplines speak in different languages, the panel seemed to have a bit of a difficult time engaging one another. Nevertheless, the individuals on the panel made a lot of interesting points. Ambassador Joseph spoke out of his experience as a civil servant, a liberal mainliner, and a Democrat. He also won the award for "Most Alarming and (Arguably) Least Christian Statement of the Night". When a student asked a question about the inherent compromise of voting as a Christian ("both candidates have policies that are diametrically opposed to what Jesus says..."), the Ambassador bristled. "Jesus lived in a very different time," he said, "and I don't know how you know what he would've said in these times ... I don't know that Jesus would comment on strategies." Ouch.
Dr. Feaver was, as usual, very engaging. He took a couple swings at Jim Wallis, lumping God's Politics along with the later Moral Majority platforms as "blasphemy".
I'll wrap up just by posting paraphrases of a couple of the things Sam Wells said, because they're worth relaying:
- "There is the presumption that politics is about how to deal with our problem of scarcity. Politicians are a type of theologian who deal with the hole we're in since God didn't do a good enough job of creating and redeeming us."
- "There are two broad strands in American religious history: one that seems to think of the Bible as a sort of constitution, and another that sees the Constitution as a sort of bible."