Cathleen Falsani has recently republished the full transcript of an hour long interview with candidate Barack Obama about his faith. The information is not new, but it is relevant to recent conversations on the topic of President Obama’s Christianity. The interview took place in 2004 when Obama was still a state senator in Illinois. It was a couple days after Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that he eventually won, and four months before he was introduced to the rest of the country in his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The interview focuses entirely on Obama’s faith, and I think it opens a wide window on the version of Christianity that he professes.
In short, though candidate Obama professes to be a Christian, his beliefs are that of a theological liberal. Here’s a summary with some quotes:
- He believes that “there are many paths to the same place,” and he doesn’t believe that God would “consign four-fifths of the world to hell” for not believing the gospel.
- When asked about his belief in the afterlife, he says he doesn’t know if there is one.
- Obama defines “sin” as “being out of alignment with my values.”
- Obama says that one need not embrace “Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior” to avoid judgment.
- When asked “Who’s Jesus to you,” what Obama didn’t say is as important as what he did say. He confesses Jesus to be a “historical figure” and “wonderful teacher” but says nothing about Jesus being a Savior, Messiah, or Son of God.
- He confesses that he doesn’t necessarily subscribe to his own church’s “set of doctrines.”
I do not believe that President Obama is a Muslim. Those who suggest otherwise are not being very serious in my view. He has given every indication over the years that he is a liberal Christian, which is to say that he denies many essential doctrines of the Christian faith and embraces other ideas that are incompatible with the Christianity of the Bible.
Read the whole thing here.
[Cathleen Falsani appeared on CNN last year to discuss the interview. See below.]