‘What [Obama’s pastor] is preaching is a form of liberation theology, leftover Marxist theory baptized in the narrative of Scripture and applied to a set of political goals. The tenor of the Trinity United Church of Christ ministry is one that is defined by race and politics. The church is “unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian,” it says, and the language of black liberation theology is everywhere in the public presentation of the mission and identity of the church.
‘What is disturbing to me is that too many Christians have been diagnosing the particular political aims of Reverend Wright and his church as though this were the preeminent problem.
‘But what is the root? Liberation theology has been with us since the 1960s, in too many incarnations to count, always offering a version of the same message. The liberation theologians see the Gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected, the message of deliverance from the reign of sin and death through repentance and faith, as too “pie in the sky.” In contrast, liberation theology offers economic and political salvation in the here-and-now, sometimes through pulpit rhetoric and sometimes at the point of a gun. . .
‘There is a liberation theology of the Left, of the kind of politicized movement we see right now in the newspapers and on our television screens. There is also a liberation theology of the Right, one represented by prosperity gospels and grinning consumer Christianity. Both are at heart Mammon worship. The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barrabas, to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death. The liberation theology of the Right wants a golden calf, to represent religion and to remind us of all the economic security we had in Egypt. Both want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah.’
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