Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Born Twice #1: Born to be an Easy target

CHRIST CHURCH NYC Sermon (From 18th of May 2008)
John 3:1-21 (Sermon is from the NRSV)

It’s extraordinary, for me, that the text set for this particular Sunday is: 'You must be born from above'. So for more than one reason I have been thinking about birth and new birth all week! :)

I received an email this week reminding me of what I already knew: That the phrase ‘born-again-Christian’ has an enormous cultural cringe factor, especially here in the US.

Jimmy Carter made much of being 'born again' in his 1976 bid for presidency. Born-Again Christians have recently been cast into what appears to be a ‘voting-block’ called ‘evangelicals’. But no one is really sure what the word means anymore! Which is a pity to my mind.

And so 'Born-Again’s' have become easy targets: American Writer -- PJ O’Rourke:

Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.

English Journalist -- Katherine Whitehorn:

Why do born-again people so often make you wish they'd never been born the first time?

But more needs to be said..

Photo by Peter Kim.


Benjamin Ady said...

It makes sense to me that it's kind of too bad that what was, perhaps, formerly a useful term has become enormously less useful.

nevertheless, it has. I don't see any workable way of rescuing it. Some evangelicals, for instance, have recently made a ... somewhat limp attempt to rescue "evangelical". They mostly failed, due, if to nothing else, to amazingly poor writing skills. "Evangelical" is a *lot* easier to rescue than "born again", or so it seems to me. It seems to me distinctly possible that your sermons, the rest of which I suspect you shall soon be posting, is going to at least partially make such a rescue attempt. I look forward to it, and I predict that it will fail =)

Justin said...

You assume too much, Benjamin...