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  New Protestantism Web Research

Belief in 'Unity in Diversity' May Not be Enough to Hold the European Union Together  1/27/2015 
John Feffer: Article  Europe has recently been thinking economic ideas are much more important than religion or culture. It thinks austerity more important than prosperity. Now it is in real trouble.

How Southern Baptist Religion Turned Texas Red  8/21/2014 
William O’Connor: Article  A new book by Robert Wuthnow about Texas raises serious questions of how religion and race influence the process of history and politics. Southern Baptist religion is neither Protestant nor Christian.

IV. Toward a New Polemical Protestantism  11/16/2013 
Ed Knudson: Article  Contentious argument must be used to present Protestant faith today, moving away from a liberal balanced style which fails to seriously challenge the huge challenges we face in a history of conflict.

Dallas, 1963: A City of Southern, Hysterical Conservative Anti-Communism  11/15/2013 
Steven L. Davis: Article  Be sure to read this very clear description of the 'public consciousness' of the place JFK was killed. It is the same rhetoric as the Tea Party displays today on a national level.

III. Political Agency for Messiah Church in the World  11/9/2013 
Ed Knudson: Article  The word 'kenosis' helps understand God's ways in the world and the false god of the market economy. A messiah church is called to work for peace, justice, and sustainable creation.

Capitalism is Failing to Provide People with Adequate Income  11/9/2013 
Richard D. Wolff: Article  Austerity as a policy means the wealthy get bailed out and then regular folks have to pay off the debt. It is necessary today to find a better way that is fair for everyone.

The Violent Rage of American White Men  11/6/2013 
Michael Kimmel: Article  Anger over the injustice of it all leads working and middle class men to violent acts. Downsizing, outsourcing, lay-offs, loss of pensions, inequality, the feeling of being screwed, are factors.

Brazen Heartlessness toward America’s Most Vulnerable  11/4/2013 
Sam Pizzigati: Article  Gordon Lafer of the University of Oregon has written a report on the current political surge of mean-spiritedness aimed to punish the poor, especially in Republican-controlled states.

The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus: 113th Congress Edition  11/4/2013 
Tiffany Germain: Article  The Republican Party allows itself to be controlled by people who don't believe God loves the earth and expect history to end. See how politicians are taking the money of energy companies.

How Mormons and Evangelicals Became Republicans  11/2/2013 
Mark Silk: Article  Restorationism explains why both these religious groups responded to Ronald Reagan's city on a hill metaphor. But there is no real substance to the political program offered.

II. Lutheran Political Ethics in the New Protestantism  11/2/2013 
Ed Knudson: Article  Protestants now face a new historical situation. It can be helpful to speak about ethics to come to understand that new situation.

Climate Change Advocacy: Species-Wide Existential Necessity  10/30/2013 
Naomi Klein: Article  Major shifts of economic ideas, attitudes and practices must occur if humankind is to have a future according to the best of those who study the science of climate change. The time is now for action.

I. The Great Turn of Reformation Faith from Heaven to Earth  10/26/2013 
Ed Knudson: Article  Conceiving of a 'New Protestantism' may help interpret Martin Luther's impact on the modern world and what has happened to the mainline churches. Modern business enterprise is a crucial factor.

A God of Justice: Climate Change Advocacy Revitalizes Local Congregation  10/21/2013 
Wen Stephenson: Article  A church in Nacogdoches, Texas, supports young activists against the Keystone Pipeline, carrying forward a tradition of engagement with civil rights campaigns.

Spiritual Liberation: Law and Grace in Lutheran Theology  10/20/2013 
Martin Luther: Article  Hearing the good news of the gospel releases human beings from fear of punishment and calculating hope of reward for willing service to the neighbor. A sermon of Martin Luther.

Now It is Necessary to Explicitly Oppose Religious Fascism in America  10/11/2013 
Chris Hedges: Article  Government shutdown is the natural result of the anger and hostility of the 'Christian right' to so-called secular society. These false religious leaders are seriously damaging the country.

Southern Racism is Driving Republican Shutdown Politics  10/9/2013 
Zack Beauchamp: Article  The extremist impulse to close down government and economy can be explained only by the historical role of Southern racism in politics. Read this eye-opening history!

The Theology of Government Shutdown: Christian Dominionism  10/3/2013 
Morgan Guyton: Article  The father of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Rafael Cruz, is a pastor of a Christian Dominionist group, Purifying Fire International, which has been fighting Obamacare. Should church become government?

The Centrality of Race in American Constitutional History  9/30/2013 
Robert Parry: Article  The Tea Party movement is based on a completely false interpretation of the meaning of constitutional debates. Read this to see why race continues to be so important in politics today.

New Protestants Can Enable a Messiah Movement  9/30/2013 
Chris Hedges: Article  Here is described the conditions for a mass rebellion of the American people against extreme inequality impoverishing so many and against the destruction of planet earth which threatens our children.

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New Protestantism Section

Adult Forum Presentation at Augustana Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon:

The New Protestantism: Messiah Church

9:50 - 10:50 AM - Fireside Room - Ed Knudson, ELCA Pastor

Introduction

There has been so much change of the public meanings of Protestant churches over the past fifty years that it is possible now to speak of "the new Protestantism." In three upcoming sessions Ed Knudson will speak about the core beliefs of Martin Luther and the Reformation, the influence of Protestants in philosophy leading to the development of modern nations, including the United States. Now after 500 years Protestants are able to accept responsibility to critique economic and societal institutions based on historic Reformation faith.

October 27, 2013 - "The Great Turn of Reformation Faith from Heaven to Earth"

Looking back now to the 16th century from our perspective today we can see the huge influence of Martin Luther in Germany and John Calvin in Geneva in shifting the focus of Christian faith and practice from an exclusive focus on heaven to this world which God has made. Using core Reformation beliefs we will in this session provide an interpretation of changes experienced by Protestants especially in more recent history since the 1960s. Key differences in understanding how God is active in history will be noted, with big consequences for determining the mission of the church in the world today.

November 3 - "Lutheran Political Ethics in the New Protestantism"

Many people are unaware that there is a strong and clear Lutheran tradition for making ethical choices and political judgments. In this session that tradition will be explored in contrast to that of the Calvinist churches, especially those associated with the English Reformation including Puritans and Baptists. A false form of Protestantism has become dominant in the United States called the "religious right" which is an Americanized, commercialized, politicized religion which has terribly skewed the political process in this country. Understanding these matters will help make clear the challenges of Reformation Protestants in the 21st century.

November 10 - "Political Agency for Messiah Church in the World"

Jesus is understood messiah, one who brings salvation to the world. Martin Luther was a reformer who led a movement against the Roman Catholic Church, the most powerful institution of the Middle Ages which had become an oppressive force terrifying the consciences of common folks. What does it mean to be a messiah church today, following Jesus Christ? The most powerful institution of today is the modern business corporation which wields immense power over the minds, hearts and lives of the people as well as both the political and governing process. Two major issues will be addressed in this session, economic inequality and climate change threatening the very future of life on this planet. The New Protestants in several denominations have made these issues central to how they understand their calling and mission in the world today.

November 17 - "Toward a New Polemical Protestantism"

A fourth session was added in which we discuss the challenge to speak the faith in a polemical manner today, making clear not only what we believe but what and who to which we are opposed, such as revivalist conservatism. There is a tendency to try to escape into spiritualities of balance and harmony rather than accept our responsibility to interpret our own times and engage in the conflicts of history, conflicts which today threaten the very future of the earth.

--------------

All are welcome.

Martin Luther: “I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything” (LW 51:77).

Some Links:

Bibliography

Bayer, Oswald. Theology the Lutheran Way. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007.

Dochuk, Darren. From Bible Belt to Sun Belt: Plain Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism. New York: W.W Norton, 2011.

Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia D. Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013.

Paulson, Steven D. Lutheran Theology. London: T&T Clark, 2011.

Rasmussen, Larry L. Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Žižek, Slavoj. Demanding the Impossible. Cambridge: Polity Press,2013.






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