Did He Really Say That?

David Robertson does his best impersonation of a 2ker (minus the fear of Islam):

Why is Islam a threat to our society?

It was Christianity that brought the sacred/secular divide into the Western world. It was Christianity, especially after the Reformation, which taught that there were two kingdoms and that the one was not subject to the other. It was within that Christian context that secularism was able to develop and flourish. Christianity is the bedrock and foundation of our secular society. Islam is different. Islam has no doctrine of separation of the spiritual from the political. Islam is, and has always been, a political movement. There can be no such thing as secular Islam.

So secularization is a good thing. The sacred/secular divide is a good thing. The separation of the spiritual from the political is a good thing.

What 2k’s sayin’.

I wish the defender of Christian Scotland would employ this argument when he is tempted by political Christianity.

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3 thoughts on “Did He Really Say That?

  1. I think Robertson is wrong in his direction and assessment of Christianity and the separation of Church and state. In addition, he isn’t entirely correct about Islam.

    His goal is to reach separation of Church and state. The question is, is he fully consistent with that? And that is the legitimate criticism D.G. has of him.

    Plus, besides the first three centuries, when has the Church pushed for separation of Church and state? Certainly neither the Russian Orthodox Church nor the Roman Church pushed for such a separation. And we find the same results with protestant Geneva and Luther’s Germany.

    For a long time in America, separation of Church and state meant tolerating those from different denominations–acceptable denominations included Unitarians and deists. And just look how long it took to elect a Catholic President. You might this odd but Marx believed that America had abolished religion. It’s not that he thought that religion was eliminated here. Rather, he thought that way because he believed that religion didn’t control the government which is what he meant when he believed in the abolition of things. He meant that the state was free of its control. Thus, when he talked about the abolition of private property, he was first and foremost talking about eliminating the control that landowners, especially wealthy ones, had on government. BTW, that tidbit comes from St. Marx Presbyterian Church.

    As for Islam, to a large extent it is a political religion. But that is because is it a justice-oriented religion. And if you get away from the core areas, like Saudi Arabia, you’ll find that there is a good a mount of religious tolerance. And where you find violent extremists, part of the self-proclaimed missions is to purge their world of even those who belong to their own religion of infidels.

    The real issue isn’t as much about separation of Church and state but of how we share society. Can we share society with others as equals? That means we can bring in our Christian values and others can bring in their secular values in ways that promote equality rather than hierarchy and privilege.

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  2. David Roberston says ‘..Christianity, especially after the Reformation, which taught that there were two kingdoms and that the one was not subject to the other. . within that Christian context that secularism was able to develop and flourish..’ Wow, that is a very simplistic view of Western politics and Christendom. Can I guess from what David says that today’s thriving secular worldview in western Europe is accompanied by a flourishing church which gives it somehow the liberty to be so secular? I think today’s burgeoning secularism in Europe is more due to socialism of the hard and softer versions which have triumphed by social and cultural revolution.

    Whatever David was trying to convey in a 2Kish ‘impersonation’, he basically hit the headlines mainly by expending time and much effort in the Robertson blog aptly titled The Wee Flea by railing against secularisation. For a churchman in what was once considered, depending on your view of Scottish Protestant history a Reformed denomination called the Free Church of Scotland, David says very little about ecclesiology. Perhaps he in this area is more beholden to the success model of the GC and trans Atlantic stars like John Piper and Tim Keller. In a few years time, if not sooner, you will be able to set a competition for religious folks in such denominations like the FPCS and other pseudo Reformed churches in the UK where you will be set the challenge of trying to spot any practise which reflects the confessions and creeds. I bet there won’t be much to spot, if anything.

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