Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Week's "Anxious Bench" Post at Patheos: "Some Thoughts on Dr. Ben Carson's Prayer Breakfast Speech"

Political conservatives are singing the praises of Dr. Ben Carson’s speech last week at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Carson, a Johns Hopkins University pediatric surgeon and an evangelical Christian, used the speech to attack political correctness and Obamacare.  Oh, and did I mention that the President of the United States was seated a few feet to his right during the entire speech?

Watch the speech here.

Over at his blog “Clear, Expert, and Entertaining Connections,” Regent College (Vancouver, BC–not Virginia Beach) theology professor John Stackhouse is not happy with Carson or his speech: 

Some of our American cousins are a-twitter (so to speak) over the speech given by surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast before the President and 3000 other dignitaries. It will get whatever critique it deserves on its political merits from others, no doubt, and that’s the point of this brief theological musing: It was a political speech, not anything remotely resembling a theologically informed talk, let alone an actual sermon.

Yes, Carson began with four Scripture verses—to which he did not then refer throughout the rest of his 27-minute address. Yes, he mentioned God or Jesus a few times—much as President George W. Bush did, namely, as the source of his public policy ideas (notably the flat tax as directly deriving from the principle of the Old Testament tithe, a hermeneutical move no one who has passed an elementary course in Biblical interpretation would ever make), the rationale for his rhetorical choice to tell what he called “parables” (most speakers don’t feel obliged to invoke divine sanction for employing illustrations), and, indeed, his “role model.” Of course, we heard about “one nation under God.” And with that we got mostly the “gospel” of self-help.

I have to agree with Stackhouse.... 

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Dr. Carson was out of line, even if his theology were sound, which is arguable.

But as a matter of justice, as president Barack Obama punked the Supreme Court while they sat captively, unable to respond, to his 2010 SOTU.

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-01-28/opinion/toobin.obama.alito_1_justices-supreme-court-president-elect-obama?_s=PM:OPINION


What goes around comes around, Mr. Obama.

But FTR, again, Dr. Carson was out of line, regardless of setting. And that it was a prayer breakfast aggravates the offense.