If this life is not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will. But it feels like a real fight.
The New Testament agrees. While the locus classicus, Ephesians 6:12, underlines that our enemies in the battle are not other human beings, it has no doubt that there is a high-stakes battle going on: "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Beck argues that "progressive" Christianity, in (correctly) shying away from militancy and domination, has failed to articulate a compelling vision of the life of faith as a "real fight":
Basically, I think progressive Christianity struggles because it often fails to give people a real, honest-to-God, bible-thumping fight. More precisely, progressive Christianity has a lot of fight in it, but it has often struggled to articulate that fight in robustly biblical ways. (Let alone the major problem of progressive Christians being too reactionary, focusing much of their fight against conservative Christians.)I wonder, what would it look like to conceive of the struggle to rein in climate change as a "bible-thumping fight" against "the prince of the power of the air"? I'll try to write more about this.
So in these posts I'd like to try to paint a picture of what such a bible-thumping fight might look like from the perspective of progressive Christianity.
Here are all Beck's posts for reference. This is a wonderfully thought-provoking, insightful series.
- Part 1: A Real Fight
- Part 2: A Theology of Revolt
- Part 3: About Those Angels and Demons...
- Part 4: To Go To War We Need a Weaker God
- Part 5: The Weakness of God
- Part 6: Let There Be Light
- Part 7: The Victory of the Lamb
- Part 8: A Creation Theology of the Quotidian
- Interlude: In Memory of the White Rose
- Part 9: Wickedness in High Places
- Part 10: Jesus Went About...
- Epilogue: Final Reflections on Progressive Theology