Monday, December 26, 2011

Gutierrez on Christmas

The Irruption of God

It is often said at Christmas that Jesus is born into every family and every heart. But these "births" must not make us forget the primordial, massive fact that Jesus was born of Mary among a people that at the time were dominated by the greatest empire of the age. If we forget that fact, the birth of Jesus becomes an abstraction, a symbol, a cipher. Apart from its historical coordinates the event loses its meaning. To the eyes of Christians the incarnation is the irruption of God into human history: an incarnation into littleness and service in the midst of overbearing power exercised by the mighty of this world; an irruption that smells of the stable.



Anonymous said...

Gustavo Gutiérrez is a Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest regarded as the founder of Liberation Theology

Larry James said...

Correct. Now, your point? Do you dispute what he says here or do you simply refuse to consider his statement & it's truth?

Anonymous said...


Beautiful quote.

I wonder: can you filter out words? Set a block so that words like "socialist" and phrases like "liberation theology" cannot be used? That way, people would have to actually say something to post, and not just label and dismiss. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

"Gustavo Gutiérrez is a Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest regarded as the founder of Liberation Theology."

My point are;
1. Your frequent reference to Gutiérrez and James Cone is an insight into your politico/religious beliefs. Although you might dance around the point on occasion, you do cite them with some frequency.

2. Gutiérrez comments are of no concern to me, although his and your theology do concern me with the mixing of political activism with Christianity.

3. Liberation Theology is Christianized Marxism.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:27

You are correct, thanks for pointing it out

Anonymous said...

Categories here seem anachronistic at times. What is "Christianized Marxism"? Do references like the Jubilee laws of the OT or the experience of the early church relate?

Is there such a thing as "Christianized Capitalism"? Any biblical support for such?

Just wondering in view of this ongoing conversation and how it trends.

Anonymous said...

There are diverse voices in the Liberation Theology movement, some further to the left, and others that are more moderate. Conservative Christians have serious reservations about liberation theology for the following reasons.

(1)Liberation theologians give secondary meaning to the ordinary meaning of the Scriptures. James Cone, for example, suggests that the resurrection of Christ means the liberation of all people, relating it to physical deliverance from oppression, The historic significance of the resurrection as release from sin is ignored (cf. 1 Cor. 15).

(2)The matter of man’s sinfulness, and his need of a spiritual Savior to atone for sin, is ignored in liberation theology Liberation from sin is ignored; liberation is normally seen as essentially political. In fact, liberation theologians view themselves as liberating their unjust oppressors from sin by overthrowing them. The greatest sin is not the violation of God's standard but social injustice.

(3) Hope for liberation theologians is not based on the biblical concept of eternal life through Jesus Christ, but hope is related to Jurgen Moltmann's view of realizing the future hope in the present through helping to shape the future (often through revolutionary means).

(4)For liberation theologians Like Gustavo Gutierrez theology is not the objective revelation of God given in prepositional truths (as it has been historically understood), but theology is in flux, changing, and related to the changing of society It is a "Christian coating" of Marxist socialism.

(5)Liberation theology stands in violation of the injunction of Scripture concerning submission to government as outlined in Romans 13,

(6)The interpretive methodology of liberation might seriously be called into question, as in the case of Juan Luis Segnndo, who does not begin with an inductive study of the Scriptures (allowing them to speak for themselves), but allows his political ideology to interpret the Scriptures.

(7)It is a false assumption of liberation theology, as Peter Wagner points out, to suggest that people will respond more readily to the gospel if they enjoy a more affluent environment. Jose Porfirio Miranda relates Karl Marx to the apostle Paul, suggesting Marxist principles will lead people to love one another,all without the acknowledgment of sin and salvation through Chriat

Liberation theology does not approach the concepts of God, Christ, man, sin, and salvation from an orthodox, biblical viewpoint, but reinterprets them in a political contest.

Larry James said...

Anon 1:46, for the sake of argument, let's assume your points of critique are largely true--of course from some you'd get push back, but you admit that LB is interpreted across a continuum. That said, I don't embrace LB as you've represented it. However, that does not mean that I cannot find truth or useful insights in the work of people like Gutierrez in this quote. I find great comfort and find real inspiration in approaching my work among the poor using insights from all sources. I find nothing objectionable at all in the passage I posted.

Anonymous said...

Never retreat Larry. You're always right.

Anonymous said...

Stalin and Hitler might have had an occasional point of truth in their lives but that doesn't mean we should quote them regularly in a positive light, without ever mentioning they were mass murderers.

Larry James said...

Gutierrez has served as a university professor, priest and servant of the poor in Latin America for decades. While one may not agree with his theology, worldview or ideas, to compare him to Hitler and Stalin? How extreme can one become in an attempt to advance some other set of ideas. How absurd, unfair and hateful.

Anonymous said...

What do you call it when someone steals someone else's money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else's money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else's money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.

Thomas Sowell

Anonymous said...

Larry, you judge people who disagree with you quite inappropriately. When one sees a dangerous parallel between admitted revolutionaries that observation does not mean s/he is hateful. In addition to being a liberal standard for public debate, namecalling/labeling is childish and avoids straightforward debate.

Larry James said...

Comparing people to Hitler and Stalin is not kindness and there is such a thing as hate. If I misjudged, I apologize. However, most people don't throw those comparisons around, especially when commenting on a man of faith and compassion. I was not "name calling," I was pushing back against an Anon who was using names to tear down a person who deserves much better.

Anonymous said...

Well Larry, Marxism and Socialism are despicable labels to me , yet that is frequently what you sponsor and nurture in your blogs.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things:

I noticed no one responded to the following question: 'Is there such a thing as "Christianized Capitalism"? Any biblical support for such? '

'Liberation theology stands in violation of the injunction of Scripture concerning submission to government as outlined in Romans 13.' This is interesting in light of later comparisons of the quoted author to Hitler and Stalin. Anyone care to explain how Romans 13 relates to Hitler/Stalin, et al? Is anyone bad enough not to be believed "instituted by God."

Comparing anyone except mass murdering dictators to Hitler and Stalin (responsible for the deaths of tens of millions) is clearly hateful and inflammatory. I think people who throw around such comparisons fully understand that.