Thursday, 20 November 2008

Is Obama a "real" Christian?

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During the election campaign we had the whole "is he a Muslim" stupidity, and now another controversy (of sorts) seems to have broken out over whether or not Barack Obama is a bone fide Christian or not, as Tom Heneghan reports on the Reuters faith blog.

Apparently it all comes down to an interview the now president-elect gave in 2004 in which he described Jesus as “a bridge between God and man”, which some say suggests he doesn't believe Christ was literally the son of God. According to some bloggers, this amounts to a denial of the Nicene Creed – something I last heard of people arguing over when I studied a bit of Byzantine history at university.

There's been much for us Brits to envy in this year's fascinating US election but, as you'll see in this next passage, where I've substituted Gordon Brown for Barack Obama, this is one silly dispute I'm pleased to say will probably never enter British politics:
Bloggers Joe Carter and Rod Dreher read in Gordon Brown’s interview a denial of the Nicene Creed since he called Jesus “a bridge between God and man” rather than clearly saying he is the Son of God (hat tip to Steve Waldman). “Unless Brown was being incredibly and uncharacteristically inarticulate, this is heterodox. You cannot be a Christian in any meaningful sense and deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. You just can’t,” Dreher writes. Has Brown denied the divinity of Jesus Christ here? That’s not clear here. Another point that Carter notes is that he doesn’t believe that people who have not embraced Jesus as their personal saviour will automatically go to hell. “I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup,” he said.
[Found via Reuters]


Tom Rees said...

Perhaps he is an Arian Christian? Still makes him a heretic tho.

Michael K. Lilley said...

True Tom, he is a heretic.

Perhaps he is, or is not a believer. He could be posing to just make the people happy, as any politicians would.
But let's look at the definition of a bridge. What does a bridge do? It links one thing to another. It's a passage; in other words he could be referring Jesus as a passage to God, a mediator or an intercessor. With this in thought maybe Obama intended that Jesus was the mediator between God and Man. As it says in scripture,

"For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,"
1 Timothy 2:5

Henceforth, Obama never made it clear that Jesus was the Son of God, or God in the flesh. Who knows what Obama's relationship is with the Lord.