Does the Slippery Slope Always Go to the Left?
In this video Conversation, Peter Enns asks author and theologian N.T. Wright to respond to a question from a BioLogos Forum reader about the implications of the relationship between politics and religion within the evangelical movement.
The reader notes that presently in the world of evangelical Christianity there seems to be a great suspicion about becoming too politically liberal but not about becoming too conservative. There seems to be a “slippery slope” argument toward the left, but not toward the right. This environment may lead to those on the left side of the evangelical spectrum to think about leaving the Church altogether—or for them to keep silent and not have any influence. Enns asks Wright for his thoughts on this issue.
Wright points out that the intermarriage of political and religious thought is much more common in the United States than in other places in the world. In contrast to American constructs—in England, for example, people who are very conservative theologically are generally more progressive in terms of their social and political views.
Therefore, what would be helpful within American evangelicalism is to uncouple the artificial connections that people have made between Christianity and political agendas. There are insights that we need to get from the Bible we don’t normally expect, says Wright, and from places and people in the Church that we might not expect. Otherwise, he cautions, all we are doing is substituting our framework and judging people according to how they fit into our framework rather than by what is actually the given at the heart of our faith.
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
N.T. Wright is a leading biblical scholar, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, and current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St Andrews. He studied for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and was ordained at Merton College, Oxford. Wright holds a Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University in addition to several honorary doctorates. Wright has also written over fifty books, including the multi-volume work Christian Origins and the Question of God and his two most recent books Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters and How God Became King.