Sunday, December 23, 2007

Romney and Blair: Nutters Both?

Well, after much speculation, it is now official: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has converted to Roman Catholicism.

As when Dr. Francis Beckwith abandoned his post as president of the Evangelical Theological Society for the greener pastures of Rome, my reaction is to yawn, and then wonder what's for dinner.

I will make a few observations, though.

First, anyone who thinks that the Christian world is still divided between Catholics and Protestants is stuck in the sixteenth century. The Anglicanism that Blair jettisoned, much like Beckwith's former evangelicalism, is more similar to Catholicism than most care to admit, for various reasons.

Secondly, when our focus shifts from doctrine to piety, confessional Reformed theology is much closer to the Vatican than to Saddleback.

Thirdly, as Mitt Romney has been arguing, the minutiae of one's theology, despite our insistence to the contrary, has little bearing on his or her discharging of public duties. The next time we ask whether one who believes he will become a god one day is fit to have access to "the button," we should then pause to inquire the same of someone who believes that the earth stopped rotating for a day so the Amorites could be slain in Gibeon (is it not written in the Book of Jashar?).

The article cited goes on to say that "The former prime minister told the BBC this year that he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for about 10 years for fear of being labeled 'a nutter.'"

I'm speculating here, but I'll wager that if Romney is elected, American evangelical culture warriors will expect the Latter-Day Saint to hold his tongue about the whole "Jesus is Lucifer's brother" thing. But if President Huckabee shies away from publically affirming that Jesus walked out of a grave on Easter morning, he'll be stoned for denying such a reasonable proposition.