Stephen Barr on John Edwards

Deep Thoughts from Senator Edwards

By Stephen Barr

Thursday, March 15, 2007, 10:09 AM

Senator John Edwards has offered us a reflection that gives us a glimpse of his hidden theological depths: “I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs. I think he would be appalled, actually.”

“WOULD be”? Would be as in “he would be, if he knew about it”? There is a very false note here. A Christian who prays naturally thinks of Christ as ever-present and all-knowing, not as a figure from the past who would doubtless have something interesting to say if he were still alive, or who would have definite opinions of certain matters were they called to his attention. On the other hand, at least Senator Edwards didn’t say that Jesus would be turning over in his grave.

Stephen M. Barr is a theoretical particle physicist at the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware and the author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith and A Student’s Guide to Natural Science.



One thought on “Stephen Barr on John Edwards

  1. Come on Tim. I think Barr is being a little ungracious here. The fact of the matter is, regardless of Edwards broken compass, it is a good statement to hear from a layman.

    What we are seeing here is a lack of theological verbiage and not a lack of good theology. It isn’t “would be” as if he doesn’t believe Jesus is risen or anything, it is “would be” as in “if I were pressed to answer based on my Biblical knowlege, I would say Jesus would not be pleased… et al”
    It seems in this case, he lacks confidence not conviction.

    I hear it all the time. “Vicar, do you think Jesus would be [ insert reaction here] about [insert situation here]?” Of course I answer with “What does the Word of God say? [researches scripture] It would seem that Jesus has already shown us that He [reacts a certain way] to what you are talking about.” So from a less enlightened theological view, we see a teaching moment that blossoms in a richer understanding of our faith in our Savior.

    Make no mistake… I am not an Edwards fan by ANY stretch of the imagination. I am just not too upset to hear a more simplistic theological view from a layman. Now, if this were coming from Benedict or any Lutheran Clergy, I might be a little more quick in clarifying “What does this mean?”

    Qui Cantat Bis Orat

    Call me sometime. It’s been too long.

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