Month: December 2017

“Lead Us Not Into Temptation” To Erroneously “Correct” Tradition, or… If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Pope Francis made headlines recently for mandating a different translation of the Lord’s Prayer into modern languages.  He is urging Roman Catholics to switch from the traditional phrasing “Lead us not into temptation” to a new version “Let us not enter into temptation.”  Note that he was not suggesting changing the text of Scripture or what Jesus said; he was merely arguing that this prayer has been mistranslated into the languages with which we today are familiar.  Yet casting this as a translation issue is to misrepresent the theological basis for the objection and how it functions. (more…)

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The Holy Family in American Politics

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do not play very visible roles in US politics.  “For God and Country” is a slogan that makes the rounds in some circles, but the nature of that God is left unspecified (perhaps beyond typically excluding Muslims).  The dearth of direct appeal to Jesus even in conservative American politics, to say nothing of the silence about his mother and step-father, makes it all the more surprising that the Holy Family has been dragged into political debates twice in one month.  The nature of those invocations, and their historical and theological confusion, reveals the cynical pragmatic secularism driving the use of these religious ideas at this political juncture.  Christian complicity in these invocations threatens the intelligibility of the gospel message to outsiders. (more…)