When William Willimon Speaks I Listen

William Willimon is the bishop of the Methodist Church in Alabama. He is also a widely respected writer and a very able preacher of the gospel. If you don’t know his work you have missed something. Every preacher, and serious Christian thinker, ought to read "Will," as he is called by friends. You will disagree at some points but you will profit for sure.

Willimon has a unique way of cutting the chase when he writes about public issues. He is keenly prophetic and quite often provocative. He once said, “There can be no better work for us than—in our own way, in our own place—to testify to the fact that God rules the world; nations do not.”

Someone needs to remind Iran, North Korea, and Syria of this truth. But someone also ought to remind Israel and the United States of America that this is true, especially in the light of the responsibility these Western nations have before God. If God’s preachers will not speak to this matter who will? I am a political conservative, for several intellectually formed reasons, but I am growing increasingly weary of the crass nationalism of many religious conservatives who dominate the evangelical scene. This kind of reactionary conservatism looses all semblance of true and prophetic religion. I sometimes wonder if I am the only conservative left who is sick and tired of the wasted millions spent on religious campaigns to save our Christmas celebration in the public square as well as the meaningless slogan on our coins: “In God We Trust.” What a tragically wrong-headed effort, both religiously and culturally.

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