: This is an odd — and essentially irrelevant but still intriguing — coincidence alongside the Easterbrook affair.
Part I: Yesterday, I pointed you to a controversy in the Presbyterian church over a fake synagogue being run by a Presbyterian minister (who doesn’t admit to his ordination in the congregation’s literature) in an attempt to proselytize, converting Jews to Christianity. My sister, a Presbyterian minister, is at the front of a fight against it.
Part II: Then I read Gregg Easterbrook’s apology for his anti-Semetic comments (below). It ends with this:
Every reporter who has called me today has asked me my faith. Since I say this is relevant for others, it’s relevant for me. I’m a Christian. I worship in one of the handful of joint Christian-Jewish congregations in the United States. This website describes the Bradley Hills Presbyterian (USA) side of the church. This website describes Bethesda Jewish, a Klal Yisrael (“All Israel”) congregation that shares the same worship spaces and finances. Two years ago I wrote in The New Republic of the Bradley Hills-Bethesda Jewish joint congregation, “One of the shortcomings of Christianity is that most adherents downplay the faith’s interweaving with Judaism.” I and my family sought out a place where Christians and Jews express their faith cooperatively, which seems to me a good idea.
It turns out that the pastor of Bradley Hills is Susan Andrews, moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) — essentially, the head of the denomination right now.
So Andrews has to deal with the controversy in Philadelphia. And she clearly brings a unique perspective to this: She and her congregation understand interfaith relations: learning from each other without trying to convert. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia proselytizers are trying, quite sneakily, to act superior to the Jews they are trying to attract — and thus, essentially, anti-Semetic — by trying to convert them, by trying to say that one way is right, the other not.
I agree with Easterbrook’s perspective on Christianity in that paragraph above. I often ask — and have asked in this weblog — why we Protestants do not adhere to more of the traditions of our own religious forebears. We should.
And now I wonder what the members of the Jewish congregation that shares Easterbrook’s church’s building — and what his Presbyterian pastor — would have to say about his sin and his confession. In the end, this is a matter of religion more than politics, media, culture, or certainly sports.