Dr. Jefrey D. Breshears was gracious enough to answer five questions about his timely book, The Gospel According to Barack: Where Did Barack Obama Get His Ideas About Christianity? (available on Amazon). He also generously provided a copy of his book to giveaway – so check back tomorrow for a chance to win a free copy. (Click here to enter the giveaway.)
Dr. Breshears is a Christian historian, apologist, and the founder and president of The Areopagus, a Christian education ministry and study center in the Atlanta area that offers seminars and forums in Christian history, apologetics, Christian spirituality, and contemporary cultural issues.
1.What motivated you to write about President Obama’s Christianity?
Over the past four years much has been written and revealed about Barack Obama’s personal life and political ideology, but very little attention has been given to the religious influences that have shaped his values and policies on moral issues such as abortion and homosexuality and the proper relationship between church and state.
The basic question that I explore in The Gospel According To Barack is this: How can someone who professes to be a Christian be so bizarrely confused on such a wide range of moral and public policy issues? As Catholic bishops have charged, his administration poses a threat to religious liberty that is absolutely unprecedented in American history.
The purpose of the book is the reveal the roots of Obama’s theology, which in turn informs and influences not only his social and political ideology but also his views on some of the most controversial moral and ethical issues of our day. This is strictly a theological assessment, and it is neither a personal nor a political critique. My thesis is simple. Obama’s understanding of the Christian faith has been influenced by two major factors – both of which are serious distortions of traditional biblical Christianity: (1)Mainline Protestant liberal theology as mediated through the ultra-liberal United Church of Christ (UCC); and (2)Black Liberation Theology as preached by his long-time pastor and mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in Trinity UCC in Chicago.
2. What, if anything, did you uncover about Obama’s faith that surprised you?
Frankly, nothing. Obama knew virtually nothing about the Christian faith prior to joining Jeremiah Wright’s church in the late 1980s, and his whole paradigm for understanding (or misunderstanding) the Christian faith has been formed by these two influences: mainline Protestant theological liberalism and Black Liberation Theology. Given these factors, it’s no wonder why Obama holds the views that he does.
3. What do you hope to accomplish by publishing your findings about Obama’s theology?
Christians should be aware that there have always been, and will always be, wolves in sheep’s clothing who use their identification with the Christian faith to advance their own personal ambitions and agendas – whether these be economic, social or political. Such people are often shrewd opportunists and savvy manipulators, but eventually they reveal themselves for who and what they are. As Scripture declares, “By their fruit you shall know them.”
Barack Obama may or may not be sincere when he professes to be a Christian, but in either case his promotion of a radical secular/liberal agenda and his unwillingness to apply biblical standards of morality to contemporary issues is inexcusable.
4. Is there anything in Obama’s theology that should concern American Christians as they consider casting their vote this November?
Absolutely. The kind of “Christianity” that Obama has identified with over the past 20 years is a perversion of biblical Christianity. It’s the worst kind of heresy, and one that incorporates a toxic mix of neo-Marxist ideology and bigoted racialism.
5. Finally, what is your reply to critics who claim that Obama’s faith is personal and should not matter for the average American voter?
What we believe about God and the Bible has a definite and profound impact on our values, our morals, our socio/political orientation, and our positions on a wide range of social policies. People are free to believe whatever they choose, but there are ramifications and consequences of our beliefs. In the case of Obama, Americans need to be aware of the factors that have influenced his understanding of the Christian faith, and that these are far out of the mainstream of traditional biblical orthodoxy. I find it disingenuous if not blatantly hypocritical that someone would claim to be a Christian while actively promoting policies and programs that promote a radical secular and immoral agenda.
Thank you, Dr. Breshears for answering a few questions about your book. I appreciate you time. I hope your insights resonate with American Christians.
P.S. Want to read more? Check back tomorrow to enter the giveaway to win a free copy of Dr. Breshears book The Gospel According to Barack: Where Did Barack Obama Get His Ideas About Christianity?