A Canadian-American philosopher and author condemned far right Christian nationalism in a new book.
Christian nationalism has become synonymous with White Christian identity politics in the wake of the January 6 Capitol insurrection spurred on by former Republican President Donald Trump.
Those who refer to themselves as Christian nationalists believe the US is meant to be a Christian nation, and they support right-wing politicians and promote social policies–including legislation pertaining to immigration, gun control, and poverty–under the guise of a divine mission to "take back" the United States for God.
Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and fellow Congresswomen Lauren Boebert and Mary Miller described themselves as Christian nationalists.
However, many scholars and philosophers argued proponents of Christian nationalism "are adrift from the Christian faith’s historic teachings and practice on several significant counts," according to Yahoo News!.
Author James K.A. Smith warned about the far-right religious movement in his new book, How to Inhabit Time: Understanding the Past, Facing the Future, Living Faithfully Now.
You can hear Smith's intro for an interview about his new book in the clip, below.
How to Inhabit Time - Available Now | Interview with James K. A. Smith - Introyoutu.be
Smith, a philosophy professor at Calvin University–a private Evangelical college in Grand Rapids, Michigan–touched on Christian nationalism and provided theoretical insight into the cause of the underlying movement.
He argued many religious conservatives are led to believe they are “wholly governed by eternal ideas untainted by history.”
Speaking to the Yahoo News podcast, The Long Game, Smith said that Christian nationalists “have forgotten something very, very fundamental” about what the faith says about the apocalypse and that it “is not something that is engineered by us."
Smith suggested that the term mentioned in the New Testament, the "Kingdom of God," is often misinterpreted.
Every single day in the Lord's Prayer, Christians pray ‘Thy kingdom come,’” Smith said.
“But as long as we are praying that, it's not here. So you are praying for it to come."
"You are laboring in line with it, you hope. But there's not the sense that we are bringing it about.”
In the Christian faith’s teachings about “awaiting the arrival of the kingdom, never is there any hint that we are supposed to sort of colonize Earth as if we knew exactly what the kingdom looked like," Smith continued.
“In fact, instead what you get a lot from prophetic and apocalyptic literature in the Scriptures is deep, deep cautions about not confusing our imagination with what is to come."
“I do think what is so … legitimately terrifying about the discourse of Christian nationalism in our country is it is able to sort of wear the cloak of a theological language but is completely unhinged from actual accountability to the theological guardrails of what Christian eschatology is.”
Smith is among many scholars who believe Christians misinterpret the Book of Revelation–the final book of the New Testament.
According to the media outlet, Smith argued that a misreading of Revelation "intersects with evangelicalism’s self-certainty to create Christian nationalism, which he describes as a misdirected political movement that is absolutely sure of itself and unaware of how much it does not understand."
However, he does not believe Christians should disassociate from politics.
“There's no question that we are laboring to bend the arc of justice as much as we can,” said Smith, adding:
“There has to be such a tempered expectation and a tempered epistemic humility.”
How To Inhabit Time, which Publishers Weekly promised was an “incisive and eloquent volume will expand readers’ minds,” is available in stores now.