Sabrina Reyes-Peters

Christians Must Be Socialists

I recently finished reading Our God Loves Justice, after starting it six months ago. I think it's a wonderful little book that every person in the West calling themselves a Christian, should read, for two reasons: a beginner's introduction to dialectical theology, and an introduction to socialism for Christians, both by way of Helmut Gollwitzer. Whether or not you will come out agreeing is not the point. After I finished reading this, I am firmly convinced that every Christian should at least consider how socialism might better speak to a Christian outlook.

Instead of attempting to make this a persuasive essay on why you should read Our God Loves Justice, I'm going to list a bunch of quotes to whet your appetite. I'm hoping that will make you curious enough to go and read more. So without further ado, enjoy these small snippets.

from page 51:

"...if God cannot be objectified, cannot be treated like a generally accessible feature of our world, then it necessarily follows that no single instance of 'God-talk'--theology--is sufficient for all times and places. In other words, all theology is contextual theology."

from page 52:

"...because all theology occurs under the limitations of its particular context and is therefore inextricably bound up with the concerns of that context, and because every theology inevitably speaks to those concerns, it follows that all theology is political theology."

from page 53:

"Dialectical theology is a destabilizing theology that views God's action as calling radically into question both the theological and sociocultural status quo."

from page 79, quoting Gollwitzer in "Why Black Theology?":

"'The capitalist revolution as the revolution of the white, christianized, Protestant peoples began its worldwide victory and opened up a new age of slavery that even today--although in changed forms of enslavement--has not as yet been terminated.'"

from page 85:

"Because Christianity is irreducibly bodily, it is necessar[il]y social, and therefore political."

from page 112:

"...all people are fundamentally equal because all people rely on a God who comes to them from outside of themselves."

from page 113:

"By rejecting religious privilege, the gospel also denies the legitimacy of material privilege."

from page 131:

"For Christians to renounce their privilege and put it at the service of others necessarily includes working to dismantle the systems that produce and maintain privilege for some and marginalization for others."