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Thomas Schreiner: “Don’t we recognize in a sinful world that sometimes we need to choose the lesser of two evils?”

Monday, October 31, 2016 16:24
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CaptureThomas R. Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean for Scripture and Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as Preaching Pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. A widely respected New Testament scholar, Dr. Schreiner is the author of many books, including New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ (Baker, 2008) and Galatians in the Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series (Zondervan, 2010).1

Recorded in the 2011 issue of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, a published sermon by Dr. Schreiner appears entitled “From Adam to Christ: The Grace That Conquers All Our Sin” based on Romans 5:12-19. In it, Schreiner expounds the doctrine of total depravity under which the whole world suffers and conquering grace by the shed blood of Jesus. In his concluding remarks, Schreiner makes application of universal sin within the human race and what implications we could expect as a result.

One of the spheres Schreiner mentions has to do with voting, candidates, and political office. Personally, I find Schreiner’s words refreshing.

I’m not so such #NeverTrump advocates will, however.2

Tom Schreiner:

Second, sometimes I have heard Christians say they aren’t going to vote in an election because no candidate is good enough. But what do we expect in a sinful world? Do we expect perfect candidates? Don’t we recognize in a sinful world that sometimes we need to choose the lesser of two evils? In a sinful world some countries are better than others. It is much better to live in Germany today than it is to live in Somalia. Neither country is Christian, and the main need of people in both countries is salvation, but politically Germany is far better off than Somalia.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the so-called “lesser of two evils” theory in dealing with moral absolutes that seem to collide, neither do I disrespect those who hold to it.

What I have little respect for are the internet loud mouths who summarily dismiss the view as possessing no intellectual credence at all.

1the biographical information is taken from Southern seminary’s page

2Though it’s pure speculation on my part, perhaps Schreiner is one of those professors Jack Richardson mentioned as one of the “many [Southern] professors [who] disagree [with Dr. Mohler on #NeverTrump] as well, but can’t speak out.”

3Thomas R. Schreiner, “Sermon: From Adam to Christ: The Grace That Conquers All Our Sin (Romans 5:12–19),” ed. R. Albert Mohler Jr., Southern Baptist Journal of Theology Volume 15 15, no. 1 (2011): 83–84.

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