This is a really useful exposition on the issue of populism that I dealt with, in a more political way in an earlier post (https://huwhumphreys.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/the-laziness-and-dishonesty-of-populism).
One of the best things I have read on the issue from the church – Nick’s awareness of German history and religious culture comes through and there is plenty to read for those who are challenged to do so – I definitely need more understanding here.
I was asked to preach in chapel at St John’s College, Cambridge, on ‘Populism’ in a series of sermons on ‘Thinking Allowed’. The readings were from Exodus 32:1-9 and Matthew 27:15-26. Here it is:
It’s easy to laugh, isn’t it? A primitive people, out in the desert en route from over 400 years of oppression in Egypt towards a land of promise. Their leader, who had a habit of being somewhat singleminded when it comes to how things should be done, disappeared up a mountain for a while; and, because he didn’t come back down immediately, the people found a more emollient leader who gave them what they wanted: a golden calf to worship. So, that was quick and easy. All they had experienced, all they had learned … and they threw it away in an instant. You have to read the whole book to see that this isn’t a rare experience.
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