Guest / Limited Access /
Ron Sider's Unsettling Crusade

Ron Sider doesn't seem the type to upset people. A short, balding seminary professor with a quick smile and thick glasses, he talks in a relaxed, low-voltage way. Professionally he is a hybrid, a historian who teaches theology and talks and writes about politics and economics. His academic credentials are exemplary: a Ph.D. in Reformation history Yale; articles published in prestigious journals. Theologically he is a heartland evangelical, deeply committed to an inspired Bible, to a passionate communication of the gospel and to a transforming personal faith. Politically he is mainstream Democratic party except for conservative stances on homosexuality and abortion.

In short, Sider is no flaming radical. Yet it would be hard to think of another evangelical who has been more ardently criticized for being "radical."

In reality, Sider takes flak from both the Left and the Right, particularly when he upholds evangelical positions at ecumenical meetings. "I've been picketed twice," he says, "by theonomists [who believe in applying Old Testament law today] in Australia, and in Minnesota by gay-rights [advocates]." The bulk of the criticism, however, comes from the Right. David Chilton, a conservative thinker, has honored Sider's best-known book, Rich Christians an Age of Hunger, with a book-length response, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators. With each of updated editions of Rich Christians, Chilton has sued a new edition of his critique, going so far as to mimic the cover art of each edition so that the response looks like a precise replica of the original. Another example is Lloyd Billingsley's A Generation That Knew Not Josef, which compares Sider at length ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueWho Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy?
Subscriber Access Only
Who Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy?
The ‘thief‘ may not be who you think it is.
RecommendedJohn Perkins: I Wish I Had Done More to Help Poor White People
John Perkins: I Wish I Had Done More to Help Poor White People
An excerpt from ‘Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win.’
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
Christianity Today
Ron Sider's Unsettling Crusade
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2000

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.