by Max Brantley
Rasmussen tracking poll puts Mike Huckabee in fourth (12 percent), one point ahead of Mitt Romney, behind, in order, Giuliani (20), Thompson (19) and McCain (14). Maybe now we'll see more inspection of his record and campaign rhetoric.
And check this: an influential anchor for the Christian Broadcasting Network (influential among religious conservatives) is echoing John Fund's criticism, saying flatly that Huckabee won't get the nomination and -- wowser -- taking sharp issue with Huckabee's refusal some years back to sign legislation carrying the phrase "act of God." Lee Webb's take:
In an attempt to explain his actions, Huckabee said, "I feel that I have indeed witnessed many 'acts of God,' but I see His actions in the miraculous sparing of life, the sacrifice and selfless spirit in which so many responded to the pain of others." That sounds to me like the kind of sweet, shallow, feel-good theology that drove me away from the liberal denomination in which I was raised.
God is sovereign. That means He is in control of all things, all the time, even the things we perceive to be bad. Yes, God is involved in the miraculous sparing of life, as Mr. Huckabee believes. But whether we like it or not, He's also very much involved in events like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires, in which lives are lost. The Bible leaves no room for doubt about that. Consider what God said to Job, "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so than abundance of water will cover you? Can you send forth lightnings that they may go and say to you, 'Here we are'?" (Job 38:34-35) The prophet Isaiah writes, "Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin." (Isaiah 54:16)
Those two verses are unsettling to us. But remember Mr. Beaver's profound response in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe when Lucy asked if the great lion Aslan was safe? Beaver shot back, "Safe? Safe? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn't safe! But he's good!"
I don't know about you but I don't want to believe in a god who is not in control of all things, all the time. Our comfort, as Christians, comes from knowing that in all His power and glory, God is there to comfort us when we can't make sense of things like tornadoes, floods, and fires.
I have no doubt Mr. Huckabee loves God and is trusting Him for salvation. And I agree with those who say we elect the commander-in-chief, not the theologian-in-chief. But maybe those who are surveying the Republican field and siding with Huckabee because they perceive him to be the only evangelical in the field should look a little closer at his record and words.
Do I hear an amen?