Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

How should Christians reconcile their faith with politics?

My favorite book on Christianity and politics is “Politics According to the Bible“, by Wayne Grudem. Dr. Grudem’s B.A. is from Harvard University and his Ph.D is from Cambridge University, and he is probably the best theologian today. (Except for his horrible Calvinism, but I try to ignore that)

Here’s a book review of Politics According to the Bible from Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds.

Grudem’s positions are usually conservative:

I support political positions in this book that would be called more “conservative” than “liberal.” That is because of my conclusions about the Bible’s teaching on the role of government and a biblical worldview (see chaps. 3 and 4). It is important to understand that I see these positions as flowing out of the Bible’s teachings rather than positions that I hold prior to, or independently of, those biblical teachings. And I do not hesitate to criticize Republican policies where I differ with them (for instance, in the endorsement of runaway government spending and the continual expansion of the federal government even under conservative Republican presidents). My primary purpose in the book is not to be liberal or conservative, or Democratic or Republican, but to explain a biblical worldview and a biblical perspective on issues of politics, law, and government. (p. 13)

And he recommends that Christians get involved in politics thoughtfully and persuasively:

The “significant influence” view says that Christians should seek to influence civil government according to God’s moral standards and God’s purposes for government as revealed in the Bible (when rightly understood). But while Christians exercise this influence, they must simultaneously insist on protecting freedom of religion for all citizens. In addition, “significant influence” does not mean angry, belligerent, intolerant, judgmental, red-faced, and hate-filled influence, but rather winsome, kind, thoughtful, loving, persuasive influence that is suitable to each circumstance and that always protects the other person’s right to disagree, but that is also uncompromising about the truthfulness and moral goodness of the teachings of God’s Word. (p. 55)

You can find lots of wonderful lectures by Wayne Grudem on politics here. It’s practical Christianity. Christianity… for MEN!

Sometimes I get very annoyed with church… but I never get tired of listening to these lectures every week.

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16 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    Thanks for posting this!

    We will try to ignore your horrible digs at Calvinism ;-)

    Also, practical Christianity is not JUST for men. Women vote too, so we also need be politically clued up.

    • Michael says:

      Oh, we can deal with that. wintery will probably argue that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. :O
      Haha, just pulling legs. And being a lobster GAGAGA.

      This book looks very interesting though.
      I must say my political views have been taking a conservative movement recently…you seem to finally be having an impact WK! :s
      haha, and thanks for the post.

  2. Grudem supported Mitt Romney, though. How could he support a guy who helped fund abortion in MA and signed off on same-sex marriage in MA, let alone who is a Mormon with a theology that says Mormons must eventually take over the USA?

  3. Jared says:

    Grudem’s Systematic Theology tome is really good, so I’m interested in reading his book on Christianity and Politics. I think it would be difficult to actually defend the view that Christians shouldn’t get involved in politics. Each time I’ve heard an argument defending that position I think, “Really? Is this the best you have?” :)

  4. Andrew says:

    Another book that I would recommend on this topic is “In, But Not Of” by Hugh Hewitt. I am reading it right now; it’s an easy read with some powerful ideas.

  5. Retha says:

    Not totally on topic, but did you notice this blog page has a non-fitting name? the url above this includes örigin of life according to Richard Dawkins” which isn’t the topic here?

  6. mknz says:

    I don’t think people really understand what they mean when they use the word “politics.” What most people, myself included, seem to despise about it is the character attacks made on certain political candidates from all sides of a debate.

    But it cannot be ignored: if we as Christians are to battle against poverty and injustice, then we must also take into consideration the personal sin AND the public policies that allow it to happen in our own backyards. It seems to me that we shirk our responsibilities as Christians if we claim that a robust discussion of the issues themselves BEHIND said politics is somehow off-limits.

  7. mknz says:

    P.S. Wintery, your digs at Calvinism are sloppy. :)

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