Thinking (Christianly) About Politics

It’s that season again. I don’t mean winter. I mean the political season. Last night, Iowa kicked off the long primary/caucus gauntlet (grueling for both candidates and voters?), which will culminate several months from now in a national election. And if we aren’t already thinking along these lines, it’s a good reminder that we as Christians have a responsibility to think through how our faith should inform our understanding of and involvement with politics.

That’s not inventing a link that isn’t there, it’s just being biblical. Consider just one passage of many we could use to make the point:

Colossians 1:15-17: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Notice that Paul says that all created things—whether visible or invisible—were made in and through Jesus. What’s more, they were created for a reason: they were created for him in one way or another. Briefly then, the fundamental point is this: Jesus and his gospel are relevant to every area of creation, every area of our lives. And just like we need to think through that relevance for our jobs, families, marriages, education, art and culture, scientific exploration, businesses, etc., so do we need to think about it in regard to politics.

Granted, just Jesus and the gospel are relevant to politics in general and specific political issues can be a rather involved discussion, one that could fill a lifetime of blog posts. But then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and any worthwhile endeavor has to start somewhere. That’s why we’re offering the Christianity and Politics class beginning tomorrow night as a part of Night Crossing. We hope it will help those who can come at least a few steps further in the right direction.

Aside from that, however, here are a few things that a little web surfing turned up that you might find helpful in shaping a biblically faithful view of politics:

1. “Pay Your Taxes but Trust in Christ” by Colin Hansen—The Gospel Coalition’s editorial director provides a summary of “the best sermon I know on Christianity and government.”

2. “What Am I Doing When I Vote?” by Kevin DeYoung—A respected Reformed, evangelical pastor offers a philosophy of voting.

3. “The (Religious) Problem with Conservatism and Progressivism” by Bruce Ashford—How a biblical perspective critiques our most prominent political ideologies.

4. “5 Books You Should Read This Election Year” by Trevin Wax—I don’t know about five, but one might be reasonable. Not incidentally, his list contains the book from which the argument of the previous article is taken.

5. “The New Tolerance Must Crumble, Says Don Carson” by Tony Reinke—One of evangelical Christianity’s ablest scholars discusses the problems and contradictions associated with the modern idea of tolerance, (which happens to be awfully intolerant at times).

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