Should Christians be involved in political action? should they restrict their activities in the public sphere to evangelism and discipleship? should they hide from the outside world? or should they engage culture in every way, including governmental involvement? These questions have divided Christians for two thousand years, and while we can probably never hope to resolve the issue entirely, we can find points of agreement in our collective search for true obedience.
Gary Scott Smith edits God and Politics, a colloquium of Reformed thinkers presenting and debating four distinct views on the appropriate role of Christians within politics and government. A total of sixteen authors contribute, with one thesis essay for each position followed by three responses. Scholars as varied as Harold O.J. Brown, Greg Bahnsen, John Eidsmpoe and Gary DeMar present, rebut and defend in a series of engaging and brief essays.
Theonomy, principled pluralism, Christian America, and national confessionalism are all represented by some of their most capable champions, and the responses are both gregarious and well-reasoned. An appendix allows each author to directly respond to specific questions, while another presents a summary of agreements and disagreements among the positions. Extensive indexes help locate topics and Scripture references quickly and easily.
This is a scholarly treatment of the role of Christians in the reformation of government. While there is a practical element to the discussion, these essays are largely theoretical, focusing on the biblical defense of each approach rather than its actual implementation. And though the ideas presented could apply to Christians under any form of civil government anywhere, they are specifically oriented to American Christians.
Whether you're a theonomist or a principled pluralist (or anything in between), if you have any concern for the state of our government, any desire to participate in politics, or any questions relating to the relationship of Church and State, God and Politics needs to be on your reading list. Because ideas are dealt with on a fairly academic level you might need to take longer with this book than you do with others, but the clarity of thinking it will provide on an often murky topic is indispensable.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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