A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to do good for the nation, evaluated in light of the Bible and common sense. In this ground-breaking book, recognized evangelical Bible professor Wayne Grudem rejects five mistaken views about Christian influence on politics:
He proposes a better alternative: “significant Christian influence on government.” Then he explains the Bible’s teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government. Does the Bible support some form of democracy? Should judges and the courts hold the ultimate power in a nation? With respect to specific political issues, Grudem argues that most people’s political views depend on deep-seated assumptions about several basic moral and even theological questions, such as whether God exists, whether absolute moral standards can be known, whether there is good and evil in each person’s heart, whether people should be accountable for their good and bad choices, whether property should belong to individuals or to society, and whether the purpose of the earth’s resources is to bring benefit to mankind.
After addressing these foundational questions, Grudem provides a thoughtful, carefully-reasoned analysis of over 50 specific issues dealing with the protection of life, marriage, the family and children, economic issues and taxation, the environment, national defense, relationships to other nations, freedom of speech and religion, quotas, and special interests. He makes frequent application to the current policies of the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, but the principles discussed here are relevant for any nation.
“But the principle remains: I think Christians should support the candidate who best represents moral and political values consistent with biblical teaching, no matter what his or her religious background or convictions.” (Page 68)
“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.” (Page 55)
“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.” (Page 13)
“The commands to Noah in Genesis 9 were given at the beginning of the reestablishment of human society after God destroyed all but Noah’s family in the waters of the flood. Therefore careful biblical interpretation would not limit the principles in Genesis 9:5–6 to the time of the Old Testament only or to the nation of Israel only, for neither limitation is supported by the context in which these statements are found. These principles have relevance for the whole human race for all time.” (Page 78)
A wonderful resource as we face growing tensions from an ever more powerful state.
—Chuck Colson, founder, Colson Center for Christian Worldview
Grudem’s biblically-based good sense overwhelms the nostrums of . . . evangelical left.
—Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief, World
Precisely and exactly the call the rising generation needs to hear.
—Timothy Goeglein, vice president, External Relations, Focus on the Family
Scripture references are linked directly to Greek and Hebrew texts, along with the English Bible translations of your choice. For any word in any language, you can double-click on that word and your digital library will automatically search your lexicons for a match. That gives you unprecedented access to linguistic data, along with all the tools you need for exegesis and interpretation.
Dario Oliveira de Matos