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Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
How can politics be reformed according to the Word of God? Christians more than ever need to gain a more thorough understanding of what Christianity says about politics and law. To say that political theology has been neglected in modern times is an understatement.

If it is of help, I have collected all of the webpages related to political theology on ReformedBooksOnline onto one page:

(I tried to post this in the Politics forum, which is members only, but it said that I have insufficient privileges, even though I am a member of the PB, have posted there in the past, and have more than 25 posts. I have never been contacted by a moderator about it. Not sure the reason for this.)
 

CovenantPatriot87

Puritan Board Freshman
I find reformed people the LEAST interested in politics. PARTICULARLY in the american government. Even though reformed (presbyterian in particular) folk were on the front lines in the war for independence, and some even signed the declaration and constitution. It makes absolutely no sense to me that we have hardly maintained any of our three branches of government even within the last century. The reformed heritage is rich in politics and our government is rich in the reformed heritage.
 

Grimmson

Puritan Board Sophomore
How can politics be reformed according to the Word of God? Christians more than ever need to gain a more thorough understanding of what Christianity says about politics and law. To say that political theology has been neglected in modern times is an understatement.
I definitely appreciate your question. I like to start off by making a connection between politics and kingdom. From the ruler of a kingdom comes policy and thus flowing from the kingdom flows politics from those policies. Therefore from the kingdom of God flows politics of God, whereby Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And thus has a system of politics and supercede that of the kingdoms of man. These politics are then communicated to us through the preached word and through discipleship. On the point of the communication of the preached word, one thing that needs to be learned by preachers old and young is even though something is said through the pulpit does not mean that the person is the pew had heard it, let alone has learned it. This is why discipleship is extremely important. A preacher maybe preaching the pure Law and the pure Gospel, but unless there is true discipleship taking place, there is no guarantee that the Christian faithfully attending church is going to be able to extract from the Word of God the politics of God. There needs to be, as part of discipleship, how to read the Word; thus the teaching of hermeneutics. I would personally want to include Church History as well as attached to the scriptures so that the believer can see how the understanding of the scriptures have been applied to the kingdoms of man throughout the ages. This will help provide scriptural understanding and in some cases wisdom and balance.

I have seen by some that are reformed an active retreat from engaging in the political sphere, in my personal opinion. One example of this is from Scott Clark of WSC who write the following:

"This is not a plea for Christians to disengage with the culture (see the resources below). Rather, it is a plea for Christians on both sides to stop trying to use the visible church as a lever in the culture war. The visible church, the institutional church, is not a soldier in the culture war for the right or the left. It is Christ’s embassy to the world, whose ministers and ambassadors are charged with three essential functions:

  1. Preach the gospel purely;
  2. Administer the sacraments (holy baptism and the holy supper) purely;
  3. Administer church discipline faithfully."
- Of Masks And The Weaker Brothers | The Heidelblog

There are certain aspects here that I agree with, primarily from a confessional perspective; however I strongly disagree with the aspect of the visible church as not being "a soldier in the culture war." This is not a right versus left issue but should be seen as the Kingdom of heaven versus the kingdom of this age on earth. The visible church, or the institutional church, is called to be salt and light. For if one makes the claim that this should been seen for the individual believer then it should be expanded to the whole visible church. There should be a natural cultural war that emerges as a direct result of the conflicting policies of sinful man as it relates to the kingdom of God. The lack of this natural conflict would make me question where or not the church is faithfully administering discipline to the members in Christ. It would also put into question whether or not a church is engaged in discipleship in the church, which is a real issue that needs to be addressed in contemporary reformed churches, regardless of denomination.

I think there is a decent number of individuals interested in politics, but not many that would be will be going in the Lion's Den to actually engage in policy making or policy reversals of this modern age. These individuals are more likely to read books on dogmatics and write about their thoughts online, but not actually abide by the example of Abraham Kuyper and run for political office. These keyboard warriors are some of the same people that I would be addressing related to the lack of discipleship that takes place in reformed churches. One may say that this lack of discipleship is not taking place in my church, but as someone who has been teaching for several years and knows the difference between teaching and discipleship, I would greatly be challenging their claim. I can point to many examples whereby reformed churches and their ministers/elders have not engaged publicly against certain developed issues in the political sphere, locally, where I live. They may say something in their church privately or in the pulpit, but they will not go to a school board meeting, or a curriculum meeting open to the public, and express the same views publicly. I do not think a political theology has necessarily been neglected, I think there lack of courage to address issues of faith in the political sphere, outside of the church, by church leadership.

"How can politics be reformed according to the Word of God?" To answer this question , churches first need to start by preaching the Law and the Gospel. Secondly. we need discipleship to the members of reformed churches which would include an attempt to teach all of scripture ( there are many texts that seem to be neglected even in modern reformed churches), hermeneutics, church history, and set an example of public courage. Third, a recognition that our politics should not necessarily be reformed but should stem from the Word of God, from the Kingdom of God. If a position cannot be defended biblically then I would challenge the reformed category to the position related in the political sphere. This implies the need to study the Word. I also think there needs to be biblical accountability by and of reformed thinkers, as it is connected to the public political sphere.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
How can politics be reformed according to the Word of God? Christians more than ever need to gain a more thorough understanding of what Christianity says about politics and law. To say that political theology has been neglected in modern times is an understatement.

If it is of help, I have collected all of the webpages related to political theology on ReformedBooksOnline onto one page:

(I tried to post this in the Politics forum, which is members only, but it said that I have insufficient privileges, even though I am a member of the PB, have posted there in the past, and have more than 25 posts. I have never been contacted by a moderator about it. Not sure the reason for this.)
Go to your Preferences and join P&G.

 
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