I know many theological and political conservative Christian Republicans (as well as those to their right) are grieving the loss to their dream of rebuilding this “Christian nation.” They’re keeping a stiff upper lip as they say good-bye to the out-going evangelical President George Walker Bush, and endure, not without some respect for the historical nature of the event, the election, and now, inauguration of the first African-American President, Barak Hussein Obama. Hard times are coming to the evangelical dream of “taking America back” for Christ, but things are going well for the pluralistic civil religion.
During the next four to eight years, it may serve you well to think through a little more carefully just what is the Christian’s relationship to his government. What vision ought he to have for his nation? Should it be forced into the mold of Old Testament Israel, should a Christian theocracy be established, or are we to forswear all participation in the public square, and stop polishing the brass on the sinking ship of America?
I submit that a firmer grasp on the classical Christian distinction between what Augustine called the City of God and the City of Man is in order. How is the Christian to live as citizens of the City of God without molding it into the image of the City of Man, and vice versa? This week’s episode of the White Horse Inn, “The City of God,” will tell you. You can read Michael Horton’s intro to the program here. Also, I found particularly helpful and interesting the programs on “Christianity and Politics,” part one and part two, in which, back in September, Dr. Horton interviewed D.G. Hart (author of A Secular Faith: Why Christianity Favors the Separation of Church & State), Dan Bryant (former Republican Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice) and Neil McBride (a strategist for the Democratic Party). Their introductions can likewise be read here.
I think learning a little more about what the Bible really expects of Christian citizens will help us all cope while the party who beat us in the last election has their turn at the helm of the ship of state. We, and our country, might just be the better for it.