This series explores how we are to engage as Christians with the world of politics from a theological, historical, and practical perspective. We are all indirectly influenced by governments, which decide on laws that aim to create a healthy society, and in turn require that we follow these laws. They determine how to tax us and how to spend that money. They form and maintain relationships with nations around the world, allowing us to travel and work either more or less easily. It is often easy to find faults in governments and to critique them, forgetting the benefits that occur due to their work.
The series comprises five lectures:
Thoughts on Christian Involvement in Politics
Managing the Interface Between Faith and Politics
Florence Nightingale and Josephine Butler
How Religion Went Bad: Christianity in an Age of Heresy
Bringing Faith to Bear on the Public Issues of Our Time
The first two lectures establish a theological foundation for Christian political engagement. The speakers address why we should be involved in politics, arguing that God is interested in governing and politics, along with every other facet of life. As such, God calls us to be involved in politics as part of the wider cultural mandate.
The third lecture builds on this foundation by looking at how this theology has been lived out in history, offering two historical examples of Christians who positively affected the world through politics. The women who are studied in these examples saw issues needing to be addressed, and, driven by their piety, used their limited political access to change society.
The fourth lecture shifts focus to our current era by looking at the North American political climate and the movements that created it, providing us with a better understanding of the type of political context in which Christians find themselves today. The final lecture helps Christians in all walks of life see what thoughtful engagement in the political world looks like and shows them how to participate. Much like the widespread influence of government in our lives, we are able to participate in a variety of ways.
Living in a world that is largely secular in the public sphere does not mean that Christians should not seek to influence politics. Instead, we ought to think critically and prayerfully about how we might be involved in the political sphere. Through these lectures we hope that you are encouraged to get involved and think in new ways about politics where you are.
Learn happens best in Community! Find a group of friends, colleagues or conversation partners, listen to the lecture in advance, and meet together to discuss what you’ve heard. We have provided guiding questions and a summary of the lectures’ key learning points to help facilitate group discussion. Bibliographies have also been provided for those wanting more information on each of the topics raised during the lectures.