Politics and the Kingdom of God

There’s a great conversation going on over at Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed about the Scot’s post stems from a very intriguing article in the New York Times about Greg Boyd’s church in St. Paul and Randall Balmer’s new book Thy Kingdom Come, An Evangelical's Lament: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America.

  • What should be the local church’s relationship with politics?
  • How should we navigate the tricky waters of trying to be a prophetic voice for Jesus’ Kingdom in our society and not tying ourselves into the power-plays of politics?
  • Should we try to separate the kingdom of God from the kingdoms of this world, or should the kingdom of God somehow influence the kingdoms of this world?

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Ghost Dancer said...

In a true democracy or the democracy I remember on which our country is founded the three branches of government exist to keep each other in balance. When we let our government slip into one-party philosophies and one set of religious practices - the representation will only be from that one group of people. Isn't this how the Nazi's got in power? Isn't this how most wars start?

There are many good-hearted Christian conservatives who are trading a "government for all" for a "government for one" by voting for people who claim to have the same values and practices, yet when I look at the voting records and treasure chest, it appears the only god being worshipped is the one that can be cashed in or buy votes.

How can we be guaranteed that the voting count is legitimate when everything is run by one party politics? Have faith in God?

Bob Robinson said...

Ghost Dancer,

Good comment. There indeed needs to be a plurality of views in a healthy society and a healthy church!!

Witness said...

Scripture, Science and Politics

We're all missing the point.

We're asking what, when, where, and how but forgetting the "why."

Why do we have the story of Creation? What purpose should it have in our lives today?

The story of Creation is a gift from God to His stewards. The only message here is that Humans have been assigned as the stewards of the Planet and how we leave it determines where our souls will go. We waste so much of our energy proving our faith to other people or disproving scientific phenomana to prove the existence of God.

Is this really a productive way to spend our lives here?

Let's do something productive like helping other people instead of judging them. Let the scientists do what they need to do and let the preachers do what they need to do. The fact is, we've got bigger problems with our eco-system out of whack, people starving and dying from diseases.

If we put all our money into preserving beauty around the world by reducing greenhouse gasses, poverty, and disease, we wouldn't be rationalizing our existence today as a part of Revelations prophecy. Instead we would be fufilling God's hope for all human kind. God doesn't want us to destroy His Creation. He doesn't want us to turn out bad. He wants us to use the gifts He gave Humankind -- a beautiful planet, natural inquiry abilities, and free will.

Revelation is dream that came to its author of what could happen if we don't get our act together. Again, more time has been wasted on proving the validity and interpreting the symbolic nature of the story. If people think they know what's going to happen, why are they letting it happen?

The God I worship does not set His Creation up for failure. People already do a pretty good job at it.

Marc said...

Hi Bob,

Great blog brother. I can get lost in all the goodies that are here.

The conversation over at "Jesus Creed" seems to be burgeoning and intensifying, and you can find Christians talking about the New York Times article on Greg Boyd all over the blogosphere. A real nerve has been touched and I am happy to see it.

Anyway, I am also located in Ohio (Oberlin). We are close enough to do lunch some time. Plus, I am on staff with IV, and a Gordon-Conwell grad, so we definitely have similar backgrounds.

I definitely will be coming back from time to time and consider yourself added to my blogroll.


Bob Robinson said...


Great to hear that we are both in college ministry! IV and CCO have a LOT in common.

Great to have you!