Why Evangelical Christians can and should be involved in public life

Yesterday, Tim Farron resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats explaining that he felt “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader”[1]

Today, people are asking whether or not Christians who believe the Bible’s teaching on moral matters such as abortion and same-sex marriage can still be involved in public life or whether their view now in effect bar them from mainstream politics and high office. Continue reading

Hanging in there? – How do we respond to the General Election result?

I’d planned two little articles this norming, one entitled “For those who got what they wanted” and one “For those who didn’t get they wanted.”  Well this morning we wake up to a hung parliament and so we could say that nobody gets what they want! Continue reading

What kind of leader?

In a democracy, we use elections to choose our leaders. This means that the questions we ask are not just about parties, ideologies and policies. We want to choose the right people and so character is important. In a General Election, there is a double decision to make. We vote for a specific candidate and we will want to think about their suitability but we also know that our local decision will affect the national picture and who eventually becomes Prime minister.

In this article, we look at the characteristics that God looks for in a leader. We are going to do this by looking at Deuteronomy 18. We need to be careful in handling this passage because first and foremost this is about the leaders that God chose for his people Israel. This means that we won’t want to just apply it straight to a modern secular state. However, I think there are some helpful principles here. Continue reading

Tithes, taxes and the Children of God

Should Christians “Tithe?” This was our starter question at Sunday Night Church yesterday. We talked about how we often associate tithing with prosperity teaching. You may have heard a TV evangelist saying that if you pay your tithe (to him of course) then you will be blessed and if you don’t then you will suffer.

However, we didn’t just want to engage with Prosperity teaching. You see, a lot of Christians will talk about tithing as a requirement not because they want to get rich but because they want to obey God’s Word. We want to consider the strongest form of the argument not the weakest. The strongest form of the argument is that Tithing is a law laid down in the Torah and never rescinded by Jesus. Continue reading

Politics and Government – What is the Christian’s role?

So, if we are not meant to simply apply the Old Testament Laws that applied to the Nation of Israel to modern day states, what is the interaction between Church and State, Christians and politics, the Bible and Government. Continue reading

“We want a Government that obeys God’s Law…” Okay, but what does that actually mean?

In our last article, we saw that some Christians believe that the State should seek to enact God’s Law. We saw that this particularly describes Theonomists who would like to see the Old Testament penal codes enforced. We also saw that “Jubilee” campaigns have their roots in what the Old Testament teaches about care for the poor, stewardship of the land and debt relief and cancellation.  But also, there will be times when some of us simply express the wish that the Government would abandon self-interest and human ideology, turning instead to God and honouring his ways.

The challenge I raised against this outlook was that this raises questions about how God’s Law applies today. Continue reading

What type of State?

I’m writing these articles about Public Theology in the context of a General Election and that should act as a cautionary reminder. Our Public Theology is likely to be affected by our context. Here we are talking about the role of the state, where its boundaries are and whether it is benign or evil in the context of a modern, western democracy.

Would our view of the State be the same if we were living in Nazi Germany under a tyrannical dictator? What about if we were living in an Islamic theocracy like Iran (it is possible that some readers are)?  When Samuel Rutherford wrote Lex Rex, he was assuming that his readers would be living in a Christian state where the rulers and wider society where at least nominally Christian.  His assumption was that the State was benign but that its role was limited. Continue reading