Politicians, Power, sex and scandal (2 Samuel and the current crisis)

We’re about to teach through a section of 2 Samuel that includes

–          The humiliation of David’s ambassadors by foreign ruler

–          David’s affair with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah

–          David’s son Amnon raping his half-sister Tamar

–          Absalom’s coup and public taking of his father’s concubines to have sex with

A common theme throughout this story of men exercising their power through sex, controlling and harming others for their own satisfaction.  They do that with the knowledge and implicit support of others who use this knowledge for their own gain.[1]

This series has been planned for a long time, so God’s timing is perfect. Here we are with sex scandals in Hollywood and Westminster, with men standing accused of using power to exercise control over others, tales of harassment and sexual violence whilst people in the know kept their mouths shut.  Particularly in Westminster, the suspicion is that party whips, journalists and rival politicians may be tempted when scandal comes to their attention to stay silent and use the knowledge for their own advantage. Continue reading

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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

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

The State we are in

We are thinking about the different worldviews and ideologies that underpin different political approaches and how Christians should engage with them.  One important factor to consider is our attitude to the State. Continue reading

Going Public – How we think Biblically about politics elections and public life

During the General Election Campaign, we’re going to include a few articles to do with “Public Theology.”

Public Theology is about how we apply what we believe about God, Creation, Humanity and New Creation to public life. This includes questions about Continue reading

And on the other hand…

A couple of days ago, I explained why I wouldn’t be organising an election hustings. I thought that in the interest of balance I would share some of the reasons why other church leaders will do. You see, whilst I’m not convinced it is the right answer, I also appreciate  the motives listed below and think they are good things to promote. I’d just do it differently! Continue reading