Christians Should Stay Silent for a Season

“Christians should remain silent for a season, until we can learn how to talk about politics in a non-Nietzschean manner.”–James Davison Hunter To Change the World

Its time to talk about Ch. 1 “Independence and the Art of Pluralism.” Its probably the most difficult chapter to read (not the best idea to start difficult) but the book gets easier.

James Hunter is a Christian Sociologist at the University of Virginia. His quote above laments the reality that Christians often trade the ethic of Jesus for a stake in power politics and that often obscures the good news of the gospel behind political party platforms.  This is true.

I just had a conversation last night after I spoke at a church about “finding hope” in the current political climate. The person asked what “evangelical” meant, so I was giving a broad definition of what an evangelical was (see pg. 29), and the person replied, “oh, I thought that evangelical meant supporters of Trump.” So Hunter is right in his diagnosis: the church in America (and evangelicalism in particular) is no different than the world in its attempts to control the moral future through power (political power), and thus ironically, has lost its moral influence.  So Hunter recommends “staying silent for a season” until we can learn to talk about politics differently. After the Election is my attempt to talk about politics differently.

Why is Ch. 1 more difficult than some of the others? In this chapter I’m trying to put some boundaries around the conversation. So I give a survey of some of the relevant scholars in the conversation that I want to place the book in. If you want to skip it, you can start on pg. 25 and get a summary.

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