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The Political Christian

Politically, it’s been a complicated, confusing, and weird time to be a Christian.

While most of the complexity we see these days on the news has been centred in the U.S., we’re obviously very influenced on many levels by what happens down there - as is the perception of Christians globally. With the rise in the intensity of identity politics, it can be confusing to find such passionate polarization within the family of Christian brothers and sisters. It can also be disappointing to watch the ethical compromises these allegiances sometimes bring about, and heartbreaking to watch so many Christians make these compromises with such seeming ease.

I know these things can be very complicated; I have a lot of American friends who are genuinely torn up and brokenhearted about the state of their country right now, but feel stuck and like they had and/or have no good option to turn to politically. I really feel for them; those aren’t fun shoes to be in. So with that in mind, this isn’t a post to attack or judge anyone, but rather a call to stop and think about how we’re engaging in politics, and more importantly, what we’re communicating about our faith and our God by the way we do it.

A friend of mine referred me to an article Tim Keller wrote for the New Yorker on this topic, and at this point I will defer to him as I know he will lay out the issue much better than I would (plus he’s an American and has a much longer history in Evangelicalism than I do). The first link below is to an Op-Ed he wrote, which I placed first sort of as an introduction to how we engage with the issue. The second link is to an article on the changing perception of Evangelicalism and the part Christians have played in that. The third article is actually kind of a bonus; it’s not by Tim Keller (though it quotes him) but is a really comprehensive and helpful layout of the history of American Evangelicalism and the relationship it has had with politics, as well as an analysis of the current context and a call to clear-thinking. If you can only manage one or two I would recommend the Tim Keller pieces, but the last one is a very helpful addition to the pool of information and may be worth coming back to even if you only have time for one or two right now.


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