Foundations of Christian Civic Engagement at New Life Dresher
There are a number of ways you can start putting the ideas we discussed this weekend into practice, or ways you can dive deeper into ideas that may have been new for you. One of the best places to start is to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast, and check out our blog.
As we mentioned in the class, these outlets have been on a functional hiatus while Rick recovered from serious health challenges in the second half of last year, but we will begin publishing again in the next couple of weeks, and your questions from the Q & A session will help form the basis for some of our articles and episodes!
There are a number of commendable books that you may be interested in to dive deeper into some of the topics we discussed this weekend:
This five-session Bible study is a great place for individuals or small groups to start working out how to behave Christianly in a divisive election year. Readers/participants go through the story of creation, fall, incarnation, redemption and consummation, tracing each theme from the Old Testament into the New Testament and working out how God’s promises empower us to live differently in divisive times.
Rev. Drew’s book on finding political peace in our church communities is one of the best places to start if you’d like to carry this conversation forward in your own life or with your small group.
David Koyzis does a commendable job of examining contemporary political ideologies and articulating where each reflects and distorts elements of Christian ethics and morality.
Lesslie Newbigin’s 1980’s primer on how to critique our own culture from within through the perspective of the gospel is an essential read for anyone wanting to learn how to witness to people we may already identify with closely.
The venerable John Stott offers wise and practical advice on Christian engagement with critical contemporary issues.
Historian and journalist Colin Woodard divides North America into eleven separate sub-cultures, outlining the history, character and development of each of these “nations,” and re-frames major developments in US history through this lens. While his bias/preference for some nations over others is very clear, his underlying ideas are useful if you want to go deeper into the different expectations of government held by different regions.
At one point during the afternoon, we mentioned the story of Karl Plagge, a Nazi officer who did his best to preserve and protect Jewish families and believed that “no German was innocent” in the face of the atrocities his party committed. For those of you who are interested in his story, this book is assembled from research conducted by the descendants of Jews who lived under Plagge’s protection.
Contact Rick and Charlie
Want to refresh yourself on the main points? The main outline from Saturday’s class, including scriptural citations, is below!
- Public Square
- Government and Policy
- Power Dynamics
- Partisan Competition
Relationships To Government
- Appointed Official
- Elected Official
- Civil Service
Modeling the good news means living out the story of…
- …glorious creation.
- …tragic fall.
- …sacrificial incarnation.
- …radical redemption.
- …confident consummation.
A few ways this plays out:
- Prioritize the local, the neighbor and the direct.
- Select Partnerships Differently
- Partnerships are necessary.
- Partnerships can send dangerous messages.
- The world selects partnerships based purely on mercenary goals. Christians have to be more selective.
- Process Hatred Differently
The Easy way to pray: Copy Paul
- Romans 1:8–10
- 1 Corinthians 1:4–9
- Ephesians 1:15–20
- Philippians 1:3–6
- Philippians 1:9–11
- Colossians 1:3–14
- In each of these prayers, Paul repeats five themes. He prays…
- …for their faith.
- …for/about the desire to support them in prayer.
- …for grace and holiness to abound in them.
- …that they would be filled with Jesus’ presence and power.
- …for their lives to bring glory to Christ.
Love in and from the church
- We care.
- We are Christ’s body.
Avenues of Disagreement
- Differing Priorities
- Differing Experiences
- Differing Glorious/Fallen Emphasis
- Differing Strategies
- Cultural Anthropomorphism
- Differing “Middle Layers”
Finding Political Peace
Idolatries that challenge political peace
Fostering Political Diversity
Two vital distinctions:
- Between theocracy and influence
- Between principle and strategy
The wrong way to pray
The medium way to pray
Praise common principle.
The Hard way to pray
Confess and correct.
- Offer confession.
- Solicit correction.