The new edition of The Catechist (the magazine put together by students from Moore Theological College) is out. It features a terrific article by Andrew Errington on speaking about Christ in the public square.
I can’t recommend Andrew’s article highly enough — especially for anyone who’s ever met the objection that the separation of church and state demands Christians shut up and butt out of public debate (or who’s ever found themselves baffled by Christian ethicist, Oliver O’Donovan).
Walking us through the political implications of the Christian proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah, God’s anointed King, Andrew explains how we can speak about Christ in the public square.
He concludes by suggesting that it’s possible to speak about Christ in public because:
- Governments are primarily accountable to God — whether they know and recognise it or not. Hence, ‘Christians may speak, for they are those who are aware of the Word of God’.
- Politics in contemporary democracies isn’t just a matter of proportional representation of the electorate. So even if we cease to be a statistically significant minority of the populace, it will still be our government, given to us by God.
- The public square is wider than the institutions and operations of the state. Most people recognise that charities, etc pursue the common good in public without necessarily campaigning for one particular political party or another. Christians are free to do the same.
But the good news about the supremacy of the Messiah also indicates the most worthwhile aim in speaking about Christ in public — namely, promoting the common good, especially through good government.
In practice, this will mean not only taking an interest in particular public policy issues but also reminding governments of their limits now that Christ has been installed as King.
Tremendously helpful stuff!