Five Views on the Church and Politics (Counterpoints Series)

Paperback|Dec 2015
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: Few topics can grab headlines and stir passions quite like politics, especially when the church is involved. Considering the attention that many Christian parachurch groups, churches, and individual believers give to politics-and of the varying and sometimes divergent political...

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Few topics can grab headlines and stir passions quite like politics, especially when the church is involved. Considering the attention that many Christian parachurch groups, churches, and individual believers give to politics-and of the varying and sometimes divergent political ideals and aims among them-Five Views on the Church and Politics provides a helpful breakdown of the possible Christian approaches. Readers will find themselves equipped to think more deeply about the relationship between church and state in a way that goes beyond mere policy debates and current campaigns.

General Editor Amy Black brings together five top-notch political theologians in the book, each representing one of the five key political traditions within Christianity:

Anabaptist (Separationist)-Thomas Heilke

Lutheran (Two Kingdom)-Robert Benne

Catholic (In Tension)-J. Brian Benestad

Reformed (Integrationist)-James K. A. Smith

Black Church (Prophetic)-Bruce Fields

Each author addresses his tradition's theological distinctives, the role of government, the place of individual Christian participation in government and politics, and how churches should (or should not) address political questions. Responses by each contributor to opposing views will highlight key areas of difference and disagreement.

Thorough and even-handed, Five Views on the Church and Politics will enable readers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the most significant Christian views on political engagement and to draw their own, informed conclusions.


  • Catalogue Code 430278
  • Product Code 9780310517924
  • ISBN 0310517923
  • EAN 9780310517924
  • Pages 240
  • Department Academic
  • Category Christian Worldview
  • Sub-Category Power/politics
  • Publisher Zondervan
  • Publication Date Dec 2015
  • Sales Rank 50956
  • Dimensions 203 x 137 x 17mm
  • Weight 0.204kg

James K A Smith

James K. A. Smith (Ph.D., University of Villanova) is associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previously he taught at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He is editor of In the Twilight of Western Thought in the Collected Works of Herman Dooyeweerd, and he has written numerous articles on philosophy and religion, and has a remarkable grasp of Post-modern hermeneutics and interpretation.
This is reflected in his publications Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (Church and Postmodern Culture Series: Baker Academic, 2006); Jacques Derrida: Live Theory (Continuum, 2005), Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology (Baker Academic Press, 2004). Speech and Theology: Language and the Logic of Incarnation (Radical Orthodoxy Series: Routledge, 2002); Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition (Bakerbooks, 2010) and The Fall of Interpretation: Philosophical Foundations for a Creational Hermeneutic (InterVarsity Press, 2000).

He is preparing four volumes The Violence of Finitude: Derrida and the Logic of Determination; Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Learning and the Formation of Radical Disciples; The Devil Reads Derrida - and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts and Thinking in Tongues: Elements of a Pentecostal Worldview (Pentecostal Manifestos Series; Eerdmans, 2008).
Koorong -Editorial Review.

Robert Benne

Robert Benne is Director of the Roanoke College Center for Religion and Society and Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion Emeritus at Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia. His books include Reasonable Ethics: A Christian Approach to Social, Political; Economic Concerns and Quality with Soul: How Six Premier Colleges and Universities Keep Faith with Their Religious Traditions and Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics.

  • :introductiona Brief Overview Of The Five Main Views On Church And State, The Historic Contexts Of Christian Reflection On Politics, The Significance Of The Topic For The Contemporary Church, And The Key Questions Each Contributor Has Been Asked To Cover.1. Separationist (anabaptist)christian Goals Are Only Advanced Through The Church, And Christians Only Participate As Believers In The Church.2. Two-kingdom (lutheran)christians Operate In The Realms Of Both Church And State As Believers; However, They Have Different Roles And Goals In Each Realm.3. In-tension (catholic)the Church Both Cooperates With And Challenges The State In Order To Bring About Christian Social Goals.4. Integrationist (reformed)the Church Seeks Spiritual Redemption While The Church Seeks Social Redemption, Yet These Goals Overlap And Complement Each Other.5. Prophetic (black Church)an Integrationist Perspective Similar To The Catholic And Reformed Views, But Marked By An Emphasis On The Church?s Role In Challenging The State And By A Unique Blend Of Theological Conservatism Married To Political Liberalism. Conclusioneach View Is Placed Within The Context Of Contemporary Politics And Compared To The Goals And Policies Of The Democratic And Republican Parties, So That Readers Can See Clearly How Both Parties Align And Conflict With The Five Christian Traditions Of Political Thought.

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