Monday, October 19, 2009

How to Think About Politics

"Political authority, if it recognises itself to be a response to man's fallen nature with a limited non-redemptive task, can serve to contain the threat of chaos and the power of sin. It cannot, however, eliminate these. Once those seeking and holding political power try to use that power to achieve more than politics' ordained and limited end of restraining sin through upholding justice in society and serving the common good, political life soon becomes a new idol. Like all idols it feeds off people's devotion, but instead of meeting their real needs, simply creates more chaos. Christians, who know the true place of political authority in God's purposes, are devoted to serving the crucified Christ as Lord and are praying for the coming of God's own kingdom, must therefore encourage those engaged in political life to acknowledge its limited role and significance. They must warn any society when they discern its political life falling prey to the real dangers of idolatry leading to chaos." - Andrew Goddard, Thinking Christianly about Politics.

1 comment:

byron smith said...

Good summary of the Augustinian position (i.e. the correct one, of course).