- List of Contributors
- Creation and Ethics
- Redemption and Ethics
- Eschatology and Ethics
- Ecclesiology and Ethics
- Divine Grace and Ethics
- Divine Commands
- Tradition in the Church
- Reason and Natural Law
- Love: A Kinship of Affliction and Redemption
- Christians and Government
- Christians and Family
- Christians and Economics
- Christians and Culture
- Christians and the Church
- Ernst Troeltsch's <i>The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches</i>
- Anders Nygren's <i>Agape and Eros</i>
- Kenneth Kirk's <i>The Vision of God</i>
- H. Richard Niebuhr's <i>Christ and Culture</i>
- Reinhold Niebuhr's <i>The Nature and Destiny of Man</i>
- John Mahoney's <i>The Making of Moral Theology</i>
- Catholic Social Teaching
- Index of Names
- Index of Scriptural References
Abstract and Keywords
This article presents a theological assessment of government. It argues that Christians are called to active involvement in political life. God has established government for the benefit of the human community. Though it is a fallen institution, it nevertheless carries great possibilities as well as great dangers. Christians should grasp their political responsibilities and participate critically in political life. This means bringing their perspectives and actions to bear on the dynamic of political life. They should hold government in high esteem, but not idolatrously so. Above all, it is important that lay persons carry their Christian values right into the heart of the political process. Such witness will be far more effective than the sometimes necessary social statements or advocacy efforts of the institutional Church, because those lay Christians will be in the decision-making centres of political life in a way that the institutional Church cannot be.
Robert Benne is Director of the Roanoke College Center for Religion and Society in Salem, Virginia.
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