Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Over at Justin Taylor’s blog, he offers a transcribed interview conducted with Ken Myers of the great Mars Hill Audio.  I want to talk about this part:

Question: One of the arguments out there by what I am going to call a “high two-kingdoms view,” is that there is not a distinctively Christian way of doing “X” vocation, even that we should resist that because that would be to mix the kingdoms, and if you were to, for example (this would be the anti-Abraham Kuyper position), be a politician, your Christian thought should not come in. Could you interact with that a little?

Myers: First of all I would agree…I am a believer in natural law. Let me put it this way. Let me say for the sake of the argument that I’ll agree with that, there isn’t a distinctively Christian view of politics and art, or anything. But there is a distinctively human view; that is there are de-humanizing possibilities in those spheres; Christians we are necessarily humanists. That is, Christians are necessarily interested in sustaining the best for human beings as human beings.

What I take issue with, and not in a pugnacious way, is the statement that “there isn’t a distinctively Christian view of politics.”  I feel quite certain there is such a thing.  Contrast, for example, some of the Christian socio-political values that took the place of their Greco-Roman predecessors.  Mercy becomes desirable rather than contemptible.  The church becomes a brake upon the state’s unrighteousness rather than a servant of it (thinking Ambrose and Theodosius here).  The exposure of unwanted children to the elements and wild beasts goes way, way out of style.  The gladiator games cease.  Constantine closes the courts on Sunday unless there is a slave to be set free.  He ends the practice of branding criminals’ faces.  We could go on.  A Christian politics is a distinctive thing.  I suspect we think it is not only because of the degree to which the world now accepts many of those ideas and values as the correct ones.

Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles