Following the Fourth of July I made my debut at Mere Orthodoxy, an excellent blog directed by my friend Matthew Lee Anderson. The substance is political theology. The question: How are Christians called to engage with one another in political discourse in pursuit of a common good?
Here is a sample from my post, entitled "Every Foreign Land their Fatherland, Yet Every Father Land a Foreign Land":
The task, then, for Christians who are both liberal and conservative is to establish a space within the public square where the merits and weaknesses of our varying positions can be measured and engaged with dignity and respect. Love of nation is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as we maintain a unique identity under the cross; ancient Christians may give us some wisdom in this regard. As the Letter to Diognetus puts it, “Every foreign land is their fatherland, and yet for them every fatherland is a foreign land.” The love and service of God is our higher calling. And it is the unique politics that is “church”, with our overarching commitment to “Jesus is Lord”, that should guide and direct our theological and political discussions so that they are conducted in a spirit of love and grace.
Along the way, it is the task of both liberals and conservatives to persuade as many people as possible to join them in light of what they believe to be true, and to argue for those positions with passion and clarity, while avoiding the temptation to demonize and marginalize their opponents. When individuals are persuaded and join a cause, that is an outcome of democracy, not theocracy. It is the workings of a strong public discourse that allows for divergent viewpoints to be voiced, and for the people to discern, to think, and to become convinced that a particular vision for the good is the best vision for the nation, and to vote accordingly.
The church has a role to play in a strong public discourse, one of service, not rule. And neither liberals nor conservatives should forget it.
Read the post in its entirety. Let me know your thoughts.