Tuesday 21 May 2013

The Christian and Politics

A post By Edwina Hine

All our readers who live in Australia must be aware that this is an election year. In fact the count down has begun, and it is only 120 days until the next federal election. This week it will have been difficult to escape news telecasts of the federal budget speech by Wayne Swan or the opposition's budget response a few days later.

The news from Canberra gives all Australians much to think about, as we ponder how the budget and other government initiatives may effect our vote later this year.  Case edition #13 ( from 2007)  entitled "The Christian and Politics"  has been a helpful read for me this week as my thoughts turned upon the subject of Australian politics. The articles in Case 13 are certainly not a "how to" of  Christian voting, but it is an excellent collection of articles. Collectively, the essays look at the way Christians view their citizenship and the roles of government, the stated purpose of Case #13 as Trevor Carney points out in his editorial, the magazine offers

".... a collection of papers that present arguments concerning the way our biblical understanding  should inform our political minds and actions"

One article I enjoyed was penned by the Hon. John Andersen -who was at the time the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. His article  entitled 'Church and state' outlined the role people of faith should play in politics. He reminded the readers that the

" debate over the relationship between church and state is alive and well... The issues are difficult, they create real tensions and there are, in the end no definitive, final, neat formulas"

Courtesy of Google images
We are also reminded that in 1 Timothy 2 that Christian relationships with the 'state' are within the
framework of Gods eternal plans. Christians are to pray for political leaders so that they govern and oversee a peaceful society in which the gospel can be preached. Anderson  concludes his thesis by reminding the reader Christians

"must have a distinct world view that allows us to contribute  thoughtfully and theologically to public life"

In addition to John Anderson's article, this edition of Case also includes an article by Mike Thompson on 'Western Christians and democracy as a foreign policy objective' , and an article by Andrew Errington entitled 'Representation and good government'.  The latter can be read online as can he article by John Anderson. There are a number of other articles in  edition #13 well worth a look.

A back issue of Case #13 can be purchased here, or  if you wish to become a Case subscriber you should visit here. Case edition #13 on Christians and Politics also followed the 2005 New College Lecture Series 'Church & State'. Both John Anderson and Kevin Rudd were amongst the guest speakers and for those in an interest in the topic - you might enjoy visiting the New College Lecture website to view their talks here 

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