So, everyone’s favorite party-line Evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem is coming out with a book from Zondervan about the Bible and politics. I’m thinking we should do a review of it here on WTJ, because Ashleigh and I have radically different views on politics. I am a libertarian leaning conservative and she is a liberal, so it’d be cool if we both reviewed the book. (Zondervan: want to send us a review copy?) The interesting thing about trying to allow the Bible to inform politics is that the only way to do it right is to do it indirectly. If the Bible itself is used as a basis of government decisions, then all sorts of terrible policy would likely come about. (See for example the creepy ramblings of theonomists) The correct way to allow the Bible to inform our politics is through the formation of our ethics which we then apply in various ways to our politics. This means that we can agree on the basic ethical tenant the Bible is communication without trying to equate the Bible with our political positions. Ashleigh and I, for example, both believe that care for the poor is an important part of Christian ethics, but our conclusions about the best way to go about that politically are polar opposites. The Bible is a wonderful source of ethical reflection, moral instruction, and dare I say divine encounter, but political example it is not. Take King Lemuel’s domestic policy for example:
31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to crave strong drink,
31:5 lest they drink and forget what is decreed,
and remove from all the poor their legal rights.
31:6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those who are bitterly distressed;
31:7 let them drink and forget their poverty,
and remember their misery no more.
Personally, I’m for Obama drinking beer and against the poor doing that to hide their troubles.