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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Doug Wilson has a good post this morning on Christian involvement in politics.
[C]onservative Christians should be preparing to mount a faithful prophetic witness against the established powers after the progressives are routed (and good riddance, yay) and the conservatives win. If our thinking is, "What do you mean, after the conservatives win? Doesn't the millennium come then?" -- this illustrates our problem.
Statist idolaters like President Obamafail do need to be chased off the stage, no question. We can't afford him, for starters.

But what do we think we are actually accomplishing when we do this necessary thing? Without an eschatology to govern the direction of our efforts, our efforts are aimless. And secular eschatologies (of the right or the left) are either damnable or stupid or both. The teleology of all human history, and everything it contains, has to be Jesus Christ. How can we as Christians say that it could possibly be anything else? Now I know there are decent Christians engaged in our political life who don't know this, but they are decent Christians who are in the process of being suckered. And one of my assigned tasks in life is to talk Christians away from the pleasures of being suckered.

H.L. Mencken once trenchantly observed that trying to reform Washington by electing new guys was like trying to reform prostitution by staffing all the brothels with virgins. Now the only way out of this is to think in terms of the teleology of it. The brothel needs something other than new, fresh faces. The brothel needs to become something else. But that is a teleological question. That is eschatology. And no Christian can have any eschatology that leaves Jesus out of it. If Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth, then we can turn the brothel into something else. And not otherwise.

Party-line thinkers are always short-term thinkers. Ideologues care only about the moment. When Christians succumb to this kind of thinking, they are still Christians, and they still go to Heaven when they die. But they are playing their roles in this grand story as extras or bit players. The Author of all this can use them wisely and well, and they will rejoice in His wisdom forever and ever. But it would be far better for us to understand more of the story now. It glorifies His name, and it blesses our souls and hearts. And it advances the plot.


Chris A said...

This eschatology question is of such importance in shaping the modern American Evangelical worldview that it can hardly be overstated. It has been, probably for centuries, used as a political tool. I would encourage everyone to take a second look at Preterism and Historicism - not that these views don't have their own problems, but it will broaden your perspective on eschatology.

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

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