Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Christian Political Thought in the UK

While in Exeter I came across this new magazine. They have a blog here. I also saw the film Amazing Grace, so I am thinking about the nature of Christian political thought here in the UK. What can I, as a novice reformational political thinker, contribute?

As a start here are some critical notes on Kay Carter's editorial:

She presents the issue of Christianity and politics in terms of a relationship falling apart, employing the metaphor of a divorce, but the terms of this relationship are very unclear. She begins by saying that "Britain and Christianity have grown apart", then refers to the growing gap between the "statute books" and "Christian values" and by the beginning of her second paragraph is addressing "the Church" as the divorcee with a choice to make. There are then real questions as to who we are to have a dialogue with, and who "we" are that might participate or instigate this dialogue.

One possible answer is that the dialogue is between church/es and state, but such a dialogue is already going on and The Difference is non-denominational. Perhaps it is best to read "the Church" not institutionally but as the body of believers. The implication then appears to be that 'Christianity' and 'politics' are, at least potentially, self-contained spheres that should nevertheless talk to each other. Now it may well be true that such an implication was not intended, but it is there nevertheless and until Christians start to think through and discuss politics as an integral and specific part of our responsibility to love God and serve one’s neighbour we will be stuck with a purely external moral approach rather than an internal normative one.

1 comment:

Neil said...

Glad the the magazine has been useful to you.

When you were here I said I would post you a book, it has entirely slipped my mind which one... it must be my age!