Thinking Critically About Politics

A church historian may not appear that obvious choice to deal with this politics, but in his soon to be released book Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative, Carl Trueman writes:

My purpose is merely to show that the situation should not be as simple as the gurus of the Religious Right or their opponents on the secular Left seek to make it. Indeed, the overall thesis of this book is not so much a political one; rather, it can be summed up as “Politics in democracy is a whole lot more complicated than either political parties or your pastor tell you it is; treat it as such – learn about the issues and think for yourself.” This is why it is strangely appropriate for a trained historian, rather than a philosopher, to write this little book. The task of the historian, as one of my good historian friends often says, is to make things more complicated.

Perhaps as a broadcaster I can use my own innate qualities to I oversimplify things by quoting only the exciting bits:

To cite the Greek apologists, Christians are to be the best citizens, and being the best citizens requires being informed and thoughtful on a whole host of issues that impact the civic sphere. As Christians, therefore, we need above all things to think carefully about politics, to engage the process and the issues in a way that respects their complexity, and to avoid the clichés, oversimplifications, and Manichaeism that bedevil electoral campaigns.

You can read a sample of the book here and listen to an interview with the Reformed Forum.

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