City of Man (with Download of Foreword and Preface)

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I recently had the pleasure of editing City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner,  releasing October 1 from Moody Publishers.  In this volume, Gerson and Wehner draw on their experience as former White House staff, journalists, and commentators on religion (especially evangelicalism) to chart a new course for Christians to engage with politics in a post-Religious-Right era.

Rather than focusing on specific strategies for influencing legislation or electing politicians, the authors outline broad biblical principles that should inform believers as they engage the realm of politics—the “City of Man” in the words of Augustine.  Such principles include fighting for human rights, defending life, supporting the family and other character-shaping institutions, and engaging with political and ideological opponents in a civil and respectful manner.

What I most appreciate about City of Man is that it isn’t partisan in its approach, though both authors are well-known conservatives, but that it strives to present biblically and theologically sound first principles that apply to Christians of all political persuasions.  I believe the authors succeed, and I recommend this volume to any Christian looking for a deeper understanding of how the City of God relates to the City of Man.

You can download the foreword (by Timothy Keller) and preface in PDF format here.

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Philosophy Word of the Day — Dialectical Theology

Karl Barth
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“Dialectical theology arose in reaction against rationalistic and liberal tendencies in Protestant theology.  A guiding idea, derived from Kierkegaard, is that the difference between God and man is so great that the usual constraints on rational discourse (non-contradiction, etc.) can have only limited application:  the very core of faith contains paradox, since the tension between finite human existence and infinite divine being cannot be rationally resolved.

“The first major statement representing this view was Karl Barth’s (1886-1968) commentary, The Epistle to the Romans, 1919.  Emil Brunner (1889-1966) and Friedrich Gogarten (1887-1967) were among the leading representatives of this tendency, which also influenced Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976).”

Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy (Penguin Books, 2005), 159.

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