Can a church that is compromised through dependence on temporal, political power speak with a powerful prophetic voice in the world?
As the body of Christ, the church has a prophetic role in the world. Prophets have always spoken clearly to people in power. They have been willing to challenge the decisions made by people who thought they were not accountable to anyone. Sometimes the prophets were respected, sometimes persecuted, but they were never ignored or regarded as irrelevant. So why is it that the church today cannot speak truth effectively to power?
In The Politics of Witness, Dr. Allan R. Bevere asks these questions and proposes an answer. The church has come to depend too much on temporal power and has thus forgotten its divine authority. In finding this answer he goes back to the founding of the church and how it first became dependent on the state. He examines those who have followed, mostly building a political theory that takes the responsibility of ministry from the church and gives it to the state. You’ll find some names in this that might surprise you.
Any discussion of Christianity and the state will involve Emperor Constantine, but what about his modern lieutenants, such as Locke, Jefferson, Franklin, and others? While the theology applies to the church in any country, Dr. Bevere takes a particular look at the peculiarly American view that the United States of America is somehow God’s chosen people, a nation of destiny in accomplishing the gospel mission.
This book balances brevity with a broad intellectual and historical reach. You will be taken from the founding and foundation structure of Christian theology today to a proposal for how we, as the Church can reclaim our prophetic witness. In the current political atmosphere, every Christian needs to read this book.