A Survey of Recent Christian Ethics

By Edward Leroy Long Jr. | Go to book overview

5
Politics in Operational Terms

This chapter considers a political rather than an institutional model for thinking about the exercise of Christian responsibility in society. Political as it is used in this chapter means the exercise of power and influence in operational terms. There are many gradations of opinion between institutional and operational ways of thinking about society, but the differences between the central expressions of one motif and the central expressions of the other are clear and undeniable.

Representative of a growing group of evangelical scholars who are convinced that privatized individualism in religion is unbiblical, Richard B. Mouw believes that the Bible addresses our corporate lives with political images and categories. His approach differs sharply from that of Carl F. H. Henry, although both are interested in promoting greater social concern among evangelicals. In Politics and the Biblical Drama, Mouw identifies with Gustavo Gutierrez's call for a political theology which does its work as a "critical reflection on historical praxis."1 He shows that many human relationships, such as the family structures, which are often considered to be quite unpolitical, are increasingly understood in political terms as it comes to be recognized that

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