Christianity Tomorrow

The church, John Locke once said, is more likely to be influenced by the government than the government by the church. This could be called “Locke’s trap.” I read this statement about Locke in Robert Louis Wilken’s wondrous account called Liberty in the Things of God. Statism, a more-than-occasional reality of Locke’s trap for the church, has become, especially since the days of Reagan, evangelicalism’s trap. Randall Balmer was right: Christianity operates best from the margins of power, not in its center. Too many today think the solutions to our problems are anchored to the one leading the White House. (I write about this in Kingdom Conspiracy and in Pastor Paul.)

The recent dustup over CT’s former Editor-in-Chief illustrates the point. The essay drew evangelicals out of their churches into the city square. Wayne Grudem defended Trump and some 170 pastors wrote a letter defending Trump. Jim Wallis defended the editorial and then so did The Bonhoeffer Society and then a large number of African American pastors.
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