I caught up with Professor R. Scott Clark last week. Professor Clark holds a doctorate from Oxford Univeristy and is an historian and a professor at Westminster Seminary. I wanted to talk about how Christians can think about and participate in politics while respecting the distinct roles of the Church and the State described in Scripture. And we did – but Professor Clark also had some insights into the role of technology and politics. Social media in particular has democratized culture and its effects on political discourse are profound – but poorly understood and applied by most politicians and their legions of highly paid consultants. Professor Clark’s role as an historian combined with his active presence on Twitter, 2 podcasts, and his blog at the Heidelblog.net gives him a uniquely valuable perspective.
But the majority of our discussion revolved around a Scriptural approach to politics. Rather than the transformationalist view generally associated with the Religious Right over the past 3 or 4 decades, Professor Clark hearkens back to an older view. He reminds us that early Christians lived, worked, and served in avowedly pagan regimes. While the state owes all of its citizens freedom of conscience, he explains, the Church does not require an expressly Christian regime to flourish. In fact, he argues that in conflating the distinction between the Church and the State called out in Scripture damage is done to both. There is more to our discussion than I can possibly relate here so give it a listen. And then do what I did – listen to it again – you’ll get more the second time.
Listen to the current episode of the DownStream Politics Podcast by clicking below. Please subscribe & leave a review.
You can follow me on Twitter at: @TheChrisBuskirk
You can also listen to the podcast here: