Five Views on the Church and Politics

J. Brian Benestad, Robert Benne, Bruce Fields, Thomas W. Heilke, and James K. A. Smith

Five Views on the Church and Politics
Five Views on the Church and Politics

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Few topics can grab headlines and stir passions quite like politics, especially when the church is involved. Considering the attention that many Christian parachurch groups, churches, and individual believers give to politics—and of the varying and sometimes divergent political ideals and aims among them—Five Views on the Church and Politics provides a helpful breakdown of the possible Christian approaches. Readers will find themselves equipped to think more deeply about the relationship between church and state in a way that goes beyond mere policy debates and current campaigns.

General Editor Amy Black brings together five top-notch political theologians in the book, each representing one of the five key political traditions within Christianity:

  • Anabaptist (Separationist)—Thomas Heilke
  • Lutheran (Two Kingdom)—Robert Benne
  • Catholic (In Tension)—J. Brian Benestad
  • Reformed (Integrationist)—James K. A. Smith
  • Black Church (Prophetic)—Bruce Fields


Each author addresses his tradition’s theological distinctives, the role of government, the place of individual Christian participation in government and politics, and how churches should (or should not) address political questions. Responses by each contributor to opposing views will highlight key areas of difference and disagreement.

Thorough and even-handed, Five Views on the Church and Politics will enable readers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the most significant Christian views on political engagement and to draw their own, informed conclusions.

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