Evangelism & Politics

A Christian Perspective on the Church and the State

In a fallen world, politics will be a brutal, at times violent, sport. Grandstanding, demonizing, misleading, and lying are the native language of political conflict. Violence is historically how political conflicts are ultimately resolved. This fact raises important questions about our faith. Should Christians participate in politics? If so, how should we participate?

Evangelism & Politics argues that Christians should participate in politics and government but their ultimate goal in doing so is evangelism, not political change. The way Christians participate in politics is therefore generally more important than the specific policies they advocate for. In short, Christian participation in politics should be marked by the fruit of the spirit.

At the same time, Christians should not be naive in thinking godly engagement in politics guarantees political success. Ungodly tactics are effective and Christians will be at a political disadvantage when they refuse to use such methods. Nevertheless, Christians should refuse to them because they ultimately see God, not the government, as their protector and provider and godly engagement in politics as a way of providing an evangelistic witness to society that fulfills the Great Commission.

Reviews

"John Barrett draws from the Old and New Testaments to answer the question: How can the church reconcile the Great Commission with the fact that politics has been and always will be an ugly, often violent, affair... I enthusiastically recommend this book for Christians, people of all faiths, those with no faith, students from secondary through graduate level, and the public. It is enlightening and a pleasure to read."

William A. Mitchell, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Baylor University; Colonel (retired) United States Air Force

"I recommend this book for all those interested in politics, particularly those who are believers. It will demonstrate clearly to you how difficult your job will be to follow God and also perform admirably in your chosen office. Well-written and very helpful."

Richard C. Crawford, Former Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma

"John has thoughtfully and skillfully brought a serious issue, politics, into the light! There are many Christians who long for these insights and perspectives on the proper role and voice for a Christian to play. This short epistle should be read by one and all as it shines a clear light onto a serious topic and it gives an honest answer!"

Steve Largent, US House of Representatives, 1994-2002, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame