From a discussion panel with Richard Hays, Richard Stubbing and Stanley Hauerwas [60MB mp3], here are Richard Hays’ three sets of three questions around the topic of How does scripture inform how we think about politics in a situation very different from that of the NT Christians?
- Are they in fact punishing evildoers?
- Are they defending the poor and weak, or are they siding with the wealthy and powerful?
- Are they acknowledging their limits as God’s instruments who are subject to God’s judgement, or are they claiming an authority that does not properly belong to them?
Questions we often do ask but for which there is no basis in the NT
- Are these rulers promoting our economic self-interest?
- Are they fostering our national security?
- Are they living exemplary personal lives?
Questions we should ask ourselves
- To what extent are our political leanings and commitments motivated by self-interest?
- Are we living sacrificially for the sake of others?
- Are we (the church) living as a visible alternative community? How is God’s kingdom being made manifest in us in such a way that the world can see that this is a community that is living in expectation of God’s coming order of justice peace and righteousness?
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