Why Social Life Shouldn’t Be Reduced to Politics

“One reason [Why Christian debates about politics become so heated], well documented by sociologist James Hunter, is that many Christians have joined the broader culture in the mistaken assumption that public life is the same thing as political life. 2 For this reason we tend to think that the only, or best, way to change the culture is through politics. But politics is intrinsically coercive, using power (rather than persuasion) to bring about change. And forced change tends to turn up the heat in public life; it tends to polarize people, transforming ideas into slogans, discussions into shouting matches, and the opposition into demons. This is the case even when Christians are involved; perhaps more so since Christians tend to feel that they have a mandate from God in their efforts. Christians need to rediscover that “public” is much larger than “political.” -Charles Drew

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